Saint-Aubin in Burgundy Invites You To Dine

To understand Bourgogne it helps to understand its regions; a few offer excellent value wines. Saint Aubin is one in particular. Bourgogne (referred to as Burgundy in many countries) is long and narrow. The whole of Bourgogne runs from the town of Auxerre in the north (the land of Chablis) to just south of Mâcon, (north of Lyon in the… Read more »

The Pineau Tale – It’s famous and It’s French!

Pineau des Charentes is a complex fortified wine with a sophisticated sweet side. It’s about the mingling of grape flavors with Cognac characteristics. People say it’s fresh, sweet and fruity but for me there’s more. It’s deep layers of complex flavor that promote discussion: bright to bruised apple, ripe apricot and fig, light spice, and vanilla nuttiness. Some have floral… Read more »

Vinitaly Extravaganza

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A few weeks ago Vinitaly was our destination in Verona. We previously attended a few wine events in California but nothing compares to Vinitaly. What an experience! A HUGE wine conference with thousands of vendors (4,270 exhibitors from 30 countries), it’s one of the largest in the world. Knowing where things are located will keep you from wandering aimlessly. It’s… Read more »

Tortilla Española Crosses Wine Borders

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Spanish Potato Omlete

There are food and wine pairings so singular, it’s hard to stray from them. Like chèvre and Sancerre in France, tomato sauce and Sangiovese in Italy, or paella and Tempranillo in Spain. Once you partake, the flavors are etched in your mind. They meld with the people and place. I’ve caught myself reminiscing…remembering that meal, that wine, that town. There’s… Read more »

Bordeaux En Primeur – How It Works

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Spring in Bordeaux means “En Primeur”. The city is buzzing with an influx of experts, journalists, merchants, enthusiasts…it’s about wine professionals converging to taste and purchase the latest vintage. “En Primeur” = (wine) futures En Primeur refers to a system where châteaux (the plural form of château) release a limited quantity of their wine- known as the first tranche– for… Read more »

French #Winophiles Explore Champagne From Beginning to Bubbly Finish

Vallée de la Marne, Champagne

Champagne was not discovered in Champagne! Sorry to burst your bubble but it’s the truth. This month our French #Winophiles group is exploring Champagne, a beverage that elicits strong reactions and thoughts. It’s more than just an elegant drink for special occasions.  Like wine, it’s something to enjoy often with a wide variety of foods. It was the year 1531… Read more »

Faith in the Weather When Making Wine

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Frost in Bourgogne 2016

Country by country, region by region something in the universe has a plan for our weather. That plan we cannot control – we need faith; it plays a major role in each year’s wine harvest. When it comes to growing grapes and making good wine, climatic influences are a big deal. Grape production is somewhat determined by them. Here in… Read more »

The Intrigue of Corsican Wine

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With a 2,000-year winemaking history and now exporting just a portion, there’s an alluring mystery to Corsican wines. This French island, which is close to Italy and claims to be neither, is as mysterious as it’s grapes. I didn’t know much about Corsica, let alone it’s food or wine, until the French Winophiles group chose a virtual visit to the… Read more »

Italy for the Holidays

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December 2016. The question is whether to go to Italy for Christmas? With plenty of good reasons, there’s nothing holding us back. We decided to swap countries this holiday. Here’s a recap. Our first stop was Padova (or Padua) in north eastern Italy. Located in the Veneto wine region 30 minutes south of Venice by train, we hooked up with our… Read more »

Sauternes Style Wines Pair With A Savory Dish

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Chateau La Bouade Sauternes

A dessert style wine implies it’s for dessert. Who named it that anyway?!? I’m here to tell you they aren’t just for dessert, they pair brilliantly with savory and salty snacks and dishes. Many sweet wines are fascinating. I say “many” as some are mass produced sweet wines with nothing but sweetness. I’m talking about those that see botrytis (noble… Read more »