Websites, blogs and everything you need to know if you are a wine lover
This time of the year, for everyone who counts wine as one those pleasures in life you can always count on, is magical.
The Grape harvest, the moment in which men can finally enjoy - hopefully - the results of a year’s worth of effort and love dedicated to their vineyards, has come.
What's amazing to me is that this happens everywhere in the world (with different timing depending on the climate, of course): the language of nature is universal.
For those like me who love wine but never have the time to follow the wine harvest on the ground, the web is immensely helpful in getting an idea of what actually goes on in the wine world. Thanks to the web you get to know whether this has been a great year or one to forget about, wine-wise, along with the latest news.
A few days ago, Tim Fish had published a very interesting article about the California harvest on Wine Spectator, a website you should check out regularly, underscoring how the season is running weeks behind because of last week's heat (same thing is happening here in Italy).
This takes the pressure off winemakers - although a storm is predicted for next week in California - even in Italy. Because of the more uniform ripening of the grapes, predictions are optimistic: the harvest will not have high volumes, but for sure high quality.
Esalazioni etiliche, a blog by Roberto Giuliani, wrapped up where Italian harvest stands at the moment. The blog is in Italian, but it's worth a check. Quantity is our issue this year: less than the 10% volumes against values registered in 2010, when we surpassed France as volumes produced. That, at least, is what the Unione Italiana Vini has registered so far. In most parts of Italy the production has decreased drastically, although in the North-ovest of Italy Valle d'Aosta (+12%) and Liguria (+18) are doing well, and Sardegna, too (+5%).
Vinitaly, the website dedicated to one of the most important - if not THE one - wine Fair in Europe, underscores how the quality will be particularly high in the South of Italy this year. The harvest isn't over yet, despite the fact that most Regions started it much earlier (some 3 weeks behind than the usual timing), but professionals are optimistic about the quality: grape juices will be more concentrated (and so will be the amount of alcohol - hard to balance in the post-harvest production). Supposedly, the best wines of the year will be Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon for white wines, and Merlot for red wines (although for red wines we need to wait longer to see the results).
Another website to check, especially if you want to follow Italy's wine world, is Movimento del Turismo del Vino: it keeps you posted on what's going on (recent the article about the starting of the Harvest) and organizes visits and events throughout the year. Intravino is another safe bet: that’s where professionals go when commenting on the latest news in Italy. If you understand the language a bit, it’s witty and interesting to follow.
Back to the International overview, it might sound banal but you should always read the section of “Dining&Wine” of New York Times; Robert Parker it’s always worth a check, as much as Snooth, with wineries featured each day. Palate Press, with its In-depth articles, is always interesting and updated.
Serious about Wine it’s more about design and marketing, very well done as a format.
Catavino, created by the couple who organize the European and the American Wine Blogger conferences each year, is another favorite website of mine – and many other wine lovers. Very interesting the recent article about Spain and Portugal harvest.
Vinography, from San Francisco, it's always fun to check, but particularly this time of the year when it publishes photos of the harvest.
Wine Terroirs, from France, it's fun and engages you through the step-by step-images of the family harvest.
Another way to keep updated about wine worldwide is Twitter: professionals of wine world are particularly active on this New Media. Follow the harvest with the hashtag #harvest or follow each of the wine experts. Among many, I strongly suggest you follow: WineTwits, Decanter, TopWineNews, bonappetitmag, JancisRobinson, Gary Vaynerchuck, Jamiegoode, DailyWineNews, corkhoarder, Zagat, HelloVino, Foodnetwork, WineEnthusiast, Winecultureca, Winemonger, Mywinespot, Frankwine, Thedailysip…
You are officially ready to discover more about the Wine World on the web…now enjoy and toast to it!
Written by Elisa della Barba