Que Sirah, Sirah: Wines Earning Well-Deserved Respect

January 19, 2005

Concannon

A review of recently released Petite Sirahs.

Petite Sirah is the Rodney Dangerfield of grapes. A big, bold wine with cherry and berry like fruit and a mild peppery spiciness, it is frequently added to other varietals for color, body and flavor. Seldom does Petite Sirah get the respect that it deserves. However, this perception is slowly changing as the number of California winemakers producing quality Petite Sirah steadily increases.

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What’s For Dessert?: Sweet Wines Growing In Popularity

December 15, 2004

Chambers Rosewood Muscat

Dessert wines are an under-appreciated treasure.

Dessert wines may well be the next American wine craze. It seems only natural that a country that has donut shops and ice cream parlors on nearly every corner will learn eventually to appreciate the wonders of a well-made “stickie.” It is a mystery why dessert wines are not more popular. They are a great way to end a meal with more flavor and fewer carbohydrates than a slice of cheesecake. Good dessert wines have a noticeable sweetness balanced by other components, and the best examples have an amazing complexity of flavors. Most are served slightly chilled from half-bottles, or splits, which can serve up to 12 guests. If you are looking for a gift for a wine-lover, a bottle of dessert wine always will be appreciated.

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Dessert Wines For Gift Giving

November 25, 2004

Yarden Heightswine

Sweet dessert wines are perfect gifts for wine lovers.

There are many ways to choose a wine to give as a gift. Some people pick based upon the appearance of the label, thinking that a cute animal or pretty picture somehow translates into a drinkable wine. Others select wines that they have previously tasted while some choose based solely on the price, or color, or country of origin. This results in chardonnay, merlot, and cabernet as the most commonly selected gifts.

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Skilled Winemakers Produce Excellent Zinfandels

November 17, 2004

Kenwood Jack London Zinfandel

A review of some tasty Zinfandels.

If Bordeaux is a classical symphony, then Zinfandel is the Allman Brothers Band. Big, bold, quintessentially American and at times sublime, Zinfandel at its best has rich, lively fruit flavors with an earthy, spicy and sometimes peppery character. It is versatile, found in blends with other grapes or as a single vineyard bottling. And it also has been made into the slightly sweet white Zinfandel. But it is the red wine that has achieved remarkable heights during the past several years. Some can be aged for as long as 10 years; however, most Zins are drunk young, generally within five years after release. Usually they are affordable, but some Zins, such as Turley and Martinelli, have achieved “cult” status and you have to wait years to get on a mailing list to obtain a bottle.

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Wines For Winter Dining

November 11, 2004

Argyle Pinot Noir

Some wine suggestions for winter meals.

With the arrival of cooler weather, entertaining moves indoors. And the fall and winter holidays add another dimension to family get-togethers. The menu changes from the lighter summer fare to richer and more robust dishes. Similarly, the wines that best match the meals for this time of year are often more complex and fuller, with a medium body and bolder flavors. Usually these are red wines, although some white wines can work as well, depending upon the food being served.

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How To Start A Wine Collection

October 28, 2004

NO sauvignon blanc

Collecting wine is easy and doesn’t have to be expensive.

A good wine is fun to share. Keeping bottles of wine around the house makes entertaining easier and eliminates the last minute run to the store to find “something to serve.” Starting a wine collection is actually very easy and can be done to fit any budget. And learning about different wines is an experience that couples can do together.

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Expanding Horizons: It’s Worth Trying Wines From New Places And Labels

October 21, 2004

Kuentz-Bas

The world is filled with wonderful wines.

When choosing a wine, most Americans have a very narrow perspective. We tend to limit our selections to a few well-known varieties such as Chardonnay or Merlot and rarely do we venture out of California, Australia, Italy or France. And even within those areas, consumers seldom try wines with unfamiliar names. But great wine is being made all over the world, from South Africa to South America, from Oregon and Washington State to the Niagara Peninsula of Canada including locations that have been making wine for centuries such as Germany, Spain, Israel and Portugal.

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Long Live The Napa Valley Winemakers

September 17, 2004

Long Vineyards

A review of California’s Long Vineyards wines.

Bob Long believes that Napa Valley winemakers are blessed. Pioneers in the development of single vineyard wines, Long and his wife Zelma started their eponymous winery in 1977. Although they divorced years ago and both have remarried, the Longs remain business partners. Their 121-acre property is on a prime Napa Valley site: Pritchard Hill, east of St. Helena. With their longtime associate Sandi Blecher, the Longs produce consistently good and reasonably priced Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Pinot Grigio and a late harvest Riesling.

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Wine For A Crowd

August 26, 2004

Tohu Sauvignon Blanc

A “how-to” guide for selecting wine for a party.

Selecting wines for a catered event does not have to be stress provoking. There are some guidelines that can make this aspect of planning an event easy, even for a “non-wine” person. The key is to remember that a party is supposed to be fun, not only for your guests but for you as well.

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