Find Your Lost Wine Had a great wine somewhere but don't remember the name, or where it was from, or the winery? Well, winelabelworld.com has a collection of labels, sorted by country, style, wine color and other distinguishing features. Find the one you're missing, or add your own. Irish Wine? No Way. Way! I've had Mead, which is really not wine at all, and really...sweet and disgusting if you ask me. Sorry. But Ireland now has a real winery making authentic, and from all accounts, quaffable if not transcendent (!) table wines including Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay. This is the day to read about the winemaker, here. Miles' Merlot Makes a Move...Upward! If you saw Sideways, you know…

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If you're having, oh, 10 people over for a glass of red wine but don't plan to break out the Chateau Angelus, you might want to look into a mini-barrel from Sonoma's Red Truck winery. This thing holds 3 liters, the equivalent of four bottles, and it's designed - obviously - to look like a wine barrel, complete with "rings", an "oak" finish and "burned in" image and name. They're only offering it for sale right now at Sam's Club, but later in the year I understand they'll offer it much more widely. I haven't tasted (yet) this rather unusual mix of Syrah, Petit Sirah,Cabernet Franc, Mourvedre and Grenache. Curiously, though, the news release and all the subsequent wine industry…

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Slate magazine says outright that Americans are "obsessed" with the health benefits of wine. Obsessed? No. Interested? Sure. Very interested? A few of us, either 'cause we're in the business, or we're in healthcare, or we drink a lot of wine. Or maybe we'd like to, and want a reason? Why not?And if we seem more interested than our European cousins, it's probably because wine is not (despite the efforts of people like us) a staple at our lunch and dinner tables. Unfortunately - although less so each year - it's still seen as an indulgence and something special, rather than a normal and in fact unremarkable part of a meal. So as guilt-prone Americans we're probably looking for an…

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Viognier may be an acquired taste, but frankly, so is all wine. It's one of my favorite whites, and its relative thickness - think of viscosity in the context of an oil change in your car, but in a good way - powerful aromas, and hint of honey even when it's bone-dry are my favorite characteristics. "Experts" will tell you that the best ones come from France's Condrieu region, and here in the US, good wines with that name (appellation) can fetch $60-80-100. Yep. So until fairly recently, those prices, its tough-to-pronounce name ("Vee-uh-nyay") and the fact that it wasn't grown or sold much as a named varietal rather than by the place name meant that few people outside wine…

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Wine News (the magazine) After a couple of email requests, a FedEx box filled with Wine News magazines arrived last week, much to my surprise and delight. It's a nice magazine, built on extended features illustrated with great photographs; extensive (maybe too extensive) coverage of wine auctions around the country; long and well-written profiles of wineries, winemakers and their grapegrowers, the often unsung heroes of this art; and of course tasting notes with obligatory 100-point scores. The Buyline section mimics buying guides in The Wine Enthusiast, Decanter and other consumer wine pubs, but doesn't have enough value-priced selections in my view, although as the economy continues to tank I suspect the editors may change that. Thoughtful editorials and wine news…

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In case you were inspired by the eight Oscars that Slumdog Millionaire brought home, here are some suggestions for pairing wine with Indian food. And a pairing chart is available here with suggestions for other foods and wines. A great wine with Indian food is a mix of Chenin Blanc and Viognier from Pine Ridge...it's pretty great with all kinds of Asian food too, and you should be able to find it anywhere in the US. My very favorite Indian pairing is 100% Pinot Blanc - you can try one of many from the Alsace region of France, such as Meyer-Fonne Pinot Blanc Vieilles Vignes, or one of many domestic Pinot Blancs such as WillaKenzie from Oregon. Good stuff that!…

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Have you recently visited an out-of-state winery and wanted a case sent home, only to be told it's illegal? Confused by wine shipping laws? You're not alone. First let me say that I support the right of wine retailers, wholesalers and distributors to exist and make a living. The idea that we could or should just toss aside the three-tier system and buy all our wine, as the Brits might say, via "the post" is neither practical nor fair for all concerned. Having said that, wineries simply ought to be able to ship directly to consumers, too, with few or no restrictions and with as little administrative burden as possible. For small wineries that cannot command the attention and shelf…

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This morning's Decanter online has a story about what seems to be the collapse of the high-end Bordeaux wine market, including En Primeur, the method by which certain European producers offer wine for sale while it's still in the barrel. In other words, you pay for it 12 to 18 months before you can even get your hands on it. You're paying, of course, for the promise of a great vintage (or the heartbreak of a bad one), the prestigious names on the labels, and the cachet of getting a wine that's not for sale in any store. En Primeur applies only to certain wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Rhone and Port wines. In the U.S. and other places, though,…

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As you check out the new Wine-Flair.com, please take advantage of the resources on this site. First, click the Fun Stuff tab and take advantage of a wine and food pairing chart; a wine notes sheet for recording your impressions about wines; and tables that list the grape varieties found in a number of red, rose and white European wines. Two other places to get useful information: The Wine FAQs tab, where you'll find a glossary of wine terms written in language you can understand, and some Q&A; around the questions we're asked most. And you might enjoy the periodic columns in Words of Wine, some of which you can download and listen to at your leisure from the Podcasts…

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Bottle Shock, a movie about the famous "Judgment of Paris" in 1976 when two '73 California wines were judged superior to several esteemed French wines, is now out on DVD and in the rental stores. Go rent it! The big deal? The judging was done in France, it was "blind" (the bottles were covered up and the judges did not know what was in their tasting glasses) and only one of the eleven judges was an American. Another was British, and the rest were the cream of the crop of the French wine and culinary worlds. And only the French scores were counted! While it's not very accurate historically, it's still a lot of fun. It didn't do so well…

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