It’s understandable that Barolo and Barbaresco get most of the attention among red wines from northern Italy’s Piedmont region, or Piemonte, as it is known there. Made from the Nebbiolo grape, they are endlessly fascinating studies in terroir, layered complexity, and how great wines can evolve over time.
When wineries put the word “reserve” on their labels, it’s meant to signify a more prestigious bottle, a wine with more select grapes, or longer aging, or more limited production, or all these things. In some appellations in some countries — Italy and Spain come to mind — there are strict requirements for use of […]
Grüner Veltliner is Austria’s signature white wine. It’s the name of the grape and the wine: Austria is in the minority of European countries that call their wines by the varieties, as we do here in the U.S. France, Italy, and Spain, by contrast, mostly name their wines by appellations (Bordeaux, Chianti, Rioja, and so […]
My first and only trip to Chianti was a disaster. Mechanical issues, delayed flights, and endless rebooking lines delayed the arrival of an already short trip by almost a full day, landing me in a gray, rainy Florence shortly before sunset. I lamented the sights (and glasses of wine) that I was missing through the […]
Italian whites are making a comeback, and not just because of hipster wines like Etna Bianco and Friulano. As a sommelier, I received just as many requests for Vernaccia and Gavi as I did Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio. Soave has been familiar to many white wine lovers since the 1980s, but with new energy […]
When news of the viral Forty Ounce Rosé hit last spring, I scoured New York wine shops to get my hands on a bottle. Midtown, downtown, Brooklyn — everywhere I checked, it was sold out. Ironically, it was when I had given up on trying the viral sensation that I wandered into my local shop […]
In typical stuck-up sommelier fashion, I’m always skeptical of big-name wineries. If a winery has gained acclaim among the masses, does it really produce high-quality wine, or has it drifted across the line into large-scale production devoid of character? Knowing the prevalence across the U.S. of Cousiño-Macul, one of the first Chilean producers embraced by American […]
I’m never the one to give up the wine list to someone else at the table. In fact, when a date once offered to pick out the wine for a BYOB restaurant, I secretly brought along a backup bottle, hidden in my purse in case his selection was horrible. (It wasn’t, so we ended up […]
I’ve been a fan of Schramsberg and its sparkling wines for the 15 years or so I’ve been reviewing wine, and my recent tasting of the famed California winery’s Mirabelle Brut Rosé reminded me of why. I can’t think of another American sparkling wine house that delivers with the same quality and consistency.