mitch frank

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Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

How Rational Is the GMO Debate? A Court Just Legitimized Mob Destruction

It's hard to discuss the potential promise and perils of genetically modified organisms if fear trumps reason

Posted: May 21, 2014  By Mitch Frank

A French court ruled last week that a mob that destroyed an experimental vineyard in Alsace planted to genetically modified vines in 2010 was completely justified. It's another win for fear over reason when it comes to genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

Counterfeit Wine Ain't Parcheesi

Rudy Kurniawan's lawyers claim fakes are part of the collecting 'game'; that cheapens all wine

Posted: May 8, 2014  By Mitch Frank

At the end of the month, a federal judge will decide how serious the crime of wine counterfeiting is. Rudy Kurniawan, convicted of selling an estimated $2 million to $7 million worth of fakes (no one is quite sure how many prized bottles he counterfeited), will be sentenced. He faces up to 40 years in prison.

His lawyers have made their plea for leniency, asking the judge to sentence Kurniawan to time served since his arrest—roughly 27 months. But what of their argument that counterfeit wine is just a game?

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

Faith and Science

By refusing to spray pesticides, is Burgundy's Emmanuel Giboulot a hero? Or wine's Jenny McCarthy?

Posted: May 1, 2014  By Mitch Frank

Should a biodynamic winegrower be forced to use pesticides against his will? Your answer probably depends on how much faith you put in science.

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

Do You Serve Hubris by the Glass?

Small wine lists packed with geeky wines serve wine directors' egos over customers

Posted: April 10, 2014  By Mitch Frank

Call it the sommelier's dilemma. Wine professionals like sommeliers and retailers spend their days tasting the most interesting wines on earth. That is their passion. But the majority of their customers are looking for safe, reliable wines, ones that don't challenge the brain or the palate. Those wines pay the sommelier's salary.

March 31, 2014 Issue  :  News

Tell Me What You Drink, I'll Tell You How You Vote

Posted: March 31, 2014  By Tim Fish, Mitch Frank

News & Features  :  News

Eataly New York Will Close Wine Shop for Six Months

Liquor license suspended after state complains Batali and Bastianich store was selling Bastianich wines

Posted: March 25, 2014  By Mitch Frank, Thomas Matthews

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

The Riddle of Riesling

Some wines can't be easily explained; just taste them and embrace their complexity

Posted: March 20, 2014  By Mitch Frank

If you're looking to simplify Riesling, to make it easy to understand, don't look to me. I visited Germany for the first time last month, and I hoped that a week in the Mosel, the Rheingau and the Rheinhessen—time spent strolling some of Riesling's most storied vineyards—would finally bring me clarity. Afterward, if someone asked me, "I want to try a great Riesling. Where should I start?" I could confidently reply with a list of wines that would teach them why Riesling is so special.

After a week in Germany, what I can say is that Riesling is a delicious and bewilderingly complex variety. And that's OK. That's what makes it an iconic grape.

Feb. 28, 2014 Issue  :  Features

The Year in Wine 2013 in Review

Posted: February 28, 2014  By Mitch Frank

Feb. 28, 2014 Issue  :  News

Guilty Verdict in Counterfeiting Trial

Posted: February 28, 2014  By Peter Hellman, Mitch Frank

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

Burgundy's Comeback Kid

Nicolas Potel lost his namesake winery five years ago; he's back and making even better wines

Posted: February 6, 2014  By Mitch Frank

The first time I met Nicolas Potel, I was legitimately concerned that his hair would burst into flame at some point during the day we spent together. I was visiting Burgundy in early 2009 to write a story on the négociant, and I found a man busting at the seams with energy, trying to grow his eponymous winery—which had gotten an infusion of capital from new owners—and devote some time to a few small but ambitious side projects.

I came away feeling like Potel, then 40, was going to be a success, if he could hold it all together. But two months after I left, his juggling act came crashing down. The new owners of Maison Nicolas Potel fired Nicolas Potel. (The wines still bear his name today, but he has no role in them.) When I checked in with him before my story appeared, he was putting the pieces back together, launching a new négociant and looking for vineyards to start a small domaine. His energy was still there. But I wondered if it was all too much.

Today, Potel remains full of energy, ambition and ideas. But he also seems more at peace.

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