Category: Wine

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NoteStreams (Most Recent First)

Tech Informed By Tradition In Ribera Del Duero

Learn how the 3rd generation of Bodegas Emilio Moro uses digital information to monitor its vineyards and "listen" to its terroir.
It’s fascinating to taste how a single grape varietal can display such diverse results within a relatively small parcel of land. These wines are prime examples of what happens when winemakers allow the individual characteristics of terroir to contribute a different voice to each wine. Think you know tempranillo? Wines can always surprise us.
The Alcohol Professor

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Portuguese Wine Deserves Your Attention

It's one of the most traveled countries in the world, but for some reason, sommeliers are ignoring its beautifully crafted wines.
The Alcohol Professor

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Talking Terroir with Pedro Parr, PhD

A go-to vineyard consultant discusses soil, growing conditions and what the concept of “minerality” in wine really is.
The Alcohol Professor

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Just Drink It: Why Wine Investing Usually Isn’t Worth It

Industry insiders have argued that wine generates above-average returns, helps to diversify an investor’s portfolio (thus lowering its risk) and – if all fails – the owner can still drink it. The drinking part is certainly true, but does it really perform?
Karl Storchmann is a Clinical Professor of Economics at New York University. He is an applied micro-economist and his research focuses on issues related to agriculture, transportation, energy and the environment. He is a founding member of the American Association of Wine Economists (AAWE) and the managing editor of its journal, the Journal of Wine Economics.
The ConversationCC BY-ND 4.0December 31, 2014

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Burger and Wine Pairings Done Right

Can a dainty glass of grape juice really edge out beer to sit beside a juicy burger? We think so.
Wine Folly
CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

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Port On Call

If you think port is just for sipping after dinner, think again. We take a look at some of it's rich history, and offer up some delightful cocktail recipes from all over the U.S. Grab your shakers!
The Alcohol Professor

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Wine and Moderation: What’s Healthy?

Jump inside your wine glass to learn what's good for you and what to avoid!
Wine Folly
CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

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This Mulled Wine Recipe Will Warm Your Soul

Mulled Wine: It was never about being classy.
WineFolly
CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

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Pro Tips for Serving Port

Since there’s always a reason to have a bottle of Port on hand, here are several tips to help you enjoy it to the fullest.
Wine Folly
CC BY-NC SA

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Sustainable Winegrowing: Lodi Makes the Case

If you’ve ever wondered about the difference between sustainable winegrowing and organic wine, you’re not alone.
Behind the Wine: Lodi, CA

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Field Trips: Sicilian and Proud

There's more to wine than terroir - it's very identity can have deep roots. Take a tour of a Sicilian vineyard, and you'll see what I mean.
All photos by Amanda Schuster.
The Alcohol Professor

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The Difference Between Organic vs Non-Organic Wine

By Madeline Puckette 31266 / Winefolly
The dilemma with organic wines (and what sets them apart from other organic foods) is the importance of sulphur-dioxide (SO2) in the winemaking process.
Wine Folly
(CC BY-NC-SA US 3.0)

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Wine To Drink Now: New Zealand Whites!

If you're looking for delicious white wines for summer, check out these from way down in New Zealand!
All images provided by Hatch Mansfield.

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A Spy Who Loved Wine

A wine professional that needs his memoir cleared by the CIA? Meet Peter M.F. Sichel. Born in 1922 in Germany, he....we'll just let you read it for yourself!

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Virginia: The Wine Region To Watch!

If you haven't heard much about wine from Virginia, prepare to be impressed. Virginia is the fifth largest grape producing state in the US, and is known for its production of high quality wines in relatively limited quantities.

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The Best Value Red Wines (2016 Edition)

The secret to finding good cheap wine is to accept the fact that wine changes every year and great buys transition from region to region depending on the quality of the vintage. Here is a summary of great places to look for the best cheap red wines (in the new world).

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Eco-Friendly Wine: It’s Not Easy Being Green

Organic tends to cost more than its conventional counterparts. It’s true for produce and dairy, meats and cleaning products. But when ‘organic’ appears on a wine label, it actually commands a lower price.

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On Pairing Wine With Pasta

The best tip on pairing wine with pasta is to ignore the pasta and pay attention to the sauce.

