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Wine Blogs That I Read

This is the time when newspapers, magazines, and other blog recommend their favorite wine blogs.  I want to contribute to this dizzying collection of lists because mine is a different.  Those who follow Hogshead Wine should have an understanding of my palate.  I prefer to taste a wine without any prior knowledge of what others have written about it.  So I typically do not read wine blogs for their reviews.  Once my review is up, I immediately turn my attention to my next set of wines, so again, I rarely look out for wine reviews.  Perhaps that is ironic.  The vast majority of my time is spent conducting research about the history of wine then writing about it.  The history of wine is deep and complex.  My research typically involves reading from a diverse set of online archives and books.  I have been writing historical pieces since the beginning of this blog  but they have reached a fevered pitch this year.  This is tough work.  Frank Morgan (Drink What YOU Like) set out and accomplished writing about Thomas Jefferson on Wine for 30 days in 2010.  Frank clearly remembers this period for he has told me on several occasions “it almost killed me.”

Extract from Charles Carroll's Letter Book dated October 8, 1771.  Image from NYPL Digital Collections.

Extract from Charles Carroll’s Letter Book dated October 8, 1771. Image from NYPL Digital Collections.

When I take a break from my own wine blog I want to read posts where I learn something new with writing that is thoughtful and evocative of the author.  Here are five blogs, in alphabetic order, which I recommend you visit.

Bertrand Celce
Wine Terroirs
You cannot drink French wine or other European wine without reading this blog.  The posts feature an engaging mixture of wine history, personal narrative, and informal tasting notes.  They also feature extensive photography.  Where else can you not only read The oldest wine is in Strasbourg but also see a picture of the barrel containing the 1472 vintage and read the DGCCRF repost on the composition of the wine.

Rosemary George
Taste Languedoc
I relied on Rosemary George’s The Wines of South of the South of France (2001) until I discovered her blog.  She has been writing about these wines for over 30 years and her purchase of a house near Clermont l’Herault means she is embedded amongst the vines.  This detailed blog features domaine visits and tasting notes from producers both big and small.  I particularly like the posts about wine celebrations.  There are lots of pictures as well.

Frank Morgan
Drink What YOU Like
Before I ever met Frank I read his blog for his comments.  That is not to infer I do not read the actual posts but it is in Frank’s comments where you get a glimpse of  Frank with a little less inhibition.  As Frank himself commented, ” I tend to learn more from the resulting comments than I did from researching a particular topic for a post.”   After first tasting the wines of RdV I took great enjoyment from the lengthy comments to his post Rising Tides, Backhands, Damning With Faint Praise, and that Elusive $100 Bottle of Virginia Wine. It is here he wrote, “From all this discussion, I think we’re giving Rutger, not his wine, ‘Cult Status.’”  In a later post he was told that “Virginia versus the world” was a trademarked term.  To which he responded, “I’m confused as to why you are posting your comment about not using ‘Virginia takes on the world’ on this blog. Please reread (slowly) this post and point out where I referred to this tasting as ‘Virginia versus the world’ in this post. ”

Erin Barbour Scala
Thinking Drinking
I first met Erin a few years ago while she was a sommelier at Public.  Her blog clearly reflects her deep passion for and time spent thinking about wine and other beverages.  I never know what to expect in her next post.  Her posts on Chasing Mrs. Elizabeth Bird, NYC’s First Female Sommelier and A Look at a 1962 Lutece Wine List are quite popular but I cannot help liking those on more surprising topics: The Water  Hole: An Old Well on Ocracoke Island or Cranberry Juice History & Its Effect on the Current Cocktail Scene or the intersection of music and wine  in Dirty and Rowdy wine at Rouge Tomate.

Rob Tebau
Fringe Wine
This wine blog is interesting because of the effort to taste wines made from obscure grapes or grown in unusual areas.  The variety themed posts show care from research involving scholarly journal to mainstream books.  After sufficient history there appear tasting notes from several related wines.  Unfortunately, the blog has not been updated since the spring due to the depression of the author.  Still, the existing posts contain much useful information.

  1. December 6, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    Thanks for including me in your list of blogs, Aaron. Taste Languedoc is new to me. Agree about Wine Terroirs being a must read for those interested in French wines! And great to catch up over dinner last night at Range.

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