Category Archives

Wine

Want a Clue How a Wine is Made? Play Spin The Bottle…

There’s a ton of excellent natural wine out there, one just needs to know how to find it. But without ingredient labels to guide you, you might be asking yourself: “how do I find such wines if my wine shop/restaurant server/local Whole Foods doesn’t know anything about how the wine is made?” Answer: acquaint yourselves with the importers who specialize in low-intervention wines! information alone will provide important clues about the style and constitution of the juice, and help guide you when choosing blindly.  

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2015 Populis ‘Reversee’ Carignan

I love finding new California winemakers who are making clean, delicious and extremely interesting wines that are actually affordable. The Living Wines Collective, a band of four young winemakers based in Orinda, California, are doing just that, with several edgy brands under their umbrella (among them, Populis, Elizia and Les Lunes).

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2015 Bichi Dry Muscat ‘La Gorda Yori’

Jair Tellez, chef/owner of the progressive Laja Restaurant in Valle de Guadalupe (Mexico’s wine country), is the guy behind Tecate-based Bichi, the only known natural winery in Mexico. A few years ago, he decided to make the kind of wine he wanted to pair with his food, and began resurrecting old vines in Baja to make delicious, authentically-made wine from grapes suited to Mexico’s hot, dry climate – with awesome label art (bonus!).

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Drink Pink (and Clean!) Your New Summer Rosés

Those lovely, inexpensive summer rosés that go down like water?  Most are industrial products, with conventional farming, high sulfur levels and who knows what else. Not these.  Super clean, from smaller, family-owned estates or even smaller mom & pop shops.  They’re all practicing (or certified) organic, with a few taking it one step further to biodynamics, […]

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Natural wine: WTF is it, and why do I care?

So here’s the thing. I love wine, and it makes me happy opening up people’s eyes to great bottles, something I’ve been doing professionally for the past 10 years. But something changed for me in the last few years: I learned about natural wine, essentially just fermented grape juice, and was shocked that all wine wasn’t made that way. So I started researching, learning how different producers were working, and discovering a whole range of delicious natural wines that I wanted to drink.

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Querceto di Castellina Chianti Classico L’aura

This is classic, clean Chianti from a small family producer near Panzano in Chianti. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know the proprietor, Jacopo di Battista, over the past two years, and stay with them for a few days last summer. His family has farmed the small hilltop estate organically since inception in 1998, and has been certified since 2012. They’re equally low-intervention in the cellar…

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Pierre Morey Bourgogne Aligote

I love the way natural wine critic Alice Feiring describes Aligoté: “the much maligned other white grape of Burgundy, which a few brave and romantic vignerons slave to elevate to greatness.” One of those is Pierre Morey, the former winemaker at Domaine Leflaive (very famous Burgundy producer), who maximizes the grape’s capacity for complexity and terroir transparency with this biodynamic Aligoté bottling from his family’s vineyards in Meursault.

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Succés Vinícola Experiència Parellada

One of my favorite styles of wine is the light, zesty, low-alcohol white, commonly hailing from coastal Portugal, Italy or Spain.  I’ve taken to calling this delightful category “Delicious Water”.  Clocking in at less than 12% alcohol, DW wines are super food-friendly but are also amazing without food.  In the park. On a sunny day.  So refreshing.  Yum… This old-vine […]

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Biondi Etna Bianco ‘Outis’

The popularity of wines from Mount Etna, the very active volcano in Sicily’s north-eastern corner, has exploded in the last few years. It is now one of the Italy’s hottest wine regions, and the darling of sommeliers around the world, for good reason.  The volcanic soils, high altitudes and pre-phylloxera vineyards create wines of intense minerality, pure, bright fruit, and lightness of […]

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Marenco ‘Pineto’ Brachetto d’Acqui

To help draw out the juice of the strawberries in my Strawberry-Amaretti Crumble, I macerate them in Brachetto d’Acqui, a lightly sweet, low alcohol wine from Piemonte. Even if you generally don’t like wine on the sweeter side, there’s a good chance you’ll dig Brachetto. It’s the gateway dessert wine. It starts with a gorgeous nose of […]

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