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5 American Wine Traditions Worth Keeping

Despite Europe’s head start, American wine traditions are happening quietly all around us. While wine may still not be linked closely with regional culinary traditions, the seeds of new tradition are being sewn all over America. You just have to know where to look.

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The Trouble with ‘White Label’ Wines

“White label” wines are relabeled or rebranded wines created out of the bulk wine market. While some are good, many are nothing more than relabeled bulk wines from the world’s largest wine producers.

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Authentic Italian Pizza and The Wines To Complement

Since pizzas go well with nearly every wine, we enlisted the help of Master Somm, Jack Mason, to help narrow down the selection to just Italian wines. Mason touches pizza nearly every day at Roman-themed restaurant Marta in New York City. We challenged Jack Mason to pick just one wine to match with each of the following 6 pizzas.

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Exploring The Wines Of Ribera Y Rueda

A wonderful trip to Spain in search of the best wines from San Sebastian. Not all great wines have to be expensive and a great example would be the crisp fresh whites of the Rueda wine region or those standout reds!

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What On Earth Is Biodynamics?

No cheating, now: without retreating to Google, what is biodynamics, and what, exactly, makes a wine biodynamic? If you're like most of us, half-baked tales of cow horns buried in the fields leap to mind. And while they may for a small part, they're not the whole story.



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Is Red Or White Wine Better For Your Heart?

A cardiologist once told me that drinking half a bottle of red wine a day was better preventive medicine than any cholesterol-lowering medication he could prescribe. I wanted to believe him, but as a Chardonnay girl at heart I’ve always viewed the Red versus White debate with some suspicion.

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Spotlight: Sicilian Wines From Maggiovini

Sicilian wines have generated quite a buzz in the last few years. Although they’ve been making wine on this Mediterranean island for centuries, in more recent memory it’s been the source for vast quantities of simple wine used for blending in the north. In the last couple of decades, however, a not-so-quiet Renaissance has been taking place, with small producers making quality wines using indigenous grapes.
All images by Amy Miller, photographed at Ristorante Rafele, New York City.

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An Evening of Wine Tasting Without Sight

I was blindfolded, led into a room, and seated at a table. My “guide” gently took my hand and slowly mapped out what lay before me: 4 wine glasses, a water glass, and a cheese plate. I was there to explore how the aromas and flavors of wine are accentuated by depriving an important sense when tasting: our eyesight.

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China’s Big Thirst For Bordeaux Wine

New book details china’s big thirst for Bordeaux wine a review of Suzanne Mustacich's thirsty dragon.

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Sip In Heavenly Peace

Wines for a more silent night in or bring to an intimate gathering.

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Drink In The Prettiest Place In NY

New York has been getting a lot of fame for their number of ever-proliferating craft distilleries (and breweries, and wineries, and chocolates, and tea…), but what a lot of people don’t realize is that New York isn’t synonymous with New York City. A ton of fun stuff is going on in the Hudson Valley, one of the most idyllic places to get a little sauced – especially during the fall.

Category: Craft Beer

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Thanksgiving Wines: Bold And Delicious Pairings

Thanksgiving dinner is my favorite wine decision of the year. There are so many angles from which to approach the pairing, and so many different flavors and consistencies on the table at the same time. Most fun to me is balancing the emotional and historical part of the meal with what the food calls for. It is so much more about Thanksgiving as an event than it is about the wine and food paring. The stakes aren’t so high – nobody is there just for the wine, and so Thanksgiving can be an opportunity to push the envelope a bit, so long as there are sufficient bottles.

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Wines Worth The Wait: Alsatian Vendange Tardive

Late harvest: the two words conjure images of golden afternoons picking apples amidst the scent of drying leaves and smoke fire in the cool autumn air. At this time of year most vineyards have long finished their harvest, but in some regions winemakers will leave a portion of their grapes on the vine late into the season. That extra dose of sunshine, translates into wines with an added layer of honeyed richness, complexity, and delicate sweetness. A great match with apple pies or pear tarts, they feel in sync with the season.

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Behind The Wine: ‘Natural Resistance’

A new documentary from SundanceNOW sheds light on the struggles of Italian natural winemakers as they face corporate opponents.

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Napa Valley’s Palmaz Vinyards

When Christian Palmaz, president of Palmaz Vineyards, wants to know the temperature in one of his 24 fermentation tanks all he has to do is look up. Projected across the domed ceiling of his family’s 18-story high winery is a graph for each tank showing metrics such as temperature and brix (sugar level).

