Jam is for toast…and points are for basketball

arnot roberts nathan

Alice Feiring has a piece on thedailybeast.com entitled “Big? Jammy? Not Anymore!” about the much-discussed turn in California winemaking toward lower-alcohol, higher-acidity wines. While she rightfully highlights a merry band of winemakers daring to be different, including Nathan Roberts (above) of Arnot-Roberts, she neglects to mention just how hard that alternate path is from a sales perspective. For decades, the basic sales model of California wine has been to make a wine, get a high score, then use that score to sell the wine through a distributor or a mailing list.

These nouvelle vague producers in the Sierra foothills and the outer reaches of Sonoma are not point chasers, by and large. Instead, they have emphasized the food-friendliness of this style of wine, cultivating relationships with sommeliers and using plum placements on restaurant wine lists to serve as a proxy for quality. They have gotten into key wine shops too and have a lot of buzz on them there Internets. Forging a new sales model is both risky and hard work. But it could be an even more important development for the American wine industry than the stylistic change.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

One Response to “Jam is for toast…and points are for basketball”

  1. […] That’s three articles this week, so it is officially a trend to write about the trend. As I mentioned on Wednesday, perhaps the most interesting part of the story is that these acid-hounds are casting aside the […]


Wine Maps

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

See my op-eds in the NYT
"Drink Outside the Box"
"Red, White, and Green"


Monthly Archives


Blog posts via email



Wine industry jobs


One of the “fresh voices taking wine journalism in new and important directions.” -World of Fine Wine

“His reporting over the past six months has had seismic consequences, which is a hell of an accomplishment for a blog.” -Forbes.com

"News of such activities, reported last month on a wine blog called Dr. Vino, have captivated wine enthusiasts and triggered a fierce online debate…" The Wall Street Journal

"...well-written, well-researched, calm and, dare we use the word, sober." -Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher, WSJ

jbf07James Beard Foundation awards

Saveur, best drinks blog, finalist 2012.

Winner, Best Wine Blog

One of the "seven best wine blogs." Food & Wine,

One of the three best wine blogs, Fast Company

See more media...


Wine books on Amazon: