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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

Champagne for the Ages

One of the most enduring wine myths of our time is the belief that Champagne is not likely to improve with age, that it must be consumed young for maximum pleasure.

Au contraire.

Champagne -- the real deal from the Champagne district in northeastern France -- is nearly as age-worthy as Bordeaux and Burgundy, two other French wines that ...Read more

Al Fresco Wining

Having just celebrated the summer solstice, I now look forward to the pleasure of dining al fresco over the next few months. To many, that also means wining al fresco.

While there are no hard and fast rules for this sort of activity, there are a few tried and true suggestions to enhance the experience.

My fondest al fresco wining memories ...Read more

When Gold Is a Gem

Over the past weekend, I, along with many colleagues from various facets of the wine industry, evaluated nearly 5,000 wine entries at the 34th annual San Francisco International Wine Competition, run by longtime wine journalist Anthony Dias Blue.

My panel alone tasted more than 300 wines. This may seem a daunting task, and indeed it is for ...Read more

Integrity Triumphs Over Greed

The godfather of Paso Robles wine is back.

Gary Eberle, who was ousted as general manager of Eberle Winery in January 2014, is back in charge of the winery he founded in 1979. Eberle bought out several rebellious investors and was restored to the throne last week, along with his wife, Marcy, who had been fired as the winery's public relations ...Read more

Making the Value Case

No one should be surprised when Cakebread, Grgich, Moet or Banfi score big wins at the many international wine competitions now in play. These are the hot rods of the wine world. They've been doing it a long time, they've always had an eye on quality, and generally speaking, their wines aren't cheap. So they should do well.

But good wine isn'...Read more

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