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Beaujolais Nouveau Has Landed

Just in time for Thanksgiving, the 2020 Beaujolais Nouveau has arrived. The official release date was Nov. 19.

Just as Pilgrims gathered to celebrate the bounty of harvest, the French have a long tradition of celebrating the end of the wine harvest by drinking the so-called vin de primeur, young wines from that year's harvest that have only ...Read more

Thanksgiving: Challenge or Opportunity?

The Thanksgiving table is often seen as a challenge by those who seek to serve the perfect wine with every meal. The combination of sweet and savory, and the sheer number of courses, present a bit of a gauntlet for the average wine enthusiast. I take a slightly different approach.

I look at the Thanksgiving table as an opportunity. Start with...Read more

Winery to Watch: St. Supery

NAPA, California -- Cruising along Highway 29 through the Napa Valley is a feast for the eyes of even the most casual wine lover. From Napa to Calistoga, the hits just keep rolling past: Trefethen, Cardinale, Opus One, Robert Mondavi, Cakebread, Corison, Grgich Hills, Far Niente, Nickel & Nickel, Heitz, Martini, Beringer, Krug, Sterling, to name...Read more

Napa Valley on the Rebound

NAPA, California -- The drive south through the Napa Valley from Calistoga to St. Helena, along the Silverado Trail, is one of the most beautiful and iconic in American wine. On one side of the trail, there is Howell Mountain, with its many historic vineyard properties. On the other side, the remarkable Three Palms Vineyard stretches across ...Read more

Napa Valley Fire Update

On Oct. 20, CalFire announced the Napa Valley's devastating Glass fire was 100% contained. The Glass fire, which raged for 23 days, was perhaps the most destructive in the history of America's most prominent wine region.

The wreckage included 67,000 acres burned and more than 1,500 structures destroyed or damaged, including such iconic ...Read more

Wine and Cheese

No matter your level of interest or knowledge, there is one thing you know about wine: Wine loves cheese, and cheese loves wine. You know this because you have heard the wine and cheese mantra over and over again.

What you are rarely told is what wine goes with what cheese. That's probably because the choices are subjective. There is no ...Read more

Merlot Fights Back

October is Merlot Month. Before you yawn, consider this. Merlot was ascendant in the domestic wine market prior to the 2004 movie "Sideways." The movie, filmed in California's Santa Barbara wine region, glorified (rightly) pinot noir and dissed (wrongly) merlot.

The widespread popularity of "Sideways," nominated for an Academy Award, had a ...Read more

Napa Valley Burning

The Napa Valley is on fire. The worldwide symbol of fine wine in America has been burning for more than a week. The so-called Glass fire is the second wave of fires to hit California wine country's premier tourist destination in the past couple of months. As of this writing, the Glass fire has torched more than 60,000 acres and left much of ...Read more

Somm Challenge Standouts

In addition to the top wine (2015 Tom Eddy Greeg Vineyard cabernet sauvignon) and winery (Akash Winery, Temecula) the 13th annual Sommelier Challenge delivered a number of impressive performances that deserve mention, especially as the sometimes-frantic holiday wine-buying season looms just ahead.

I will begin with one of the true stars of ...Read more

Temecula's Akash Winery Not the Usual Suspect

The results of a wine competition are often predictable. Round up the usual suspects and you will likely see many of the same wines and wineries bagging gold medals year after year, competition after competition.

There was a bit of that at the 13th annual Sommelier Challenge, staged Sept. 12-13 in San Diego. The wine of the year award went to...Read more

Somms Spot Value Wines

The conventional wisdom holds that most wine experts, including professional sommeliers, are somewhat snobbish about what they drink. While it may be true that wines that retail for $100 a bottle cause something of an adrenaline rush even before they're tasted, most wine enthusiasts enjoy uncorking a cheap bottle of wine only to discover it is...Read more

Remembering the 2020 Vintage

Who could forget the vintage of 2020? Lightning strikes, out-of-control wildfires, an epic heat wave!

Yep, that describes the wine-grape harvest of 2020, all right, except that it doesn't. While it does describe much of the action in Napa and Sonoma, it's only one piece, a relatively small piece, of the puzzle.

We sometimes forget that wine ...Read more

Fall Classics

Whether planning a Labor Day cookout to say goodbye to summer or gearing up for a tailgate party, fall is a beautiful time of year for a barbecue.

Over the years, I've stumbled across several fall classics that have become favorites because they steer me toward wines I've pretty much ignored during the warmer summer months.

I will share ...Read more



Cathy Jeff Koterba Pearls Before Swine Christopher Weyant Wumo Andy Marlette