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Sean Minor Chardonnay

Sean Minor Chardonnay: An Affordable Celebration

Posted on: February 5th, 2016 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

Finalizing beverage selections when planning entertainment for friends and family is a challenge for all of us, but a great place to start is with Chardonnay. Of all the wines that you set out for enjoyment, a nicely-priced, interesting Chard, is a Priority-1 essential. But many Chardonnays, even those that are supposedly “un-oaked”, still have a... Read More
Saldo Zinfandel

Saldo Zinfandel: Plain label, a lively wine within

Posted on: January 11th, 2016 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

If you ever used a “Dymo Label Maker” to squeeze off tags at work, you’re probably old enough to buy wine in any of our 50 states. Now, mostly replaced by other labeling systems, this classic does show up now and then. But stuck on a bottle of wine? Now that’s a stretch! After spinning off... Read More
Frank Family Pinot Noir

Frank Family Pinot Noir: Showing off the Carneros AVA

Posted on: December 14th, 2015 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

When a winery’s Pinot Noir line is reliably good, vintage after vintage, you must take note.  Normally, a roller-coaster ride is the deal for this finicky grape.  Luscious one year and blah the next, too strong, then too wimpy, and the ride goes on.  Such a situation makes it frustratingly difficult to settle on... Read More
Chateau Montelena Cabernet

A Classic Cabernet and a Wine-Rack Staple

Posted on: November 20th, 2015 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

California’s vintages have been so close in recent years that it is always a treat to pick out selections from wineries that like to intentionally amplify the character differences from year to year.  Since most wineries pride themselves in year-to-year consistency, these selections are relatively limited. But one winery that has made significant contributions... Read More
Viader Tempranillo

A Final Vintage Opportunity: Viader Tempranillo

Posted on: November 8th, 2015 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

Many wineries regularly offer wines made from special grape varietals in limited quantities and only at certain times of the year.  This is often a bummer because it always seems that once you get around to tasting a really good selection and then make the decision to buy more, the wine is nowhere to... Read More
Field Stone Winery

Field Stone Winery: Keeping the vinos in the family

Posted on: October 16th, 2015 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

There are so many examples of true family operated wineries producing fantastic small-lot masterpieces that they could fill an entire book.  But when it comes down to actually paying them a visit, it’s become another story. The current state of touring these truly family-run wineries has been steadily trending from what was once “just... Read More

LaMarca Prosecco: A viable Champagne alternative

Posted on: September 28th, 2015 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

Most of the time the Prosecco bubbly ends up getting mixed in with something else as a “fizz enhancer”. But if you’re only doing that, you’re selling this guy short. Sure, it makes a great backbone for a Mimosa or frozen desert; but don’t let that cause you to overlook its real potential. In... Read More
Coronado Riesling_AZ Rieslings

AZ Rieslings: More German flair than ever

Posted on: September 14th, 2015 by Tom Peiffer 1 Comment

Just why Arizona’s winemakers picked Riesling as one of the first grapes to cultivate years back is one of those questions that remain unanswered. For sure, it’s not because of the cold climate. The soil may be it, but nothing definite there either. While the Rieslings of Germany fight for life on steep slopes... Read More
Flying Leap Graciano

Flying Leap Vineyards: Graciano that’s a real treat

Posted on: August 30th, 2015 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

Most wine drinkers who are fascinated with the exploration of grape varietals will eventually get around to the beloved Graciano grape.  Simply put, this Spanish grape is Tempranillo’s darker, bolder cousin!  So if you like ‘em tall, dark and deep, you can be thankful that many American wineries feel the same way about this... Read More
Honoro Vera Granacha Spanish Wine

Honoro Vera: A Calatayud wine that’s far from tame

Posted on: August 18th, 2015 by Tom Peiffer 1 Comment

Spanish wines have enjoyed a string of surprisingly excellent vintages over the past several years. And what is allowing us to appreciate these wines is supported by improved availability of these lovely vintages, rather than trendy winemaker production tricks. This is true especially when experiencing traditionally produced wines based on the Garnacha grape (aka... Read More

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