Features

The Guild of Sommeliers publishes several original feature articles, discussions and in-depth reports every month on a range of wine and beverage topics. Written by the trade and for the trade, this section is public content and free to read for all.

    • 21 Jul 2017

    Chris Tanghe: An Introduction to Prosecco

    A fast-growing category that is capturing the American palate, Prosecco is more than just an approachable sparkling quaffer. Prosecco sales grew 32% in 2016 over the previous year, helping elevate sparkling wine consumption 11% overall. A third of those who purchased Prosecco were buying a sparkling wine for the first time. Additionally, it was one of three top sellers for on-premise accounts, along with Sauvignon Blanc...
    • 11 Jul 2017

    Elaine Chukan Brown: Viticulture in a Marginal Climate

    With the return of interest in wines of freshness, energy, and more delicate presentation, interest in cool climate wines has also increased. Without a formal definition, the idea of cool climate gets applied generously to regions around the world. Climate classification systems based on growing degree days and mean temperature indexes provide only limited insight into the actual growing conditions of a region. Many regions...
    • 6 Jul 2017

    Lauren Mowery: Northern Piedmont's Renaissance

    The history of Alto Piemonte, or Northern Piedmont, reaches back 300 million years to when a super volcano rumbled, shuddered, and exploded with violence. This event created a unique geological site that would ultimately contribute to the varied expressions of Nebbiolo planted on top of it. The region’s modern story has unfolded with a series of events that are less dramatic yet still unequivocally influential...
    • 28 Jun 2017

    Fred Swan: Five Myths of Winemaking

    Despite thousands of years of winemaking history, we’re still refining our understanding of the myriad factors leading any given wine to taste and feel as it does. Arguably, no other consumer product has such variety or involves so many minute, often inscrutable, factors. A wine’s personality is influenced by geology, microbiology, chemistry, plant and human physiology, agronomy, entomology, geography, weather...
    • 15 Jun 2017

    Jane Lopes: Discovering Australia

    Ben Shewry moved from his home of New Zealand to Australia about 20 years ago. A young chef, he came to study, train, and learn. He was amazed by the flavors and textures of the native ingredients of Australia, and perplexed by the lack of interest Australians took in them. He became a great champion for these ingredients—fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices with names like lilly pilly, desert lime, quandong, lemon...
    • 25 May 2017

    Kelli White: Exploring British Columbia

    It’s natural to want to understand something new in terms of something known, to define A by its similarities to and differences from B . This is often especially true for emerging wine regions, where a direct comparison to a more established area provides a shortcut for consumer comprehension. Prior to my trip to the Okanagan Valley, I marveled at all the marketing materials that compared the region to Napa. In...
    • 19 May 2017

    Sarah May Grunwald: Lazio: All Roads Lead to Rome

    Despite 3,000 years of wine history, Lazio remains better known as the home of Rome than as a region of fine wine production. Its five provinces, Roma, Latina, Viterbo, Rieti, and Frosinone, are spread across 17,227 square kilometers and boast a plethora of terrains and microclimates. Lazio (called Latium in English) is hilly and partially mountainous, with only 20% flatlands. At the foothills of the Apennines to the...
    • 10 May 2017

    Kelli White: So You Want to Open a Wine Bar?

    Whether drinks professionals or professional drinkers, we all have our ideas as to what makes a bar or restaurant great. Some of us even go so far as to flesh out the fantasy, ruminating on the ideal location, décor, wine list, and preferred clientele. Far fewer execute on such a vision, and for good reason—as glamorous as opening your own business may seem, the reality is often far more tedious. For those...
    • 2 May 2017

    Victoria James: A Brief History of Rosé

    The Early Years: Ancient Greece & Massalia Many of the first recorded wines were rosé, light libations made by watering down field blends of combined white and red grapes. In ancient Greece, it was considered civilized to dilute wine. There was a widespread belief that only barbarians—drunkards who raped and murdered—drank pure wine. The Spartan King Cleomenes I, who was driven to insanity and...
    • 20 Apr 2017

    Matt Stamp: Inglenook of Napa Valley

    Undoubtedly there will be many things contained in these notes which will seem so much like self-evident truths that you may consider them commentary on my opinion of your judgment and perception, and for that reason I want to say, at the very first, anything included in these notes will be something I have found to be helpful to me… - Letter from John Daniel Jr. to his sister Suzanne, dated March 30, 1942 ...