Monthly Archives: February 2010

Much-Maligned Merlot Makes a Comeback

    New research by The Nielsen Company into consumer wine consumption
patterns and attitudes reveals surprising facts about a wine both loved
and maligned in the United States: Merlot.

     Commissioned by Blackstone Winery and utilizing multiple Nielsen
data sources, the research finds that Merlot has the single largest
consumer base of any varietal wine in the U.S. and, of the major wine
varietals, is the one most closely associated with high quality at an
affordable price.

     Complete results of the research are detailed in a report
entitled, “Merlot Today: The State of the U.S. Merlot Market, Consumer
Attitudes and…

Posted in Wine in the Glass

Protecting the Heritage of 'Wines of a Place'

    The concept of truth in advertising should extend to wine labels.

     That’s why the Napa Ridge brand of wines caused such a stir at the
dawning of the new millennium. There is no geographic place known as
“Napa Ridge,” and there wasn’t even a Napa Ridge Winery.

     Vintners in real parts of the Napa Valley took umbrage with the
Napa name being hijacked (as they put it), and a lengthy court battle

     The very public debate over the use of the Napa name in a non-Napa
wine helped fuel interest in protecting wine region names around the
world. In 2005, representatives of seven regions signed…

Posted in Wine Region Profiles

Make a Long Weekend of It in Sonoma County

     Looking for a fun way to nosh your way through Sonoma County wine country?

     Consider a long weekend – March 19-21, to be specific – when two big events are planned.

     The first, known as “Pigs & Pinot,” gives Charlie Palmer a
chance to get his swine on and to team up with four partners in…

Posted in Our Wine Travel Log

A 'Green' Way to Experience Wine Country

     Interested in visiting wineries without leaving a big footprint of the environmentally unfriendly type?

     Then pick up a copy of the GrassRoutes guide book devoted to
Northern California Wine Country. The sub-title: “Green Road Trips.”

     Never heard of GrassRoutes? Here’s some descriptive verbiage from its…

Posted in Wine and the Environment

Leaf-peeping in Wine Country

      QUESTION: When visiting wine country, I’ve noticed that the
grapevines have not only bunches of grapes, but also leaves. Do the
leaves have a purpose?

     ANSWER: You bet. In fact, without leaves, it would be impossible for clusters of grapes to ripen.

     Put simply… because, quite frankly, that’s the only way we know how to put it…

Posted in Wine FAQ

Winter Olympics Special: All About Ice Wine

     “Every heart is ice-bound till wine melt it.”

     So said Herman Melville, and whether he knew it or not, Melville’s observation applied even to ice wine.

     And what better time to discuss ice wine than as the 2010 Winter Olympic Games begin to wind down in Vancouver, B.C.?

     Ice wine is a sweet treat for wine lovers, the result of using
grapes that have been left on the vines much longer than normal (thus
developing very high sugar levels), and then…

Posted in Wine in the Glass

Wine Bottles: Size Matters

     They say you can tell a lot about a man by the size of his shoes.

     Ahem, but does the same hold true for wine bottles?


     Take the magnum, as an example. The magnum (or mag, for short)
holds two standard-sized bottles of wine, or a total of 1.5 liters. In
a supermarket… or a drug store with…

Posted in Editor's Journal

2 Tablespoons Make All the Difference

     Paprika is among the dominant flavors of this dish from Austria,
and because of that spice element, complementary wines would include
Zinfandel and Barbera. This recipe makes 10-12 servings, and is best
enjoyed with tender egg noodles.


Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes

A Taste of Burgundy in Your Home


     Not planning a trip to Burgundy this year? Then enjoy a taste of
that wonderful region of France at home with this popular pre-meal
snack, which matches beautifully with red Burgundy wine – or American
Pinot Noir. This recipe makes 10-12 servings.


Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes

Have You Ever Had Real Mozzarella?

    We’ve all enjoyed mozzarella cheese on a pizza, or perhaps melted over roast beef as part of a submarine sandwich.

     But once you’ve had the opportunity to taste fresh buffalo-milk
mozzarella, you’ll be tempted to say, “Hold the tomatoes and basil,”
when you order your next Caprese salad.

     The real thing is that good.

     Take a drive around the outskirts…

Posted in Vinesse Style
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