More extracts from some of Roger's articles...on Bordeaux, minerality, wine pairing & the early history of wine

Photos © Roger C. Bohmrich

"Bordeaux is arguably the most famous of all French wine regions and has had an immeasurable impact on the world of wine. Bordeaux has been an active wine exporter since the early 14th century. No  other region can match this French icon in terms of commercial longevity and influence. The wines of  Bordeaux have had such allure for centuries that grape varieties of Bordeaux origin—led by Cabernet  Sauvignon and Merlot—have been planted in countless places, and the “Bordeaux blend” is a universal  concept.
But leaders rarely remain unchallenged; at some point, they face new competitors and suffer internal stresses. General Motors was once unassailable but European, Japanese and, now, Korean, carmakers  present strong competitive threats even in GM’s home market. Challengers may develop and perfect  products consumers find more appealing or simply easier to understand. So it is with soft, well-endowed New World wines bearing the straightforward language of grape variety rather than one of 60 appellations of Bordeaux. Evolving consumption patterns can as well undermine a seemingly  unshakeable franchise. For Bordeaux, this includes a dramatic decline in wine drinking in France over  several decades."

BORDEAUX: An Iconic Region Battles to Sustain Market Share,, January 21, 2014.

 "Minerality is a tasting term without a bona-fide scientific explanation. Yet, despite its lack of empirical rigor, it remains intensely appealing to many journalists, winemakers and tasters. We assume minerality is a legitimate word, but it is absent from nearly all English dictionaries and many respected books about wine tasting. This invented term is arguably derived from its French equivalent, la minéralité. Curiously, there is no mention of that word in French dictionaries or well-known French wine tomes from earlier centuries—adding to its mystery. Fortunately, recent studies have begun to tackle the enigma to determine if a scientific basis can be found to legitimize, or at least explain, claims of minerality."

Penetrating the Mystery of Minerality, Wine Business Monthly, March 2017.
"China seems very familiar to U.S. consumers, but that is largely because “Product of China” appears on innumerable items. In truth, we outsiders—especially in the West—are woefully ignorant of this ancient land. This is understandable given the historical isolation of the Middle Kingdom, and considering the political barriers that have made access quite difficult. By some calculations, China is already—or soon will be—the largest economy in the world. We depend upon China’s manufacturing prowess for cell phones, refrigerators, computers, air conditioners and so much else. Now consider a possibility that seems far-fetched at the moment: In 10 years, wine drinkers in the United States just might be consuming Chinese wines as well."

Which Chinese Wines Will We Be Drinking in 10 Years? Wines & Vines, October 2015.
"In my experience there is no food-and-wine match that is guaranteed to please—or displease—everyone. All of us have probably experienced perfect combinations or occasions when the wine became one with the dish, but these are individual, or at least not universal, experiences. Perhaps we should be thinking about the relationship of tastes more conceptually and then selecting one of many wines from a “family” of styles that share fundamental taste characteristics."

When Style is Substance: Pairing Wine with Food, Santé, March/April 2009.
"Studies show that consumers of bottled water tend to be loyal to their chosen brand. What is still unrecognized by consumers, and most restaurant professionals, is the extent to which the overall taste impression of wine and food can be influenced by the choice of water. Improbable as it may seem—until you experience a controlled tasting—the type of water can indeed affect how wine and food are perceived. While it may be counterintuitive, there are appreciable differences in flavor among waters, and the distinctions are most pronounced among waters with a “pedigree”—those drawn from specific springs or aquifers."

Pairing Food, Wine and Water?
, Santé, June 2007.

"How, and where, did wine begin? The search for the answer raises a closely related query; namely, the origin of the grape and specifically Vitis vinifera, the foundation of modern viticulture. The exploration starts in the upland areas of the Taurus, Caucasus and northern Zagros Mountains in contemporary Turkey, Georgia, Armenia and Iran.  From this favorable habitat, the domesticated grapevine and a culture of wine migrated south to Mesopotamia, the Levant and Nile as well as west into the Mediterranean. Vines were also carried east through Persia to China along the Silk Road. As Patrick E. McGovern, a biomolecular archaeologist, observes in Uncorking the Past, "there is tangible evidence the earliest alcoholic beverages were being created on both sides of Asia by the early Neolithic period (7000 to 5000 BCE)."

How it All Began: The Early History of Wine, Part I - From Anatolia to the Nile, an essay for Wine Auction Prices, May 2017 - Subscribe & read the full essay & Part II at Wine Auction