Gruet: Making New Mexico the Land of Sparkling

by Elizabeth Miller, CSW, CSS

When winemaker Gilbert Gruet came from Champagne to New Mexico in the 1980s for a family vacation, he likely sought the scenic beauty that earned the state’s nickname “Land of Enchantment”. What they found, however, was great terroir and a burgeoning wine industry. The family planted roots, and their 30 year catapult to becoming one of America’s greatest producers of Methode Champenoise has transformed this land into a “Land of Sparkling”.Gruet Winery’s Brut has been a staple at Vintology Wine & Spirits and my family events for years. The ‘coming to America’ story has been the special touch when I’ve…

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Champagne Announces 2016 Harvest Dates

by Liz Palmer

The Champagne region has announced the start dates for the 2016 harvest. Commencing today (September 12) through to September 26h there will be over 120,000 pickers, porters, loaders and press operators descend on the vineyards of Champagne for the harvest – the moment every winegrower has been waiting for.Each harvest is different in terms of grape ripeness, potential alcohol levels and natural acidity – so picking the right moment to harvest is essential.A ripening observation network for the accurate timing of harvests.Twice a week, just as the grapes start to change colour (véraison), samples are taken from some 450 control…

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CauliBroc

by Susanna Gaertner

Cauliflower and Broccoli with Spicy Mint SauceBroccoli and cauliflower make fine bedfellows when covered with this exceptional sauce, which can also be used to spice up other vegetables ordinarily labeled bland or boring. Quantities do not need to be exact...start with what's written here and then increase, decrease, or leave out according to your preferences. This is a great way to use up that jar of left-over mint jelly.Ingredients:1 lb broccoli florets1 lb cauliflower florets1 onion or shallot, chopped1 cup cider1 small tart apple, chopped2 Tbsp olive oil2 Tbsp flour2 carrots, chopped2 cloves garlic1 tsp dill½ tsp thyme2 tsp mint…

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Wine and Chocolate Pairings

by Lazar Stevic

Wine and Chocolate - A Match Made in HeavenCalifornia is renowned for its world famous vineyards and stunning cellar doors. The sweeping hills and valleys threaded with vines and haloed in endless sunshine means that the wine to come out of California is always of exceptional quality. We all know that when it comes to wine and chocolate, it is a match made in heaven. Nothing beats the taste of pure indulgence of pairing the sweet taste of pure chocolate with the heady fragrance of a sunshine state wine. At Santa Barbara Chocolate we believe that our customers deserve only…

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Is Rosé Passé?

by Minnesota Uncorked™

It’s never been more popular to drink the pink stuff, and with good reason. You might assume that dainty light pink bottle of wine isn’t for you –– that it’s sickly-sweet, for people who don’t really like wine. Forty years ago you might have been right, but in the midst of the resurgent popularity of dry European-style rosés, pink wines have something to offer almost any wine drinker.Rosés are not only a perfect, refreshing wine to sip in the spring, summer and fall, but pair excellently with many foods. Rosés, especially dry ones, are usually made with red grapes, but…

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Interview with an Advanced SOMM

by Minnesota Uncorked™

There are four levels of certification in the Court of Master Sommeliers. Sequentially, they are Introductory, Certified, Advanced, and Master — with each increasing dramatically in rigor. The average time it takes for someone to complete all four levels? Nine to ten years — for those that make it. The drop-off rate increases dramatically as you rise in certification levels.The program is geared toward professionals working in the beverage and hospitality industry and involves a knowledge of wine regions, wine service and deductive tasting — in addition to being a discerning businessperson in field of wine. While the pillars sound…

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Woodinville: The Gateway to Washington Wines

by Elizabeth Miller, CSW, CSS

Thirty miles from the bustle and skyscrapers of downtown Seattle is a gateway to Washington’s wine industry. Woodinville is a city in the Seattle metropolitan area and has become known for an increasing number of prominent wineries and tasting rooms. I popped over to Woodinville on my recent West Coast tasting trip, and learned how important this little city is to the history and prominence of the Washington wine industry.Woodinville in the WestGeographically and viticulturally Washington is divided into two sections, east and west, separated by the Cascade Mountain range. The mountains create a rain shadow, blocking precipitation and moisture…

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Top 10 Wine Terms for Beginners

by Steve Baik

A person may know the difference between a corkscrew and a wine key, but that doesn't make them an expert in all things vino. Even if you don't plan on becoming a wine connoisseur, you'll find that learning a few of the most basic wine terms will help you spark up interesting conversations at business dinners, social events or even a trip to the wine aisle. Here are the top 10 wine terms to know if you are just getting started.VarietalIn order to be classified as a varietal, 75 percent of the wine must come from one single type of…

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