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Grapevine: Be Wary of the Information on a Wine Label

Grapevine: Be Wary of the Information on a Wine Label

What is the first description you seek out on a wine label? Is it on the front label? The rear? And which term have you trained yourself to capture, the one that transmits data from your eye to your cerebrum as an attractor or a detractor, to tempt you to proceed further in selecting the […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: It’s Difficult Enough to Be a Successful Winemaker Without Civil Unrest

The life and livelihood of a winemaker has been much heralded in the media and in popular culture. The glamour of producing a personal product is enticing. The specter of financial failure is daunting. To make matters worse are the external influences that can have significant impacts on a winemaker’s ultimate ability to succeed. It’s […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Napa Valley From Vineyard Reality to Virtual Reality

There are a record number of wineries in the United States today – 9,000 plus. Over 40% are in California, accounting for 90% of all domestic wine production. Yet, fewer than 2% of all wineries in the United States – less than 200 – account for 84% of all wine production. This was the introduction […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The Next Chapter of the Icons of Napa Valley

Last week I focused on the viticultural history of California winemaking, from the early days of the immigrant settlers to the modern day gentleman (and lady) one percent investors. In Napa Valley, the legacy of fine winemaking runs deep. Many of the early European settlers who set their roots in California settled here. The proximity […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Determining if a Wine has the Qualities to be Ageable

A few columns back, I expounded on the ageability of wines. In the vineyard of a competent winemaker, there are a number of factors that influence the ability of a wine to age gracefully and ultimately become a pleasurable wine that is highly evolved from its vineyard beginnings. From the grape varietal chosen to be […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Determining the Age-Worthiness of Wines: Nature or Nuture?

“I purchased a wine that I thoroughly enjoyed and would like to save a few bottles for consumption over time. Will my wine age well?” I am frequently asked this question. Invariably, my response is “It depends.” As a living, breathing organism, every wine undergoes changes as it ages. Yet each ages differently, depending on […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Super Bowl 50 Culinary Matchups of the Rival Teams

We’re in the middle of that period of football wasteland. No home team to root for in the postseason and no built-in reason to quaff our favorite wine or beer as we veg out in our favorite reclining chair. Super Bowl 50 is as anticipated for its off-the-field festivities as it is for its on-field […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: A Bottle of Wine is Filled with Longstanding Traditions

Wine is rich in tradition. It is rich in the ethereal tradition that embodies the efforts of millennia of winemakers who have produced wine following the time-honored precepts of their forbearers. It is rich in the dynamic tradition of millions who have enjoyed it as a symbol of celebration. Raising a glass with others in […]

Nick Antonaccio

Conflicting Health Grapevie:Guidelines Over Red Wine Emphasize Need for Moderation

I drink wine for its ethereal qualities. I appreciate the intrinsic pleasure it brings to my palate and my intellect. The touted health aspects of a glass of wine are a valuable side benefit. Over the last 20 years, numerous studies have been published espousing the health benefits of red wine. Volumes have been written […]

Nick Antonaccio

Satisfying Your Investment Appetite With a Wine-related Opportunity

The recent downturn of global stock markets, as worrisome as it is, remains a cyclical event. Granted, each downturn, uptick or stable period is explained as a temporary aberration, typically garnering the same rationale for each daily movement of the financial markets, whether they move up, down or sideways. It is becoming increasingly clear that […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Your Wine Preferences: Do You Know What You Know?

What are you drinking these days? I’ve written about numerous wines, from innumerable regions, crafted from multitudinous grape varieties. I’ve focused on tried-and-true wines, and fringe wines hoping to attain a mainstream recognition. My mantra has always been to experiment. A regular practice of sampling new wines will invariably lead to consumers finding their “new […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The Rising Influence of the Millennial Generation

Much has been written about the Millennial Generation (born between 1982 and 2000), their unique buying patterns, social values and affinity for all things digital. These attributes have influenced entire segments of the economy, social patterns and political ideologies. This uniqueness extends to preferences for wine (for those of legal drinking age). As their numbers […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Wine Appreciation Goes Beyond Our Sensory Perceptions

Our perception, and the reality, of wine are influenced by many factors. Wine is not a monolithic sensory adventure. Each sip creates results in a confluence of taste and smell on our tongues, in our mouth and in our nose. This experience may differ with each sip of a glass of wine, and each bottle […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Science Studies the Influence of Our Senses of Taste and Smell

In recent columns, I’ve focused on the marvels of the human senses and their influence on our perception of wine. It seems science has undertaken numerous studies to codify and standardize how we interface with wine. Of our five senses, recent scientific efforts have been focusing primarily on our sense of taste and smell. These […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Enjoying a Holiday Celebration in the City With Cocktails

We’re officially in the holiday season. With Thanksgiving under our belt (hopefully with no additional notches), the Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s celebratory gatherings are in full swing. Holiday festivities are typically focused on traditional gatherings in the homes of family and friends, sharing the religious spirit of our individual faiths. Many of us also […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Celebrating the Upcoming Holidays at My Favorite Wine Bars

