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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Chilled, Fruity And Complex Wines Work Well For Summer

June 29, 2011

Parallel 45 Rhone

Some summer wine recommendations including Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.

Summer wines should be fruit-filled and complex enough to be interesting without overwhelming the traditional warm weather foods. They certainly need to be chilled, even the red ones, which will bring out their fruit flavors and balance. Here are some suggestions.

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Napa’s Oldest Winery Leads Industry

June 1, 2011

Charles Krug

A review of Charles Krug wines on their 150th anniversary.

The 150th anniversary of the Napa Valley’s oldest winery, Charles Krug, will be celebrated this summer. With a $21.6 million renovation of its winemaking facilities and vineyards under way, the winery is positioning itself to remain a leader of California’s wine industry. The winery’s story began when the 27-year-old Krug left Germany in 1847 and became a teacher in Philadelphia. Inspired by the French Revolution, he returned home the next year to participate in the unsuccessful attempt to establish a German Republic and was imprisoned for nine months

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An American Winemaker in Burgundy Feels the Squeeze in Economic Turndown

July 8, 2009

blair pethel

These are tough times to be a winemaker. Consumers are buying but overall sales are down, and the demand for the higher-priced wines has nearly evaporated. The larger producers are better positioned to withstand the economic downturn, but even the giant wine conglomerates are laying off employees. For smaller producers who make limited amounts of the world’s finest wines, these conditions are potentially disastrous.

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With Wines, Old Is New Again

February 26, 2009

Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

The pleasures of older wines.

I prefer “Chinatown” to the “The DaVinci Code,” “On The Waterfront” over “Gladiator” and will drop everything to watch “Casablanca.” Angelina Jolie certainly has her attributes but Ingrid Bergman has a vulnerable sadness. Older movies have a captivating elegance and charm that is often lacking in the more recent Hollywood blockbusters. A similar satisfaction can be found in various older wines.

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New Year’s Resolution: A Frugal Cellar

January 1, 2009

Domaine A et P de Villaine Bouseron

Suggestions for a “Frugal Cellar” from Becky Wasserman-Hone

I love wine. I love expensive wine and I love value-oriented wine.Unfortunately, the latter does not always garner the attention it deserves. But given the economic challenges facing us for at least the immediate future, my New Year’s resolution is to readjust my wine expectations.
The pursuit of trophy wines and dreams of first-growth Bordeaux must take a back seat to stocking my cellar with well-made wines at reasonable prices. There are numerous delicious, good-value wines being made, but they take a bit of effort to and, because the best examples
are often from unfamiliar producers or are created from unheralded varietals.

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Choose Young Wines For Feasting

November 20, 2008

Helfrich Reisling

Wine suggestions for Thanksgiving.

Think young when choosing a wine for the Thanksgiving feast. The meal’s complex variety of aromas, flavors and textures are best complimented by a fruity, youthful wine with refreshing acidity. Resist the temptation to serve an aged treasure to family and friends since the typical fare can easily overwhelm their subtle flavors and make more tannic wines such as Cabernet taste unpleasantly astringent. The half-hour rule applies; remove the white wines from the refrigerator and refrigerate the red ones 30 minutes before serving to bring out their best characteristics.

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West Coast Vineyards Produce Prime Pinot Noirs



Morgan Pinot Noir

A look at some Oregon and California Pinot Noirs.

The most recent U.S. releases of Pinot Noir are well suited for the myriad of flavors of classic holiday meals. Fruit-forward with bright, complex personalities, good balance and lasting finishes, the West Coast Pinot Noirs continue to improve due to more mature vines, better site selection and careful attention in the vineyards and during the winemaking. These wines should be served slightly chilled to bring out their finest qualities.

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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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