RSSAuthor Archive for Nick Antonaccio

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 […]

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 […]