Its Tomato Time

August 17, 2015

Review of Dalton Pinot Gris 2014 and a look at the “Bloody Mary.”

Its tomato season and we couldn’t be happier. Whether sliced into Caprese salad, pureed into a summer pasta dish, grilled when green or simply salted and popped into the mouth, tomatoes are one of the best features of summer. The ideal wine to pair with tomatoes is a balancing act that complements the flavors and yet is able to stand up next to their inherent acidity.

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Thanksgiving – A Perfect Time To Try New Wines

November 26, 2014

Wine suggestions to accompany your Thanksgiving Feast.

While Thanksgiving is a time for celebrating family and friends, it is also an opportunity to try some unfamiliar wines. The classic meal of turkey, stuffing and various side-dishes provide a broad palate of flavors, textures and aromas as a starting point for selecting accompanying wines. As with any complex meal, look for wines that have good fruit flavors, refreshing acidity for balance and are not too tannic or oaky.

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Still Time For Summer Wine Recommendations

August 7, 2013

Summer wine recommendations include whites from Alto Adige, some Sauvignon Blancs and a few American Gruner Veltliners.

This year’s summer wine recommendations begin with a visit to northeastern Italy along its border with Switzerland and Austria. In the Italian Alpine region of Alto Adige visitors can enjoy views of snow-capped mountains as well as lush vineyards which produce ideal wines for warm weather enjoyment. The climate is surprisingly mild with more than 300 sunny days annually and the vineyards are protected from most of the chilly northern winds by the Alps, yet remain open to the warmer southern Mediterranean maritime breezes. The resulting temperature variations ensure that their grapes characteristic flavors are well balanced with bright acidity. Nearly 60 percent of the Alto Adige vineyards produce white wines and their principle varietals include the familiar Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Gewürztraminer along with some less well-known, but quite interesting grapes such as Müller-Thurgau, Sylvaner, and Kerner.

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It’s The Terroir, Stupid

July 7, 2013

A review of the Goose Bay Pinot Gris 2011 along with some Father’s Day Whisky suggestions.

One of the more fascinating aspects of wine is the influence of “terroir,” a French term that encompasses the various geographic and climatic influences upon a wine’s aromas, flavors and structure. Identical grapes grown in dissimilar locations will have distinctly different characteristics. Distances as small as a few meters between rows of vines can produce profound changes in the quality of the resulting wines.

Burgundy is one of the better known illustrations of the influence of terroir. Over several centuries the local monks painstakingly classified and subdivided the region based upon the quality of the wines produced by grapes grown in specific locations. In contrast with Bordeaux where the classifications are based upon the producing Chateaux, the wines from Burgundy are labeled according to the vineyard and there may be more than one producer creating wines from that site. There are 400 types of Burgundian soil and the stratification into Grand Cru, Premier Cru and Village are entirely dependent upon geography. One of the more fascinating aspects of wine is the influence of “terroir,” a French term that encompasses the various geographic and climatic influences upon a wine’s aromas, flavors and structure. Identical grapes grown in dissimilar locations will have distinctly different characteristics. Distances as small as a few meters between rows of vines can produce profound changes in the quality of the resulting wines.

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Around the World of Wonderful Wines

September 12, 2011

Morgon Descombes

A review of several Cru Beaujolais, some Pinot Grigios and New Zealand Pinot Noirs.

To appreciate the variety of notable wines being made around the world, try less familiar varietals or more familiar ones that come from different locations. Begin your journey in France’s Beaujolais region where the Gamay grape is made into remarkable, reasonably-priced and often underappreciated wines. Distinct from the simply styled “Beaujolais Nouveau” meant to be consumed soon after harvest, the better Beaujolais have complex fruitiness along with minimal tannins, making them the ones to pour for a friend that usually likes only white wine.

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White Is One Of Summer’s Genuine Pleasures

June 23, 2010

Kunde Sauvignon Blanc

Summer white wine suggestions including Sauvignon Blanc, Spanish whites, Chablis and Pinot Gris.

White wines, served with the lighter warm weather fare or sipped solo as the sun sets, come in a wide range of flavors and styles. Every wine-producing area creates worthwhile whites, making summer a perfect time to explore new varietals and regions.

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Italian White Wines Should Not Be Ignored

September 23, 2009

St Michael-Eppan Pinot Grigio

A look at some Italian white wines.

Home to many of the world’s finest red wines, Italy also produces many excellent whites from sites all over the nation. Using some familiar grapes like Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and Sauvignon as well as indigenous varietals, Italian winemakers are crafting some true beauties. Although the producers’ names may be difficult to remember, or pronounce, it is worth searching for these enjoyable, food-friendly wines.

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The Right Bottle Of White For A Hot Summer Day

July 8, 2009

Some summer wine recommendations.

Chardonnay is not the only chilled glass of white wine to treasure in the summer heat. Many other varietals offer the invigorating crisp flavors and balanced acidity enhance warm weather meals. It is also worth exploring the shelves to find treasures and the occasional bargain from less familiar regions.

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Fruity Roses, Whites and Reds End Summer On A High Note

August 20, 2008

Marques de Caceres Rose

Wine suggestions for the last days of summer.

Wines with vibrant fruit flavors and refreshingly brisk acidity are ideal choices for these last days of warmer weather. Roses are perfect examples. From Oregon, the delicious, cinnamon-scented Soter Pinot Noir Rose 2007 ($20), with strawberry and cherry flavors, is crafted with a little Pinot Gris and Chardonnay to give it a bit more body. It remains supple enough to work well with typical summer fare.

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