Warm Up This Winter With A Nice Wine

February 17, 2015

Some Winter Wine suggestions.

With winter’s grip still upon us, it is comforting to know that there are wines ideal for chilly weather. Fuller in body with more complexity and structure, winter wines are better to serve with the cold-weather meals.

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Snow Phoenix: A Cascade of Tastes

August 17, 2011

Glenfiddich Snow Phoenix

A review of Tierra Salvaje Carmenere 2010 and the Glenfiddich Snow Phoenix.

Carmenere is Chile’s signature red wine varietal. Brought to South America from France’s Bordeaux region (where it was used primarily as a blending grape), Carmenere was first planted near Santiago in the 1800s where it was believed to be a clone of merlot. For many years the two varietals were harvested together which gave Chilean “merlot” a significantly different taste than merlots grown elsewhere. It took until the 1990s for the Chileans to recognize Camernere as a separate varietal and to appreciate its unique flavors. Rather than limiting it as a blending component, Chilean winemakers have embraced Carmenere, featuring it in some remarkably enjoyable and distinctive wines.

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South America Valleys Produce High Quality Wines

September 22, 2010

Alamos Torrontes

A review of several recent releases from South America.

The valleys east and west of the Andes Mountains are a treasure trove for lovers of high-quality, value-priced wines. While both areas have produced wines for centuries, investment and extensive modernization have led to vastly improved quality during the past several decades.

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Chile Nearly Perfect For Wine Making

October 7, 2008

Casa Silva Carmenere

A look at Chilean wines.

Chile’s 13 different wine regions benefit from the Andres Mountains in the east and the cooling ocean breezes coming inland from the west. Each district has a distinctive geology and micro-climate. The northernmost Elqui Valley, at 6,500 feet above sea level, has long hot sunny days, while the southernmost Bio Bio and Malleco valleys run the risk of frost and heavy rains. In between are wide variations in daily temperatures, maritime influences and soil conditions. Truly delightful wines result when the specific location is matched with the appropriate varietal.

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High Quality, Affordable Prices Make Chilean Wine An Excellent Choice

June 15, 2005

Montes Alpha Syrah

Some Chilean wine recommendations.

Boasting breathtaking scenery and friendly people, Chile is a visitor’s paradise. Long and thin, it is more than 2,700 miles long and at most, only 150 miles wide. Its climate varies from desert in the north to snow in the south. In between are some of the world’s most eye-catching grape growing valleys. Cooling breezes from the Pacific Ocean arrive from the west, while the volcanoes of the Andes Mountains lie to the east. The resulting broad variations in climate, soil compositions and altitudes allow Chilean winemakers to experiment with varietals and growing conditions.

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Wine Writer’s Tour Reveals Choice Chilean Vineyards

May 18, 2005

Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc

Wine recommendations from my recent visit to Chile.

One of the nicest people to share a bottle of wine with is Alfredo Bartholomaus, founder of Billington Imports. His generous nature and depth of knowledge impressed everyone on a recent wine writer’s trip he led to Argentina and Chile. The gregarious poetry lover with a warm smile and an easy manner emigrated from Chile 20 years ago to establish a company dedicated to bringing South American wines to the U.S. market. His portfolio now includes wines from Chile, Argentina, Spain and New Zealand. He searches for high-quality, value-priced wines, and both new and established wineries seek his guidance.

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