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Pairing Is a Two-Way Street

If you have even a passing interest in wine, you've no doubt heard that wine enhances the dining experience. Entire books are dedicated to explaining which wines go best with what foods. For the most part, wine-pairing advice is well-thought out, and it will no doubt impress family and friends when you follow the suggestions.

But there is ...Read more

Why Vintages Matter

As another grape harvest winds down throughout the northern hemisphere, it might be a good time to consider the importance of the vintage as it relates to wine.

Unlike distilled spirits, wines are a product of nature that vary from year to year depending on the conditions of the growing cycle. Not all vintages are created equal.

This matters...Read more

Don't Be a Cork Dork

Despite the wine industry's huge transition to screw-cap closures in recent years, it seems the old-fashioned cork closure is here to stay, particularly for premium red wines that are often crafted to improve with age.

Tradition certainly factors in to the equation as we cling to our corks, but advancements in technology and common-sense ...Read more

Gallo Dazzles at Sommelier Challenge

Throughout the weekend of the eighth annual Sommelier Challenge International Wine & Spirits Challenge in San Diego, California, the judges made a point of noting an improvement in the quality of entries from the previous year.

The results reflected the initial impression as the assembled professional sommeliers, which included Master ...Read more

Merlot Madness

October is international merlot month. Think about that for a moment. Merlot is the wine everyone loves to loathe. So it gets an entire month to call its own? Something must be wrong with this picture.

Everyone from vintners to consumers has been dismissing merlot for as far back memory serves. During the emergence of California wine in the ...Read more

What's in a Wine Glass?

To the casual observer, what's in a wine glass is infinitely more important than the glass itself. To a large extent, that's true. Yet the glass ultimately plays a huge role in the level of enjoyment you get from the wine.

With apologies to Georg J. Riedel, the Austrian glassmaker who promotes the belief that virtually every different wine ...Read more

A Labor of Love

The upcoming Labor Day weekend is the grillmeister's annual swan song. In most parts of the country, the grill goes undercover and the tools are stored for winter after one last hurrah on this holiday. I am determined to end the season on a bold note rather than a whimper.

Of course, I refer to the wines for the Labor Day finale. I have ...Read more

The $9 Solution

When the Dark Horse wines were in the planning stages a few short years ago, inside the brain trust at E. & J. Gallo Winery the concept was commonly called the "20-7 project."

Throughout its history, Gallo has been sensitive to the consumer need for quality value wine. Consider the cost, for example, of putting a modest $20 wine on the dinner...Read more

Oasis in the Desert

My summer break took me on a two-week journey through the picturesque Southwestern United States. The tour launched from San Diego, California, by car and included stops in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Red Rock country of Sedona, Arizona, and finally Santa Fe, New Mexico, for a couple of memorable evenings at the stunning Santa Fe Opera House.

...Read more


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