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Napa’s Grape Season is Underway!

Grape harvest season, sometimes called “crush,” is a magical time to visit Napa Valley. From August to October, winemakers and growers are anxiously watching the weather, sampling fruit and surveying the land—preparing for the perfect moment to send hundreds of hands to work, delicately picking and sorting the bounty, which will soon become the vintage of another year gone by.

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Wines With A View

A Taste Of Tuscan Wine
To consider modern day Tuscan wine, one should give props to the Etruscans, who inhabited this central Italian region starting in the 6th century BC. Tuscany is a land of abundant sunshine, rolling green hills, spring water, a spectacular, breezy coast and rich soils. If you’re going to set up a civilization, this is a pretty terrific place to do it. Especially if you have a bunch of gods that need worshipping with the heavy consumption of wine.

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Two Shepherds of Sonoma Valley

There is a funny thing about latitudes, no matter where you are in the world, similar crops grow similarly well if they are at the same latitude. One winery, however has chosen to work on perfecting the expression of grenache gris and grenache noir before creating the best expression of any other grapes.

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Summer BBQ and Wine Pairings Revealed

The outdoor barbecue is an American cooking tradition that dates back to the 1500s. The low and slow method of cooking meats over indirect heat developed cultural twists as the technique spread from native tribes to colonists and across the country. Different immigrant groups introduced new spices, preparations and meat varieties, which has resulted in a spectrum of sweet and savory rubs and sauces featuring unique profiles that pair perfectly with wine.

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Reaching for the Sherry

It is difficult to pinpoint when sherry went from a bottle that was found behind every bar and in every respectable wine collection to a strange liquor that was relegated to cooking quality or a staple of VFW halls around the country. The history of this fortified wine is heavily influenced by the history of Europe, from the Phoenicians establishing colonies in the Cadiz area in the 11th century B.C. to Spain reclaiming the sherry heritage from other pretenders in 1996 when the European Union added a little extra enforcement of the existing Denominación de Origen. What is sherry, and what happened to precipitate its fall?

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Bordeaux Blanc: More On The Retro Cool Wine

"...a more subtle, more food friendly source of Sauvignon Blanc.”
Earlier this year, I wrote an article here in this app about Bordeaux Blanc. As we move into the height of summer, it’s time to revisit this wine style and to chill out with a glass of retro cool!

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Corrosion & Corruption in Alcohol Beverage Sales

One of the major battle grounds in the ongoing alcohol three tier war is the issue of Self Distribution: when producers sell their own product to either retailers or consumers without the use of a wholesaler. To craft brewers and craft distillers, a dynamic part of the alcohol beverage industry, this ability is crucial to their success. It is often argued only by the wholesaler tier that producer sales without use of a wholesaler is a corruption of the three tier system; an example of one tier encroaching on another tier’s territory and an undermining of principles of the system. This view of self-distribution ought to be dismissed.

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Wine Drinking in America Today

What beverage has grown continuously in consumption for the past 20 years in America? Wine. According to the Wine Institute, in 1993 Americans only drank 1.74 gallons of wine per capita. In 2013 that figure had risen to 2.82 gallons. This makes the US the largest wine consuming nation in the world at over 329 million cases of wine sold in 2013, according to Impact Databank. Wine is now becoming part and parcel of America’s culture with over 7,700 wineries across the country, in all of the fifty states. The increase in popularity is attributed to several factors, including the fact that Americans dine out more and enjoy matching wine to cuisine.

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Matter of Taste: How Cork Closures Affect Aging Wine

We pay no mind to it—a wine cork is usually no concern until it has torn and lodged itself in the neck of a bottle; or worse, broken into pieces, now scattered inside a glass. There are several entertaining ways to open a bottle of wine, or rescue the contents of one poorly popped cork. There are even ways to enjoy a glass of wine without ever removing the cork. However you pop (or don’t pop) your bottle, it most certainly can affect the taste of your wine.

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Wine Competitions and an Ethical Conundrum

At a wine competition the award that every winery wants to win is the “Sweepstakes” Award. Sometimes it is called the “Chairman’s Award”. In short, these awards are given to the single best red, white, rose, sparkling and dessert wine. Many red wines may get a gold or even a “double gold” award, but only one is awarded the “Sweepstakes Red” Award.

