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The Excellent 2016 Vintage of Bordeaux

In recent weeks, the excellent 2016 vintage of Bordeaux has been rolled out in a number of U.S. cities.

I first tasted these wines in March and April of 2017, when barrel samples were presented to the wine media and wine trade by the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux at en primeurs tastings in and around the city of Bordeaux, France. At the ...Read more

Winery to Watch: TerraPura

In 2016, Chile's Matetic Wine Group purchased an obscure but modern winery in the Colchagua Valley, one of the country's most renowned wine regions. Matetic, true believers in organic and biodynamic farming, did two things to move the needle for the TerraPura winery: hired a new winemaker, Felipe Vial, and enlisted the services of Napa Valley ...Read more

Valentine's Day Advice: Bubbly!

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, getting it "right" is top of mind for many. A box of chocolates would be nice, though flowers might be better. As the big day draws near, and you are overtaken by a sense of doom, I have a bit of advice. Don't panic. There is one gift that is sure to win the day: a bottle of nice bubbly!

There is ...Read more

The Gallo Juggernaut

Wine enthusiasts of a certain age fondly remember Gallo Hearty Burgundy, the king of the jug wines that introduced several generations to California wine long before most consumers had heard the words "Napa Valley."

Brothers Ernest and Julio Gallo established their winery in Modesto, California, in 1933. By the mid-1960s, Gallo had become by ...Read more

Domestic Wine of the Year

Once upon a time, California winemakers were wary of merlot, despite its undeniable success on the Bordeaux Right Bank. Forty years ago, you would have been hard-pressed to find a bottle of 100 percent merlot made anywhere in the United States.

Louis Martini made a merlot but typically blended it with other grapes. There may have been a ...Read more

Import Wine of the Year

Sorting through all the stunning foreign wines available to U.S. consumers to find the absolute best in a single year would ordinarily be a daunting task, ultimately coming down to a matter of personal preference in that sea of glorious wines.

My "Wine Talk" pick for 2018 import wine of the year is a superb Brunello di Montalcino from Tuscany...Read more

Domestic Winery of the Year

Our 2018 "Wine Talk" domestic winery of the year was a relatively easy call. The Merry Edwards winery, located in California's Russian River Valley, enjoyed a stunning level of excellence that should be the envy of the U.S. wine industry.

I tasted and reviewed 13 Merry Edwards wines over the past year, rating all 91 points or better. I scored...Read more

Import Winery of the Year

It was a bountiful year for Castello Banfi, the American-owned treasure in the Montalcino District of southwestern Tuscany. Not only did the winery celebrate the 40th anniversary of its purchase by the brothers John and Harry Mariani of New York but it also released two blockbuster Brunellos from the exceptional 2013 vintage and continued to ...Read more

Crowd-Pleasing Budget Wines

I have two pieces of advice for party planners this holiday season. First, don't pour bad wine. Your friends will notice. Second, don't spend a lot of money. Your friends will never know. These two guiding principles have served me well through the years.

The dirty little secret I will share is this: There are plenty of delicious wines to be ...Read more

After Dinner

If you're one of the millions in the planning stages of an over-the-top holiday feast, allow me to throw another log on an already roaring fire. What comes after dinner?

At my holiday table, there is almost always a dessert that's too good to pass up, and often an assortment of cheeses, too. Many hosts will take the path of least resistance ...Read more

10 Luxury Wine Gifts Under $100

A gift of wine this holiday season is special on its face because it's personal. It's also a minefield for those choosing the gift. Those with little wine experience will have doubts about the quality or the price. Even those who know what they like in a wine might be reluctant to assume others will share their enthusiasm.

I will attempt to ...Read more

All That Sparkles

Chances are good that sometime over the next month or so, someone will put a glass of bubbly in your hand and offer up a Champagne toast.

What's in the glass might be Champagne. Or maybe not. No matter; it's all good. 'Tis the season, after all. What's important is the festive spirit inspired by sparkling wines served during the holiday ...Read more

 

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