Thanksgiving will soon be here, and you're probably starting to put together your menu. Well, if you're not...get on it!  No matter what you're having, you'll want some great wines to go with the big meal. And this year, think about ditching the "standard" stuff -- Cabernet and Chardonnay -- to expand your horizons. Your guests will love it! Vouvray/Chenin Blanc:  This is among the best wines in the world for Turkey. Vouvrays are Chenin Blanc-based wines from France, and come in a variety of styles, from dry to off-dry, semi-sweet and sweet.  South Africa makes great Chenin Blancs, too, which they call "Steen": try Raats Family, Indaba or Cederberg.  And Napa's Pine Ridge makes a wonderful mixture of Chenin…

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I’ve been a very steady customer of Last Bottle Wines (LBW), an interesting and fun wine sale and delivery service. The way it works is simple - you subscribe, and they send you emails--daily--with an offer of a specific wine that is supposedly at a moderate- to deep discount. You set up an account, and if you want what's on offer, you log in, select a number of bottles and it gets charged and shipped based on your profile into. The good: MOST of the wines have been good, and good value. Their interface is great, and ordering is painless. The packaging is excellent and every one of my orders has arrived in great shape. For a few bucks more they throw…

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I know that Spring isn't here yet, and spring is the traditional time to drink Rose. But you don't have to wait for spring to stock up on--or even drink--this incredible and remarkably inexpensive wine. And here in New Jersey, it's like spring anyway. From South Africa, this is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, and I don't know another Rose made from 100% Cab. It's dry but mouth-filling with a fruit bomb of red cherries, strawberries and pomegranates. This is not a wimpy Rose - it's a relatively big wine, and it'll stand up to a lot of food. You can find this wine at about $9-11.         

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House Resolution 5034, introduced by the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA), is supposed to be heard in June before the Judiciary Committee, chaired by Michigan’s John Conyers. If you don’t know, Michigan was the losing plaintiff in Granholm v. Heald, the 2005 case that liberalized wine shipments, and the NBWA was one of Rep. Conyers’ top five donors in the last two elections. HR 5034 would exempt anti-competitive and discriminatory state alcohol beverage laws from most federal review, including capacity cap laws. In other words, states could freely write laws making it difficult or impossible for consumers to get direct shipments of wine from wineries within and outside their state. If it passed, HR 5034 would be a complete reversal…

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I get lots of newsletters from wine merchants, including some big names in USA, Europe and the UK. I don't buy a lot of wine from them, but I do enjoy keeping up with prices of wine around the world, especially new releases and futures. One thing that's easy to notice is how much these guys depend on Robert Parker to do their marketing. So that leads me to ask the question: Does Parker single-handedly determine what we buy, what we pay, and really, what we all want to drink? Lots of people think so, including many in a position to know. Tomas Clancy of Ireland's Sunday Business Post has written: "His (Parker) ratings, along with his florid tasting notes,…

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No, I don't mean a Bartles and Jaymes Strawberry Wine Cooler from a carry-out outside the university. You should not buy those under ANY circumstances. They were good commercials, though, right? As for a wine keeper, wine refrigerator, wine cellar, wine cabinet - whatever you want to call it - yes, you should, if you drink wine and keep more than a few bottles on hand at a time. Until I built my own wine cellar when we remodeled our basement, I had a 200-bottle wine cabinet, about the size of an average refrigerator. It was a single temperature model that I kept at 57 degrees, perfect for storing and preserving almost any wine. Of course, I needed to let the…

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