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Wine Amongst The Lemons

A visit to the picturesque Castello d’Albola winery in Tuscany.
What could be a more quintessential Mediterranean scene than two small lemon trees, planted in terracotta pots on a stone patio, overlooking vineyards kissed by the golden rays of welcoming sunshine? Add to that a melodic, tranquil chorus of birdsong and the sound of bees buzzing around the colourful flower baskets, encroaching on the peaceful aura of an otherwise noiseless late afternoon. This was the backdrop to my arrival on 5th May at Villa Marangole on the grounds of Casa Vinicola Zonin’s flagship wine estate of Castello d’Albola, located in Radda in Chianti, one of the coolest sub-regions of the Chianti Classico zone.

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Hot Grills, Cool Pairings: Wine That Compliments Grill Flavors

Modern grill masters have pushed grilling beyond the threshold of mere hamburgers and hot dogs to a creative space that encourages all things nontraditional. It would be prudent to pair beverages accordingly—if only for experimental reasons—and wine offers more than a congenial twist. It’s not uncommon to see hot grills and cold beers together—the summer duo has certainly earned its place among tradition—yet discerning cooks may prefer the less obvious choice at their next cookout.

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Chile: Wine From A Land Of Change

Chile is a unique country, reflected by its distinctive shape and topography. Very long (almost 2,700 miles) and unusually narrow (only 112 miles wide on average), the country is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the east by the Andes mountain range. At the southern end are the Patagonian glaciers, its northern border contains the world’s driest desert, the Atacama and in the centre lies a diverse landscape including lakes, rivers, forests and volcanoes. Together with the country’s Mediterranean-style climate, all of this creates a hugely varied terroir well-suited to viticulture.

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Wine Corks & Aging: Natural vs. Synthetic

Most foods are best as fresh as possible. I remember picking peaches at my grandfather’s ranch in Northern California and eating them on the spot. What a taste! But the exceptions to this rule are the many wines that actually need some aging to taste their best. Winemakers know this, and work to control the aging process including decisions they make about how to bottle up their product.

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Chianti Classico & New Top Levels of Italian Wine

In 1716, Cosimo III, Grand Duke of Tuscany officially delimited the ‘Chianti’ production zone.
In 1924, winemakers of the original Chianti created a Consortium, symbolised by the military Black Rooster Trademark, to protect the style, quality and name/reputation of their wines. Eight years later, a decree was issued allowing the addition of the suffix ‘Classico’ to distinguish those wines made within the original production zone.

In 2013, a major development was undertaken, with a new top quality level agreed by the Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico. Here are the details on the Gran Selezione, Riserva and Annata classifications.

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Inside the Wine: Nikki Callaway of Quails’ Gate

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting with winemaker Nikki Callaway from Quails’ Gate Winery during a three-day trip up to British Columbia’s wine country in the Okanagan Valley. Quails’ Gate is located in West Kelowna on top of stunning south facing slopes overlooking Lake Okanagan. This harvest marks Callaway’s second with Quails’ Gate after a few years at Mission Hill Winery managing their small lot portfolio. At 32 years of age, Callaway is already well respected within the industry for her excellent wines and dedication to quality.

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7 Wine Hacks Every Home Chef Needs to Know

Nothing adds a bit of sparkle to entertaining like a glass of wine. Pop open a bottle and you’ve got instant je ne sais quoi. Entertaining friends and family is crazy enough, so don’t panic if you accidentally drop bits of cork into the wine bottle — this list of easy wine hacks will save your sanity, save you money and add some spice to simple food dishes.

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Why Your Pinot Noir is Actually a Pinot Blanc

The diversity within grapevine varieties is incredibly rich. This is good news for viticulturists – grape cultivators – and wine makers because it allows them to adapt their wine production according to the conditions in their vineyards and to the wines they want to make. Pinot is one of the most ancient grapevine varieties and the Pinot family is an invaluable source for the production of a wide range of wines from around the world. There’s the Pinot noir from Burgundy, California or New Zealand, Pinot Meunier in Champagne, Pinot gris in Alsace or Pinot blanc in Italy.

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Kosher Wines for Passover

Finally, it’s here! The holiest of holidays for wine drinkers is Passover. Why? How many other holidays involve a divine ordinance to drink four (in some cases five) cups of wine at dinner? Sure some holidays suggest it, or even involve so much guilt that you need to put down a bottle of vino, but the Mishnah says that even the poorest man HAS to have wine at a Passover Seder. That’s a blessing. Lest we be judged, let’s dig in.

