The cellar

  • Giving up control

    When I met Kris Matthewson in the summer of 2013 he was assistant winemaker at Atwater Estate Vineyards, where he had worked on the vintages from 2010 to 2013. He had also started making his own wines under the Bellwether label. We tasted three Rieslings and a Pinot Noir that afternoon and they were good. Really good. The following interview was done electronically without fining or filtration.

  • Riesling by numbers

    Intrigued by their excellent 2012 wines I asked Red Tail Ridge's winemaker Nance Irelan questions about their Riesling. In the following interview Nancy explains two peculiar numbers, speaks about spontaneous fermentation and explains what determines the style of a Riesling.

  • Trapped in a fog of uncertainty

    There is no point in denying it: the consumer's anxiety in the wine store is real. Standing in front of the Riesling section, finger tip at the chin, we are encompassed by a fog of uncertainty. Like a sheep in the Yorkshire Moors.

  • Yes Darling but is it "world-class"?

    Life has never been better. No matter where it is from we are being assured that a Riesling is "world-class". Yes my friend, you may even have it at home without realizing it. So exciting.

  • Sauvignon Blanc from a new master

    Sometimes the key to an exciting varietal wine can be to simply allow less of the varietal character.

  • 3 Rieslings, 3 characters

    Riesling unites. For one night Austrians, French and Germans together celebrated the Queen of Grapes during #winechat, an online Twitter tasting.

  • Spree into foreign lands

    What if I decided that all I ever want to drink is Riesling? I mean for the rest of my life. That might be just fine. I could have picked a worse grape for sure. Sometimes, however, I have wild fantasies. What if…?

  • Australia's next chapter: Riesling

    It is not easy for Riesling to compete with Australia's crowd pleasers Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, or the red wines made from Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. Which is a pity considering how good some of these Rieslings are.

  • Grüner Veltliner, biodynamically speaking

    Last week I had the opportunity to taste fine Austrian wines as part of the "#biodynamics" winechat on Twitter. With one of Austria's leading biodynamic winegrowers.

  • Virtual Riesling

    Der Kellermeister left his damp cellar in order to become a tweeting part of the social network, sharing his thoughts on six Rieslings from the Finger Lakes.

  • 12 things I learned about New York wine today

    The large crowds at the second annual NY Drinks NY Grand Tasting cemented the popularity of New York wines. A fact that not even New Yorkers can deny any longer.

  • Finger Lakes Riesling 2012 vintage preview

    Last week I had the opportunity to taste 40 Rieslings of the 2012 vintage from 16 different wineries in the Finger Lakes.

  • So what's wrong with Hawaii?

    There are people who have but one idea: that wine must be dumbed down in order to be understood by the masses, no matter how complex it is.

  • What is not wrong with Alsace

    Although Alsace claims that its Rieslings are dry the discussion about Alsatian wines often involves residual sugar. And that is not necessarily a bad thing.

  • It's sparkling and starts with a "C"

    Question: It's a high quality sparkling wine, made in France and starts with the letter "C" - what is it?