Ten Wine Rules…NOT a “Manifesto”

There is bad wine. Some wine is not good, which means it’s bad—poorly made, and it has flaws. It might be cheap, but it might also be expensive.  It doesn’t make you a snob to think a wine is bad.  Not all expensive wine is good. You aren’t a low-class rube if you don’t drink $100 bottles all the time.  There is good wine that isn’t over-the-top expensive.  It’s not all about price.  Some good wine is expensive. It is occasionally about price.  Some good bottles do cost a lot. But $$$ doesn’t make it good. Sometimes you just need a beer.  Wine drinkers drink a lot of wine.  Just have a beer some nights.  You’ll be glad you did.…

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Champagne Dreams With Chantal Bregeon-Gonet

As I write this I’m sipping a glass of Pine Ridge’s 2009 Chenin Blanc/Viognier.  But make no mistake, this piece is about Champagne. I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Chantal Bregeon-Gonet, who with her brother Pierre Gonet run the Champagne House Philippe Gonet. This house specializes in Blanc de Blancs made entirely from Chardonnay, and their annual production is only about 200,000 bottles or about 17,000 cases. That may sound like a lot of wine, but to give you a reference point, one of the “Grand Marques” – Moet et Chandon – produces about 26 million bottles, or 2.2 million cases each year. You probably already know and have tasted wines from one of these big producers –…

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Wine of the Week: Domaine de L’Olivier Chardonnay 2009

Good Chard under ten bucks is almost unheard of.  This is one of them.  And it's a pretty good wine to serve before, if not with, the Thanksgiving meal. Now if you're a real fan of big, sweet, caramel-y, high alcohol Chardonnays you probably won't be impressed.  Because this is a crisp, virtually unoaked, almost Chablis-like wine, with citrus and pineapple aromas and flavors of lemon and a hint of vanilla. This is not from Burgundy, of course; it's from the Languedoc-Roussillon in the very southeast, bordering on the Mediterranean, and the wine is classified "Pays d'Oc".  That means, mainly, it's good table wine from a fairly large region. And it also is an amazingly good, remarkably inexpensive wine that…

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