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5 Tips To Ace A Wine Education Course

by Marla Durben Hirsch

Any wine tasting can be educational. But if you want to become really knowledgeable in wine, it helps to obtain a wine certification. I decided that I wanted to become certified this year. To do that, I had to take an in-depth wine education course and pass a rigorous exam. Here’s how I learned how to ace a wine education course. 1. Choose Which Course Best Fits Your Needs There are several different wine education courses to choose from. Some certification programs specialize in a particular wine region or sommelier training. Your choice depends on your objective in taking a course. I opted to take the globally recognized wine education course offered by the renowned Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) because it provided a thorough all-around instruction of the main styl...

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The Emerging Importance Of The Czech Wine Industry In South Moravia

by Amanda Wilson

I was first introduced to Arielle by Alzbeta Gala - the other half of the Gala winery team - through a video of Arielle tasting and reviewing the Gala Welschriesling Hermes. My first reaction was, “Yes! Another American gets it!” Besides Heidi and myself, of course. The “it” in this case is Moravian wine from Czechia (aka the Czech Republic). Arielle DeSoucey is the founder of Civil Wines. Dedicated to educating the English speaking community on Moravian wines, I quickly realized we may be soul-sisters in our passion (ok maybe obsession) for Czech wines. Once we connected, we realized we could talk all day about Moravian wines together. She recently co-authored a brilliant article in the Council for European Studies’ Europe Now Journal with her sister Michaela DeSoucey, A...

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Selling Wine In 2020. And Why It Matters.

by Amanda Wilson

A pandemic. Election anxiety. Murder hornets. Fires. Protests and riots. Virtual schools. More hurricanes than we have letters for. Proof social media is changing humanity. Seriously - what’s not to stress about in 2020? At times it feels wrong, even futile to continue with business as usual amongst all the external pressures and anxieties we’re all experiencing. We say to ourselves things like, How is it appropriate for me to place a sales call right now? What do I say? I hear these kinds of comments from people across industries. Whether you’re selling software, marketing construction services, or printing t-shirts. We have something similar to survivor’s guilt, even though we’re all in this together. We think to ourselves that whomever we’re selling to is going to thin...

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1994 Lafite Rothschild: Lafite Of Clay...?

by Stuart George

At Arden Fine Wines, we get offered all sorts of stuff from all sorts of people. There has been a noticeable upturn this year in the amount of private clients approaching us with bottles of fine wine that they wish to sell. A dash to cash, perhaps, with people bottled-up at home and looking at what can be sold to raise money during these testing times. A recent example was Château Lafite 1994 – quite a nice Lafite, though lacking the intensity of superior vintages. This bottle was offered to us from a private seller on eBay, who had not realised that alcohol sales are strictly controlled on eBay. (For the record, Arden is an Approved Seller of wines on eBay.) When approached with an offer off this kind, I always ask: Where and when was the bottle acquired? Where ...

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Wedding Champagne: Pol Roger Cuvée De Réserve 1947

by Stuart George

Recently I was contacted by a client about a bottle that they wished to sell (perhaps more evidence of the dash to cash during lockdown): Pol Roger Cuvée de Réserve 1947. Not just the “normal”(!) 1947 Pol Roger – which was apparently Sir Winston Churchill’s “house Champagne” towards the end of his life – but a bottling that was disgorged on 29th July 1981 to commemorate the wedding of H.R.H. The Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer. (NB it wasn’t served at the wedding.) It was a great Champagne vintage in 1947, the middle of a biennial trio that included 1945 and 1949. The summer was very hot and the harvest was precocious, starting in early September. Normally it would have been mid- to late-September. As a point of comparison, the grapes for th...

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Advent-tures In Holiday Wine: A Wine Advent Calendar Primer

by Jessica Ried

Sightings of Costco’s wine and beer Advent calendars began as early as September this year but ALDI is upping the ante by announcing that it is designating November 4, 2020 as the first annual “National Advent Calendar Day” to commemorate the release of the first of its 20 (!) calendars (not all wine). ALDI appears to be staking a claim of ownership over the holiday Advent tradition, but there are plenty of retailers across the country jumping on the bandwagon, so there should be availability regardless of your geographic location (at least in the U.S.). For wine lovers, it may seem too good to be true: 24 different wines to be sampled over the course of the holiday season - what could go wrong? With it looking exceedingly likely that we’ll all be sheltering-in-place for the re...

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Oak In Wine

by Mary Ann Purtell

What does an "Oaked Wine" mean to the average consumer? Working for a large retail wine/liquor chain, I deal with interesting customers every day. When someone is searching for a chardonnay, the first thing you must determine is whether they like oaked or unoaked wine. What’s the difference between the two styles, you might ask? On the one hand, you can enjoy a classic Chablis that is crisp and lively with stone fruit, while on the other hand, oak will allow you to experience the round, creaminess of a Napa Valley Chardonnay. Simply put, oak is responsible for producing body, flavors, and aromas in chardonnay. When sipping a chardonnay, you might notice flavors of vanilla, pear, apple, melon, pineapple or even butter. That is oak doing its thing! The wine was aged in toasted barrels. Th...

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1810 Rumo Da India Madeira: An Historic Bottle Of Madeira Wine

by Stuart George

A while ago a colleague sent me some pictures of a an old bottle of Madeira that they’d “bought at a charity auction… No clues (about what it is) as it’s completely waxed and has maybe been redone.” Having stared intently at the photos of the label, and delved into my archives, I concluded that it was a bottle of 1810 Rumo da India Madeira. The Dutch East India Company used to pick up casks of Madeira wine and take them to India. The intense heat and constant movement of the ships had a profound effect on the wine and led to Madeira becoming a fortified wine that is heated in “estufas” (heated chambers or lofts) to replicate the conditions of the long journey south. This bottle is probably one of the very oldest surviving examples of Madeira wine that made the trip t...

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Niagara Wine Country, Ontario , Canada

by Sam Jonas

Our wine region is located between 40° and 44° North and situated in the heart of some of the world’s finest wine zone: example Burgundy France. It stretches across 17,000 acres; our vineyards are made up of complex limestone-based soils created by glaciers thousands of years ago. Niagara Wine Country comprises of 12 sub appellations from end-to-end throughout this entire region. The Topography for most of this region is lakeshore plains land, characterized by long, gentle slopes that become slightly more prominent in proximity to the north-facing Lake Iroquois Bluff. The gentle topography allows the entire region to enjoy generous sunlight exposure from early morning to late evening, which provides heat accumulation during the day and throughout the season, promoting an early start ...

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Does 1947 Château Cheval Blanc Escape The 25% Usa Wine Tariff...?

by Stuart George

As of Friday 13th March 2020, the USA’s 25% tariffs on imports of French, Spanish, and German still wines under 14% alcohol remain in place. Most, if not all, of Arden’s classic wines have less than 14% alcohol so we cannot dodge the tariff. However, it is not always stated or known what the alcohol level of old wines are. For example, it has been claimed that some of the grapes that contributed to Château Mouton Rothschild 1945 – of which we have sold a bottle from the cellar of Faringdon House – produced must at 15% alcohol. But the overall alcohol content of this exceptional wine is probably lower, and probably less than 14%. Older Bordeaux and Burgundy wines – up to the early-1980s, perhaps – frequently had alcohol levels of 11%-12.5%. Wines that achieved high ...

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