Tuesday, July 18, 2017

How Foremost Wine Critic Robert Parker Changed the Wine Industry

Robert Parker started out with a simple ambition: to write a wine guidebook without any of the perceived conflicts of interest present in other wine critics who also sell wines. His philosophy was to make wine criticism consumer-oriented. This was in 1975, a time when he was making a living as a bank counsel.

Image source: telegraph.co.uk
In 1978, he published “The Baltimore-Washington Wine Advocate,” which later on will be renamed simply as “The Wine Advocate.” Nowadays, the newsletter is considered the most influential publication on wines by many enthusiasts, wine lovers, and buyers all over the world, and it directly influences the way wines are priced.

Parker is best known as a Bordeaux expert, and his fame began when he praised the 1982 vintage in Bordeaux, an opinion contrary to that of other critics at the time. This has driven up the price and reputation of the said vintage.

But what really changed the industry is his 100-point rating system, a scale that ranks wine from 50 to 100 points based on the color and appearance, aroma and bouquet, flavor and finish, and overall quality level or potential. While a lot of criticism and controversy surround this system, it is nonetheless followed or imitated by other prominent wine reviewers in the world.

Food critics, business writers, and wine connoisseurs will offer mixed impressions of the uniquely successful, but often arrogant Parker. No one can deny that Parker is the most powerful and influential wine critic living. Some call his palate the world’s most-prized. In fact, his nose and palate are insured for $1 million.

Even more amazing is how Parker got his start. Who would have thought that a visit to eastern France to his then girlfriend and now wife would eventually be the precipitous to his current success and worldwide recognition? Today, “Parkerization” is a by-word in the wine industry.

Image source: wine-searcher.com
Bennett J. Kireker is highly passionate about wines. He runs Wine Club NYC which has grown to 50-strong member since its establishment in 2013. For more wine insights, follow this Twitter page.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Linking Golf With Leadership

Aside from being a sporting activity, golf is known as a way for business leaders to socialize. But what many people don’t realize is the unique link between golf and leadership—-how a simple game of golf can teach one to become a good leader. Here are some leadership lessons for those who like playing golf:

Image source: remotegolfing.com
The Importance of Timing In Leadership Timing is an important part of golf, because the moment a perfect backswing is released, and your body turns are crucial parts in asserting the right amount of power in getting the result you want. To be successful, leaders must take the right time to properly assess with people instead of just letting things go without purpose. A leader has a small window of opportunity to organize, link opportunities and set great examples to celebrate the accomplishments of other.

Trust the club While golfers know which strategy will work best to make a hole, the club will do its magic. Business leaders are the ones who visualize the direction, but they also have to trust the rest of the team to follow through.

 Image source: www.visitscotland.com
A good shot takes time A game of golf does not end in just 30 to 40 minutes. It sometimes takes hours to play, even if it seems like an easy play. Just like golfers, leaders must take time to focus on each step. In the game of golf and business, every shot counts.

Bennett J Kireker is passionate about wine, golf, and charitable work. Learn more about him by visiting this Twitter page.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Differentiating Champagne From Sparkling Wine

A lot of people think that all bubbly wine are the same. While Champagne and sparkling wine have a trademark pop, they’re not all the same. Here’s how to spot which is which.

Real Champagne is made in France

Champagne is a type of sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wine can be called Champagne.

Image source: greensbeverages.com
This special wine came from Champagne, France’s very own wine region. The region has a traditional way of making wine called Méthode champenoise. A wine can only be called Champagne if it followed strict guidelines by the Champagne AOC.

There are certain grapes that are used to make Champagne

Wine grapes that are used in making Champagne are hand-picked for the highest quality. Grape varieties like the Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay, Arbane, Petit Meslier, and Pinot Blanc are the only ones used to make Champagne.

Image source: vinepair.com
Other countries in the world produce different kinds of sparkling wine

Germany has Sekt, Italy has Prosecco, Spain has Cava, and America has its own blend, too. These sparkling wines have their own unique flavor, and they vary in dryness, sweetness, and alcohol content.

Other sparkling wines are more affordable

When it comes to price, Champagne is often more expensive than other sparkling wines. A bottle of Champagne costs thousands of dollars, and sparkling wines are usually more affordable.

Bennett J Kireker founded his New York wine club in 2013. Learn more about him by visiting this blog

Friday, February 24, 2017

Wine Tasting Basics: The Fundamentals Of Flavor

Image source: winemag.com
Wine appreciation is an art that is carefully cultivated, involving a synergy of the senses to take in all the details of the wine and its flavors.

There are many steps involved in appreciating a good wine. Critical of these is the appreciation of the wine’s aroma. Wines owe much of their distinct flavor profiles from their smells as much as their tastes, owing to the interconnected nature of the human senses of taste and scent.

Although a cursory glance at the wine’s vintage, viscosity, and color can leave subtle clues about a wine’s flavor, only the nose would know what flavors actually are. A good wine connoisseur would always take the time to fully appreciate the smell and taste of a good wine, taking in the various profiles of the aroma.

