Home & Leisure

2 Tips for Tailgate Sipping

Now that football season is in full swing and weekend tailgate parties are as common as the falling leaves, it is my solemn duty to share my two most important tailgate tips for those rare wine enthusiasts in the beery football crowd.

These two tailgate tips are the result of years (actually decades) of experience with some elaborate tailgate...Read more

Bargain Gold

It's not much of a surprise that a small-production Napa Valley merlot -- Kalaris, $52 -- came away with Wine of the Year honors at the seventh annual Sommelier Challenge International Wine Competition, held Sept. 12-13 in San Diego. Such wines are made to impress.

Truly surprising are the many high-volume commercial wines that are rightly ...Read more

The Platinum Parade

As director of the three international wine challenges -- Critics, Sommelier and Winemaker -- it is not only my duty but also my distinct pleasure to taste many of the wines chosen for platinum awards.

A platinum recipient is simply a gold-medal wine that the judges believe has another gear. Platinum wines at the challenges are wines that ...Read more

Grilling Season Bon Voyage

For most of America, the summer grilling season ends Labor Day weekend. So with the aroma of barbecued meats and fish in mind, a few wine suggestions for America's grill meisters would seem to be in order.

During a trial run last weekend, I grilled up leg of lamb, salmon and sweet and savory sausage for about 20 guests on a warm summer ...Read more

Wine Country Travel

Once an esoteric pursuit embraced only by dedicated oenophiles, wine country travels in recent years have become the passion of millions of Americans drawn by the beauty and romance of vineyard lands and the people behind the wines they love.

"Where do you like to stay?" is second only to "what's your favorite wine?" when I am asked about my ...Read more

Bubbly From Burgundy

Burgundy, for those who may not know, is an important wine region in France, about two hours south of Paris by train. Its claim to fame is a superb but expensive white wine made from the chardonnay grape and a superb but uber-expensive red wine made from the pinot noir grape.

Many everyday-wine consumers wouldn't have a clue that Burgundy is ...Read more

Franciacorta vs. Champagne

My good friend Jeremy Parzen came to town recently and staged a small tasting of sparkling wines from Franciacorta. Jeremy is the author of the Do Bianchi wine blog, with a specific focus on Italy.

Franciacorta, for those not versed in Italian wine, is a small wine district in Lombardy, near Milan. Italians have a mighty thirst for bubbly, ...Read more

Gallo on the Move

The breaking news in the U.S. wine industry last week was the announcement that E. & J. Gallo of Modesto, California, had purchased Sonoma-based brand Souverain and the Asti vineyards from Treasury Wine Estates.

It was Gallo's second eye-popping purchase in the past couple of months. Gallo bought J Vineyards & Winery, best known for its ...Read more

Rising Star in Argentina

First there was Nicolas Catena, who took the family winery in Mendoza to new heights when he brought in California winemaker Paul Hobbs to rock the Argentine wine world.

Then there was Hobbs himself, who left Catena and opened his own Mendoza winery, Cobos, to much critical acclaim.

The brilliant winemaker from Bordeaux, Michel Rolland, also...Read more

The Wine Glass

Once upon a time, the wine glass was hardly an object of controversy. Some of a certain age no doubt remember when the delivery system for wine was the water glass. This was common in Italian-American households, where wine was considered food and served at the dinner hour every night. Fine crystal was not necessary.

The Austrian glassmaker ...Read more

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