Sunday, March 25, 2007
In the next five years the United States is set to overtake France as the world’s largest wine market, according to a study commissioned by the organizers of the VinExpo trade fair in Bordeaux. The study predicted that in the year 2010, U.S. consumption of still wine would rise to 27.3 million hectoliters, or 721.2 million gallons, from 23 million in 2005. That would exceed French consumption, which is predicted to fall to 24.9 million hectoliters from 27.4 million over the same time span.
Why is wine consumption on the rise in the U.S.?
10 Reasons Americans are Falling in Love with Wine
1. The quality of wine in the $10-$15 per bottle range is improving and will continue to improve.
2. The supply of very good wine is increasing to meet demand and is keeping costs reasonable.
3. Many studies are listing the potential health benefits of moderate wine consumption.
4. Wine goes well with food—it’s a food friendly beverage of choice.
5. Wine tourism is exploding—wine tour destinations are popular across America and the world.
6. Wine tasting parties are fun, informative, and in vogue.
7. The wine mystique attracts consumers—wine has been around since ancient times but people continue to be intrigued by its complexity. So much to learn, so little time!
8. Wine education is on the rise—wine books, classes, blogs, and other ways of spreading information have proliferated.
9. New wine bars are opening every day across America, offering plenty of access and choice.
10. Wine drinking is a social experience—good friends and wine match perfectly.
Enjoy and cheers,
Ken & Theresa
Sunday, March 18, 2007
BostonWineBuzz (BWB): Jeannie, please tell me a little about the Il Capriccio wine list?
Jeannie Rogers (JR): IL Capriccio is focused on Italian wines. About 95% of the wines on the list are from Italy. We have about 4,000 bottles on site. We feature wines from both small and large wineries. We here at Il Capriccio want wines that are expressive of the place, soil, and grape type. This allows the vineyard work to shine without obscuring the palate. Many of the bottles of wine you will find here are under the radar of many of the major wine reviewers.
BWB: What makes the Il Capriccio wine list different?
JR: Again the list is almost exclusively Italian, so that makes it different. The wine list at Il Capriccio is always changing. I am constantly updating it with new and exciting wines. I also strive to put a list together that gives the customers the biggest bang for the buck.
BWB: What are a couple of your favorite wines on the wine list?
JR: For a white wine, one of my favorites is the Coroncino Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi “Il Coroncino,” $36. For a red wine, the 1996 Case Corini Barbera d’Asti “Barla,” $95 is a favorite of mine.
BWB: What bottle would you recommend to your best friend if he/she and their spouse came to Il Capriccio for their anniversary?
JR: That’s a hard question to answer. It would be based upon what they normally like to drink.
BWB: Let’s say they tell you CA Cabernet and CA Chardonnay?
JR: Given those parameters, I would recommend the 2005 Caggiano Fiano di Avellino “Bechar,” $38. Like CA Chardonnay, this wine is aged in oak. For a red wine, I would pick the Perrone Barbera d’Asti “Grivo,” $36.
BWB: What are a couple of the best deals on the wine list? And is there a steal on the list?
JR: The 1997 Miani Rosso, $95, would be a good deal since it is rarely found outside of Italy. Another good deal is the Roberto Voerzio Lange Rosso “Vigna Serra,” $75. This wine is made by a great Barolo wine maker. This Nebbiolo and Barbera blend is a nice blend of power, earthiness, and finesse. But for some value, let’s go with the 2004 Rivetti Barbera d’Asti Superiore “Bionzo,” $60. It is great for California wine lovers because it has the new French oak and concentration. For a steal, I would go with the 2000 B. Verdi Cavariola Rosso Riserva, $50. This wine is made with Barbera & Bonarda.
BWB: What can you tell us about your wines by the glass program?
JR: We try to find good wine and offer it for a reasonable price. We keep the list small so we can keep the wines fresh.
BWB: What is the best deal in your wines by the glass program?
JR: I would say the Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett, $9.
BWB: Finally, why should the wine lovers of New England come to Il Capriccio?
JR: Wine lovers should come to Il Capriccio because we really try to understand what kind of wine you like and are looking for. The wait staff and I are very knowledgeable about our wines. We like to dialogue with our customers. We want to do everything we can to make their wine experience at Il Capriccio a good one. One of the little things we do is to offer the wine in very good stemware. We even decant many of the wines. I would also not leave out the food. We think you will find Richie’s Northern Italian food to be great and works beautifully with our list.
BWB: If our readers would like to come and enjoy some great Italian food and wine where can they find you?
JR: We are located at 888 Main Street in Waltham, MA. You can call us @ (781) 894-2234 for directions. Hope to see you soon.
I know we look forward to visiting Il Capriccio soon!
Enjoy and cheers,
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
How? Answer the following Paso Robles trivia question correctly to be entered in to the drawing.
