Can I Get You Some Wine?

While the weather in many parts of the country is beyond horrible right now, in not too many weeks we will be staring summer square in the face. We’ll start spending more time on the patio, in the backyard, at the beach, or around the pool. And we’re going to want something to drink. So, […]

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South American Reds — QPR You Can Trust

Too often I’m reminded of just how circumscribed my wine drinking habits can become at times. Circumscribed? Maybe narrow is a better word. When I find myself enjoying a bargain Bordeaux or something interesting from South Africa, I ask myself, “why am I not drinking more wines like these?” Well, it happened again recently when I […]

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To Love Wine Means To Love Learning

For the past three years I’ve had the privilege and pleasure to attend the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers. Now in its 11th year, the symposium, held at the Meadowood Resort in St. Helena, brings together writers at all levels of the global wine trade, from the famous to those just getting started. Along with […]

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We’ve Got People Coming Over — Help!!

In the last few weeks, I’ve had more than one person ask for help with planning their holiday parties. They want to serve wine. They want to serve decent wine, but they don’t want to go broke. Or, they don’t want to serve expensive, high quality wines because they know that at a party very […]

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Don Riley — Pioneer and Mentor

I spend my days talking, reading, and writing about wine, and occasionally selling it, because my brother, Donald, got me excited about wine in 1980 when I was in college. Don died last week at the age of 69. Far too young. But he’d been sick for a while and now I know his suffering […]

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It’s Always Time To Visit Robert Sinskey Vineyards

I stopped in last week at one of my favorite Napa tasting rooms, Robert Sinskey Vineyards. Since moving to California almost seventeen years ago, I’ve come to know many fine wineries in Napa and Sonoma. Sinskey was the first, and remains a favorite. A review of my time there can be found at the American Winery […]

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Thirty Wines For $10 Or Less

Back in June, Wine & Spirits magazine did a big favor for bargain shoppers everywhere with its “Top 100 Values of the Year” edition. Most interesting for the hard-core coupon clippers were those selections at $10 and under. With the holidays in full swing, and the need for potent potables looking like a run-away train, […]

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Wine Education — There’s Work To Be Done

A café in Paris. Four American women fresh from a day of touring, eager for a well-deserved glass of wine, peruse the carte du vin. “There are quite a few wines here I’ve never even heard of.” “Well, there are a couple of merlots.” “Yes, but I don’t think merlot means the same here as […]

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In A New York State of Mind

Despite spending the past 25 years in California and Connecticut, I’m a New Yorker through and through. And, as such, I tend to root for the home town team, wherever it might be found. In recent years I’ve tried my best to defend wines from New York’s major regions – Finger Lakes, Long Island, Hudson […]

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2006 Keenan Merlot Napa Valley Spring Mountain 30th Anniversary

RED 4/11/12  2006 Keenan Merlot Napa Valley Spring Mountain 30th Anniversary (14.3% abv., $26, wineexpress.com): Dark, brilliant, youthful; full of aromas and flavors both fruity and savory.  Wonderfully balanced with mouth-watering acids and tight, smoky tannins. Conclusion: Wish I had cellared this longer. This has a way to go. If you’ve dismissed merlot after too […]

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