Ten years ago, if you traveled to any wine region and visited its cellars, you’d likely find a barrel hall stacked high with small oak barrels. Not anymore. Now you’ll find these small oak barrels, called barriques, alongside a variety of others. Even the most traditional cellars might also have a concrete egg or two, […]
A few months into my first sommelier job, our wine director made a grand announcement during a pre-shift meeting: “Today launches our Champagne magnum by-the-glass happy hour.” The service team oohed and aahed, and I started having phantom pains from soon-to-be sore, magnum-pouring arms. I’m a proponent of more Champagne, always, but I was confused.
Decanting isn’t just for the nobles on ”Downton Abbey” or pricey bottles in fancy restaurants. Like many seemingly precious wine practices (aggressive swirling, audible sniffing), decanting has a practical explanation. The primary reason to decant any wine is aeration. By pouring wine into another vessel, the juice gets exposed to oxygen rapidly.
There are certain occasions in life — moving in with a significant other, traveling to a foreign country, giving a wedding gift — that just cry out for a gorgeous bottle of wine. But unlike birthdays or anniversaries, these are occasions that call for a bottle you may not want to drink right away. The idea of […]
Despite what Instagram and Twitter trends might have you think, the holidays aren’t the only time for magnums of Champagne or three-liter bottles of Pinot Noir. While the holidays provide an easy excuse for buying wine in excessively large bottles, so do Tuesdays, book clubs, and dinners all year long.
Two Buck Chuck doesn’t exactly have a reputation for aging. While arguably the most well-known wine in America, Trader Joe’s Charles Shaw wine is more often the target of lampoons than accolades among the wine-drinking set. To be honest, I think they overdo it. The fact is, millions of drinkers enjoy Charles Shaw wines, and for that […]
It’s time. After months of waiting, the day has come to open that expensive bottle of wine you’ve been saving for way too long. Maybe it’s the holidays, or you just got a promotion. Or maybe you simply avoided getting fired. Regardless, it’s your moment, and you want to top off the day with a […]
In a time when more wines are available to consumers than ever before, not only are sommeliers constantly looking for new and interesting bottles, but winemakers themselves are looking for innovative, unique ways of making wine. When it comes to aging, producers are experimenting with types of oak, concrete vessel shapes, amphorae, solera systems, sur […]
The difference between Barolo, Brunello and Barbaresco is a story of two grapes, three wine regions, and traditional versus modern winemaking practices. It’s a good, and not coincidentally delicious, wine story.