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Champagne: A Bubbly Primer

This time of year we begin searching for the perfect bottle of bubbly to share with friends and family. The various options can boggle the mind as you stand facing retail wine shelves, staring at pretty labels and contemplating price points from $10 to $100 plus.
Before you get all frustrated, just remember Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch when she walks into her neighbor’s apartment and asks, “Hey, did you ever try dunking a potato chip in Champagne? It’s real crazy!” That scene always reminds me to keep fun and frivolity in mind while shopping for holiday bubbles.

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Bordeaux Blanc: The Retro Cool Wine!

Every wine lover will be familiar with Bordeaux. This famous dark red wine from the South West of France, produced in an area centered around the Gironde Estuary and rivers Garonne and Dordogne, is at its best capable of highly complex and elegant aromas and flavours befitting the finest of wines.
The renowned sweet wines of Sauternes and Barsac also hail from this part of the country, but did you know that about 10% of Bordeaux wine is dry white, of which 50% is sold within France and the rest is exported overseas?

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Vintage Books Tell the Story of Champagne Cocktails

References to Champagne drinks abound in old newspapers, novels, and cocktail books. Champagne drinks containing brandy and orange liqueurs in the forms of punches and cups can even be found in old cookbook recipe collections, such as Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management first published in 1861. I’ve seen mentions of Champagne Cocktails in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle archives as far back as 1869. That same year Mark Twain mentions the drink in Innocents Abroad.

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The Rise of Australia as a Wine Nation

Think of alcohol in Australian life and you probably think of beer: a “hard-earned thirst” and all that. Yet the national drinking taste is undergoing a dramatic change. Whereas 50 years ago Australians drank 20 times more beer than wine, the comparison has narrowed to only three times more beer by volume. Beer is lower in alcohol than wine so if we look at pure alcohol rather than total fluid consumed: very little separates the two.

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What Drives Our Wine Choice: Taste or Price?

Can a wine drinker judge the quality of a bottle by its price? The nature of this relationship has always been contested. We expect that consumers are willing to pay more for higher quality wines, while higher quality wines typically cost much more to produce. Some studies have identified that better quality wines do in fact sell for higher prices, others have not.

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How To Write a Wine’s Name

One would think it is a simple matter, but it turns out it’s not. In fact, there are various theories and practices behind the writing of a wine’s full name. My approach has always been the same: Except in those instances when the wine is to be written alongside a relatively few others of the same brand, then one ought to write the name of a wine in such a way that most easily allows the reader to find what they are looking for.

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First Varietal, Then Terroir: Wine Thoughts

If a Sonoma Pinot Noir tastes much more like a Burgundy Pinot Noir than it does a Sonoma County Zinfandel, isn’t this a very strong argument for making varietals the organizing idea behind wine? This is the question that occurred to me when I read Andrew Jefford’s article in Decanter that made the opposite case.

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History of the South African Wine Industry

When fine wine is mentioned the countries of France and Italy usually come to mind, but South Africa has a history of winemaking that goes back nearly 4 centuries.
South Africa consistently ranks in the top ten wine producing countries and while it may not produce the most wine, South Africa produces some of the finest wines in the world.

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Warming Up With Spiced Wine

Tradition may try and dictate that holiday beverages must be served warm, but for people lucky enough to not encounter sub-zero temperatures this winter, Spiced Wine served over ice, similar to sangria, is the coolest holiday drink. You’ve had a hot toddy, sipped on cocoa, and made a toast with champagne. This year, mix it up or serve it straight, introducing the best holiday drink this season: Spiced Wine.

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Sharpham Vineyard: More Than Just Wine!

The beauty of wine is not just in the glass, but also in the land whence it comes. While the increasing reputation of English wine continues to generate interest, UK vineyard tourism, spurred on by this phenomenon, is also on the rise. There is growing demand for home-grown produce and, while the sun-kissed beaches and city highlights of Europe and beyond will always remain attractive holiday destinations, Britain’s ‘staycationers’ who are visiting English vineyards in increasing numbers, are doing their bit to boost the national economy, while enjoying the local food and drink options.

