• Featured Article

    Summer Sipping Primer 2015, Part 2: Rebel Reds

    Lest we should let whites have all the fun this summer, we present you with part two of our Summer Sipping series: a roster of fun red grapes—some rare, some just a bit wacky, all unconventional provocateurs that are great for spicing up a wine list or a BBQ.

  • Featured Article

    Riesling: Laser Beams and Rainbows

    If ever there was a lone wolf of wine grapes, it would be Riesling. It doesn’t take kindly to strangers (you’ll rarely see it blended with other grapes) or invasive oak treatment. It can be sweet as pie or as bracingly nervous as a freshman on the first day of school. It has precision and power, yet delicate, seductive aromatics. It can transmit the characteristics of a vineyard site while still expressing its fundamental Riesling-ness. It’s one of the most flexible, food-friendly wines. Also even high-quality Rieslings generally cost much less—maybe double digits—than, for example, comparable Grand Cru wines from Burgundy (as Stuart Piggott put it in The Best White Wine on Earth: “It’s a special wine we can afford”). It’s unlike any other grape, and it’s no wonder somms routinely wax rhapsodic about it.

  • Featured Article

    Summer Sipping Primer 2015: Weirdo Whites

    Let 2015 be the summer of the weird, obscure white. Let the Garganega be flowing. Give your Chardonnay a break. Put the Sauvignon Blanc back on the shelf. Be that guy or gal who brought the Godello. Let this be your calling card. Spicy mango fish tacos on the menu? Is your best friend roasting a duck? Show them how they do it in Alsace with an ambrosial Muscat. We have a stellar lineup of offbeat wines that are just aching to join you at your next summer BBQ. Here are a few to wet your whistle.

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    THE KEY TO YOUR SAKE PAIRING SUCCESS

    We know sake has an umami quality, but what else? Sake flavor profiles are not easy to discern like wine where the grape and region can lead you to the right path. Sake rice mill and water source can help, as well as the sake prefecture knowledge and grade, but mostly it is necessary for one to taste the sake to know the flavors, which can be expensive! Why is there not an easier way? Let’s look at the history of sake and food pairing.

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    Jura: The Next Small Thing

    As the smallest appellation in France with an entirely idiosyncratic way of making wine, Jura has serious indie cred. Thanks to isolation afforded by the wooded, rolling Jura Mountains, this region between Burgundy and Switzerland has developed a unique style that you won’t find replicated anywhere. The wines are quirky, food-friendly—and really, really good. Some Jura winemakers have taken steps toward making more readily recognizable table wines, but truly, its deeply rooted traditional style is what has put it on the map: oxidated, nutty whites; meaty, light-bodied reds with grip; and an array of dessert wines—all from mostly native grapes.