JURIS wine tasting with the Stiegelmars

Last week, we enjoyed the visit of Axel and Herta Stiegelmar, the charming owners of Juris Winery, who participated in a series of promotional events in San Francisco and Los Angeles. In San Francisco, they were featured at Portfolio, our annual tradeshow located this year at the San Francisco Old Mint, pouring their Pinot Noir and St. Laurent wines non-stop from 11:00am to 3:00pm. Juris is a family estate in Gols, Burgenland, run by the Stiegelmar family since the late 1500’s. After acquiring practical experience in Germany, Bordeaux and California, Axel Stiegelmar is now considered a Pinot Noir and St. Laurent specialist, producing wines of character and style with aging potential. Pinot Noir and St. Laurent are two difficult and fussy grape varieties that have actually many common characteristics. Pinot noir was most likely brought to Austria in the late 14th Century by Cistercian monks from the Order’s motherhouse in Burgundy. It grows well in the mild climate regions of Burgenland and Thermenregion (Lower Austria) and is recently gaining more importance in the country (1.4% of the plantings in 2009, up from about 0.8% in 1999). The origins of St. Laurent are mysterious but thanks to genetic testing, it is … Continue reading JURIS wine tasting with the Stiegelmars

2008 American Wine Blog Winners Announced

Two of the American Wine Blog Award winners Winners of the second annual American Wine Blog Awards were announced yesterday by Tom Wark who writes the wine blog Fermentation and who started them two years ago to give recognition to dedicated wine bloggers and stimulate new ones to start. Among the winners we found one of our favourite wine blogs, San Francisco’s acclaimed Vinography by Alder Yarrow, who won the awards for best overall wine blog and best wine blog writing. Not only is Vinography an excellent source of information and inspiration on restaurants and wine bars in San Francisco, but he has also reviewed several Austrian and Slovenian wines in the past, as well as one of our favourite Croatia whites, Bibich’s Debit. We strongly suspect that he’s been getting more into Croatian and Slovenian wines lately, since he celebrated the award with a bottle of Malvazija from Koper (perhaps by Santomas?). Other winners of the American Wine Blog Awards included Good Wine Under $20 (best wine review blog and best single subject blog), Tablas Creek (best winery blog), The Wine Collector (best wine business blog), Chateau Petrogasm (best wine blog graphics), and Grape Radio (best wine podcast/video blog). … Continue reading 2008 American Wine Blog Winners Announced

Return of the Michelin

Jean-Paul Naret and Marcia Gagliardi during the Michelin Guide presentation So it was that last year, that the first Michelin guides entered the US with in New York City and San Francisco. We didn’t get to read the 2007 guide, but took more of an interest this year as they’re introducing Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Jean-Luc speaks Also, the director, Jean-Paul Naret was at a local bookstore to promote it a bit. So, we went down to see it. As it turned out, the event also featured Marcia Gagliardi of Table Hopper there to talk as well. While very much about food and dining in San Francisco, it was something of an odd paring as listening to Jean-Paul Naret was amusing. He’s a very charismatic fellow and very, very French. Putting Marcia next to him showed just how international he was and how local she was. In theory the line up should have worked to show different of approach to food that their respective writings take, when it actually just showed the different leagues that the two worked in. The 2008 Guide Naturally, we bought a copy of the guide. Want to know some ratings? Well, it would be … Continue reading Return of the Michelin

World Wine Market files for Liquidation

We are sad to read the news that the World Wine Market filed for Chapter 7 (i.e.liquidation). This was the San Francisco based wine trade show where Blue Danube Wine Company got its public start in 2003. We also participated in the next year with an expanded portfolio of wines from Austria, Croatia, and Hungary. For us, the World Wine Market provided direct exposure to some of the key people in the trade and media in California and elsewhere in the US. It was a great venue for networking: for instance, we met the folks from Cafe Europa in Boston, Mass. and started distributing their Croatian wines from FeraVino in California. Next year, we met the top management from the import and distribution company Wine for Everyone and convinced them to represent us in the State of Florida. We will miss this show right in our neighborhood and close to the center of the Californian wine industry. For the gory details of why the WWM failed as a business turn to the article in the North Bay Business Journal.

10 Year Anniversary Tasting – The Age of Riesling

We have been waiting for the annual invitation to the big summer tasting hosted by Bay Area Riesling fan & wine merchant, Bill Mayer. Finally, his newsletter arrived with only a few weeks to go to the big event. Looks to us as if Bill still is the same sponti, except of the Berkeley variety, we were in Berlin some years ago. This time we’ve been surprised that it is already his 10th tasting in a row. More than 50 fine wines (mainly from Terry Theise’s portfolio of German and Austrian wines) will be served for a fee of only $30. We have experienced a couple of earlier tastings and can attest: they are always fun, there are usually plenty of fine wines to sample, and a good time is had by all. Well worth the money! Saturday, July 31st, 2004 12 noon to 5pm Oakland, California call Bill Mayer at: (510) 549-2444 or write him at billmayer@sbcglobal.net And keep Bill’s advice in mind: Don’t forget to spit!

Rieslings Deserve More Respect

Mike Dunne, the wine writer of the Sacramento Bee says: Rieslings deserve more respect. Dunne reports about a regular gathering of Riesling fans at the Thai Basil Cafe in Sacramento. I have not attended any tastings yet but it does sound interesting and certainly indicates that Riesling continues to find new friends.

Wine Enthusiast Magazine Designates Inniskillin as New World Winery of the Year

Wine Enthusiast Magazine announced today that Inniskillin has been chosen as the New World Winery of the Year, citing the efforts of co-founders Karl Kaiser and Donald Ziraldo as the innovators and leaders of Canada’s growing wine industry. tizwine.com (An on-line magazine published in NZ!) First off, Congratulations to Inniskillin for this well-earned award. They certainly have been instrumental in educating the North American consumer’s taste buds to appreciate Eiswein (icewine). Along the way they innovated how to market and package fairly exotic and pricy wines. Little did we know that the winemaker of the team, Karl Kaiser, hails from Austria, where he grew up with the delicious Austrian style sweet wines, TBA (TrockenBeerenAuslese) and Eiswein. It certainly looks as if he brought a lot of his sweet ethnic heritage with him when he moved to Canada!