Have you heard of the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux?

by Claire L. Torbeck, Certified Sommelier

This organization was first conceived by a group of small estate owners in Bordeaux interested in collectively forming promotional initiatives around the world. The idea grew, the Union was formed and today, in cooperation with distributors, brokers and merchants, they host 80 events a year in over a dozen countries. The focus is to present their latest vintage to some 50,000 or so professionals and wine lovers. The Union consists of 134 Chateau members. On January 24, 2020 (in San Francisco) the 2017 vintage was introduced with more than 70 chateau owners and representatives pouring their wines. There is…

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Roadside America: Long Island Wine Country

by Tour

While Manhattan has endless offerings for the curious traveler, the honking cabs and incessant chaos of the city can leave you needing a break from your vacation. For a laid-back day trip, head to eastern Long Island and explore their expansive wine country. Getting There From Manhattan, you can take a train from Penn Station to Ronkonkoma and then transfer for the train to Mattituck. Just be sure to check the schedule, as the train to Mattituck only runs a few times per day. You can also take the Hampton Jitney on the North Fork Line, with the…

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5 Questions with Mr. Joseph Miller (B.Sc. SGD) President of the International Sommelier Guild

by Zina Sorensen

Mr. Joseph Miller (B.Sc. SGD) is the President of the International Sommelier Guild. Mr. Miller visited Bulgaria in September/October of 2018 and was invited to visit the wine regions of Bulgaria by Bulgaria Wine Tours. Several wineries opened their doors and invited Mr. Miller inside to introduce him to the wines and wine history of Bulgaria. After ten days of travel, 20 wineries visited and 4 wine regions explored, we were curious about Mr. Miller’s first impressions on Bulgarian wine. Here are 5 questions with Mr. Joseph Miller: 1. What is your general impression of…

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How many points is that wine? What about Wine Critic’s Scores and Evaluations?

by Claire L. Torbeck, Certified Sommelier

It is very helpful to rely upon the ‘paid for’ and ‘free’ critic’s advice and written evaluations when purchasing wine. Shelf talkers tout the expert’s scores to influence what bottle(s) of wine you will ultimately purchase. Should you believe them? For the well-known wine raters, I have been watching their scoring and reading their reviews long enough that I have formed an opinion as to ‘how’ they score wine. I know who always rates higher than the others or which reviewer(s) likes fruit forward, highly extracted and high alcohol wines. Why does that matter? Because while I can tell…

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10 Facts Every Cabernet Sauvignon Lover Should Know

by Natasha

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most recognized grape varieties in the world. It’s loved for its age-worthiness and bold flavors. In this blog post, we’re going to uncover 10 facts that every wine lover should know about. 1. Originating from France, it’s a natural cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. In the Bordeaux region, it is often used in red blends with Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and sometimes Malbec. 2. Many unique blends have emerged with this grape variety. In Australia, it’s blended with Shiraz. Super Tuscan (a term used to describe red wines using…

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Bulgaria: An emerging wine and food travel destination

by Zina Sorensen

Wine has been made in Bulgaria for millennia. Over 5000 years of wine history tracing back to the Thracian era places Bulgaria among the oldest wine making countries in the world. After 45 years behind the iron curtain, Bulgarian wine is in a period of rebirth creating exceptional wines at great value. The wine regions are off-the-beaten-path and void of large tourist groups. The beauty of Bulgaria’s mountainous countryside is unspoiled and waiting to be discovered. Tap into the rich culinary legacy, the fascinating history, regional customs and age-old traditions through a wine, food and cultural immersion. Discover the unknown…

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A Premier Experience in Provence: A Chef-Led Tour of Culture & Cuisine With Chef Bob Waggoner

by Kelly Villasuso

For centuries, the hilltop villages and undulating valleys, the cobbled paths and pebble-strewn shores of the Provence region of France have enticed and enraptured. From painters seeking to capture the ever-changing light in Ménerbes, writers hoping to describe the indescribable beauty of hot-pink bougainvillea juxtaposed with the brilliant sky-blue backdrop of the Cote d’Azur village of Èze, and historians wishing to walk in the footsteps of the brilliant craftsmen of the intricate caves in Gordes, to travelers striving to experience every nuance in between, Provence has long been a place to fulfill — and to enflame — passions. In…

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Does 'vintage' matter?

by Claire L. Torbeck, Certified Sommelier

I thoroughly enjoyed a 2009 Tronquoy-Lalande last evening. The wine was inky in color thanks to the addition of Petit Verdot in this St. Estephe Bordeaux blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Tight at first, the nose opened up to black cherries, dark berries, tobacco with a hint of French roasted coffee and minerality. The oak structure was present but soft and the oak was well integrated in the wine. On the palate, it still had primary fruit flavors with good structure and soft tannins. The finish was long and all the elements described were evident in the finale. A…

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