Understanding AOC: Languedoc-Roussillon

The Languedoc-Roussillon region of France is a strange crossroads of wine blends, ancient politics, and relatively inexpensive wine for the high quality shopper on a budget.  It is even said that the sparkling wines of this region actually predate Champagne (not to mention they are a fraction of…

Understanding AOC: Loire Valley

Ok, no lie, we were holding off on writing about the Loire for as long as possible.  What direction should we go?  How should we present the information?  What is the best way to simplify such diversity?  This is not an easy region to generalize.  There are some…

Understanding AOC: Provence

Provence AOC (or Provençal wine) comes to us from the southeastern area of France along the Mediterranean Sea – an area with a winegrowing history dating back to the Greeks some 2,600 years ago. While the region is known the world over for Rosé wines, whites and reds…

Understanding AOC: Champagne

We feel like there might be a theme building here with the Understanding AOC series, but we will skip over the introductions to Champagne as the most widely recognized sparkling wine in the world. At one point in time the wine was in danger of losing its signature…

Understanding Italy: Abruzzo

Residing due south of Marche along the Adriatic Sea on the east coast of Italy is the wine region of Abruzzo.  Home to possibly the most fun grape name to pronounce: Montepulciano.  One more time, Mon-te-pul-ciano!  Just makes you want to talk with your hands as it rolls…

What is Maceration?

Maceration is the process where the skins and juice hang out together after the crushing of wine grapes, and flavor compounds, tannins, and color compounds are leached into the must (juice). Generally speaking (there are always exceptions to the rules) red wines macerate until fermentation is complete.  Sometimes…

Happy Thanksgiving!

But what to pair with dinner tonight? Here is our handy guide to assist all palates and people. Sparkling Wine: What holiday celebration isn’t complete without some bubbles?  Furthermore, sparkling wines and Champagnes are wonderfully food friendly wines, hence their inclusion on every wine list in every restaurant. …

Merlot, Merlot, Merlot…

Happy International Merlot Day! Here are 10 facts about Merlot you may (or may not) know: Merlot is the child of Cabernet Franc & Magdeleine Noire des Charentes, recent DNA testing has proven this where the grape’s full origins were unknown for many years. Merlot’s soft skin is…

CA Zinfandel

Prior to 1998, Zinfandel was the most widely planted grape in California.  Post-prohibition many common people believed it to be a native California grape until DNA testing results came in (and an assist from a little information filled invention called ‘the internet’) showing it to be Primitivo, found…

All About Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir (literally: Black Pine, due to the grapes color and cluster looking like a black pine cone), is one of the most globally popular grapes, has a long growing history pre-dating the Roman Empire, and could be upwards of 1,000 years older than the Cabernet Sauvignon grape. …