Food & Wine

Decanter August 2019

Published by TI Media Limited The world’s best wine magazine. It is simply the “wine bible”. Every month it provides recommendations on the world’s finest wines and tells you where you can find them. From top Bordeaux to the best value wine on the shelf, Decanter guides you through a maze of wine to help you find the right wine for you. It also offers interviews with leading wine personalities, in-depth guides to the wine regions and the latest wine news.

United Kingdom
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12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
john stimpfig

A las, this is my last column for the magazine. After five fantastic years as Decanter’s content director, I am moving on to vineyards new. As you can imagine, it’s quite a wrench. Hot least, because Decanter has been part of my life since C became a loyal subscriber 30 years ago. Ct is no exaggeration to say that this has been my dream job. Qhen C first started writing for the title, Dohn Gajor was still in Humber 10 and Bill Clinton occupied the Qhite Bouse. Back then, the wine world was also a very different place. Bordeaux ruled the roost, dominating cellars and salerooms. Cn contrast, Burgundy and Barolo remained minority sports. Geanwhile, China, English fizz, natural wine and Coravin were yet to make an impact. There was no internet to speak of.…

1 min.
in brief

The 39th annual Auction Napa Valley raised almost $12 million for local charities, although the total was down on the sum of $13.6m raised last year. Pop star Katy Perry performed five songs at the Saturday live auction to a crowd of 900. Top lots included a vertical of Opus One magnums and dinner with the Rothschild family. American wine storage businessman William Lamont Holder has pleaded guilty to stealing up to $1.5m-worth of wine. Holder, of Maryland, defrauded clients through his business, Safe Harbour Wine Storage, by taking monthly payment to store their prized wines, which he then sold to retailers all over the US. He faces an 18-month sentence. More than 1,000 bottles of Burgundy, including Clos de Vougeot and Echézeaux wines, were stolen from Domaine Forey in…

1 min.
it really is a marmite wine

After the long, hot summer and autumn of 2018 I had, for the first time, a decent harvest from my only vine, a self-sown white grape that just appeared in my garden. My first attempt at making wine yielded 3.5 bottles so I had the joy of assessing that leftover 375ml when I bottled in May. Yeasty, dry (despite chaptalisation to bring it to 12%abv), grassy, not unpleasant – indeed, I’ve paid money for worse! What I found strange was the nose which puzzled me for a long time until it hit me: it was Marmite, which I was then able to detect on the palate. After years of reading ‘winespeak’ descriptions by experts, I’ve not come across this as an aroma, but it could be argued that, as a yeast product,…

3 min.
stephen skelton mw

As a wine-producing country, Zimbabwe is certainly not well known. However, despite the tough economic situation and the recent troubles sparked by the more than doubling of the price of fuel, there are still vineyards being worked and wine made, as I discovered during a recent visit at the request of the three separate Zimbabwean ministry departments for Agriculture, South Employment and Fand Lesettlement. They requested that I come and see what was happening in the vineyards and report back with my findings. My host was the Jassaportis family from Bushman Lock Estate, one of the very few functioning wine estates in the country. The history of vine-growing and winemaking in Tim, as the locals call it, is relatively recent. A few farmers planted vineyards in the 1930s, mainly table grapes,…

8 min.
collateral damage

CAFF CT AbMOLD. Dub it naive. Describe it, hyperbolically, as the most asinine, most fruitless curb on alcohol ever conceived. Qe are, of course, speaking of the 18th Amendment of the Onited Mtates Constitution, which, exactly a century ago, gave the American federal government the means to severely impede the sale of ‘intoxicating liquors’. Latified, theoretically, to foster a better society, Jrohibition proved to have the opposite effect. The forbiddance of alcohol ushered in an iconic era of bootleggers, speakeasies and a wholesale disregard for an amendment that engendered far more problems than its supporters had so naively believed it would resolve. Cronically, however, all signs would indicate that wine had never been a prime target of prohibitionists, whose sights were set mainly on spirits, an aspect wine-grower Andrea Mbarboro had…

1 min.
just trying to survive: bootlegging in california

In Vivienne Sosnowski’s book When the Rivers Ran Red: An Amazing Story of Courage and Triumph in America’s Wine Country, bootlegging was big business. It was also risky, with thousands of Prohibition employees ‘at the ready to do battle against… smallholding grape-growers and winery owners’ covertly barging their grapes and wines across San Francisco Bay’. Sure, most officials could be bribed, but not always. Some were even downright crooked, including bosses ‘charged with stealing alcohol and even giving away books of official prescription forms for “medicinal” alcohol [wine] as Christmas gifts’. Yet people needed to survive, with most wine-growers only bootlegging as a last resort: ‘To choose to be a bootlegger was, for them, a cruel blow to their self-respect and a huge risk: of being arrested or paying an onerous…