RSSAuthor Archive for Nick Antonaccio

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 […]

Grapevine: A Short History of America's Rise to the Top of the Wine World

Grapevine: A Short History of America’s Rise to the Top of the Wine World

In the long history of wine production and consumption, the United States has played a very minor role. Cultivated grapes have been grown, and wine produced, for millennia. Recently discovered remnants of a winery in Armenia are believed to be over 6,000 years old. In the continuum of time since the Greeks and Romans spread […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Nature Wields Its Power In California Wine Country

Several columns back, I presented the case for the ongoing battle between Man and Nature to control our lives and our destiny. As Man evolves and advances, and attempts to dominate and negate the whims of Nature’s forces, we are constantly reminded of Nature’s continuing impact on Man’s environment and thus, the fragility of life […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: When Dinner and Breakfast Drinks Share Identity Crises

The food and beverages we consume have gone through revolutionary production processes and distribution channels in the last 50 years. Before the globalization of our economy and the dominance of the corporate industrial complex in the food chain, life seemed simpler. Before science perfected ways to optimize food production and increase the shelf life of […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Mother Nature vs. Man

Here we are in the second decade of the new century. My how time flies. It seems just a short time ago that we were celebrating the dawn of the new millennium. Much has transpired in our lifetimes, in the realms of turbulent geopolitics, radical economic cycles, eye-opening technological advances and major scientific breakthroughs. Through […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Justice Prevails in Wine Counterfeit Criminal Trial

“for some, small solace” Over two years ago I reported on the arrest of a wealthy wine aficionado. His crimes were ones of passion, of greed and unbridled ego. And one other that eventually got him arrested: selling counterfeit wines. Rudy Kurniawan, a 37-year-old self-proclaimed multi-millionaire, was arrested in 2012 by the F.B.I. on charges that […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The Life and Times of California Small Producers

The California agricultural industry is the juggernaut of the food industry. It supplies more farmed products to the world than any other nation. On a micro level, the California wine industry supplies over 90 percent of wine consumed domestically. And wine is big business in the United States. Over 80 percent of all wine is […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Fledgling Trend to Consider in Wine Innovations

In my travels through the wine world, whether caressing a handful of soil or the keyboard on my computer, I always keep a peripheral watch for new trends, wines or approaches to the marketing of wines. I recently came across a fledgling trend that may portend the future of winemaking offerings. As a wine journalist […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The Wartime Tribulations of French Champagne Citizenry

In recent columns I’ve been exploring the Champagne region of France. Together we’ve traipsed through the vineyards, the cellars and the streets of the people of this illustrious center of the past and future glory of Champagne. Intricately enmeshed in the oenological fame of the region is its tumultuous political history. I’ve described the history […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Champagne’s History: Struggling to Produce a Fine Wine

From the early plantings of the Romans in pre-Christian times through the evolution into a favored sparkling wine in the 17th century, Champagne was subjected to political and winemaking upheaval. Last week we left the region in the heady experimental days of Dom Perignon and the refinement of a still wine looked upon with disdain, […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The Mystique of the Champagne Region and its Wine

Ah, Champagne. . . Historically referred to as the wine of kings and the king of wines, Champagne has a storied and checkered past, often as much by happenstance as by astute winemaking. It has become a fabled, preferred beverage for special, celebratory occasions as a symbol of good fortune and happiness. The history of […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Enjoying One of the World’s Best Sparkling Wine Regions

Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, Cremant, Asti Spumante, Sekt, Brachetto, Lambrusco and Franciacorta. All are highly regarded sparkling wines, some familiar, some flying well under the American wine consumer’s radar. But not all sparkling wines are equal. The majority are made from three traditional grapes (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier), but several are made from grapes […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine

When you walk into your wine shop do you receive ad hoc information from the owner concerning a wine you’ve come to purchase? Do you receive insightful comments laced with a touch of humor? Are you regaled with the history of the wine region, the grape varietal and a myriad of factoids that enlighten you […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Trust Science or Practical Experience When it Comes to Benefits of Red Wine

Scientific health studies are in the news constantly these days, attempting to validate or refute claims made by manufacturers, scientists, the health industry or any number of respected medical and health journals. Much has been written concerning the validity of these studies and whether they conform to strict scientific standards or, rather, are more anecdotal, […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Wine Backdrop On the 70th Anniversary of D-Day

Last week marked the 70th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy. Listening to the media coverage, including the spoken words of the tales of the few remaining survivors of the invasion, brought the memory of the invasion and the war into vivid focus for me. I realized the importance of keeping these images as our […]

Grapevine: The State of the Largest Wine Consuming Nation

Grapevine: The State of the Largest Wine Consuming Nation

Whatever happened to the artisanal goods of years past? Where have the locally grown and produced products gone? With all the talk these days about farm-to-table and farmers markets, the vast majority of products we purchase and consume are controlled by mega companies. When you walk into your local grocery store, what brands do you […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine

“It’s time.” The call from Uncle Charlie that I had been anticipating came last Thursday. The grapes that we had crushed 13 days ago have reached the ideal level of fermentation. The grapes are now ready to be “pressed.” As I arrive at Uncle Charlie’s, I eagerly begin my assignments as his apprentice. But this […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine

In a recent column, I expounded on a time-honored and well-worn axiom in the wine industry: 90 percent of a wine is made in the vineyard. This implies that the characteristics of a wine are primarily under the influence of nature, not man. That the soil, natural irrigation, vineyard elevation and microclimate influence the vigor […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine

For the past two weeks we’ve been exploring the various means by which entrepreneurs have been pursuing their love of wine and winemaking. Some have purchased vineyards, harvested their crops and then created their unique brand and profile of wines. Others have not been as adventurous or as capital-rich, instead opting to buy grapes and […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Following the Winding Trail of a Virtual Winery

“Ink stains, not grape stains, cover his hands​.” In recent weeks, we’ve explored the state of winemaking and winemakers in 2014. From traditional winemakers who grow their own grapes and produce their own wines, to trend-setting winemakers who own no land, no winery and no storage facilities, we’ve become accustomed to focusing on what’s in […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine

“Ninety percent of wine is made in the vineyard.” “The winemaker’s role is to let the wine make itself.” I am frequently reminded of these words from wine merchant and author Neil Rosenthal. As an agricultural product, the essence of a given wine is steeped in its origins. It stands to reason that the more […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine

In my previous 343 consecutive weekly columns, I’ve touched on many wine-related topics. Oftentimes educational while on other occasions tracking unfolding news events, I’ve enjoyed the research and resulting reports presented to readers. A number of news events are open-ended as I report on them. I periodically hear from readers inquiring if closure has been […]