While Côtes du Rhône is the largest and best-known appellation in France’s vast Rhône Valley, producing and shipping container loads of reliable and relatively affordable red, white, and rosé wines, it’s worth getting to know some of the region’s smaller appellations, especially those in the north.
Who doesn’t like a good $10 or $12 bottle of wine? Finding them is the holy grail of the wine world. And although there are tons of them out there, buying inexpensive wines that rise above vin ordinaire status is one of the great challenges that wine lovers (and critics) face. But there’s nothing particularly complicated about […]
These days, California’s Napa Valley is filled with celebrities, corporate big shots, and other one percenters who have caught the wine bug and bought their way into the region and the wine business. So it’s refreshing to think about two bearded brothers who have been at it for almost half a century, high up on […]
Back in the day, when America was a less sophisticated wine-drinking country, “Chablis” often meant a jug of white wine that sat in the fridge or on the kitchen counter at your grandparents’ house, produced by such California wine behemoths as E. & J. Gallo under its own name or its Carlo Rossi brand.
In a column devoted to good wines that you might actually stand a chance of finding, the smallest-production wines with limited distribution are pretty much ruled out. Although online ordering from stores and wineries partly mitigates the problem, state regulations on shipping wine remain an often-frustrating and confusing patchwork. This makes it hard for many […]
For years, Nero d’Avola was the “it” wine of Sicily. So much of the dark, full-bodied wine was exported to the United States that it became almost synonymous with Sicilian vino. Many of them were inexpensive and, frankly, forgettable. A more interesting Sicilian red, Etna Rosso, is now getting a good deal of attention, and […]
Usually, I’m all about complexity in wines — the various layers that make wine interesting and take it beyond just alcoholic fruit juice. How does oak aging factor in? Can you detect minerals that reflect a wine’s terroir? How about spice or floral notes? Saline or earth? The list goes on. Students of wine live […]
Flipping through my notes, I was reminded how much I enjoyed a red wine from Australia not long ago, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon from Barossa Valley Estate. As the name implies, the wine is from the tiny Barossa Valley, the famed region near the tip of South Australia not far from Adelaide. The area is […]
To say that Malbec is Argentina’s national grape is an understatement. The variety accounts for more than one-third of the country’s red-grape production and has almost singlehandedly put Argentina on the world wine map. Malbec’s stunning success in Argentina, where it thrives in the dry, sun-drenched climate, overshadows the fact that it was brought there […]