How New World Wine Resurrects Old Religion
I used to be a regular at a wine bar in San Clemente, a beach town in California where my wife and I lived when we were first married. The ‘Tuscan’ decor of the place was a little too vivid for my taste, but the wine was priced right and the owner was a great conversationalist. He would tell us stories from behind the bar about his travels to vineyards in Chile and New Zealand, and he had a charming populist streak. When people got too pretentious about the wine, he would roll his eyes and say: ‘Relax, it’s just a beverage.’ He was wrong about that, of course. Since its invention more than 8,000 years ago, wine has always been more than just a beverage.
Architectural theorist David Gissen has recently been travelling through France to learn about wine. His dedicated Twitter account @100aocs has attracted the attention of sommeliers, importers, and winemakers. Edible Geography caught up with Gissen to discuss wine, wine culture, geography, and Gissen's re-thought wine map of France based on Metro maps such as London's Tube map. How Wine Became Metropolitan: An Interview with David Gissen.
Spring is the perfect time to start planting your grape crop - First choose your grape and then your training system. Don't get too excited though, it will take about three years before you start getting any usable fruit to make your own homemade wine (pdf). So you might pass the time with some alternative wine making recipes. -Previously
Jack Keller's winemaking site has not only the basics of home winemaking in 5 parts , but also information on more advanced topics, including acidity, blending, and using a hydrometer. Equally interesting is his extensive collection of recipes for making wines out of things other than grapes, including dandelions and other edible flowers, wild plants (including nettles!), cabbages and beets, tea and coffee, mint, pomegranates, and pumpkins. A complete list of recipes is here, if you'd like to click through alphabetically, and a list of specially-requested recipes is here (scroll down a bit).
A Winemaker's Library. Sean Thackrey is a well-respected winemaker from Northern California, who is unusual in that he prefers to learn from old writings on the subject than from modern enological studies. His personal website includes not only practical information and interviews, but a collection of his favorite texts about winemaking through the ages, with his own introductions.
Crush - an article by Brendan Eliason (assistant winemaker at the David Coffaro Winery) that explains in plain English what it takes (mechanically speaking) to put out a good bottle of red wine.