My 2020 wines of the year—a white, a red, a Champagne, and a rosé—are a slam dunk. Without further ado, here they are: WHITE: Gundlach-Bundschu Estate Vineyard Gewurztraminer 2019: This hits it out of the ballpark. Aromatic, balanced, crisp and rich, it’s dry unlike many Gewurztraminers. It’s a great food wine in the tradition of dry Riesling. But with spicy and Asian food you'll want to try a sweeter style. RED: Lingua Franca Avni Pinot Noir 2016. This surprisingly affordable medium-body Pinot is a standout, with raspberry and black cherry flavors, crisp with a slightly tart and spicy finish. From the domestic kingdom of Pinot Noir, Oregon’s Willamette Valley. If it’s sold out the 2017 is also outstanding. SPARKLING: Champagne…

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There are roughly nine weeks left of “traditional” summer—Memorial Day to Labor Day—and hopefully you’ve been able to buy and enjoy some lovely wines.  I’m betting that you’ve quaffed a few Rosés, ideally some of them with some aroma, fruit, and character (and not those watery, pale and insipid ones). Anyway, I’m hoping you’ll make a pledge to just this once, stay away from the big 4: Chardonnay, the Queen; Pinot Grigio, the rook; Sauvignon Blanc, the knight; and Riesling, the King. There are so many other wonderful whites out there, so please give them a try. Look at them as varietal treats during the Pandemic: if you can’t get out and about, stay in and luxuriate!  Here they are,…

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Here are some great sparkling wines from France, Italy, USA, Argentina, and South Africa. I drink them all (not at the same time)...and so should you! Philippe Gonet Extra-Brut 3210: Bone-dry on purpose. The label “3210″ means 3 years of aging, 2 terroirs, 1 grape variety, and 0 dosage. About $70 if you can find it. Try! (My favorite Champagne in the world.) Pere Ventura Tresor (Treasure) Cava Brut Rosé: A subtle wine that doesn’t bowl you over with strawberries, nicely dry, made with 100% Trepat grapes. $14-17. Mionetto Prosecco Brut DOC: Dry, crisp and light-bodied. A bargain at $12-15. Champagne Palmer & Co. Brut Reserve: Much more widely available this year than before. $40. Marc Hebrart Selection Champagne Brut…

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Well, they had me at hello at the Fox Hollow Vineyards. To be specific, Frederic, the winery’s handsome Berger Blanc Suisse (shepherd dog) got my attention as I walked through the door, sitting at the feet of his master, Joe Casola, the winemaker and vineyard manager. A winery dog is a wonderful thing! To go back a moment, as I turned off Holmdel Road onto a long, winding gravel road I drove for what seemed like a mile, with what looked like, not vines, but an orchard on my left. I came to a stop at the cavernous new building in Holmdel, New Jersey that serves as a combined winery, tasting room, and barrel aging room. It’s open, airy and…

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Try some different wines for Thanksgiving-Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Noir, and Ports for dessert. Leave the Chardonnay and Cabernet on the shelf.
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