Laura Burgess

Stop Hating on Chardonnay and Find a Bottle You’ll Love

Stop Hating on Chardonnay and Find a Bottle You’ll Love

Poor, poor Chardonnay. Despite being the grape behind the world’s most coveted wines — Champagne and Burgundy — it’s also the most maligned vitis vinifera variety on the planet. It’s even more maligned than Merlot. In my mind, the ABC or “Anything But Chardonnay”school of wine-drinking isn’t just silly, it’s downright wrong. Though American store shelves […]

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Q&A: 4 Winemakers Talk to Us All About Terroir

Q&A: 4 Winemakers Talk to Us All About Terroir

What is it that makes wine so special? If you ask collectors, sommeliers, and winemakers, it isn’t the alcohol. It’s terroir, the unique elements of a place that are smell-able and taste-able in the finished wines. I caught up with four winemakers to discover what they think really matters. Just as their winemaking styles differ, […]

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Getting Outside Napa: Why California Is Perfect for Viticulture

Getting Outside Napa: Why California Is Perfect for Viticulture

California isn’t all beaches and movie stars. It’s actually much more wine country and mountains. While Napa and Sonoma steal most of the winemaking spotlight, the entire state is essentially blanketed with successful vineyards. Despite local variations in weather, climate, and soil types, the Golden State is essentially designed for viticulture, thanks to its one-of-a-kind combination […]

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No Way, Frosé: Why You Should Say No to the World’s Most Viral Drink

No Way, Frosé: Why You Should Say No to the World’s Most Viral Drink

When it comes to booze, I’ll try anything once, and most things twice. It was this that led me, however late to the game, to recently try my first “frosé.” Frosé, if you’ve been living under a rock, is the highly lauded slushy version of your favorite summer wine that exploded last summer. With memories of last year’s enthusiasm for […]

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Want to Understand Fermentation? Bake Bread

Want to Understand Fermentation? Bake Bread

Bread and wine have more in common than you’d think. Sure, they’ve been enjoyed together for millennia, feed billions daily, and feature prominently in the world’s major religious texts, but that’s not all. Despite endless variations in flavor, looks, and methodology, bread and wine have one more thing in common: fermentation. That’s right — even your Wonder […]

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How to Spot a Healthy Vineyard

How to Spot a Healthy Vineyard

When it comes to people, “healthy” doesn’t come in a single shape, size, or color. The same is true for vineyards. From burly Zinfandel vines that look more like trees to slender-trunked Riesling vineyards in Germany, healthy vineyards come in many forms, and they aren’t always postcard-perfect landscapes. In fact, the most attractive vineyard could […]

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April Showers: What a Wet Spring Means for Grapevines

April Showers: What a Wet Spring Means for Grapevines

After six years of devastating drought across California, winemakers and civilians alike were thrilled for a wet, snowy season in 2016 and early 2017. But “wet” barely begins to cover it. Massive flooding took out sections of Big Sur state park, knocked down giant sequoias, forced evacuations of whole towns, and caused cities like Sacramento […]

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Brandy Has a Branding Problem

Brandy Has a Branding Problem

Most of the time, brandy is an afterthought. Or, it’s a cheap brown liquor that gets unceremoniously dumped into eggnog. Or, according to most people I asked, it’s what old guys drink with cigars. Brandy is currently engaged in a fight against its image, which until now has turned would-be connoisseurs away.

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