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Gamay: The any occasion wine

Posted on: February 13th, 2012 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

One often overlooked wine to open up for just about any party is simply called “Gamay”.  The Gamay grape originated in a part of France’s Burgundy region now known as “Beaujolais”. Sounds fancy, but its casual, easy-to-drink character allows it to be appreciated by just about every wine lover. In fact, it is a... Read More

Classic Gold: Alban Viognier

Posted on: February 6th, 2012 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

When it comes to “golden wines”, very few fill the bill like a Viognier. These beauties often look and taste like honey, melon and pineapple, making them truly golden. But the really excellent ones are not always easy to find, simply because there are not a lot of wineries producing them here in the... Read More

Grgich Fume Blanc: Better wine & nice price

Posted on: January 31st, 2012 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

Napa Valley vintners continue to compete on a worldwide scale buoyed in no small part from the contributions of numerous dedicated wineries. As a result of steady production and a string of good vintages, this year’s huge inventory of Sauvignon Blancs continues from 2011. This means good buys are still to be had. One... Read More

Yangarra Shiraz: An earthy Aussie

Posted on: January 23rd, 2012 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

Knowing a local restaurant that has a well-balanced wine list can present an excellent exploring opportunity. If you make yourself familiar with a restaurant’s wine list by taking a few minutes to look it over during each visit, it becomes easier to spot changes and try new wines. Good restaurants know that “changing it... Read More

Just peachy: Zins to please the taste and budget

Posted on: January 16th, 2012 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

Leaving a lot of great wine (and wine trivia) in their wake, we feel fortunate to have been there for a quick virtual visit to Paso Robles via their Wine Country Alliance. It was a whirlwind journey, but well worth it. And one of the often overlooked wines that they wanted to remind us... Read More

Straight From the Hills: Hidden Ridge Cabernet

Posted on: January 9th, 2012 by Tom Peiffer 1 Comment

A not so closely guarded wine blending secret of California vintners is just where all their fruit comes from. Simply because the bottle says “Napa Valley Red Wine” doesn’t always mean that it was made from valley grapes. In fact, many of these wines contain fruit that was grown high above the valley floor... Read More

Do It Again: Yellow Tail’s Reseal Keeps it Bubbling

Posted on: January 5th, 2012 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

While often regarded as entry-level wines, you have to hand it to Australia’s Yellow Tail brand to come up with clever packaging ideas.  One of these is their re-sealable approach to sparkling wine using a replaceable stopper.  It just works. Equipped with a very durable plastic cap, they have taken a standard Champagne-style bottle... Read More

Clever White Wine Blend from Vina Robles

Posted on: December 27th, 2011 by Tom Peiffer 1 Comment

North American winemakers aren’t really known for their white wine blends, but there are always pioneers. Namely, Paso Robles producer Vina Robles released one this year that is bound to attract attention from wine drinkers who like flexible food pairing vinos. Made from both Italian and French Rhone grapes, their White4 is an amazing... Read More

Vigna Franca: Red Wine of Central Italy

Posted on: December 20th, 2011 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

If you are always on the lookout for a reasonably priced Italian red wine with a little New World flair, an excellent candidate is now available at Total Wine. Many people do not enjoy Italian wines because of their undeserved reputation for a thin body and high acidity, such is not the case with... Read More

Limited Production White Wine From Midnight Cellars

Posted on: December 12th, 2011 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

When it comes to white wines, some of the most interesting are blends made from Rhone Varietal grapes. Producers in Paso Robles (aka The Rhone Rangers) noticed this years ago, and taking advantage of their excellent local climate for bold fruit, they have been refining their techniques ever since. Because the grapes that go... Read More

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