Saturday, December 31, 2016

My conversation with Ted Lelekas on twitter: #SeeYouInCyprus




Cheers!! And #SeeYouInCyprus!! 

Luiz Alberto
  • Master of Wine candidate
  • Member of the Circle of Wine Writers
  • Italian Wine Ambassador
  • I combine my passion for wine with social media

Monday, December 26, 2016

Wine, Politics, and Social Media: My Interview with Randall Grahm on Twitter.

It goes like this: I was planning to interview Randall Grahm (Bonny Doon Vineyards) for my presentation , but I had no idea how I was going to do it. The tweet above originated my first ever "official interview" with tweets. Below what followed... I hope you will enjoy it!

Here is the link: 

You can learn more about this if you attend my panel during USBevX:  
Are you a #winelover? I Hope you will join us! 

Luiz Alberto
  • Master of Wine candidate
  • Member of the Circle of Wine Writers
  • Italian Wine Ambassador
  • I combine my passion for wine with social media

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Baron de Funes Wines from Spain and Champagne Collet Art Deco Are Perfect Party Wines by Philip S. Kampe

This is the season to entertain and enjoy wine during the long and cold winter (if that is your environment). The key to enjoying winter and wine is to find the wines that become your house wines for the season. Also, if the house wines are good enough for daily consumption, why wouldn’t they become the wines that you pour at your Holiday and non-holiday events or those friendly dinner parties?

I have always been one where the price point does matter with wine.  My philosophy has always been to serve quality wines at reasonable prices.

And that is what we did at our yearly Holiday Party at our home in the Berkshires. Thirty guests, hopefully enjoyed lots of food and lots of wine and a Champagne toast during the middle of the festivities.  

Since, I believe it is necessary to serve a white, rose and red wine, my daily house wines portfolio of white, rose and red wines fit the bill.

Spain has always been a strong point regarding wine values. Quality and price equal success. Fortunately, the Carinena region, at the Iberian Cordilera is home to Bodega Esteban Martin, the producer of the Baron de Funes portfolio.

The wines from the Carinena DO, located within Aragon’s Zaragosa province, are home to the Garnacha (Grenache) grape that thrives in hot and dry climates.

The wines I chose for the party include my house wine, the Baron de Funes Bianco ($9), I chose the Baron de Funes Rosado ($9) and the Baron de Funes Red Reserva ($11) to round out the wines.All the wines are fruity and bold. They are medium-bodied and are perfect food wines.

For the Champagne toast (really, a good reason to toast 2017), I chose the Collet Art Deco, a really complex and bubbly Champagne.At $45 a bottle, I believe this is good value for Champagne in the crowded marketplace.

Philip S. Kampe

Friday, December 23, 2016

My message for the holiday season: Let's make the world a better place?

For a while I have been thinking what to say to all of you - my dear friends, who are a part of my life, real or virtual - something meaningful for the Holidays.

This is the best I could do:
The Serenity Prayer: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to always know the difference."

And, beyond the wisdom to know what we can change and what we cannot, a second kind of wisdom speaks to the better way to err: We should make every effort to influence for the better what we can. And what we think we can.

Let's make the world a better place?

I hope 2017 will keep bringing to all of us and our families good health, piece, happiness, and many successes. 

Thanks again for all your support and friendship this year.

Love to all!!!

Luiz Alberto
  • Master of Wine candidate
  • Member of the Circle of Wine Writers
  • Italian Wine Ambassador
  • I combine my passion for wine with social media

Valpolocella Ripasso (PDO) Revises It's Identity

Press release

Six years after the “birth” of the “Valpolicella Ripasso” Protected Designation of Origin, the production chain makes its first major revision to more precisely and accurately identify “Ripasso style”. After the resolution at the extraordinary shareholders’ meeting on December 14th, the name of the PDO changes to reflect the quality that starts in the vineyard and is consolidated by clearer definition of the production techniques in the winery, getting rid of the third fermentation and the blend.
A crucial and rightful step for this Valpolicella wine that has become the top wine from Valpolicella in terms of volume—210,000 hL in 2015, compared to the almost 15,000 of Valpolicella wine and approximately 10,000 of Amarone, for a variation of 46.7%, -15.9%, and +8.1% respectively over the past five years—and comes in second after Amarone in terms of value.
 “Valpolicella Ripasso wine,” comments Christian Marchesini, Chairman of the Consorzio di Tutela Vini Valpolicella, “is an important driver for the designation, both as far as sales and the more delicate sphere of production balances of the Valpolicella PDO. With about 26 million bottles per year and an outstanding price-quality ratio, it is a driver for the other wines in many markets where Amarone remains the luxury product for special occasions.”
A premise must be laid concerning the production method for this wine that bears the name of an ancient practice in the Verona area: “ripasso”, to be precise. This process involves a second fermentation of Valpolicella wine on a bed of marc and wine meant to become Recioto or Amarone. However, originally this process was used to strengthen the structure of the wine from the harvest in less auspicious years; over time it has morphed into a real genuine style choice for companies.
The huge success of Ripasso wine on international markets (Usa 21%; United Kingdom 16%; Germany 13%; other EU markets 10%; Sweden 5%; Russia and China 5%) and the consequent demand arising from the consumers’ tastes, together with certain vague parts of the rules, have made it necessary to add some clarifications to anchor Ripasso to the recognizability bestowed by its terroir, without trading off the interpretation of single producers.
The changes to the production rules for Valpolicella Ripasso proposed by the Tutela dei Vini Valpolicella clarify certain technical parts neglected in 2010.
“The process of review,” explains Olga Bussinello, Director of the protection body, “started almost 2 years ago through an analysis of the products on the market, various and sometimes too modern. We have sought to underscore a common thread for the organoleptic characteristics, to translate them in a style that exalts the savoir-faire of the producer with the provenance of the wine.”
The introduction of the term “Superiore” in the designation’s name confirms the leap in quality starting right from choices in the harvest. Only grapes that meet the minimum requirements linked to the term “Superiore”, like for example, the minimum natural alcohol by volume of 11% ABV, will be allowed to produce Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso, which—another quality parameter set—must have at least a 13% actual alcohol by volume on the shelf.

Other changes shed light on the technique to be used in the winery with the goal of raising
the bar in a uniform manner.
The operation of ripasso will be defined by the new rules as “one- time only additional fermentation”, clearing the field of equivocations on the third fermentation, a practice that has wrongly spread. The marc used must include a liquid fraction of wine meant to become Amarone or Recioto accounting for 10 to 15% of the total of Valpolicella wine to perform the process on. This is a very important specification since it clearly gets rid of the blend, that is, the use of declassed wine that can no longer ferment. The marc must have at least 10 g/L of minimum residual sugar and the operation of ripasso must last at least three days.

Consorzio Valpolicella Press Office
Federica Schir 
+39 389 9425510

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...