Tuesday, October 22, 2013

TEJO Wine Country--Portugal by Philip S. Kampe

We just arrived to normally sunny Portugal. A large group of journalists, sommeliers and wine store and restaurant owners are descending on SANTAREM, the major town in Portugal's Tejo region.
Santarem is an hour and a quarter northeast of Lisbon and is known for the wines the area produces.
Candela Prol, an authority on wines from the region, will help guide us through the area with her colorful descriptions.
Today we will visit the town of Sanatrem, its market place, old buildings and Graca Chrurch. Afterwards, we will dine with wine producers from Enoport, Quinta da Ribeirinha and Casca at Santarem.
A wine report will follow.
Philip S. Kampe

Thursday, October 17, 2013

What is going on? "The Other Blog"


My latest effort:
On September 6, 2013, we had the opportunity to visit Planeta’s Ulmo Estate, near Sambuca di Sicilia.
You can read the article here:

 I have also prepared a list of the 24 #winelover-s (people who love wine and that dedicate a lot of time to talk about it!. They are the top people in the wine industry and I’m very proud to be part of it.
You can check the list here: 

Luiz Alberto, #winelover

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Don't miss the 'Fall WINE & FOOD Festival' on Thursday, October 17th from 6-9pm in NYC by Philip S. Kampe

'ALL the TASTES of NEW YORK' is hosting what will be an unforgettable evening of food ,wine, cocktails and music.
The event, a first for the prolific 'All the Tastes of New York' company is bound to be a SELL-OUT.
Tickets are going fast and should be purchased prior to the event to secure entrance.
Some of the notable tastes include: Cajun cuisine from Bourbon Street Bar & Grille; Legend of Kremlin Vodka; Thai food at Spice; Latin cuisine at Mi Casa Es Su Casa; Tequila with Los Arango; Whiskey from Single Cask Nation and Wines from Brotherhood Winery.
Entertainment will be provided by Brooklyn based, jazz musicians, The Nathaniel Center Trio.
This is an event not to be missed.

WHERE:  Metropolitan Pavillion           Thirty (30) Restaurants
                110 West 19th Street            Wine, beer, spirits and Cocktails from ten vendors
DATE: Thursday, October 17th   6-9pm
TICKETS: www.AllTheTastesOfNewYork.com
Price: $95

TICKETS:  www.AllTheTastesOfNewYork.com

Philip S. Kampe

Monday, October 7, 2013

CRITICS Play Minor Role in Wine Choices---Ask your friends for a Recommendation!

                                                         Philip S. Kampe
A washed-up wine journalist!  He even asks his friends for 'recommendations' 

Critics Play Minor Role in Wine Choices

The best source of advice for wine consumers? A wine-loving friend.
By W. Blake Gray |
Not a fan of Robert Parker? It's time to celebrate. Founded by Parker in 1978, The Wine Advocate is measurably less influential than sommeliers, wine shop assistants, and the Wine Spectator, when it comes to taking wine advice, according to a new survey.
Wine Opinions CEO John Gillespie released the findings of a survey of 1,151 high-frequency American wine drinkers at the 22nd Wine Industry Financial Symposium in Napa on Tuesday. They suggest that the most influential source of recommendations is a "wine knowledgeable friend," with a rating of 6.0 on a scale of 10. Nearly a full point lower are recommendations from "wine shop staff" (5.3) and "a sommelier in a restaurant" (5.2).
Of the wine media. Wine Spectator had the highest influence rating at 4.7, followed by Wine Enthusiast at 4.4. At 4.1, "Robert Parker's Wine Advocate" had the same rating as an email recommendation from a wine retailer.
After his presentation, Gillespie cautioned that the survey may not fully capture market influence.
"I don't know if the Enthusiast is as influential on the market as Parker," he said. "People who are Parker fanatics are true acolytes. They're slaves. But the Enthusiast has a huge database of anyone who's ever bought anything from them: wine openers, anything. They've done a good job of leveraging that."
Eric Asimov's recommendations in the New York Times earned a 3.3 rating, below "recommendation from the wine columnist in your local newspaper" (4.0), but above ratings on CellarTracker (3.2).
Wine sales professionals might be pleased to see their opinions are more highly valued than all wine media, but Gillespie said the power of friends' recommendations, either in person or on Facebook, is overwhelming.
"If you work at Binny's in Chicago and you have worked years to get certifications, and two people walk into your store and one leans into the other's ear and says, 'Buy that one,' you're finished," Gillespie said. "You can't do your job. That must be frustrating."

