7. VOTE!
1. Rising temperatures affecting wine taste and quality
100 Best Champagnes in 2011
Scoring standards: Is more intense always better?
2. While modestly underwhelmed wine wise in our first recent foray into the North Fork of Long Island, we did very much enjoy the visit overall to the five wineries with northforkwinetours. While we were day trippers with an easy roundtrip bus ride on the Hampton Jitney, most of the tour group chose to stay overnight.  The LI DOC is made for winetainment tourism.  Many wineries offer live music and wedding parties and tipsy bridesmaids are not an infrequent sight.
We can recommend Corey Creek, Bedell Cellars sister winery. The wine(s)?  Tasting their 2007 Gallery deftly transported me to a museum or art gallery setting.  It is 69% Chardonnay, 19% Sauvignon Blanc and 12% Viognier.  The 2008 vintage is $40 and a blend of 61% Chardonnay, 31% Viognier, 8% Sauvignon Blanc fermented and aged in French oak for eight months.
If you were a young bridesmaid with a sweet tooth, your favorite winery choice would be obviously different from yours truly. George told an interesting story, which makes this point.  Last summer one group tour said, “The first winery was no good and the fifth was the best. So the next week, he reversed the order of the same wineries and this group said: “The first was not very good but the fifth was the best!”
PS: We liked our third best.
Some recommended North Folk wineries by grape variety (not verified)
MERLOT: Bedell Cellars, Peconic Bay Winery, Sherwood House Vineyards, Shinn Estate Vineyards 
CABERNET FRANC: Macari Vineyards, Peconic Bay Winery
PINOT NOIR: Castello di Borghese, McCall Wines 
RIESLING: Laurel Lake Vineyard
SAUVIGNON BLANC: Jamesport Vineyards, Osprey’s Dominion Vineyards  
3. May 10th Gerard Bertrand Wines US Product Launch at Per Se
Gerard Bertrand and his team are really aiming to conquer the US market. Not only did they choose Per Se as a venue for their event, they also brought some impressive wines with them. Their timing was impeccable. The day before, Per Se received the James Beard award for the “Best service in North America”; I have no reason to disagree. It is rare that I would call a delicious $295 lunch “Value”, but I do with Per Se. More to the point, as an astrologer I consider this “co-incidence” a Very auspicious timing “omen” that augurs well for the successful launch of George Bertrand wine line in America!
The South of France is not a particularly well known area in the US, with the exceptions of, perhaps, Saint-Tropez, Rose wine and Brigitte Bardot. However, the wines from Languedoc-Roussillion are becoming more and more familiar to Americans, mostly because of strong marketing. The region has large production and moderate prices: what else is required to succeed under the star spangled banner?
Irene liked the wines from the South of France as very easy to drink and food friendly. Among the Gerard Bertrand's selection, she was particularly impressed with the whites: Viognier, Reserve Speciale '10 ($14.99) ; Cigalus White, IGP Pays D'Oc '09 ($50) ; and Aigle Royal, Limoux AOP' 09 - all outstanding. Cigalus was her absolute favorite: a perfectly balanced blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier, wonderfully reflecting the terroir and the spirit of the region.
The 1929 Legend Vintage Maury AOP did not impress Irene- She would have preferred to drink it a few years earlier. She mused maybe that has to do with her not being French :)
HW:  I did very much enjoy this fine aged wine.  I suspect Irene, not because of nationality, but rather being a Millennial, has yet to appreciate the virtues of Age.  Perhaps AFTER she reads my upcoming post: Wine Wisdom: On Aging that will change! 
My favorite wines were the first and last wines I tasted as well as at both ends of the price spectrum.
Aperitif: Gris Blanc IGP Pays D’OC ($13.99)  This is a tasty Rose, so light in color that at first I thought it was a white wine.
Dessert:  Legend Vintage Maury AOP 1929 ($380). A fine port-like experience. One of the wine writers attending was born in 1929 and was given a surprise gift of this.  What a gracious host!
Bertrand is a wonderfully knowledgeable and passionate expounder of his wines and this was such a magnificent event that it deserves more write up.  But as I discovered Marisa D’Vari’s write up on this event (Unfortunately, I missed connecting with her there), you can also read Gerard Bertrand Portfolio Tasting: Premium Languedoc Rousillon Producer Now in U.S. Market.  
4. Riesling World Tour 2011 May 12
We all know German wine classification remains confusing and it is not yet simple or repeatable to choose a wine of appropriate dryness or sweetness. Eventually we hope the 5 colored system of screw tops becomes the norm to solve this problem.  Some German wine-speak:  FEINHERB - This will replace Halb Trocken (Half Dry) and can be a dash sweeter; and WINE ARTIST aka winemaker.
