Category Archives: France


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

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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

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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

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WINE TASTING. Two strong recommendations, lots of education.

On November 19, we attended a wine tasting hosted by Cuvée, Ocala’s wine bar and bistro (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED). The wines were presented by Tom Tiley, wine consultant with Coastal Wine & Spirits. Tom’s background includes 15 years as a Level … Continue reading

Posted in Argentina, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, California, Chardonnay, France, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Pinot Noir, Red Blend, Restaurants, Sauvignon Blanc, Tastings, Zinfandel | Leave a comment

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: A book! “Judgment of Paris” by George M. Taber.

Full title: Judgment of Paris: California vs. France and the Historic 1976 Paris Tasting that Revolutionized Wine. 352 pages, $10.88. Published in 2006, this engaging book serves as a brief history of wine-making and recounts the tiny 1976 wine tasting … Continue reading

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What a sweet, wonderful post.

My friends Steve and Diane Meltzer moved to Languedoc last year. Steve has a wonderful blog about their life there. I’m proud of them (okay, a little envious too!) for following their dreams.This post is about the grape harvest and … Continue reading

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RECOMMENDED: Paul Mas Estate Single Vineyard Collection, 2009 Picpoul de Pinet. Coteaux du Languedoc, France. Around $11; available for as little as $8.95 online. 13% ABV

We love big fat surprises. In this case, the surprise lies in the finish. This light- to medium-gold wine has a secret. First, when it’s cold, it doesn’t have much of a nose. The scents are subtle, with something salty … Continue reading

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HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: A movie! 2008 “Bottle Shock.”

Based on real life, this film has been in the making for several years, under the tentative title “The Judgment of Paris,” and was released as “Bottle Shock” in 2008. Movie synopsis: France’s position as the world’s top wine producer … Continue reading

Posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, California, Chardonnay, France, Movies | 2 Comments

RECOMMENDED: Paul Mas Estate, 2009 Carignan Vieilles Vignes, Single Vineyard Collection, Pays d’Herault, Languedoc. 13.5% alcohol. Available for as little as $8.95 online.

This was the result of a mistake on the part of the wine merchant ( We had ordered a 2009 white varietal, Picpoul, also a Paul Mas Estate selection, but we received the red Carignan instead. Rather than hassle with … Continue reading

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WINE TASTING! 40 wines sampled, 8 recommendations.

2007 Ramon Bilbao Tempranillo, Rioja, Spain. 14%. Aged in new French and American oak, 15 months. $16.99. 2008 Sterling Napa (silver label) Chardonnay. An old-California-style, big and chewy, oaky, velvety, buttery Chardonnary. Not as big as the 1980 Napa … Continue reading

Posted in American Appellation, Cabernet Sauvignon, California, Chardonnay, France, Merlot, Red Blend, South Australia, Spain, Tastings, Tempranillo, White Blend | Leave a comment