Great Grapes You’ve Never Heard Of

So how's that glass of Seyval Blanc I just poured you? What d'ya think of that Baco Noir? Care to purchase another bottle of Norton? It's on special today only." You've probably never heard these words, unless, perhaps, you live in New York's Hudson River Valley and you get out a bit. And if you want to expand your tastes and wine experience a bit, here's a primer to get you started. Seyval Blanc is a French-American hybrid that's a little reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc, and can produce outstanding, crisp dry white wines as well as slightly sweet ones. When mixed with Chardonnay, as they do very well at Baldwin Vineyards with their Mist de Greco, or Clinton Vineyards where…

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House Wine Habit?

I thought for a long time that Natalie McLean is a damn good writer and knew her way around a bottle and a vineyard or two. Last year some information came along to challenge that. But I had already disagreed with her when when she said (on her website) that every wine lover should have a "house wine." In my experience, that's precisely what people who are new to wine get wrong, and what often keeps them from learning about new wine places, varietals and styles. Is there anything wrong with enjoying a particular wine, and keeping several bottles of it on hand for guests and gatherings? No. But I can't tell you how many times I've visited friends and…

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