The effect of Covid19 on drinking habits is real: the vast expansion of Direct-to-Consumer wine shipments, subscriptions, and online vendors; younger drinkers opting for wine over beer and spirits; and more consumption of domestic vs. imported wines among others. And some new trends and discoveries have taken hold in the wine media—orange wine, new versions of wine-based seltzer-type drinks, more wine in single-serving cans and bag-in-box formats, rosé prosecco and winter rosé, pétillant natural wine, and of course virtual wine tastings (ho-hum). One new trend gaining traction is Piquette. It’s not a fad, to be sure; the Romans were evidently making it two millennia ago and in other places such as Georgia, long before that. But it’s not really wine,…

Read More

California Cabernets, especially from Napa, are well known for their power, richness, tannin, high alcohol...and too often, astronomical price. Those in the "cult" category such as Screaming Eagle or Harlan Estate can fetch hundreds of dollars or more per bottle, and are difficult or impossible to get unless you're a "VIP" customer and on the allocation list. Don't get me wrong: there are some outstanding Napa (and Sonoma, for that matter) Cabs at "fairly reasonable" prices and they, too, have a devoted following, albeit among us normal folk. And given that I'm a #1 fan of Bordeaux, years ago I discovered "Meritage" wines, produced by a group of American vintners that formed The Meritage Alliance in 1998 to produce and…

Read More

I’ve just tried two very different but very delicious Paso Robles gems. Here they are: Folkway Revelator 2016: This Bordeaux-like blend sells for about $25 (or less) and is about half Cabernet Sauvignon, one quarter Cab Franc and one quarter Merlot. Deep red, very balanced with noticeable but polished tannins and flavors of black cherry, coffee and cocoa. Villa San Juliette Chorum Reserve Red 2014: A truly extraordinary and almost unheard-of blend of 32% Syrah, 16% Grenache, 14% Petit Verdot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 12% Alicante Bouschet, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petite Sirah. Dark fruit with a lot of plum and black cherry, and a hint of mint. I think I enjoy this most of all because I’d love to…

Read More

Looking for another New Jersey winery to visit last weekend presented me with a lot of choices, but I narrowed it down to one the moment I saw the name: Working Dog Winery, in Robbinsville. As someone who volunteers at the Sammy’s Hope Animal Shelter in Sayreville on weekends, the winery’s name and logo were already enough to get me there. A couple days before, I’d emailed to ask if I could meet the winemaker and perhaps get a tour. Lo and behold, a very genial guy named Mark Carduner called me, said he was the winemaker and would be glad to host me. And when I walked in, he was the first person I saw, at the front of…

Read More

Indian Women Driving Up Wine Demand New Zealand Targets the U.S. Market Wine Selection: Clos du Bois Marlstone 2006 (Bordeaux Blend) Wine Category: Cabernet Franc from Long Island The Varietal Character of Red Wines Wine Shopping: What's in a Label? Step up to Sangiovese (Chianti)

Read More