Monthly Archives: December 2011

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Chalone Vineyard, 2009 (and 2010) Chardonnay, Monterey County. 13.5% ABV. Usually $10-12.

Several weeks ago, we reviewed the wonderful Chalone Merlot (see We are pleased to be getting around to telling you about the Chardonnay. The Chalone Chardonnay was sent to Paris in 1976 and was judged third in that small … Continue reading

Posted in California, Chardonnay | 1 Comment


Thinking about New Year’s Eve? Here is a great article about Champagne: its history, why it’s bubbly, what grapes go into it, and more. Blogger and Champagne expert Samantha Dugan (“Samantha Sans Dosage”) has some recommendations for sparklies @less than … Continue reading

Posted in Champagne, France | Leave a comment

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Fiddletown Cellars, 2009 Old Vine Zinfandel, Fiddletown, CA. 15.5% ABV. $18.99 from the vineyard.

“Mmmm. BANG!” I love it when my co-tasters’ reactions are that immediate and direct. Especially when they’re my sentiments exactly. With a dramatic, almost dark-magenta color and pink edges, the nose on this baby was molasses, raspberry, gourmet mushrooms, and … Continue reading

Posted in Alicante Bouschet, Barbera, California, Zinfandel | 1 Comment

Fake Bordeaux being pawned on Chinese investors

The whole wine world is waiting to see what happens to the wine market as a result of the explosion in Chinese interest, attention, and investment. But to do the wrong thing deliberately (see link) is just awful. Since expensive … Continue reading

Posted in France, News | Leave a comment

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Château La Bonnelle, 2008 Saint-Émilion Grand Cru. Around $22 but you can find it on sale for $18-19. 13.5%.

This beautiful red Bordeaux is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. Sounds simple enough, but somehow the vintner managed to turn it into an unusual, very interesting, highly aromatic wine with the heady bouquet and taste of flowers including violets … Continue reading

Posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, Food, France, Merlot | Leave a comment

Music Played on Wine Glasses (The Glass Harp), played by The Glass Duo

I have to say, sometimes the Internet is downright miraculous. This version of Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies” is just GORGEOUS.  Anna and Arkadiusz Szafraniec, “The Glass Duo,” are the only glass music group in Poland. Professional musicians, … Continue reading

Posted in Art and Music | 2 Comments

RECOMMENDED: Tamás Estates, 2009 Double Decker Red (includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Barbera), Central Coast, CA. 13.5% ABV. Around $10.

This is an interesting wine with fun contradictions. Maybe that’s one reason they named it “Double Decker!” First example: in the decanter, this big boy was nearly opaque and nearly black, yet in the glass, it was dark ruby-red with … Continue reading

Posted in Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, California, Petite Sirah, Red Blend | Leave a comment

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Warwick, 2009 “The First Lady” Cabernet Sauvignon (97% Cab, 3% Petit Verdot), South Africa. 14.0% ABV. $12.60-16.99.

There is quite a story behind the name “The First Lady,” but let’s get down to the brass tacks of the wine first. Deep ruby red with pink edges and clarity, this intense wine temporarily tinted the glass! The nose … Continue reading

Posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, South Africa | Leave a comment

RECOMMENDED: The Négociant 2009 Riesling, California. 13.5% ABV, $14.99.

This is a delicious, off-dry (slightly sweet) version of Riesling. Soft and silky in the mouth. Pears; delicious tropical fruits; lemon finish. Refreshing, beautifully balanced between acidity and sweetness. LABEL NOTES: The Négociant is a woman of mystery and sophistication: … Continue reading

Posted in California, Riesling | 2 Comments

A beautiful image

This has nothing to do with wine, but it’s such a neat image I just had to share. Enjoy! The photographer was Laurent Laveder, who wrote on Frank De Vos’ Facebook wall, “4700 shares and 8000 persons who like it … Continue reading

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