·         Comments

Alana Gentry (@gitlwithaglass) wrote:
30-Sep-2013 at 18:05:52 (GMT)
Good article and study. It rings true to me because it explains niche markets. I have found that industry people who are non-marketing pros would greatly prefer to have a magic bullet one-size-fits-all strategy (like get 95 pts and game over). Blake's illustration about what really happens when people go wine shopping is spot on. Paul Rickett's comment below also speaks to it. There are lots of reasons why we want recommendations from family, friends and trusted store staff (and I would add trusted wine bloggers like Joe Roberts, IWineDude). Parker has a niche following - people who can point to Parker's rating to introduce their wines to friends. Wine Spectator has a niche following--people who read wine mags. The masses are getting their recommendations in the same way they get recommendations for everything else they buy, from their social circle.
  • Paul Rickett (twitter @paulrickett) wrote:
28-Sep-2013 at 02:18:21 (GMT)
3 years ago I published a study on wine purchase influence at point of sale (i.e. in store) It is based on survey I did with my customers. The results above echo what I found then. Friends and Family and Trusted Store Staff (whom one might consider as a friend too) will outperform any critic. FWIW #ItsAllaboutTrust can be downloaded for free from http://ow.ly/1KmUe if you'd like to read it.
  • Bob Henry wrote:
27-Sep-2013 at 06:45:43 (GMT)
Blake, I found this sentence very interesting: "Eric Asimov's recommendations in the New York Times earned a 3.3 rating, below 'recommendation from the wine columnist in your local newspaper' (4.0) . . ." Are there ANY local newspaper wine columnists any more? Is there ANY wine editorial in your local newspaper any more? ~~ Bob
  • Rod Haden wrote:
26-Sep-2013 at 16:54:25 (GMT)
An interesting survey result, but I, for one, haven't written off the Advocate and Parker as yesterday's news. Of course all experienced wine drinkers want to see personal palate preferences trump (or serve as a foil to) any critic's assessment. Still, Parker and the Advocate can move markets on many high end wines (regarding pricing and consumer demand) in a way that far eclipses any retailer or individual rep. So true in Napa, Bordeaux, and the Rhone! In store consultative sales help at retail is fine when available, but how about the millions of shoppers at Costco who sometimes spend serious $ on wine? They get no help at the point of sale other than a shelf-talker with a score. Ditto at many large outlets that sell expensive wine, and ditto at many boutique stores where consumers don't get professional help because pro-active consultative selling isn't usually part of the skill-set and training wine geeks at retail (based on my 30+ years of buying all over the country).
  • The Sediment Blog wrote:
26-Sep-2013 at 16:27:43 (GMT)
Be honest. Would you rather trust a car salesman - or the friend you took with you? The real estate agent - or the friend you took with you? The salesman in the clothing store - or the friend you took with you? The salesman in the wine merchant? Or... The Sediment Blog
  • Winn Roberton wrote:
26-Sep-2013 at 14:45:42 (GMT)
I can relate to the last paragraph. Working the floor one night, after a great 3-minute conversation with a guest about grower champagne, his friend butts in and exclaims that we have Veuve and it's "the best." The conversations was over and I had a bottle of Veuve Cliquot in my hand.
  • Milt Gersh wrote:
26-Sep-2013 at 13:50:11 (GMT)
Hi, Having been in the wine business over 30 yrs. It's important that each person rely on their own tastes and individual preferences. I remember a salesman telling me that "drinking wine is an adventure,try something different" One should use the the wine writers only as a guide as to what to taste. Thanks
  • C.Hedges wrote:
26-Sep-2013 at 13:38:16 (GMT)
Scorevolution.com. Blake, it's happening. Scores are an unnecessary tax on wine.
  • Francis Kennedy Jr wrote:
26-Sep-2013 at 09:53:20 (GMT)
I find it strange that wine drinkers go nuts on Parker's ratings. Moreover, everyone has a different profile, my first stop is usually Cellar Tracker then store owners, lastly, IWC! Drink what you enjoy regardless of critics point. Variety is the spice of life.





