In Appreciation Of Under-Appreciated Sauvignon Blanc

June 30, 2006

Robert Mondavi Fume Blanc

A look at some California Sauvignon Blancs.

A very wise wine writer recently told me that the only people who don’t like Sauvignon Blanc are ‘‘those that don’t like warm weather or don’t like to eat.” Often under-appreciated, but widely planted, Sauvignon Blanc truly is an ideal summer wine. Sauvignon Blanc produced in France’s Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume regions have a touch of minerality from the stony soil, while those from the Graves area have more body. New Zealand has been leading the ‘‘New World” in a more ‘‘grassy” style (and screw-tops) while quality Sauvignon Blanc is also produced in Chile, Australia and South Africa. And a recently tasted Recanati Sauvignon Blanc from Israel was quite impressive.

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Wine-Related Gifts For Your Host

June 15, 2006

Ralph Steadman Untrodden Grapes

Gift suggestions for your wine-loving friends.

If you are going to a special dinner party and want to bring your host something a little out of the ordinary, here’s a suggestion. Everyone who loves wine will also enjoy receiving a wine-related gift. A carefully selected present will usually adorn their home a lot longer than a bottle of wine and you will be remembered fondly every time it is utilized. Just stay away from the more useless items like the figurine decorated wine-stoppers and the gigantic wine glasses that double as cooling buckets.

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California’s Vines Climb In Quality, Popularity

May 17, 2006

De Loach Vineyards

A look at California wines on the 30th Anniversary of the “Judgement of Paris.”

An event that forever changed the wine world occurred in Paris on May 24, 1976. Noted wine maven Steve Spurrier organized a ‘‘blind” tasting to compare California and French wines. Unexpectedly, the nine French wine experts chose California’s Chateau Montelena Chardonnay and Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignon as the winners over several well-known French wines. While Europeans were shocked and Americans pleased, California’s reputation as a source of fine wines was established.

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Maison Drouhin Produces Fine Wines

April 26, 2006

Joseph Drouhin Clos de Mouches

A dinner and tasting with Robert Drouhin.

I want to be Robert Drouhin when I grow up. Tall, articulate and refined, he is the Chairman of the noted Burgundy producer Maison Joseph Drouhin with its 162 acres of prime vineyards in Cote d’Or and Chablis. And if that is not enough, he is blessed to have all four of his children working in the family business.

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Kosher-For-Pesach Wines Get Better and Better

March 30, 2006

Castel C Chardonnay

Some wine recommendations for this year’s seder.

When shopping for Passover this year, be prepared for some surprises when you walk down the wine aisle. There are new names on the shelves including two very well-known non-Jewish properties that have made kosher-for-Passover wine. And some of the more familiar producers have released novel varietals.

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Invigorated Spain Bears Fruit

March 15, 2006

Merum Monastrell Jumilla

A look at some enjoyable Spanish wines.

Spain has more than 50 official wine-producing regions where 60-plus different grapes are used to make red, white and sparkling wines. Until recently, Spanish winemakers were in a rut, confined by their adherence to ancient methods and antiquated equipment. But an infusion of capital and a new breed of winemaker have invigorated the industry, resulting in a large number of flavorful dynamic wines.

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Weather Conducive To Realizing California Wine-Making Dreams

February 15, 2006

Worthy Sophia's Cuvee

A look at some California Cabernet Sauvignons.

Although grown in almost all the world’s wine producing regions, Cabernet Sauvignon remains California’s best known varietal. The top California Cabs are deep red to purple in color and have intense flavors of currants, plums and other dark fruit, often with a touch of spice, licorice, mint or tobacco. Some cost hundreds of dollars per bottle and can be obtained only via a waiting list. Thankfully, many high-quality less expensive California Cabs are produced as well.

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A Modest Proposal For Reaping Greater Rewards

January 18, 2006

Riedel

Some wine related New Year’s resolutions.

Nowhere does it say that New Year’s resolutions have to be limited to diet and exercise. For those who wish to enhance their wine experience and knowledge, here are some wine-related ones.

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’Tis The Season For Celebrating With Bubbles

December 21, 2005

Gosset Grand Reserve

Sparkling wine recommendations for the holidays.

Nothing says holidays like the pop of a cork and a tall glass of sparkling wine. Festive, fun and a bit extravagant, Champagne and other sparkling wines are a wonderful way to celebrate the joys of the season with family and friends. A vast amount of ‘‘bubbly” is sold is during the weeks leading up to the New Year and discounts abound as retailers compete for a share of this increased demand. The many varieties of available styles and prices make it easy to find one to fit your budget and holiday menu.

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