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072018 Gary Farrell Pinot Noir: It’s all in the berries

Wine | Gary Farrell Pinot Noir: It’s all in the berries

Posted on: July 8th, 2018 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

The 2015 vintage year in Sonoma County’s Russian River appellation, like many others in California, was a little tricky.  But in Russian River, the weather was perfect for Pinot Noir, bringing out some of their best qualities, featuring red berries and spices. If you want to get a broad brush of what happened in... Read More
On to Summer_ Alìe Rosè

Wine | On to Summer: Alìe Rosè

Posted on: June 10th, 2018 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

Not many people know that Italy’s Tuscan region actually offers some very classy Rosè wines, but it does.  Among these are special blends from Frescobaldi’s South Tuscan “Ammiraglia Estate” that are crafted in this coastal territory using both Syrah and Vermintino. Even though Syrah by itself would be a little heavy for a hot... Read More
Mondavi Fume Blanc_ A hot summer dining essential

Wine | Mondavi Fume Blanc: A hot summer dining essential

Posted on: May 13th, 2018 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

Say what you want about relief from swimming pools and water misters, but our Phoenix summers are still brutal as ever.  This is especially true if you’re hammering out plans for a summer-discount staycation over the next several months. One part of the plan is to chart out what wines you choose to drink... Read More
Mount Veeder Red Blend

Wine | Mount Veeder Red Blend: What a Little Elevation Can Do

Posted on: April 17th, 2018 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

When exploring Napa Valley, California, one of the best little side trips for the morning is to drive up Mount Veeder and visit the winery operations that cling to the hills at about 1,600 feet.  This is an environment that is noticeably different from the valley floor below, and it also reflects in the... Read More
Schramsberg_Vintage Sparklers

Wine | Schramsberg: Vintage Sparklers

Posted on: March 25th, 2018 by Tom Peiffer 1 Comment

One topic that comes up a lot in tasting rooms is the absence of vintage years printed on bottles of Champagne and sparkling wine.  Most of the time, the reason given is that the fruit used in creating the bubbly in your bottle comes from more than one particular year’s harvest, so it’s better... Read More
Emblem Chardonnay

Wine | Taste With Elegance: Emblem Chardonnay

Posted on: March 4th, 2018 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

One of the first things you’ll notice with skillfully created Chardonnays like Michael Mondavi’s “Emblem”, is the pronounced presence of a tart backbone. This one tilts more toward the “Burgundian Style”, even though it is a California wine. As such, this Chardonnay is produced with a carefully controlled mix of Malolactic and normally fermented... Read More

Wine | Spotless wine glasses: In the dishwasher

Posted on: February 9th, 2018 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

Even with the new “improved” models of dishwashers, there are still many who strongly advise against using these appliances to clean wine glasses.  But not only are the dishwashers getting better, so are the accompanying cleaning soaps and additives. One of the biggest problems with getting wine glasses clean in the dishwasher is hard... Read More
Frank Family Zinfandel

Wine | A BBQ champ: Frank Family Zinfandel

Posted on: January 14th, 2018 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

As the production of American Zinfandel wine continues to grow in all areas, it is always interesting to take a look back at one of the Napa classics, Frank Family Napa Valley Zinfandel.  Once affectionately product-coded as “LPR” by the winery staff, it now has moved into the mainstream of availability. Sure, they offer a Reserve Zinfandel, but the standard offering is quite excellent.  This is especially true for outdoor cooking, or just for “cutting the... Read More

Wine | Not Just the Label: Seldom Seen Austrian Rieslings

Posted on: December 23rd, 2017 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

We don’t see too many wine labels featuring the Patron Saint of Wine.  But in Austria, they have a brand or two that place top honors on the wonders of the grape.  Not too gaudy or ostentatious.  Rather, these are softly-stated bottlings are covered with words that don’t make much sense, until you start... Read More

Wine | Frank Family Chardonnay: Staying Flexible

Posted on: December 3rd, 2017 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

Of all the white wines, Chardonnay is certainly the best known.  You can find it everywhere in the world, and on more wine lists than can be counted.  But what makes it so interesting are the “variations on a theme” that every pour exhibits. Sure, geography and vintages play a big role in the... Read More

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