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The Truth About Wine and Thanksgiving

Sure, they'll tell you the wine to serve is Gewerztraminer because it's spicy character will work well with the roast turkey and maybe even with that stuffing. Some will tell you to go with the Pinot Noir. So what's the right answer?? Read on, and discover a surprisingly simple way to conquer this dilemma!

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Sweet is Cool... Even in England

It doesn’t seem so long ago that many people wouldn’t throw a second glance at a bottle of sweeter wine, associating it with poor quality efforts popular in the 1970s. Mais plus ça change! Sweet wines are making a comeback and it’s younger drinkers who are embracing these more and more. Sweeter Rieslings and low-alcohol fizzy Moscatos are pushing the trend button and dry or even bone dry are no longer ‘de rigueur’.
One style that is becoming much better known among discerning drinkers is ‘Eiswein’ or ‘ice wine’. North Star, produced at Eglantine Vineyard, Nottinghamshire has an illustrious record. Learn why here!

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Wine in Your Bathtub? No; It's Vinotherapy!

There is more to vinotherapy than just red wine baths. In fact, in the 1990s, a French husband and wife team founded the company, Caudalie Paris, aiming to further research and development of the health benefits of grapes and wine, and to isolate these compounds and patent them into various therapeutic products. According to their website, they now have several patents related to various therapies created from resveratrol, other polyphenols, viniferine, organic grape water, grape seed oil, and vinolevure. So .....does it really work?

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Introduction to French Wine

This NoteStream is an introduction to aspects of French wine. For anyone who is becoming interested in wine, France is often an area they struggle to understand and get the most from. Ultimately we hope that when you choose a French wine you will choose with more confidence and be more satisfied with your choice.

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Exploring the Complexity of Alsatian Wine

Nestled against the German border, Alsace is a French wine region rich in cultural diversity. With over three centuries of identity crisis, it has belonged to both France and Germany over six times in the past 300 years. The German legacy left behind unique features that are specific in France only to Alsace.

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Port: A Wine For All Seasons

This past winter, which most people across America thought would never end, brought calls from all corners for Port, Port, and more Port. Many wine lovers believed, and perhaps rightly so, that nothing would thaw and warm them like a steady intake of their favorite fortified wine.

Find out what’s behind that!

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English Wine: Force for the Future

The English wine industry is going from strength to strength. Regularly winning prestigious international awards, wines from a country previously regarded as unsuitable for grape-growing, are gaining a worldwide reputation for quality. Learn more about this under-discovered wine region!

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Sherry: Versatility and Summer Cocktails

As most of us are already aware, Sherry is a couple of years into experiencing its revival. Cocktail bars across the globe have adapted the Spanish fortified wine onto their lists with great success, mainly because of the range and great versatility that comes with it.
Here you'll discover fabulous new cocktails with this classic!

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World Cup Sipping: The Wines of Brazil

Chances are that wherever you may be, you’ll be drinking your normal tipple, be it lager, real ale, craft beer, spirits, wine, water, Caipirinha, orange juice, or whatever. However, for those of us not living in South America, Brazilian wine may be a completely novel concept. How many people know that there is such a thing?

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A Syrah for Summer

The Languedoc-Roussillon, in the South of France, is the largest vineyard area in the world, comprising over 280,000 hectares. Within this land, Pays d’Oc IGP wines (IGP signifies Protected Geographical Indication), produced in four regions bordering the Mediterranean Sea, offer distinctive tastes of tradition, quality and “terroir” with a modern outlook. Join us for a taste of this fantastic region!

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Holiday Wine: More than Beaujolais!

Thanksgiving wine pairings are daunting. Everything on the plate seems to call for a different match. Turkey is subtle, but gravy is salty and intensely flavored; Yams are generally sweet and mellow while cranberry sauce demands high acid. Thanksgiving also comes around the same time of year as the annual Beaujolais craze, and that is a wonderful pairing in itself.
As the person charged with picking wine for my family, and writing about it for this website (ahem), this is a conundrum but also an exciting opportunity to take some chances!

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Wines to Pair With Spicy Food

Room-temperature red wine with meat and chilled white wine with fish. That’s all there is to food and wine matching, n’est-ce pas? Well, errm, no actually – there’s a little bit more to it, which even includes some science! Learn more and look like a pro!

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French and Italian Wine Smackdown!

