Regions


No I’m not talking about Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/etc (but it is that time, too).  I’m talking about Top Lists.  The trusty Wine Spectator just released the Top 10 of their Top 100, and locally, the San Francisco Chronicle just released its Top 100 of the year.

This is enjoyable viewing and reading for me, but knowing that there are so many that are unattainable – either because they are particularly scarce, or just completely out of most normal people’s price range – is always a bit disheartening.  This is more the case for The Wine Spectator than the Chronicle’s list, but there’s still a ton of great information that can be gleaned from these lists. (more…)

If you’re at all like me, you’ve no doubt been in a situation where you could use some quick wine advice.  Be it at a restaurant, wine shop, winery, etc., you want the ability to make an informed decision or to just know a little bit more about the wine you’re tasting or prepared to buy.   And if you’re even more  nerdy about it like me, you probably have a “cellar” (something a bit above double-wide status, but below a McMansion) of wine at home where you keep them logged in a database.  Naturally, you probably don’t have access to the database when you need it – at the point of sale.  Those days may change if you have a trusty smart phone/iTouch/iPad, where there are of course, apps for that! (more…)

The best way to learn more about wine is of course to jump right in and taste different types and styles. There are several ways (not including by yourself) to accomplish this task:

  • At a (wine) bar
  • With Friends
  • At a wine shop or other purveyor of fine wines and spirits
  • At a winery

Four of the five listed above involve friends.  Yes, wine tasting is a very social activity – and the social aspect very much enables one’s growth of wine IQ.  But two of the above methods are hands down better options for learning than the rest:  Tasting events at a wine shop and/or at a winery.

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Funny story.  Several years ago, a dinner guest brought over a bottle of wine. Of course, I didn’t open it and proceeded to stash it in my paltry wine rack.  It was a fine bottle of Charles Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon (or some other “varietal”).

Several months later I pulled Mr. Shaw out of the rack on my way to a dinner party.  Up until this point I considered myself something more than a novice about wine.  Apparently not.   To my brief embarrassment, as noted by the odd looks I received, I quickly learned about Two-Buck Chuck. (more…)