ben o'donnell

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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

News & Features  :  News

Wine Challenging Beer as America's Drink of Choice

A new Gallup poll shows consumers split between wine and beer, as young people, minorities and women shift to wine

Posted: August 5, 2013  By Ben O'Donnell

July 31, 2013 Issue  :  News

Bordeaux Drops Prices But Not Enough to Spark Sales

Posted: July 31, 2013  By Ben O'Donnell, Suzanne Mustacich

July 31, 2013 Issue  :  People

Steak and Wine, Done Right

Del Frisco wine director David O’Day oversees 31 award-winning wine lists

Posted: July 31, 2013  By Ben O'Donnell

July 31, 2013 Issue  :  News

World Briefs

Posted: July 31, 2013  By Ben O'Donnell, Suzanne Mustacich

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

The Trouble with Blind Tasting

Blindly nailing down a wine's identity is a neat trick. But should it be a job requirement?

Posted: July 18, 2013  By Ben O'Donnell

If you're an American in the wine industry and are within my age range (mid-twenties to early thirties, not to put too fine a point on it), you have, or are somewhere on the path toward, a Master Sommelier diploma. That is barely an exaggeration. (Some folks pursue a Wine & Spirits Education Trust diploma, or go on to a Master of Wine, instead.) For a generation that purports to care little about what the so-called experts have to say about wine, it seems we all want to become one anyway.

"It definitely helps to have it on the résumé when it comes to scoring a great job in the wine world," said Dustin Wilson, wine director at Wine Spectator Grand Award-winning Eleven Madison Park and MS class of '11. "It's a title that earns you some automatic respect."

News & Features  :  Wine Tips

Wine Tip: Steak and Wine Done Right

Posted: July 1, 2013  By Ben O'Donnell

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