Tiramisu or tarte tatin, Sophia Loren or Gérard Depardieu, Michelangelo or Rodin, Gianni Rivera or Michel Platini, Armani or Dior…? France and Italy are responsible for some of the most iconic names in food, art, sport and fashion. But wait, there’s a clash ahead and the two rivals need a winner! It’s David vs Goliath. So hop on your Vespa, or sidle into your 2CV and join in the contest with no let-up, right up until the post-lunch cappuccino or café au lait!

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Australian Wine: History and Tasting

Australia has been a major game player within the wine industry for several years now and in 2013 was the fourth largest exporter of wine by volume in the world. Its biggest export markets remain the UK and the US, while interest from Asia is growing. Do the wines swirl counterclockwise? Find out here!

Category: Wine

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Introduction to German Wine

Germany is one of the world’s most northerly wine-producing nations, with a continental climate of warm summers and cold winters. The main grape is Riesling, and Germany is respected for producing some of the finest white wine available anywhere. Moreover, in recent years, red wine production has increased and gained much attention from international buyers, especially wines made from Spätburgunder, aka Pinot Noir.

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Vinho Verde: Summer Joy!

The weather is getting warmer, t-shirts have been dug out from under the winter layers and the summer will soon be upon us. So it’s time to start thinking about some fresh, light and crisp wines to suit the sunshine mood and what better than Vinho Verde, the iconic wine of Northern Portugal? Now I fully understand that some wine drinkers might be choking on their glass of Château GreatExpectations 2013, while reading this introduction. But don’t turn away....!

Category: Wine

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Michel Chapoutier - A Life With Wine

Michel Chapoutier is a bold man who isn’t afraid to speak the truth. In 1990, at the age of 26, he took over the Chapoutier family business, putting the family name firmly on the French wine map. The Chapoutier estate has vineyard holdings in the Rhône Valley, Alsace and Roussillon in France as well as areas in Portugal and Australia – impressive!

Category: Wine

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Why is the Sommelier Drinking My Wine?

A few years ago Wine Spectator’s James Molesworth asked me what I thought about a survey indicating that over 80% of the respondents did not want a sommelier to taste their wine before it was served. I have served wine in well-respected restaurants that both tasted and didn’t taste the wines. Learn the reasons behind the practice, and you can decide for yourself!

Category: Wine

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Sommelier Stories: The Bordeaux Breakdown

By 2001, wine lovers in New York City spent lavish amounts of money in restaurants like Veritas. Adventurous diners would try wines they had only read about. Those stories were fun to relive and easy to tell. As a sommelier, however, enlightenment came from the more challenging moments...!

Category: Wine

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Rock the Casbah: Let's Drink Moroccan Wine!

Wine production has a rich history in Morocco, where it has been made for 2,500 years, enjoying a wealth of soil diversity and temperate microclimates ideal for growing balanced wine grapes. This was not lost on the French and Spanish colonizers who settled in North Africa in the early 1800s and planted vines with Bordeaux and Spanish grapes.

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Wines of Portugal: The Next Big Thing?

The typical American wine lover is driven by the love of discovery and the desire to find unbeatable bargains. In light of these twin motivations, the wines of Portugal just might be the next big thing.
Most consumers, when they think of Portugal, think of red wine. You'll learn about these, and the recent development of white wines as well.

Category: Wine

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Classy Chardonnay from South of France

The vineyards of the Languedoc-Roussillon, in southern France, benefit from a range of climates and soil types, enjoying mountain, coast and river terrains beneath a mix of hot Mediterranean sunshine and violent winds, rain and thunder from the Cevenol storms. It is this harsh natural environment that shapes winemaking philosophy in the region and which can be exploited successfully by visionary winemakers, like Laurent Delaunay and Nerida Abbott.

Category: Wine

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Gifts for the American Wine Lover

What better way to ring in the season of cheer than with the gift of wine? With a wide variety of styles and price points, you can find something for everyone on your list. So what bottles should you get? Naturally, it depends on who you are buying for, but here are a few suggestions to get you started.

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Shouting About English Champagne

I have often encountered people, desperate to hold on to beliefs which go against the grain of all evidence, as if their whole world would collapse around them, if they opened their eyes a little wider. One area which also fits neatly into this opinion-dividing and prejudiced mentality is English wine. However, negative attitudes are gradually being challenged with great success, as English wine continues to gain awards and recognition worldwide.
Give it a go!