George Sandeman and the Vintage Ports (1955-2011) by Philip S. Kampe

George Sandeman, Chairman of the House of Sandman, expressed that his family has been an active member in the wine business since 1790. George is the Seventh generation family member to be involved in the Sandeman family business.
The original George Sandeman, a Scotsman and businessman, bought a wine lot in London in 1790 and began the family business  (220 years ago).
During those days (1790) the wine interest in the British Isles was primarily focused on wines from the Iberian Peninsula.
Sherry and Port wine was the goal.
George Sandeman learned quickly that to make a success in the industry, in its infancy stage, he must immerse himself in the fermented wines from Portugal.
Within months, George Sandeman, the businessman, bought a winery in Xerea and one in Porto.
The company legacy began.
Since those days, the Sandeman company has been a successful and well respected player in the port business.
One of the present day George Sandeman’s Great-Great Uncle married a Portuguese woman with ties to the wine business, thus reinforcing the link to Portugal.
In fact, George’s father married a woman from Jerez, thus consolidating the link with Spain.
All of these tactics helped boost  the House of Sandeman into being recognized as a ‘World Leader’ in the industry.
Recently, I had the privilege of spending an evening with the modern day George Sandeman (53), sampling an array of magnificent vintage ports.
The evening began with a 1955 Vintage Porto. George explained that in 1955, even though he was two years old at the time, the weather conditions that year ran the gamut from freezing cold to burning hot. The extreme weather created a higher than average sugar level in the grapes, thus producing wines that were exceptional, hence a vintage year. My glass was filled with a wine that was see-through brown in color with a hint of pumpkin orange on the rim. The aromatics for a 58 year old port were incredible—spice on the nose followed by cedar, sweet balsamic and the classic ‘cigar box’ aroma. My palate was bathed in acidity and tannins followed by a burst of pepper and northern Indian curry. The acidity created a long, complex finish.
The evening was off to a good start.
Following the 1955 was the 1963. The weather was steady that year and lacked the extreme conditions that made the 1955 a standout.
According to George, 1963 was destined to become a vintage year. The wine in my glass was ruby tint in color with brownish hues. The complex aroma resembled truffles that were recently pulled from the earth. Add classic balsamic and white pepper aromas and you have the beginning of a solid port. My palate couldn’t escape the pronounced acidic and tannic structure that led to a long and lingering, complex finish.
1963 was a good solid year.
Next on the agenda was the 1977, a year where the weather conditions were considered perfect. The glass was glowing with orange and red hues. The nose was floral with hints of red fruit and lavender. My palate exploded with spice, tannins and acidity.
Still young, the 1977 shows promise for longevity.
The 1980, my personal favorite, is a ruby wine with intense aromas that make it spicy on the nose—ginger, cinnamon, white pepper and cacao. The intense, nearly dramatic tannins coupled with the acidic red fruit on the palate make this port in a league of its own. The spicy, long finish showed structure, depth and complexity.
The 1980 has many years ahead of it until it reaches maturity. I look forward to reaping the reward, as I have two bottles in my collection.
An early spring with dry and warm temperatures favored the 1997 vintage. Its deep ruby color paired aromatically with black fruit, cacao, cassis and wild flowers help make this an exceptional vintage. My palate felt lively tannins and strong acidity. Add chocolate and red fruit tones to the scenario and you have a port that is maturing classically.
The 2007 is an example of a very acidic, well structured wine that is dark purple in color. Firm tannins coupled with an extremely long finish point to an overly complex long and firm finish. Red ripe fruit aromas paired with subtle hints of pepper and clove dominate the nose.
The newest release, the 2011 Vintage Porto, was an immediate hit, due, in part, to the uncharacteristically low temperatures in July and August. The weather conditions helped create grapes with optimum levels of acidity, thus enhancing bottle-ageing potential. I found the deep purple 2011 to have dry tannins paired with a liberal amount of both red and blue fruits in the mouth, followed by a long, dry finish. The acidity level is high, lively and powerful, thus creating a classic vintage year.
All of the bottles that I sampled were decanted ten days prior to tasting by the winemaker.
Sandeman’s symbol, the Don, was created in 1928 by artist George Massiot Brown. The logo symbolizes the Spanish caballeros from Jerez, wearing a Portuguese students cape and wide-brimmed hat.
The Don is a dark, dramatic figure and turned into the Sandeman logo eighty- five years ago.
I hope to see him tonight!

Philip S. Kampe

Friday, October 4, 2013

Home from Argentina by Philip S. Kampe

                                         El Tigre, a delta river town near Buenos Aires

I apologize for not having time to post my journey around Argentina in a more timely fashion.
When you travel from Buenos Aires to Mendoza to Patagonia and then back to Buenos Aires in a three week period of time, you have the luxury of observing life and wine styles in many areas of this 'bigger than life' country.
Waking up to Tango in Buenos Aires versus waking up to the Andes in Mendoza are definite opposites.

Wineries in Patagonia make you feel like you are on the moon. They are space like structures in the middle of nowhere. If you have no water for irrigation, you have no wine.
Thankfully the Andes mountains plus a couple of rivers control the water supply in the wine country.

The food from all regions is outrageous, as well as the amount of wine choices in any given restaurant.

The public transit in Buenos Aires is easy to navigate, inexpensive and overly efficient. I prefer the bus system over the underground because of the views.

More stories to follow!
                                                            Buenos Aires

Philip S. Kampe

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Do you know what Klout is? And... Do you have Klout?


If you are involved with social media (twitter, facebook, linkedin, etc) you most likely have heard what Klout is... but, in case you haven't, here are a few links that will help you to have a better understanding of the concept. I hope you can also find out for yourself if it really matters.

If you are in the wine industry (or... if you are a #winelover), you probably want to check who are the top influencers in the wine industry:

And this list with MWs that are using social media and their klout scores:

Luiz Alberto, #winelover

How Hungarian Cabernet Franc Changed My Life by Philip S. Kampe

My Dad was known to his friends as ‘Cab Franc.’ You see, his name was really Joseph and all of his social time with visiting frien...