Mission Bay's Deep Thoughts

By Peter Granoff, MS

The Fine Sake Conundrum

A few years ago I visited thirteen Sake breweries scattered around Japan with a small group of fellow Master Sommeliers. The trip was skillfully organized by Toshio Ueno, one of the best ambassadors for Sake anywhere. It was also the dead of winter with more than 8 feet of snow on the ground in the colder areas of the country! Equally important and lasting, however, was the window provided into the culture of Sake, its traditions and its contemporary challenges, challenges which I think of as the Sake conundrum. More . . .

Champagne's Best Kept Secret

Never heard of a “grower Champagne”? We are sure you are not alone, and it is probably because of the Champagne region’s best kept secret. In the US our frame of reference for Champagne is usually based on what are called the “big houses,” or internationally known Champagne brands. These are familiar names such as Moët & Chandon or Veuve Clicquot, and they account for approximately 90% of the sales of Champagne exported from France, and roughly 2/3rds of all the Champagne sold annually. Beneath these dry statistics are some astonishing details ~ More . . .

On Natural Wine

In the last 3-5 years we have increasingly heard the phrase “Natural Wine” from consumers and wine trade professionals alike, so much so that we have felt compelled to pen a few observations based on our collective decades of industry experience and study. There is no way around the fact that the science of wine is exceedingly complex, and no wine, whether from a tank farm the size of a football field or a tiny cellar and only two hands, is exempt from some basic chemistry. More . . .

Why The Wine Icons?

The graphic icons used in our wine descriptions are borrowed with permission from our sister store, Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant, which owns the trademark on their use. Their intent is to present a visual snapshot of the style of wine being presented in a way that is easy to understand. They are NOT a rating, although on first encounter many assume that is what they represent. More . . .