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WELCOME to GTR! Play in the wine portal, explore Wine Education, find a "Stamp On the Head" liquid epiphany, and share the experience in the Forum! Most of all, Thanks for Coming... I'm extremely happy you are here.

Who Am I? GTR writes and lectures about wine and spirits, consults with private wine collectors, retailers, and restaurants, in the worlds of taste, investment, marketing, merchandising, sales, education, and sensory perception.
GTR Wine Education Learn and Discover. Uncover what wine has in common with the Earth. Spot where the restaurant wine list's "sweet spot" is. Learn. Learn. Learn. Check out the Wine Tutor section and learn some more. The didactic objective is to ...
Which Wines to Buy! And Learn Why! For that 6-course dinner. For the fireworks-in-the park concert. Stop being misled and find where the values truly exist! There are steals out there. I scream from the mountains to find them. Discover exactly what moves you.

Wine Tutor

  • Saperavi of Georgia My first introduction to Saperavi was in 2001. I had heard how “incredible” Georgian wines were. Like many similar comments, I dismissed the “incredible” possibility due to the many Georgian Champions’...
  • Wine For Sale in Texas For Sale in Texas Only indicates that a label exception has been made. Labels are required to list the source of grapes. If a winery doesn’t want to use an appellation (usually because they are importing...
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Decanter News

20 Years of Dominus at Wink

Considered by many as one of the greatest wines of the United States, it is rare ( say the least!) that a 20 year vertical tasting of Dominus Estate would actually materialize. I only know of two others, one at the defunct Spago in Palo Alto (2006) and the other at One Sixty Blue in Chicago (2007). This wine dinner was the culmination of several years of “what if” conversations between Brian Owens (Gracious Wine Collector) and Mark Paul (Co-owner Wink & Zoot Restaurants, along with Stewart Scruggs). Both of these men have been incredibly giving in time, passion, and donations over the years, making the Austin community profoundly stronger because of it. This dinner was Sold Out and was an auction item, with proceeds benefitting the Texas Wine and Food Foundation.

I love the “tell of a tale”. Storytelling is important to me. If you’ve been around me, you know that I just about always “have a story”. The folk concept of sharing stories is beautiful. It’s how we relate to each other. From Grandpa passing along a story of poverty, survival, and responsibility, to the wisdom of a 3-year old’s “take” on life. A story is what we have in common. It’s what puts the experience in stride. All too often, in this fast-paced world, the stories get shoved to the sidelines in favor of strict scores, punch lines, or blatant trumpeters. I love to hear peoples’ stories. They are a part of what makes this whole thing real, to me.

Cue up the phonograph cylinder...

My wife, Aimee, was my first love in high school. As life’s journey would have it, that initial connection didn’t work out, as the two of us were destined to make a few other stops before settling down together, later in life, as we know it now. At one of my previous business “launch” celebrations, a guest (An Tran, the Valedictorian of our high school) mentioned that he had seen Aimee on I had never heard of Late that night, after the last guest departed the gathering, I sat down at the computer, paid the $30 to join, and registered to send her an email.

Read more: 20 Years of Dominus at Wink



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Pots, Plants, and Pinot

POTS, PLANTS, and PINOT -  Come lounge in the huge  SWOOP Wine Garden with a glass of wine and shop for pots & plants!  This Saturday, March 27, 10am - 6pm.    /     3012...

Grapes for Humanity Global Foundation Austin, Feb. 28

Please join us in Austin, Texas on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center for a fine wine dinner featuring the wines of Frescobaldi with special guest and honorary director of Grapes For Humanity Global Foundation, Marchese Leonardo...

Ardbeg Single Malt Tasting - Austin, March 18

If you're going to this, you'll need to buy tickets now. There...


In the Vineyard

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Champagne's 2009 Harvest - Cellar Master's View

"The harvest that has just finished looks very encouraging. After plenty of August sunshine, the grapes ripened in ideal conditions. The healthy state of the fruit and its high sugar content augur well for wine quality. Initial tastings of the grape must and the...

Male Flower Parts Responsible for Potent Grapevine Perfume

University of British Columbia scientists have traced the fragrant scent of grapevine flowers to pollen grains stored in the anthers, contrary to common perception that petals alone produce perfume.While studying grapes used to produce Cabernet Sauvignon from the...

System Lets Grape Growers Rest Easy

Pioneering winemaker Daniel Le Brun has developed a frost-fighting system, using electric cables, that means sleep-depriving frost fans and helicopters could become a thing of the past. "This is definitely the way of the future," said Mr Le Brun, 64, who brought...

“Bad wine turns to vinegar.” The truth is that very little bad wine actually turns to vinegar. The conversion of alcohol to vinegar is done by bacteria that simply are not present in a bottle of wine. Mostly what happens to bad wine is that the fruit simply oxidizes. In fact, bad wine that has oxidized will make a very poor vinegar.
Most countries allow a vintage wine to include a portion of wine that is not from the year denoted on the label. In Chile and South Africa, the requirement is 75% same-year content for vintage-dated wine. In Australia, New Zealand, and the member states of the European Union, the requirement is 85%. In the United States, the requirement is 85%, unless the wine is designated with an AVA, (e.g., Russian River Valley), in which case it is 95%. Technically, the 85% rule in the United States applies equally to imports, but there are obvious challenges in enforcing the regulation.
The term "grape varieties" actually refers to cultivars rather than botanical varieties according to the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants, because they are propagated by cuttings and may have unstable reproductive properties. However, the term variety has become so entrenched in viticulture that any change to usage of the term cultivar is unlikely.
The topic that almost never arises: what wine to put in dinner. The use of wine as an ingredient is usually controlled by only a couple factors: white or red and what's open in the fridge. But there is more to cooking with wine than using up last night's leftovers. Wine is a complex beverage and it's use in cooking has many implications. Where does the flavor come from and how will it affect my recipe?
A wine fault or defect is an unpleasant characteristic of a wine often resulting from poor winemaking practices or storage conditions, and leading to wine spoilage. Many of the compounds that cause wine faults are already naturally present in wine but at insufficient concentrations to adversely affect it.
In the beginning, the ancients had no clue as to why juice fermented. They simply marveled at a liquid in the heat of ferment with all its riotous “boiling” and thought that the beverage was imbued with spirit. This belief held fast and echoes still in our modern-day reference to the business of

“Wine is the most healthful and hygienic of beverages,” stated Louis Pasteur, French chemist and microbiologist (1822-1895). Yet, why is it that when it tastes so good, and is reputedly so good for you, that you hurt so badly the next day?

The art of food and wine pairing is a subjective one--rife with controversy, and riddled with staunch opinion. In this arena, human nature manifests itself in all its glory.

How so? 

First and foremost: people LOVE rules. They want definitive answers to specific questions They want to know “why”. Structure is paramount. Formulas are key.


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