Woman holding up a rose wine glass against the sky to analyze the wine's color profile

Rosé vs. Blush

Today marks International Rosé Day! Not International Blush (or Pink) Day. So what do we mean by that? “Pink” or “Blush” wines represent (in modern times) sweeter stylings whereas “Rosé” indicates the dry stylings found in the greater areas of Europe.  Now from a labeling perspective, they can…

Happy Maryland Wine Month!

The state of Maryland has documented winemaking beginning as far back as 1648, but sadly it wasn’t until almost 300 years later in 1945 when the state had its first winery open. The state of Maryland has 3 recognized AVAs & 4 distinct growing regions: Linganore AVA –…

New York Wine

March begins what is essentially New York Wine Month, known as NY drinks NY, culminating in a Grand Tasting in New York City later this month.  For more information on NY drinks NY, click here. New York has a rich history of growing and production stretching back to…

Understanding AVA: Regions, Appellations and Sub-Appellations

It is easy to say European wine labels are confusing for Americans, but just how easy are our labels?  Not completely easy to be honest.  We all respect Napa (even if it isn’t our favorite to drink), but with the respect of the Napa namesake, are we talking…

Understanding AVA: Reserve Wine

In the large swash of Europe, if a wine reads “Reserve” that actually means something definitive.  Each region has different laws, but as long as you are aware as a consumer, you know what you are getting in your bottle, at least from an ageing perspective. Minimum ageing…

Understanding AVA: Single-Vineyard

Single-Vineyard Wine. The highlight of a site’s terroir, climate, and soils, on full display in the truest expression, carried only by the finest fruit to deliver the sum total of what that one unique place on the planet Earth has to offer.  No other place on the planet…

Understanding AVA: Estate

“Estate Wine” & “Estate Bottled” – two terms that you will come across frequently in the wine world.  What do they mean exactly? Estate Wine: Estate wine is reflective of wine made from vineyard sites owned, managed, or controlled by a winery that all fall in the same appellation. …

Understanding AVA: 85% Rule

Sub-appellate wines are handled very much like appellate wines, with one more level of strictures.  The 85% rule. Where appellate wines need only be 75% of the stated varietal, 100% grown in the stated appellation, sub-appellate wines must be 85% of the stated varietal, 100% grown in the…

Understanding AVA: 75% Rule

It is commonplace to believe when you buy a Central Valley Cabernet or a Central Valley Zinfandel, that you are getting 100% Cabernet with 100% of the fruit from the Central Valley, or 100% Zinfandel 100% from the Central Valley.  Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Appellation…

Understanding Italy: Abruzzo

The Abruzzo wine region resides due south of Marche along the Adriatic Sea on the east coast of Italy.  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 off your…