Blog Archives

America’s Wine Country: California

Ok now sing it with me-California here we come! If you haven’t made it to Northern California then you really need to book that flight and head to the Bay Area. Why? Because outside of being amazingly beautiful it has some of the greatest wineries. Most people think of Napa when you think of wine but there is a place called Sonoma. It’s actually right next to Napa but is home to small wineries, some that you have never even heard of and usually aren’t available in your hometown wine shop. Since many of these guys are small businesses their distribution isn’t as big as say Kendall Jackson (don’t act like you’ve never heard of them).

While I was in San Francisco, my friends and I went up north to do a little wine tasting. YUMMY! I was in the bay area to celebrate my best friend’s birthday (Happy Birthday again Alison!).  Four Chicagoans went up to do a little drinking with our favorite SF couple.  We hit up three wineries, one that you will know (surprise!). Read the rest of this entry

Amarone: A Life Changing Wine

Begali amarone

Calling Amarone a life changing wine may seem a little exaggerated but that is exactly how I described it to Lissette. Yes I understand that this wine probably will have no real effect on your day-to-day life but it may change the way you look at wine. It did for me.

I first learned about Amarone at a wine tasting in 2008 (we had a Cesari Amarone). It was by far the best wine of the night and I was immediately hooked! Sadly even the “inexpensive” bottles run around $40. Since my first taste I’ve only had a handful of bottles and a few glasses at wine events, but I have yet to be disappointed. Read the rest of this entry

A Wine Filled Easter Weekend

My parents were in town this weekend for Easter. This means I had lots of good wine and good food!   They got in Thursday night and we started the weekend with a French Burgundy at the Red Rooster Wine Bar. The 2000 Laboure-Roi of the Gevrey Chambertin appellation was a very smooth wine. Being that the bottle was a 2000 the tannins had time to mellow. The wine was very balanced and had the old word characteristics you would expect from a French wine; dark fruit and hints of leather. You may be thinking leather? That’s kind of weird but leather is actually a common characteristic of wine. And can add some real complexity to a bottle of wine.

The second night my parent were here we ate in. my mother made an awesome rack of lamb and we started with a 2010 Villa Des Anges Rose from France. It’s important to note that a rose is NOT the same thing as a White Zinfandel. I repeat Rose is NOT the same as White Zinfandel. This rose run about $11 a bottle and is a perfect pre-dinner sipping wine.  It is very light and crisp. It is a dry rose (I’m not a fan of sweeter wines) and is great on its own, but would pair well with salads, seafood and other light dishes. Read the rest of this entry

Wine Speak 101

Have you ever been at a wine tasting and been asked to speak about the wine? Did you have no idea what to say other than you liked or disliked the wine? Here are some terms to help you sound like wine connoisseur whether you know anything about wine or not. 

Full-Bodied- This describes a wine that has a rich or heavier feel to it. They are usually complex and the flavor lingers in your mouth (Cabernet and Bordeaux are good examples of wine that are often full-bodied)

Thin- This is the opposite of full-bodied. The wines are usually not as complex and the flavor does not linger on your palette. Read the rest of this entry

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