RSSAuthor Archive for Nick Antonaccio

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 […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine

I’ve been penning this wine column for over six years. I’ve written on topics relating to the finer points of winemaking, the broad expanse of new wines popping up all over the world and the lighter side of the antics of personalities in the wine industry. Every once in a while, I’ve even drawn parallels […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine

As humans we tend to think of ourselves as interacting with our surroundings through our five senses. But do we rely on certain senses more than on others? Scientists have long known that humans can discern millions of different colors and half a million different sounds. To a much lesser extent, we perceive the world […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The Regulators Are Always Lurking in the Shadows

The world of wine distribution is a tangled, complex and many times confusing arena. With the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, the federal government felt compelled to regulate the newly revitalized domestic wine and liquor industry after its 13-year hiatus, by controlling the wine distribution pipeline and presumably preventing organized crime from exercising its political […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine

Last week I focused on four business models for producing wine across the globe. As I stated, many wine consumers believe that the process for making wine is similar for all wines. The supposition is that grapes are gently handpicked at the epitome of ripeness, carefully sorted for rotten grapes, leaves and insects and then […]

Grapevine: Today's Winery May Not Fit Your Preconceived Notion

Grapevine: Today’s Winery May Not Fit Your Preconceived Notion

Wine is, in its most elemental form, an agricultural product. To make a decent wine you must be a decent farmer. This axiom has been generally true since the beginning of winemaking, nearly 6,000 years ago. Of course, as with many products, there are exceptions, which is the focus of this week’s column. In the […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine

It must be my fascination with wine. When I see news of a scientific breakthrough or a new application for old technology, my mind goes into “I wonder if there’s a wine angle to this?” mode. On several occasions the insights I’ve gained over my wine-centric lifetime have come up with ancillary or alternative ways […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Pairing the 2013 Oscar-Nominated Movies With Wine

The 86th 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 nine nominees. “12 Years a Slave,” based on the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Planning the Meal For a White House State Dinner

Globalization has homogenized much of the American landscape. From “American” cars incorporating foreign parts, to “foreign” cars incorporating American-made parts and assembled in the United States, a blurred line has developed over the past 50 years between American made and American inspired. An iPhone is American inspired but substantially produced and assembled overseas. Another seeming […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Sixties Student Protests Redux? On British Campuses?

Remember the student college campus protests that were held across the United States and Western Europe in the late 60s and early 70s? They arose over the on-going war in Vietnam, perceived intrusive government policies and a myriad of social issues. For the most part they were peaceful, representing idealistic statements from students whose view […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The New French Paradox

The concept of unintended consequences has always fascinated me. As modern man has sought to improve lives – medically, economically and technologically – unforeseen outcomes have affected our lives as dramatically as the original intended results. Examples abound, and seem to be increasing. 1. Banning DDT in the 1970s. Its widespread use in agriculture assuredly […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Super Bowl XLVIII: There’s Also a Culinary Challenge

Here we are, several days before Super Bowl Sunday, and the game is finally in our own backyard. So, after XLVII games, we finally get a local venue, only to find ourselves boxed out from supporting our local teams–and from participating in the festivities, which are monopolized by fat wallets and checkbooks. There are ticket […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine

Convenience. What a concept. In 2014, we’ve evolved as a society that places significant weight on being able to reduce our precious time to focus on the most important matters and that seeks other means to satisfy seemingly less important matters. And there are always enterprising companies seeking to market to this need. In fact, […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The Dark Side of Dealing in Food and Wine Products

The 2008 recession has financially impacted a number of individuals and families. Some are still feeling the effects of unemployment while others are grappling with devastated budgets for the basic necessities of life. For those still struggling, saving a few dollars on purchases of food can have a significant impact on their lifestyles. Conversely, the […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine

As a seasoned wine writer, I often find myself extolling the ethereal, exotic and esoteric aspects of wine. As a result, on occasion I overlook the true nature of wine. As an agricultural product it is inexorably dependent on the vagaries of nature. However, it also provides subsistence to growers and winemakers, and as such […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine

