Wine Resources


Do you still pay attention to the old method of pairing wine and food?  You know the one: Red wine with red meat, white wine with fish, chicken and “the other white meat”, pork?   Probably doesn’t work that well, especially if you’ve become either a preferred red or white drinker.

So what are gonna do now?  How do you approach it?

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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 leaves have turned and the weather has done the same – the holiday season is now upon us.   As if there weren’t enough reasons to drink wine already, the holidays offer an excellent, if somewhat challenging, opportunity to expand your wine experience and knowledge.

Family, friends, food and the general festive atmosphere offer perfect opportunity to enjoy all types of wine — everything from sparkling wine (e.g., champagne), to whites, to reds and dessert wines.   Perhaps the most challenging task will be what wine to pair with your meal, followed up only by what to bring to a (dinner) party, with the goal of helping yourself look smart while not breaking the budget. (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…)