Category: Wine

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Introduction to Greek Wine

The indigenous varieties of Greece have been resurrected and new trends have emerged! We spoke to a few industry insiders to explore these popular, award-winning wines. Greek grapes are old heirlooms, and the land is certainly ancient, but what’s really new is the current generation of winemakers.

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Drinking Nancy's Wine

Whenever I look back on that day, the word “lucky” is the first one that comes to mind. Not only was I lucky to be there, amid such great company, but also with what I had the opportunity to drink. I’d heard tell of my friend Max’s step-grandmother Nancy’s insane wine stash. Share the celebration with friends, laughter, and great things to drink.

Category: Wine

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Muscadine Wine—A Southern Favorite

The oldest cultivated grapevine in the world is the 400 year old scuppernong called “Mother Vine” growing on Roanoke Island, North Carolina. North Carolina is proud of that history, naming the scuppernong the official state fruit. While wine snobs may scoff at the thought of enjoying a glass of muscadine wine, with such a storied past, the grape is a part of our culture. Learn more, and try your hand at the included recipe!

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Modern Wine Storage Technology

Once upon a time, before you were born, fermented beverage alcohol was discovered. Wine was the first beverage alcohol,and was for a time contained in clay jars and stoppered with clay, cork or leather. Here you'll explore the evolution of wine storage from ancient times to today, as well as why and how storage does matter to the wine.

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The Scoop on Sweet Wines

If your sweet tooth is crying out for a sip of something sugary, dessert wine offers the slightly classier, more adult sugar fix than popping open a can of soda. There are many different styles of dessert wines, none of which have supplemental sugar and all of which have a very interesting story behind how they came to be.

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Sagrantino: An Italian Staycation Red

I don’t know about you, but come August, I need a change of scene, and so does my palate. I get pretty tired of drinking rosé and white wines. I’m craving something deeper and richer, even if the hot weather still demands refreshment. Enter Sagrantino - what was once a tannic, rather austere wine is now produced as an elegant, velvety and full bodied red.

Category: Wine

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A Primer on Champagne

Champagne is classified as a wine, in the sparkling category. There are four methods used to make sparkling wine but only one region on the planet can claim their sparkling wine as Champagne. It is the one region of the world that focuses solely on sparkling wine and has made famous a style that highlights their cool continental climate for growing grapes.
Learn about the grape varieties allowed, as well as how this bubbly beverage is born. Cheers!

Category: Wine

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How Much Oak is OK?

There has been a big push in recent years to reduce the use of oak in wines. Consumers apparently have had enough of the big oak butter balls, particularly when it comes to California Chardonnays, and it seems as though winemakers are listening.
In This NoteStream, we'll explore the historical significance of oak, why it is used, as well as modern day alternatives to the traditional barrel.

Category: Wine

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Cork Talk: How Best to Seal Wine

If you’ve ever opened a bottle of wine a noticed it smells a lot like a damp newspaper or a wet dog, you’ve experienced one of biggest, most disappointing problems facing wine closures today, and that is what’s referred to as “cork taint,” i.e. “corked” wine. Here we examine issues such as cork taint, as well as some other common problems associated with various closures, and how the closure industry is evolving to address these issues.

Category: Wine

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What Makes the Wine? Land or Hand?

Today, in nearly any thoughtful discussion of fine wine by knowledgeable drinkers, one finds a near universal bias towards Land-Focused or “terroir-driven” wines over “Hand-Focused” or winemaker-driven wines. This land-focused bias—the belief that wines that accurately depict a terroir are “better” wines—is nothing new. Old World wine drinkers and vintners have held this attitude for generations and have codified the bias into appellation laws.
What I’ve been wondering is this: Is a land-focused fine wine bias a more reasonable or legitimate approach to understanding and appreciating fine wine than a hand-focused bias?

Category: Wine

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The Question of Terroir

Winemaker Matt Dees and his colleagues at Goodland Wines in Santa Barbara, California have chosen to take a remarkable step: They have decided to purposely confuse the wine consumer in order to try to enlighten them. Here’s what’s happening: At Goodland Wines, individual bottlings don’t carry the name of the varietal. They only carry the name of the AVA or “appellation” from which the grapes were grown that went into making the wine.
Savvy wine consumers know French labels often show similar information - but could the approach actually work here? I think confusion will be sparked before debate - but I encourage you to decide for yourself!

Category: Wine

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