ben o'donnell

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Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

What Happens When the Moscato Music Stops?

Can the gold rush reach more venerable styles of Muscat, or will its collapse leave the wine's reputation in shambles?

Posted: November 14, 2013  By Ben O'Donnell

Australia soaked the world with critter labels. Zinfandel was lobotomized into a candy wine. Italian bubbly became an '80s ad jingle. California Merlot got overplanted, then yelled at in a popular movie. You know what happened next: The producers who got intoxicated on mass-market success didn't lift their premium counterparts with the rising tide-instead, they eventually torpedoed the whole category.

After the inevitable crash in market share and reputation, each of these regions or wine types floated facedown for years, even decades, before their recent renaissances as wines capable of depth and nuance. (Australia and Merlot are still swimming upstream, arguably.)

What next, then, once Moscato hits the iceberg?

Oct. 31, 2013 Issue  :  News

Hail Devastates French Vineyards

Posted: October 31, 2013  By Suzanne Mustacich, Ben O'Donnell, Bruce Sanderson

Oct. 31, 2013 Issue  :  News

Wine Ties Beer in Beverage Battle

Posted: October 31, 2013  By Ben O'Donnell

News & Features  :  News & Features

Matching Masters: The Wine-and-Food Pairing Shoot-Out

José Andrés, Emeril Lagasse, Danny Meyer and Jean-Georges Vongerichten take on a challenge of plating and pairing

Posted: October 29, 2013  By Ben O'Donnell

News & Features  :  News & Features

Cristal Shines on Through the Years

A vertical of Louis Roederer’s prestige cuvée back to 1990 shows a flashy wine that’s no flash in the pan

Posted: October 28, 2013  By Ben O'Donnell

News & Features  :  News

What's in a Glass? Study Shows Wine Drinkers Fail to Gauge Serving Size

A study concludes that glass shape and other factors cloud judgment in determining what's a single serving

Posted: October 8, 2013  By Ben O'Donnell

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

The World's Most Exclusive $20 Wines: Brunello

For some wine categories, the price of entry is too high for most, but daily-drinking alternatives can send out the vibes of the real deal

Posted: October 8, 2013  By Ben O'Donnell

Brunello di Montalcino, the pure Sangiovese in the heart of Tuscany's wine country, is an expensive wine to make. Land is pricey and there's not much to go around. Producers are required to sit on inventory for two years in oak and four months in bottle—but the expected protocol is that the wines not reach the market until five years after the harvest. It's a cost passed on to the consumer: You're hard-pressed to find a bottle under $40 on the shelf.

Two Tuscan value categories can offer an impressive alternative to Brunello: Rosso di Montalcino and Morellino di Scansano.

Aug. 31, 2013 Issue  :  News

Nutrient Labels Worry Winemakers

Posted: August 31, 2013  By Ben O'Donnell

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

In Praise of Outsiders

There's a romantic notion of winemakers rooted to ancestral terroir. Many of the best aren't

Posted: August 20, 2013  By Ben O'Donnell

In Old World regions especially, we tend to think of estates as regencies to be passed down from generation to generation, the longer the pedigree, the stronger the bind to the terroir. A certain breed of purists sneers at "flying winemakers," spreading their seed in every corner of the wine world and leaving the next morning. What does Bordeaux's Michel Rolland know about Argentina, anyway?

The reality is that many of the most daring, and sometimes the greatest, wines today are made by individuals who come into a region as outsiders, with little incentive other than to innovate and little regard for the supposed limitations of the terroir and culture.

News & Features  :  News

Forecasting Wine's Future

America is now wine's biggest market, and younger drinkers are starting to shape it

Posted: August 7, 2013  By Ben O'Donnell

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