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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

Choosing Wine Easy as ABC

Walk into any wine shop with a significant inventory, and most likely the selection will skew toward wines made from the world's two most popular red and white grape varieties: cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay.

They often are referred to as "international" grapes because both are versatile and adapt easily to different soils and climates ...Read more

Great Wine Buys for $15 (Or Less)

I'm frequently asked, particularly at this time of year when weddings and large outdoor gatherings are being planned, to recommend exceptional wines priced for a crowd. The favored price point seems to be $15 or less, so the question on everyone's mind is what they can get for $15.

As it turns out, plenty. Here are 10 rock solid wines that ...Read more

Spirits Talk

Wine enthusiasts might remember Anthony Dias Blue best from his long and distinguished career at Bon Appetit magazine, where he wrote about wine & spirits. He also has been the longtime director of the San Francisco International Wine Competition.

But Andy wears many hats, and one of them is as founder and director of the San Francisco World ...Read more

Meaning of a Medal

We have now reached the meat of the wine competition season, with several majors -- Sunset Magazine, Los Angeles International, Critics Challenge and San Francisco International -- on the horizon in the coming weeks.

Thousands of wines will be put before wine professionals for evaluation, and thousands will be honored with some type of award....Read more

Power of Suggestion

The power of suggestion is not to be dismissed as a reason to zero in on a specific type of wine.

Wine merchants frequently use POS to enhance their point-of-sale promotions. Such was the case recently as I meandered through the wine section of a gourmet grocery in my neighborhood. There I discovered a stunning display of rose wines, from ...Read more

Winemakers Know Value, Too

Perhaps the greatest misconception wine enthusiasts labor under as they peruse the aisles at their favorite wine shop or market is that a higher price is an indication of better quality. That is sometimes, perhaps even often, the case -- but not always.

One of my greatest pleasures in the role as director of numerous commercial wine ...Read more

 

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