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  • Welcome to "The Trusty Vine"

    19 October 2011

    AY-YAY-YAY.....another wine blog!! Of course this reaction crossed my mind when I concluded that I needed to add my voice to the cyber-sea of wine opinions. On the other hand, as a former vigneron/winery owner, wine shopkeeper and wholesale wine buyer...

  • Harvest in the Corbières and Roussillon

    27 October 2011

    Welcome to the second installment of my little blog, "The Trusty Vine". NOTE: This project is a work in progress. That is, I'm still uncertain as to some elements of the format, as well as the frequency of the postings etc. I appreciate your patience...

  • Harvest in the Corbières and Roussillon (Part II)

    08 January 2012

    In this, the 3rd issue of The Trusty Vine, I'll be moving on to the Corbières to relate my visits there, then, with my last post of this series I'll venture into neighboring Minervois and further east to St. Chinian. For those unfamiliar with the geography...

  • Harvest in the Corbières and Roussillon (Part III)

    01 February 2012

    Before continuing on my Languedoc journey, I should reiterate the emphasis of my wine research in the South of France and Spain: that is the quest to fully understand the unique characteristics of the individual growing regions here. Above all though...

  • Focus: Roussillon (with a foray into Limoux!)

    16 March 2012

    I'd lke to go a bit more into depth with the region in which my September '11 adventure began, namely the Côtes du Rousillon & Côtes du Roussilon Villages. It's hard to simply gloss over a wine region like Roussillon, due to its comparatively vast area...

  • Some Thoughts On Wine Reviewing

    11 April 2012

    Requesting, and receiving, feedback on my blog from friends got me cogitating about the whole wine reviewing process again. In my 37 years of association (in one form or another) with the wine trade, nothing has been more thought provoking and vexing...

  • The (Annual) Pink Tide

    05 June 2012

    By this time in June, wine consumers are usually facing a barrage of articles and reviews on rosés. This is of course not by accident since late spring is the traditional time for wineries to release their past vintage's rosé wines. What's a bit puzzling/humerous...

  • Four Things that Keep Me Coming Back to the Languedoc

    29 August 2012

    Salutations from KLM/Delta Airlines! It seems odd - and even sad- that I have to wait till I'm on a plane back to France, until having enough time to think about posting a new (and long overdue) article to my blogsite. Although it's not realistic, at...

  • Roussillon Escapades: Calce

    21 September 2012

    Under normal circumstances, it would be hard to justify to my wife, a second trip back to France within 2 months. This time though, I had a worthy cause, i.e. completing the move from our town house in Marcorignan, to an apartment in Narbonne's city center....

  • Roussillon Escapades (Part 2): Banyuls

    31 October 2012

    The second day of my August Roussillon tour was spent in the charming village of Banyuls-sur-Mer, a sort of partner village with nearby (and equally charming) Collioure & Port Vendres, and just minutes from the Spanish border. To describe the vineyards...

  • Carignan Comeback (making the case for carignan)

    14 January 2013

    My first true "carignan epiphany" occurred in July of 2000 while visiting the highly regarded little domain of Jérôme Bressy, Domaine Gourt de Mautens, in the southern Rhone village of Rasteau. While tasting in his cellar, Jérôme drew an intensely dark...

  • Rioja Ri-Visited

    10 May 2012

    Although I haven't had a chance to return to this inspiring wine region since 1998, I've been enjoying the fruits of their labors since my retailer days in St. Louis, and continue to follow the wines closely. There have been of course great additions...

  • The Price of Wine in Restaurants: “Oui, on peut faire mieux”

    14 March 2013

    When I saw this piece by Hervé Lalau, wine blogger on the site "Les 5 du Vin", and colleague of my friend Michel Smith, I just had to translate and post it here. Besides, the restaurant he reviews is one with which I'm quite familiar. This has long been...

  • Roussillon Roulette (a much safer option)

    20 May 2013

    Let's return for a brief visit to the "Pays Catalanes" of Roussillon. With friends and co-imbibers Randy & Lisa Harnisch, my wife, Mary, & I tasted three lovely reds from the Roussillon last month. I should warn you that this region will be reappearing...

  • Focus on Faugères

    17 July 2013

    This article will - I hope - be the first of several I intend to post, regarding my recent travels in Southern France. In fact I could have just titled this piece "Focus on Mas d'Alezon", because they were the one producer I recently visited in June in...

  • Negotiating for Top Cuvées

    26 July 2013

    So I'd be the first to admit that I've often been a bit wary of wines marketed by negociant companies - this wariness has only increased as I've made authenticity & typicity in wine a higher priority. On the other hand I'd never refuse an offer to sample...

  • Passing the Test of Time at Auberge des Jacobins

    06 August 2013

    I don't consider myself to be a restaurant reviewer by any means, but occasionally I come across a place that meets my every expectation, and begs to be written up. I'll leave the Michelin starred restaurants to the full-time professionals, but as is...

  • When in Toulouse.........

    12 September 2013

    I've had an interest for some time in making a little excursion to the Gaillac region of SW France. So on my last trip to France, I made a point of flying down to the Languedoc via Toulouse this time. Although the city is not immediately surrounded by...

  • Raise a Glass to the Value of Relationships!

    30 September 2013

    I t's like an awakening, when I consider my naïveté at the time I was just discovering wine in the early/mid '70's. For one, I recall being so easily influenced by the wine evaluations and recommendations of the (few) "reliable" publications in that era*....

  • Communing with Carignan (again)

    31 October 2013

    As a follow-up to my earlier post on carignan, this time I'm "moving the conversation" back to Oregon. For some time, I've been wanting to expose a group of local wine buddies to what I consider the new "carignan movement" in the south of France - this,...

  • Not your Typical "Vin Languedocien" - Mas de Daumas Gassac

    06 November 2013

    I just couldn't resist sharing a brief story on this recent experience. After having cast eyes on this bottle every time I'd enter my little cellar, I'd think to myself, "man I've got to drink this before it's down the tubes" (while fearing that it may...

  • Two Sides of the Southern Rhone

    07 December 2013

    So as not to be misinterpreted, I should explain that, by "sides", I mean literally or physically here: i.e. the east bank and the west bank of the Rhône River. I discovered this past June that even with only two tastings scheduled in the area north of...

  • A New Generation (and Breed) of Wine Consumers

    03 January 2014

    The changing face of the U.S. wine market and wine consumption is a topic I've long wanted to delve into, so I'm diverting from my usual French/Spanish themes here. On the other hand I kept putting this off because I feared the laboriousness of the task....

  • ViniSud 2014 - Navigating an Ocean of Wine

    02 April 2014

    After my memorable, but "unfinished" journey to the 2012 ViniSud in Montpellier, nothing could keep me from returning for this year's 3-day event in late February. Unfinshed, due to the fact that I was not quite prepared the first time around to use my...

  • A New Chapter

    23 June 2014

    Okay, I don’t have to be told how erratic and infrequent my blogposts have been. But I hope that the following explanation will offer an excuse worthy of a blessing. Over the last 3 months or so, I’ve been developing a project to import & distribute wines...


  • : The Trusty Vine
  • The Trusty Vine
  • : My blog's goal is to educate & inform the public about the best values among natural and authentic wines, with a focus on organic and bio-dynamic wines from the South of France & Spain. Wine reviews will be as objective as possible, and without the use of the much abused 100 pt. system - rather using specific criteria to determine the wine's typicality and authenticity, in addition to its overall quality. Please go to: http://vignedeconfiance.wordpress.com/ for my most recent posts (begin 8/2014). All posts at this site are consider as my blog archives
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