Northwest Wine: Malbec, a global red, finds a home in the Northwest

Tri-City Herald
August 27, 2019

Malbec is a bold and juicy red grape with origins in Bordeaux, the famous region in France where the variety is known as Cot and often far from the spotlight.

The landscape for Malbec has changed dramatically. If you want a better sense for a French Malbec, set your sights on Cahors, halfway between Bordeaux and the Mediterranean.

However, it’s the New World where Malbec truly shines. In South America, Malbec arrived in Argentina in the 19th century. Thanks to the tireless work being done there, Malbec is viewed as the country’s national grape and enjoys serious success on a global scale. Today, more than 100,000 acres of Malbec are planted in Argentina. The country exports more than 3 million cases of Malbec to the United States…read the entire article featuring Woodinville Wine Country’s Five Star Cellars, Milbrandt Vineyards and Tsillan Cellars on the Tri-City Herald

photo cred: Duval Images

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Vinography Images: A Hazy Shade of Autumn

A Hazy Shade of Autumn
SANTA MARIA, CA: Dark afternoon smoke from the officially named Alamo Fire, burning in the nearby coastal mountains within view of the Pacific Ocean, creates an eerie, surreal scene near Santa Maria, California. The 30,000 acre blaze began near Twitchell Reservoir on Highway 166 and quickly spread toward the ranches and vineyards along the Tepusquet Bench. Fires around harvest time have been a serious problem for winegrowers for the past two years in California.

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This image is from a series of photographs by George Rose captured in the process of shooting his most recent work WINE COUNTRY: Santa Barbara County, a visual celebration of one of California's most beautiful wine regions. The book can be ordered on George's web site.

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Vinography regularly features images by photographer George Rose for readers' personal use as desktop backgrounds or screen savers. We hope you enjoy them. Please respect the copyright on these images. These images are not to be reposted on any web site or blog without the express permission of the photographer.

Daily Wine News: Cinsault, Climate Change & More

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov offers notes on the most recent Wine School, obscure Italian reds, and announces what’s up next: old-vine cinsault from Itata Valley in southern Chile.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley profiles winemaker Shauna Rosenblum of Rock Wall Wine Co., daughter of California Zinfandel pioneer Kent Rosenblum.

Elsewhere in the Chronicle, Mobley offers an early look at California’s 2019 wine harvest.

In Newsweek, Jonathan Nossiter pens “a manifesto for the agriculture and natural wine.”

Nicole Schnitzler offers a wine lover’s guide to Montreal in Wine Enthusiast.

In Town & Country, Karen Lubeck explores Washington wine.

In Forbes, Michelle Williams ponders the future of canned wine.

Guides to workplace etiquette rarely include advice on how to handle ordering and drinking wine in a professional setting. In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague fills in the blanks with some practical guidelines. (subscription req.)

In Barron’s Penta, Abby Shultz reports on how Napa Valley winemakers can prepare the region for climate change.

Sex, Lees, and Social Media

I assiduously avoid reading (fiction) reviews on Goodreads prior to cracking open a book so as not to be prejudiced/predisposed to like or loathe it. I’d rather peruse the back cover teaser and a handwritten note from a bookstore employee. Also I find reviews to be spoiler-y. Not in a “The butler did it!” kind of way, but regarding certain plot aspects or something tantalizing about the author. Hey, I love context, but I like to investigate all that after finishing a work of fiction. Reflect on, and question, what I was thinking while reading a book. Perhaps expand or alter what goes on in my mind. Anyway, it’s a good thing I stayed away from Goodreads when it came to Social Creature, a novel by Tara Isabella Burton.

Polarizing reviews, to say the least. I’ll share mine but first I found a delightful wine-related moment:

“New Years resolution,” Lavinia roars. “Be it resolved: we shall drink life to the lees.”

Lees are the leftover grape and other solids from the winemaking process, settling to the bottom of the tank or barrel. So if you are going to drink life to the lees, you are going to drink it dry. Metaphorically and, based on the actions of some of the characters in Social Creature, literally.

BTW, if you want to experience what lees contribute to a wine, check out Muscadet. The Loire Valley white wine is a classic example of a wine aged on its lees, which add texture and flavor.

Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton

Onto the book. It’s about a woman in her late 20s (Louise) scraping by in Brooklyn, motivated by a fear of returning to her small New Hampshire hometown and admitting defeat. Through serendipitous NYC-type events, she meets the younger, far wealthier Lavinia. They become best friends almost immediately. Louise enters a world of exclusive parties, money, and drugs. Then, things take a turn for the worse and Louise has to figure out how to lead a life of (continuing) deception. I’m soft-pedaling it a lot here. This book goes very dark. Here’s my review on Goodreads:

A hard to put down thriller. The kind of book you miss your subway stop for because you were too deep into it. Great New York City detail, an interesting use of social media as a plot device (which could be dumb as hell), and a lead character who is more cunning than you think. Disturbing, sometimes deeply so, and engrossing.

People either loved or hated this book. Count me in the former category. Was quite a shift from reading a book about sand.

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