Almost everywhere I look the 2008 recession still lingers. Unemployment levels, GDP growth, new housing starts and real wages are all stagnant or performing weakly. This is so for the United States economy and more so for western Europe, where economic indicators continue to point to a prolonged recession. However, in a media environment that […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine

In previous columns I’ve reported on the prevalence of wine fraud perpetrated on high-end collectors. There are numerous examples of wily crooks taking advantage of gullible investors. It seems that social status or wealth does not necessarily bestow greater traits of common sense or wariness than on us 99 percenters. One such scam has been […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: In Perpetual Pursuit of the Highly Coveted

What is it that makes a wine desirable? Is it its underlying ethereal essence that sets it apart from others? Is it the prestige of its provenance? Is it the lofty price that makes it unattainable to all but a wealthy few? Or is it simply its scarcity? Certainly, there are multiple examples of coveted […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine

It’s the time of year for gift-giving. Some of us are focused on specific gifts to match the specific likes, even passions, of someone we wish to acknowledge. In a number of cases this focus is on wine, whether for a particular business client or for a special relative or friend. And we tend to […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine

My mantra throughout our trip to French wine regions was to “to taste barrel samplings deep in hand-carved wine caves, to caress grape-laden grapevines in sun-drenched vineyards, to sample ripe grapes as they were being prepared for the harvest crush, to rub soil and rocks between my fingers to understand the nutrient-poor stress placed on […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine

The pungent aromas wafting through the air in the subterranean cellars of the winery were like no others I have ever experienced. Yes, I’ve visited many wine cellars in my travels over the years. But here, at this moment, in this time and place, I was inundated with a barrage of complementary and contradictory aromas […]

Grapevine

Grapevine

This week’s column in the multipart series on my recent trip to the French wine regions of Champagne, Loire and Burgundy focuses on the LoireValley chateaus and wineries. In planning this trip with our friends, the Russells, it became clear that individual likes and dislikes needed to be considered. The “guys” preference would be to […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine

This week’s column marks the sixth installment in my multipart series on our recent trip to France. Earlier this year I had the yearning for the next wine adventure to be shared by my wife and I with our friends, the Russells. After experiencing too many days toiling in an office building, too many indoor wine […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine

This week’s column is chapter four of a multipart series on our recent trip to Paris and the French wine regions of Champagne, Loire and Burgundy. In last week’s column my wife and I explored the Champagne region, northwest of Paris, with our friends, the Russells. Before heading out from the Champagne city of Reims […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine

This week’s column is part three of a multi-part series on my recent trip to the French wine regions of Champagne, Loire and Burgundy. In developing our itinerary–my wife and I travelled with our friends, the Russells–it became clear that individual likes and dislikes needed to be considered. Thus our trip included cultural and gastronomic […]

Grapevine

Grapevine

This week’s column comprises part two of a multipart series on my recent trip to the French wine regions of Champagne, Loire and Burgundy. Last week I presented my logic for selecting these three among the eight French wine regions, including a need for consensus among myself, my wife and our close couple-friends, the Russells. […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Planning for the Next Dream Wine Adventure

In past columns, I’ve reported on my trips to several wine regions. Among my favorites have been the Tuscany, Umbria and Campania regions of Italy and the Napa, Sonoma and Central Coast regions of California. Earlier this year I had the yearning for the next adventure, the next opportunity to taste barrel samplings deep in […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine

Last week I opened this column with a premise we gloss over too often: You sit down to a meal with a bottle of wine on your table. Have you ever pondered how that bottle of wine arrived in your home? To create a greater level of awareness I presented the channels that wine travels […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The Case of the Mysterious Wine Disappearance

In the course of my musings and meanderings the last six years of penning this column, I’ve had the occasion to report on a multitude of subjects. Many times these subjects have a natural and logical beginning and end; at other times the plot is midstream at the time of my writing. This week, I […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine

You sit down to a meal with a bottle of wine on your table. Have you ever thought how that bottle of wine arrived in your home? We’ve become accustomed, in this 13th year of the new century, to high speed logistics and high pressure marketing. With greater sophistication and a refined awareness of global […]