RSSAuthor Archive for Nick Antonaccio

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The Surprising Similarities of Wine and Coffee Production

There are numerous parallels to winemaking in the natural world, as man has endeavored to extend winemaking techniques to other agricultural harvests. The end results bear the imprint of the winemaking process but are distinct unto themselves. Cheese, bread, yogurt, chocolate and beer production share certain critical steps of winemaking (fermentation and yeast addition). So […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: An Exploration Into Changing Wines Into Spirits

The process of making wine, with its natural life cycle of fruit-producing grapevines to fermented juice to bottled wine, has been carried on for millennia. For all of the modern technology and techniques, it remains an ancient art best expressed as a simple, natural process. There are numerous parallels to winemaking in the natural world […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The California Drought’s Effect on the Wine Industry

Did you happen to see the photos on the front page of The New York Times last week depicting the effects of the four-year-long California drought? The photos accompanied the report that Gov. Jerry Brown had mandated water use reductions for the first time in California’s history. His executive order imposed a 25 percent usage […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Finger Pointing At California Wines: You Get What You Pay For

Which end of the wine budget spectrum do you find yourself in discussions with friends or family? “Why do you spend so much on a bottle of wine? My $8 bottle of wine is just as good as your $25 bottle – and it’s much more consistent every year than your higher-priced wine that seems […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine:The Trials and Travails of Start-up Winery Owners

Wine is big business in the United States and the lure and attraction of being part of its potential success and heady prestige is enticing to many. Some desire their own winery for the love of the land, or the love of crafting their own artisanal juice of the Gods, or for the prestige and […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The Wines Consumed by Christians From Ancient to Modern Times

Last week, I attempted to follow the history and antecedent practices leading to today’s Christian celebration of the Eucharist, the celebration of Christ’s Last Supper. This week I address the two questions left unanswered: 1) What wine did Christ likely consume during his life on earth and 2) what type of wine do we consume […]

Grapevine: A Brief History of Wine's Role and Influence in Christianity

Grapevine: A Brief History of Wine’s Role and Influence in Christianity

As a Roman Catholic — and a wine writer — I haven’t given much thought to the wine that is consumed at Mass during the sacrament of the Eucharist. Shame on me. I first began thinking about wine in the context of my column while I was chatting with our parish priest a few years […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Local Importer is Your Personal Wine Consultant

Last week I introduced readers to “artisanal importers” who have a passion for particular styles or regions and vigorously pursue the wines that express their passions. A particular artisanal importer’s name on a wine’s back label can compel you to purchase a wine with certainty, not with the usual element of chance. This week I […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Artisanal Importers Can Tantalize Our Discerning Palates

Having sought out new wines for several decades now, I’ve found that I prefer particular styles of wine and specific wine regions. This has certainly helped steer me in the right direction when I’m perusing the numerous offerings at my local wine shops. Certainly, the new round of wine apps, a number of which I […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: An Exercise in Matching Wine and Oscar Nominations

The 87th Academy Awards show airs this Sunday. This is my sixth year of presenting the Best Picture nominees and creating hypothetical pairings of wine with the top contenders. I’ve distilled my list to five of the eight nominees. “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).” This dark comedy praises and mocks Hollywood and Broadway […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Let’s Lift One as We Celebrate Presidents’ Day Weekend

In the spirit of the upcoming Presidents’ Day weekend — and in my insatiable search to relate events around me to a wine-centricity – I contemplated this week’s column. Seeking references to any imbibing habits by our first and 16th leaders, I found the landscape highly polarized. George Washington brewed his own beer, of which […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Navigating the App Stores for Digital Wine Experts

Have you recently encountered any of these situations? “Waiter, may I see the wine list?” Waiter: “Here you are sir/madam.” He or she hands you an iPad. The iPad, or other brand of tablet/phablet, is slowly gaining traction in restaurants and wine bars as a replacement for wine lists produced on paper. In many cases […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Analyzing This Year’s Super Bowl From a Culinary Perspective

Super Bowl Sunday brings together friends and family to indulge in the biggest junk food day of the year. Once a year we indulge guilt-free in those waist-widening, artery-clogging foods we try to fastidiously avoid all year. And what better way to wash down those calories and fat than with your favorite beverage. But what […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The Tumultuous World of Consumers’ Wine Technology

Technology dominates our lives. For better or for worse we’ve become slaves to our smartphones and laptops. Many of us have panic attacks if we accidentally leave our electronic devices at home. But if we step back for a moment, we realize that this phenomenon is very recent. It wasn’t so long ago that we […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The Never-ending Debate on the Health Aspects of Wine

“Red wine is healthy for you.” “All alcohol is bad for you. Even moderate consumption can be detrimental to your health.” These contradictory headlines blare out with increasing frequency. And each is backed by a scientific study or irrefutable pedigree. Which study to believe? We are bombarded with so many conflicting news reports we adaptively, […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: A World-famous Restaurant is the Victim of Holiday Foul Play