The Paso Robles wine region has how many wineries?
E-mail the correct answer to Ken@KensWineGuide.com to be entered in to the contest.
The Boston Paso Robles Tasting is Thursday, March 29 from 7-9:00 PM at Anthony's Pier 4 Restaurant in Boston. The drawing for a free pair of tickets will be held on Friday, March 23. The winner will be notified by email. Please click here to learn more about the Paso Robles Tasting Tour.
Monday, March 12, 2007
I liked reading about the wines by country. Each country’s wine had its own chapter. I found the book filled with interesting facts. For example, “German Riesling commanded higher prices than first-growth Bordeaux in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. German wines were considered the finest wines of Europe, but they declined in quality in the twentieth century and are now fighting their way back to a reputable position on the world stage.” (Wine secret #675), p. 177. I also enjoyed reading about the different regions within each country and what wines were their specialties.
The trade secrets section was very good including wine myths (chapter 26) and how to store wine (chapter 27). “Myth: Old wines taste better than young ones. Truth: This is seldom true because the vast majority of wine made today is released from the winery at its peak and ready to drink. If these ready-to-drink wines are aged, they will be older but not better because they’re not made to bear the weight of time. Wines designed for cellaring are the only ones that actually improve with age.” (Wine secret #938), p.262.
A good example of a wine storing tip that the author suggested is, “If a wine is sealed with a screwcap or plastic cork-like plug, it’s generally not made for aging so drink it as young as possible.” (Wine secret # 944), p.264.
Chapter 3 focused on pairing food and wine. I always enjoy learning food and wine pairing tips. For example, “When pairing food and wine, body not color matters most. Body is the weight of the wine in your mouth and corresponds closely with alcohol level. Fuller bodied wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Barolo, and Syrah all go well with heavier dishes such as roasted meats, while lighter wines such as German Riesling, Pinot Blanc, and Beaujolais pair best with lighter fare such as salads.” (Wine secret #51), p. 23.
I think this is an informative book. It has tips for novices and enthusiasts alike. It has a lot of excellent information in it. I’m sure I will refer back to it time and again.
Sunday, March 4, 2007
On Thursday March 1st I attended the 5th annual Worcester Wine and Food Festival at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts. I was very impressed with this event. It was sold out and attracted hundreds of wine and food enthusiasts. The event also raised money for a good cause. The proceeds will provide scholarships for less fortunate children and youth to attend After School and Summer Camp Programs at the Worcester Jewish Community Center.
I was impressed with the number of quality restaurants represented. Some that stood out for me were Dino’s Ristorante Italiano which had a potato ghocchi in a tomato based sauce that was just delicious. I also enjoyed some Mediterranean Egg Rolls from Castellana’s. These scrumptious egg rolls are basically Chicken Marsala wrapped in egg roll wrappers and dressed with a marsala reduction sauce. Willy’s Steakhouse Grill & Sushi Bar were serving wonderful steak medallions with a Diane sauce which included mushrooms and was absolutely scrumptious. Based upon these samplings, I would go out of my way to visit these Worcester restaurants.
There were over 225 wines to try. I really enjoyed the 2005 Rosenblum Cellars “North Coast” Zinfandel, $19. I also liked the Very Good 2005 Layer Cake - Shiraz, $17, from the Barossa Valley. One of my favorite Sauvignon Blanc’s from New Zealand is from Huia. The 2005 ($20) did not disappoint. There were a couple of Italian red wines that I thought were very good bargains. The 2004 Fontana Vecchia Montepulciano D’Abruzzo, $11, and the 2003 Vinea “Corvina,” $11, were both Very Good. For you “old world” fans, check out the 2004 Henry Lagarde “Reserva” Malbec from Argentina, $15. It was also Very Good. From Spain, I liked the 2005 Nora Albarino, $19, which was Very Good. A really special wine from Spain was the 2002 Muga “Reserva,” $33, from Rioja. I rated this wine in the Low 90’s or Very Good+. From France, I really enjoyed a fantastic Pinot Noir from Burgundy. The 2004 Prosper Maufoux Santenay 1er Cru “Les Gravieres” was also ranked in the low 90’s. If not for the $48 price tag, I would tell you to buy a lot. The last wines I wanted to tell you about were from Portugal. I had the pleasure of meeting Rui Madeira, winemaker from Catello d’Alba. His wines were the highlight of the show for me. In particular, I enjoyed the 2004 Catello d’Alba “Reserva Branco,” $13, (Very Good) and the 2004 Quinta do Côa Red Blend, $18. I rated this wine in the low 90’s (Very Good+). For the complete wine reviews, please click on the links which will take you to KensWineGuide.com.
I was very impressed with this show. Did you go to the show? If so, please tell us about your favorite wines and restaurants. See you all there next year.
Ken & Theresa