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On the move: Wagner Family of Wine

Posted on: March 3rd, 2013 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

When Chuck Wagner was growing up in California’s Napa Valley during the 60’s, he scarcely imagined the changes that would unfold.  Composed of mostly orchards and ranches 40 years ago, Napa has now become dominated by the grape. From the valley floor to the benches, it’s now vineyards that you see.  The orchards and... Read More

With dessert: It’s Madeira, dear

Posted on: February 21st, 2013 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

Well known for its “cupboard worthiness” (partially finished bottles really live on and on), the right Portuguese Madeira wine can be scrumptious with dessert.  Not only are they smooth to the palate, but they contain a little extra alcohol, just to top off the end of a fine celebratory meal perfectly. As long as... Read More

A Chianti Classico Standard: Rocca delle Macie

Posted on: February 11th, 2013 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

Long a standard at the Olive Garden, Rocca delle Macie Riserva is a fine example of a Chianti Classico that’s always on their wine list.  And because of their culinary relationship with this special slice of Italy, it will remain an Olive Garden favorite for some time to come. This wine is from the... Read More

The Rieslings: Adaptable “must have” wines

Posted on: February 5th, 2013 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

Long a favorite banquet wine in Germany, Rieslings can be the most versatile of “wein”.  And to make them even more flexible, Rieslings are created with a wide range of sweetness based on their natural sugar content.  From dry (Trocken), to somewhat sweet (Kabinett), and often more sweet (Spätlese).  There is a Riesling to... Read More

North Mosel: Known for Riesling and with a flair

Posted on: January 27th, 2013 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

Tucked away on a northern stretch of Germany’s Mosel River is a wine region known as “Berelch Burg Cochem”.  They are mainly known for super steep vineyards and an increasing reputation for innovative wine making from the next generation of winemakers.  New techniques equal interesting wines. In tasting rooms located throughout the town of... Read More

New release: Sequoia Grove 2009 Cabernet

Posted on: January 20th, 2013 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

For those looking forward to sampling more fine 2009 Napa Cabernet Sauvignons, the premium releases are well underway.  And one of the patiently awaited ones comes out of the Sequoia Grove Winery.  Start your taste buds! This winery has been steadily moving up the “Cab Ladder” for years and their 2009 release may just... Read More

Destined for the mix: The Cinsault grape

Posted on: January 14th, 2013 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

Of all the Rhone varietals, Cinsault is one of the rarer ones here in the US.  It often disappears in Rhone Blends never to be tasted as an individual wine again.  But its bouquet is unmistakable.  So when a pure Cinsault shows up, it’s an excellent opportunity to experiment. You can find a Cinsault... Read More

On the Alsace wine route: Robert Blanck Vineyards

Posted on: January 4th, 2013 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

If you are planning a trip to Germany’s Rhine Valley or Eastern France, be sure to spend a little “wine time” in Alsace.  This international destination is one of those less-traveled beauties of rural France that sports both spectacular history and unforgettable “vins”. Wine tour veterans like to make it an extensive grape epic... Read More

Nice French deal: Grand Prieur of Vacqueyas

Posted on: December 28th, 2012 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

A continuing appeal to many wine drinkers are wines from an appellation in Southern France’s Rhone Valley known as Vacqueyras.  Here, winemakers are required by “standards” to use blends that are dominated by the Grenache grape, leading to a velvety, easy-to-drink wine. Of course, Southern France provides a seemingly endless variety of wines to... Read More

Wine tasting at Spring Valley: Joseph Phelps Vineyards

Posted on: December 21st, 2012 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

Nestled in the heart of Napa Valley are several other smaller valleys that provide a seemingly endless variety of vineyard views.  One of these lesser traveled ones is Spring Valley. Joseph Phelps fell in love with it in the 1970’s and a thriving winery was born. Located on a perch overlooking Spring Valley, Joseph... Read More

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