My wife and I have been fortunate over the years to enjoy high-end travel destinations and the sophisticated restaurants that thrive nearby. Several of these destinations and restaurants have been in the wine regions of several countries, notably France, Italy and the United States. Whenever we see one of these destinations in the news, it […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Beware the Russian Bear as it Flexes its Diminishing Might

There are many facets of wine, primarily self-contained within the expansive wine industry. From the agricultural component, to the technological, biological and marketing components, the wine industry, at least in the United States, tends not to cross the line into sociopolitical matters or governmental intervention and influence–not to any major extent (federal distribution regulations notwithstanding). […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Options for Enjoying Today’s Ageable Wines

In the last three columns we’ve explored the numerous elements of consuming wine at its peak – the moment when it reaches the top of the Bell Curve and expresses its best characteristics. The columns focused on these categories: The majority of wines are best consumed when purchased; additional storing adds little to enhance most […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Aging Wines for a Consumer’s Enjoyment

The aging of wine is a rather open-ended term lacking any specificity to a particular wine. Your concept of aging may be a matter of a few days – or hours. Mine may be several decades. While one consumer may not have the patience or ideal storage environment to age wine properly, another may invest […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Aiding and Abetting the Wine Bottle Genie

The holiday season is in full swing. Celebratory gatherings, family dinners, gift-giving all create a joyful, sharing environment that typically beckons us to splurge a bit – on others and on ourselves. A few more calories are consumed, a few more favorite stories are shared and a few more glasses of wine are (responsibly) imbibed. […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Concept Behind Creating Wines for the Decades

There is an ongoing debate of whether wine should be consumed young or after a period of aging. I am a proponent of consuming wine as it is released by a winery. Much of the wine released by winemakers is released young, primarily to generate the cash flow that permits investment in next year’s vintage. […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: To Breathe or Not to Breathe

Most wines on retail shelves should be drunk young; by that I mean as soon as you open the bottle. The reason: oxidation is as inevitable as climate change – whether or not we accept the scientific premise of each. Think of what happens to a sliced apple when exposed to air. Shelf–or countertop–life is […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: A Vicarious Tour Through the Hills of Piedmont

There are certain producers that I’ve come to admire over the years that I’ve been consuming wines. What started out as a long list has been whittled down to a rather select few. Most of them are French (Burgundy and Bordeaux) and Italian (predominantly from Piedmont and Tuscany). Although the group is rather small, there […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: What’s Behind the Label on a Bottle of Wine?

When shopping for the produce and/or meats necessary to prepare an at-home meal, consumers are increasingly aware of the nutritional and health values of unprocessed ingredients. Many products contain nutrition and ingredient information on government-mandated food labels. But what of the produce and meats in supermarkets? Current regulations are not always effective in food labelling. […]

Grapevine: With the Best Intention and in the Interest of Full Disclosure

Grapevine: With the Best Intention and in the Interest of Full Disclosure

Drinking responsibly can be a daunting task. The vernacular meaning tends to focus on the level of alcohol consumption. I view this well-worn phrase as a reminder, a self-directive, if you will, to be mindful of not only the alcohol I ingest, but also of the type and level of the other components in the […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: My Moderate Consumption Your Excess? Or Not?

Recently, I’ve been reporting on the negative effects of alcohol consumption, specifically in two areas: alcohol levels and calorie count. I focused on the gradients of alcohol levels as controlled by nature and by winemakers. My suggestion: seek out lower alcohol wines – and consume in moderation. For calorie content, I focused on the dietary […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Beware Alcohol in Wine – Do Calories Logically Follow?

Over the past seven years of penning this column, I’ve touched on many aspects in the vast compendium of wine topics. Always seeking to present an objective focus, I’ve rarely veered into expressing my opinions. With one notable exception: the health benefits of wine consumed in moderation. I’m a proponent of the camp that promotes […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Drinking By the Numbers

“In moderation, red wine has healthful compounds that provide valuable antioxidants that ward off many of the significant health diseases of our time.” “We saw a link between a reduced consumption of alcohol and improved cardiovascular health, regardless of whether the individual was a light, moderate or heavy drinker.” In last week’s column, I reported […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: If Wine Doesn’t Benefit You It May Just Kill You

In previous columns I’ve been an advocate for the moderate consumption of wine. I’ve presented the benefits and rarely focused on the negative aspects. (Isn’t there always a counterargument these days concerning the benefits or detriments of any form of food or beverage?) Well, here it is: the negative argument for imbibing wine–or any other […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Counterfeit Italian Wine is Thwarted

It happens at every social and economic level. Be it our ego, avarice or quest for a great deal, we can find ourselves attempting to acquire an object simply for the joy of ownership. Over centuries, many opportunistic individuals have taken advantage of our weakness, attempting to capitalize on it for their personal gain. Wine […]