Because of the importance of smell in wine appreciation, it is important to avoid interfering scents from getting in the way. Kitchen aromas, perfumes, and even pet odors can interfere with the flavor of wine.

Image source: winefolly.com
The final part of appreciating wine is to take sips of it. The flavor profile of wine will change as it goes down owing to the interaction of its aromatic compounds from within rather than from without. Besides the initial perception of flavor, the taste also includes the length of time that the taste remains in the mouth and how the flavors acted all throughout.

Finally, wine tasters should familiarize themselves with key warning flavors, typically off-putting tastes that suggest spoilage or contamination.

Bennett J. Kireker, today a New York resident, is the founder of a quarterly wine club that has grown to over 50 members strong. Visit this blog for more on his thoughts on appreciating wine.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Famous Movies With Wine

Wine has been a part of world culture for ages. Whether during special occasions, or taking away stress after work, people love to drink wine. Now, let’s take a look at some of the most famous wine films in the past decades:

Sideways (2004)

Sideways is a hilarious comedic drama that follows two men throughout a weekend into Santa Ynez Valley wine country. One of the men, Miles, a teacher and down-on-his-luck writer, is accompanied by Jack, Miles’ college buddy, and an actor who is about to tie the knot. They have very different reasons for going on the trip. In the middle of the trip Miles meets Maya, while Jack meets Stephanie. After a series of romantic, sexy, and funny escapades, the who adventure ends up bad for Jack, while Miles is left to help him and clean up the mess. One of the most famous quotes from this movie was from Miles, when he says, "I'm not drinking any f***ing merlot". Indeed, one of the best wine movies ever.

A Walk in the Clouds

Set after World War 2, this romance drama was overlooked by many critics and viewers alike mainly because Keanu Reeves had never been known to play the romantic leading man. But he did give a decent effort, and along with the rest of the cast and crew, created a film with unforgettable imagery. The plot is simple enough. Paul meets Victoria on a bus, defends her honor from a bunch of thugs, promises to help her out with her problems by posing as her husband. It is a tender period piece that touches the hearts of viewers, all the while taking them through the heavenly Napa Valley wine scene.

Image source: Cineplex.com
Bennett J. Kireker is from New York, where he heads a wine club whose members meet every quarter. Learn more about wine by subscribing to this Twitter account.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Wine Etiquette To Follow

I’ve been around observing people in their element while they partake of the heavenly drink that we know as wine. I’ve been in parties, social clubs, and even five-star hotels, you name it. What I have seen is that although there are the wine drinking lot who clearly show an exemplary behavior when they enjoy the drink, there are still some who simply need to be informed.

Image source: altovineyards.net

So why is wine etiquette important? Just like all forms of etiquette, it is a very powerful tool. It is a way of showing that you are a person of respect and refinement. In reality, this has rewards, mostly in that you attract like-minded people with the impression that you make.

It all starts with the way you hold your wine glass. The proper way is to hold is by the stem or the base.

When you drink your wine do not gulp it down the moment your portion is poured into your glass. Sniff it first, then taste a little bit of it. Think about these sensations for a moment. Try to appreciate it in several ways.

When you sip, be mindful of drinking from the same position, so as to avoid making many mouth marks that may be unsightly. This is especially important for the ladies who put on lipstick.

Open your wine bottle silently. As you pour into your glass, hold the bottle towards the base and fill your glass less than halfway so that you would give your wine some room to breathe.

When clinking your glass with another, clink bell to bell, as this reduces the chances of damaging the glass. As you do so, look your drinking-buddy in the eye.

Image source: winefolly.com

Try to keep your portion the same as with the other people around you. Offer the wine first before going for a second glass for yourself.

Bennett J. Kireker is from New York. He is the founder and operator of a wine club which has over 50 members who meet on a quarterly basis. Learn more about wine by viewing this Slideshare page.

Monday, September 12, 2016

What It Takes To Be a Wine Taster

The plain and simple truth is that anybody can taste wine and say whether it’s good or not. But a licensed wine taster, one that becomes a judge, or at the very least, is paid to taste wine, has a few requirements.

Image source: searchengineland.com

Interested individuals can take classes that can last from a few weeks to a few years. Sommeliers, Master of Wine, and Certified Specialist in Wine are some courses that are offered. Prospective wine tasters just need to be sure that the courses they take, and the institutions that offer it are credible.

Now, if prospective wine tasters don’t feel that formal education is the way to go, they can consider an apprenticeship. Buying from stores, working for wine distributors and small restaurants, participating in daily tastings, and other avenues can be open to those who choose apprenticeship.

Winemaking courses are taught formally, but these courses do not have wine tasting as a major subject. Wine tasting classes are offered as alternatives.

One of the most common ways of becoming a wine taster is to teach oneself the art. Books are good supplements to literally tasting any wine. Self-taught individuals would do good to document their exploits and experiences.

Image source: adglobalgroup.com

Bennett J. Kireker founded a quarterly ‘wine club’ in New York, and has been operating it since 2013. The club now has over 50 members. Find out more about Kireker and wine by visiting this blog.