November 18, 2016
WineSpeed - Weekly Wine Intel from Karen MacNeil
Wine of the Week

Wine of the Week


“Machado” Pinot Noir 2013  
(Sta. Rita Hills, CA) $90

Thanksgiving is next week, and among the things I am thankful for is pinot noir. The lessons of pinot are many: intensity without volume; darkness within lightness; the beauty of a touch of corruption. Brewer-Clifton has a fine hand at all of these. Their 2013 “Machado” bottling (named after the family who owns the vineyard) is a pinot with a deep slow voice. A pinot that will envelop your palate...and your mind.

95 points KM

Available at Brewer-Clifton

Wine Question of the Week

Looking for a delicious wine to pair with Thanksgiving dessert next week? A great Port is one of autumn’s most anticipated wine treats. Which of the following is not a term commonly used for Port? 

A. Colheita
B. Crusted
D. Frasqueira

Scroll down for the answer!

Wine Question of the Week

The Swing is the Thing


“It takes me twelve minutes to eat a good plate of food and two hours to drink a good bottle of wine, so who cares about the food?”

--Peter Barry,
winemaker/owner of
the Australian estate Jim Barry
Fascinating Facts

Say What You Will,
the Thing is Miraculous

No one likes cork taint of course. But you have to hand it to cork—the substance is remarkable. In structural composition, a cubic centimeter of cork contains roughly 40 million 14-sided cells arranged in rows and filled with a mixture of gases similar to oxygen.  With a specific gravity of 0.25, cork is four times lighter than water, yet highly elastic, capable of snapping back to its original shape after withstanding 14,000 pounds of pressure per cubic inch. Cork is impervious to air, almost impermeable by water, difficult to burn, resistant to temperature changes and vibration, does not rot, and has the ability to mold itself to the contour of the container it is put into—to wit, the neck of a wine bottle.
Wine Word


A process practiced in warm wine regions whereby a winemaker adds acid to fermenting wine in order to boost that wine’s low level of acidity. Acidification is legal and widely practiced in many parts of the world, including California. 


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Amount (in billions of U.S. dollars) spent on consumer products including wine on “Singles Day” (November 11) on the Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba. The world’s biggest on-line shopping event, Single’s Day in China (the rough equivalent of Valentine’s Day in the U.S.)  took in nine times more revenue than either Black Friday or Cyber Monday are projected to gross in the U.S. 
The year France’s Institut National des Appellations d’Origine (INAO) established the third Thursday in November as the release date for Beaujolais Nouveau. While theoretically there is better and worse Nouveau, in fact, much of the wine tastes merely like melted purple Popsicles. Drinking it gives you the same kind of silly pleasure as eating cookie dough.

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Age of the zinfandel vines in the Grandpère Vineyard in the Shenandoah Valley of Amador County, California, making them the oldest documented vines in the state, and possibly in the world. When the vines were planted in 1869, California was in the giddy aftermath of the Gold Rush, and zinfandel had begun to supplant mission as the state's leading grape. Today, four wineries make zin from the original Grandpère vines: Vino Noceto, Scott Harvey, Andis and Macchia.

On Black Friday (Nov 25th) only, The Wine Bible will be on sale for $19.95 (usually $24.95). A personalized, signed copy of The Wine Bible could be just the right holiday gift… for you or for friends. Go to and order yours!

Wine Question of the Week


Frasqueira (Portuguese for vintage) is a term used for Vintage Madeiras that have been aged for at least 20 years in casks before bottling. Colheita (meaning harvest) Port is an aged single vintage Tawny Port. Crusted Port is a Port bottled unfiltered and thus there is a lot of sediment (crust) in the bottle. And LBV stands for Late Bottled Vintage Port, a type of aged Port that is popular in restaurants.

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