Celebrating the Upcoming Holidays at My Favorite Wine Bars The holiday season is upon us. Celebrations with family, friends and business associates are beginning to ramp up. What better way to relax with friends or family than at the modern-day American version of the English pub, the wine bar. In northern Westchester, we have two […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: A Sampler of Fine Wines Across the Italian Landscape

As I recently reported, I attended a wine tasting event in New York City. A consortium of the top winemakers across Italy presented their world-famous wines. The group, Grande Marche, is an amalgam of 19 family-owned wineries perennially considered the most prestigious in the land. Winemakers poured one representative wine from their locale, while extolling […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Enhancing Your Enjoyment of Wine

During the eight plus years of penning this weekly column and the twenty plus years of conducting corporate and private wine tasting events, I have been approached on numerous occasions with various questions. In the what’s-your-opinion category, I’ve been asked, “What’s your favorite wine?” “Which wine pairs well with mango salsa grilled salmon?” These questions […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The 2015 Wine Harvest: Early Reports From Around the World

Last week’s column focused on the threat of climate change on wine harvests. Regardless of which side of the argument one espouses – the reality vs. the perception of global warming – it is clear that recent harvests have been impacted by warming weather patterns in most of the grape-growing regions. Over the past decade, […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Climate Change in the World’s Vineyards: Fact or Fiction?

The threat of global warming has been growing at an accelerated pace, according to many sources. Since the effects of climate change are slow but steady, many shrug off warnings as anecdotal, simply describing this phenomenon as temporary weather patterns of varying durations. Each of us has their individual opinion on the reality and effects […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Celebrate a Legacy Occasion With a Legacy Wine

Many of us have helped mark a special occasion with fine wine. What better way to celebrate and honor a spouse, child, family relative or friend than a gift that can be shared by all. The clinking of glasses filled with the libations of a painstakingly selected bottle of wine symbolizes the comradery, the close […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The Surprises Lurking in Your Glass of Wine

Remember the old quip about a customer in a restaurant? “Waiter, there’s a fly in my soup.” “That’s all right. We won’t charge you for it.” The modern version of this seemingly trite joke could easily take place in the surroundings of a wine bar or high-end restaurant. “Waiter, there’s black gunk in my glass […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The Millennial Generation Rises in Wine Influence

Much has been written about the life and times of the Millennial Generation. They are unique in the history of our nation. Yet, almost paradoxically, they are the most informed and least financially secure generation. Whether measured in economic, financial or social terms, their lifestyle and stature differs significantly from that of other generations alive […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Treading the Delicate Politics of Restaurant Corkage Fees

Restaurant wine lists, crafted by today’s wine-focused chefs and highly educated sommeliers, can be the epitome of the overall experience at a restaurant. Many restaurants painstakingly pair food and wine offerings and invest significantly in well-stocked wine cellars. However, when celebrating a special occasion or trying to impress a potential business client, a diner may […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The Dilemma of the Sulfite-Allergic Wine Consumer

“Contains sulfites.” This government-mandated label appears on every bottle of wine sold in the United States. “I’m allergic to sulfites.” “Every time I drink white wine I get a headache.” These plaintive cries are on the lips of many wine drinkers in the United States. And so the debate over the effects of sulfites continues […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: An Anecdotal Discussion of Capitalism and the Wine Industry

Much has been written about the one-percenters in America as the polarization of wealth in our nation continues to get wider. However, this division of wealth is not a recent phenomenon. The one-percenters have dominated America’s social, financial and economic landscape ever since the days of the Founding Fathers. As the United States evolved from […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: A Toast to the Origins of the Celebratory Toast

“Cheers!” “Salud!” “Santé!” “Prost!” “L’chaim!” “Nostrovia!” Whatever the language, whatever the occasion, raising one’s glass of wine in celebration always seems a most appropriate gesture. The toast is invariably interpreted as “Good Health!” regardless of the occasion. Typically offered by the host of an event and followed by multiple responses, this tradition has changed little […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The Unintended Consequences of Living With Nature

In past columns, I’ve extolled the virtues of winemakers intent on producing unadulterated wines made from grapes that are untouched by industrial science. This trend to produce wines in a manner most is in line with nature’s influence, not man’s. Natural wines can be expected to be more representative of the qualities and characteristics of […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Living Vicariously for the Seemingly Right Reasons

The offerings on restaurant food menus and wine lists in the 21st century have seen a wave of unprecedented changes. Ingredients, individually and in combination, are enticing and pleasing diners with novel and sophisticated tasting experiences. Similarly, wine lists are broader and deeper, to accompany the new flavor combinations on food menus. There is a […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The High Cost of a Fine Meal at a Renowned Restaurant

Wine lists, in the hands of a skilled and customer-focused sommelier, can be the epitome of the overall experience at a restaurant. When curated with the food menu in mind, they can be the cornerstone of an exceptional dining experience at a top restaurant. They can also reflect the high prices at which many restaurants […]