In our tasting of three 1971 Riesling Auslese, even the seminar leader of the excellent Born to be Wine Tasting’s comment on these almost port like wines: “I don’t propose to spit these out”.  Needless to say, I dutifully followed his instructions!
Weingut Dr. Loosen  2009 Rieseling Auslese Goldkapsel ($89) a princely drink that aspires to be kingship!
Note:  Goldkapsel (gold capsule) refers to the foil sleeve over the cork and bottleneck.  This indicates a wine considered better by the producer and indicates that the wine was selected from a small 'reserve' parcel of exceptional quality.
Its closest competitor was Weingut St. Urbans-Hofiesporter Goldtropfchen   2009 Riesling  Spatlese ($40)  and Auslese $(60)..
Weingut Joh. Jos Prum Mosel  2009 Riesling Auslese ($40) was also tasty, while S.A. Prum 2007 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett Medium Sweet  $25 was also good,
In case you want to know the Prum history read this.
Weingut Dr Andreas Schreiber Covino 80% Portugieser, 20% Ortega This aperitif smelled exactly like tiramisu. Their tasting notes refer to the aroma of coffee and a taste of honey and peaches.  I should have inquired about the vinification process to obtain this distinctive bouquet. Still I can guarantee this is a drink your guests will comment on.  They recommend pairing it with Tiramisu, chocolate and fine pastries. 
Two centuries ago, wine lovers primarily drank France and then Germany. While the past is past, the Riesling World Tours will help partially restore this in “Back to the Future.”
May 13 the LITA Group NY presented “Dancing on Pins and Needles” merging culture, food, and fitness.  This winetainment event included a tasting of Spanish wines, a basic salsa lesson, live music by Grupo Irek, gourmet tapas, a set by DJ Brian Burnside of Deepa Grooves, and acupuncture by licensed acupuncturist Angela Laurino. NY Vintners by City Hall, a retail wine shop which specializes in esoteric wines and interactive wine classes, proved to be a perfect event venue.  Of the five wines presented, I will comment on two here:
This was my first tasting of New Mexico’s Gruet Winery.  Their Gruet Blanc de Noirs ($13) is a pleasant enough sparkling wine.  Like Domaine Ste. Michelle Cuvee Brut ($12), it is a US alternative for the Prosecco crowd.  Personally, however, I don’t find drinking Prosecco a substitute for champagne; I prefer Spanish Cava or the Italian Franciacorta.
They also served a very tasty organic Rioja from Bodegas Lacus, Inedito Rioja ($17.50), 70% Grenacha, 15% Tempranillo, 15% Graciano.  It was an enjoyable treat that I imbibed over and over, although not of the caliber of the best of the Rioja Grand tasting May 5th.
5. SCIENCE OF DRINKING Amitava Dasgupta  Ronan & Littlefield Publishers  ($34.95)
Best advice: “Always consume food while you are drinking. Sip and enjoy your alcohol. Do not consume more than one drink in one hour.”
Pseudo Science: “No one below the age of 21 (the legal age for drinking) should drink.”  This is Puritan cultural prejudice masked in science.

Scientific research has established that drinking in moderation has many health benefits, including maintaining a healthy heart.  I agree, but what is eye opening are the official government guidelines for drinking in moderation in various countries. For example in most countries, women and men are equal but not in the US (up to two drinks for men, but only one for women).
It comes as no surprise that in wine drinking countries the “scientific” maximums are much higher, e.g. three for both men and women in Spain and higher still in France.
My favorite government recommendation is from down under.  In Australia, the recommended maximum drinking is three glasses (for both men and women). However, this daily recommendation comes with a caveat – two days a week No Drinking!

While the Science of Drinking is a good reference for health professionals and professional wine educators, it is too technical and not sufficient cogent for me to recommend it to the general wine drinking public.
6. READER: Re: Women Who Like Red Wine Have Better Sex Lives
But they stopped testing at age 50. Silly gits.
HW: My guess is that it would be even truer for the more mature woman but we will have to await another future study before we know for sure.
READER: Women Who Like Red Wine Have Better Sex Lives? I will hereafter gauge my prospects with a new gal based on what she orders at the bar!
HW: Glad to be of help.
7. While we normally plan to write one newsletter a month, May, like February, is a super busy time for New York wine tasting events and demand more than one.  We will report shortly on the May 18th Constellation Analyst day and wine tasting and more.
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Henry Weingarten 
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Our goal is to receive 5000 votes to achieve the marketing benefit of being listed on page 1. Currently we #67/835 and on our way to be in the top 50.