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A Stealth Juggernaut

Unless you're a wine industry insider, chances are you've never heard of the Vintage Wine Estates.

Whether by clever design or simply an accident, Sonoma-based Vintage Wine Estates (VWE) is a high-fly act that manages to cruise under the radar, a stealth juggernaut that now controls 30-plus wineries and/or wine brands plus two separate ...Read more

Wine Competition Daze

If you enjoy wine and occasionally read the shelf talkers in the wine department where you shop, you are no doubt aware that we are awash in wine competitions throughout these United States.

Wine competitions are nothing more than organized blind wine tastings, "blind" being the operative word. Each wine's identity is concealed from the ...Read more

International Canned Wine Competition

The best line from the first International Canned Wine Competition (ICWC) was uttered by Handley Cellars winemaker Randy Schock, who was among the judges evaluating the more than 200 entries at the July 24 Mendocino County Fairgrounds in California. Schock said tasting the canned wines made him "think about how to approach winemaking outside ...Read more

The Perfect Summer Wine

A Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Villages will set you back about 11 bucks. The Beaujolais Villages from Maison Louis Jadot can be found for under 10.

Jadot's more upscale Beaujolais, its Chateau des Jacques lineup of Beaujolais crus, retails in the low $20 range. Ditto the Beaujolais crus from Duboeuf. I found the Duboeuf Beaujolais crus ...Read more

4 Sizzling Roses for the Fourth

Fireworks needn't be the only sizzle in your Fourth of July celebration this week. You can bring a bit of sparkle to the party with a crisp, dry rose wine long before the pyrotechnics begin.

Everyone will thank you because few adult beverages are as refreshing on a hot summer day. That's only one of the reasons dry roses are suddenly changing...Read more

The World's Most Expensive Rose Wine

Gerard Bertrand, the man, fondly remembers his start in the wine business.

"Officially, it was 32 years ago," he says, "but actually, I started working with my father when I was 10, 44 years ago."

Gerard Bertrand, the brand, was the result of Bertrand's vision for the future of the Languedoc, the vast wine region that follows the contours of...Read more

Runquist Wines Crush It at Critics Challenge

Over the course of my 29-year career as a wine columnist, I've staged more than 70 wine competitions and judged countless others. Each of those events has brought new insights and occasional revelations.

The 16th annual Critics Challenge in San Diego June 8-9 delivered a revelation. Jeff Runquist, who took his first winemaking position at ...Read more

Banfi's 100-Point Wine

A 100-point wine is a rare and beautiful thing. It is my good fortune to come across a wine once or twice a year that is so compelling I have little choice but to give it my highest mark. Such was the case the first weekend in June when I had the pleasure of tasting all wines given platinum awards at the 16th annual Critics Challenge in San ...Read more

Wines Across America

Hang around a wine geek long enough and you will inevitably hear the word "terroir." It is a term coined by the French to explain the influence of a particular vineyard site on the structure and taste of the wines produced there.

Terroir takes into account factors such as sunshine, soil composition and annual rainfall. This is the reason ...Read more


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