Wine Articles

"From Our Library and Cellar"

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Chards Picture

Ahhh, Those Versatile Chardonnays

Most of us will agree that wines made from the Chardonnay grape are the most popular whites on the market. Nearly every wine growing region in the world offers them and they are quite affordable. However, in addition to the standard geographic and vintage variations, a commonly used fermentation method (Malolactic Fermentation) makes for a lot of different flavors. Depending on the process, these wines can be bitingly acidic (green apples)...    -More-

Red Road Wine Picture

Red Road Wines

Most people know about “road beers”, those bottles and cans you carefully select for the picnic cooler, or to pass around to celebrate once you’re checked into the hotel. Just to cut the trail dust, or some other excuse, is the reason given for it all. Did you know there are also road wines for “touring professionals”? Of course there are, and good red ones too.

Red Road Wines are a special breed...    -More-

White Road Wine Picture

White Road Wines

Keeping with the tradition of taking some wine along on a holiday road trip, it is no problem throwing a few white wines in the cooler with the beer. In fact, many people would rather take a white wine on the road than a red, especially to go with a light snack or picnic fare.

White Road Wines are attractive because there are many with low alcohol and are just “lighter” to the taste. There are also a variety of...    -More-

AZ Winning Wine Picture

Check Out an Arizona Winner

In a local wine tasting contest setup by the FnB restaurant , the big news this year is that Arizona wines are tops. This was surprising to many who have tasted Arizona wines over the years and have not always been impressed. However, things keep getting better for those producers who just refuse to give up.

In the Sonoita appellation, Southeast of Tucson, the wineries take their work seriously...    -More-

Rose Wine Picture

Viva Rosè

The next time you are planning a barbeque, be sure to include a good Rosè in the mix. This is especially true here in the valley with our year-round season for cooking outside to enjoy the sun with an informal meal.

Quick outdoor gatherings go perfectly when a dry Rosè is included, especially with its light fruit taste, along with salads and cheeses while the grilling is underway. It’s a combination made for the fresh air...    -More-

Grill Picture

Pinot and grilled game hens

Most wine drinkers will concur that there is no varietal that has more taste variations than Pinot Noir. This can make selecting the right one a frustrating and expensive experience. Although it can take many years of trial and error to get it right, there are a few basic things to note about shopping for Pinots. In short, it’s all about the food.

For instance, suppose you need a wine to go with grilled Cornish Game Hens. Most...    -More-

Kobe Steak Dinner Picture

Kobe and the Cabernet

Many of us give in to the allure of fine Kobe beef steaks and on impulse pick up enough for the whole gang to enjoy. These are especially good on the grill, which adds enough smokiness to make a perfect juicy meaty flavor. However, often it seems that there is not quite enough left in the checkbook to also pick up a fine wine to go with them.

But not to worry, it just happens that the powerful 2007 vintage in California’s Napa and...    -More-

Italian Puglia Wine Picture

Wine from Italy’s Heel

There can be nothing more confusing than selecting an Italian wine, simply because there are so many offered. On top of that, the bottles are not marked the way we would expect, making it hard to figure them out without knowing the “code”.

One good way around this confusion is to find a restaurant having a liquor license that allows the direct sale of wine at the cashier. As an added bonus, you can often order a glass...    -More-

Grilled Burgers Picture

Zin and Burger Warm-Up

In Southern Arizona, we cook outside all year. When it’s hot, some people rave about the positive aspects of the heat with a comments like, “hey, it’s great to cook out here because the grill is already almost 200 degrees, so it just takes a moment to warm up.” When it’s cool (never really cold), you get “hey, it’s perfect, let’s barbeque then eat out on the patio”!

Is there a good wine recommendation for outdoor grilling lovers, especially with burgers?    -More-

Pinot Grigio Picture

Med Diets: Wine is Included

Many people who follow the Mediterranean Diet do not realize that wine in small to moderate amounts is also part of the mix. This is fortunate because many of the Med Diet dishes pair really well with wine.

Consider the fruit and cheese combination. Because the Mediterranean Diet requires a low consumption of dairy products, the cheese you pick should be one that is quite tasty in little bites. A great choice for this, and a wine...    -More-

Sauvignon Blancs Wine Picture

Sauvignon Blancs from Down Under

The lands down under are most commonly known for red wines like Shriaz, but there are also excellent white wines offered that shouldn’t be missed. Among the best are New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blancs. Over the past 10 years, NZ wines established such an excellent reputation that many California vintners were left scrambling to catch up (and they may have, more on that later).

Today, the New Zealand’s...    -More-

Malbec Wine Picture

The Beefy Malbec

Now that many of the original French grape varietals are under cultivation throughout the world, some countries have started to develop reputations as “specialists” in wine made from particular grapes. This has occurred even while many traditional vintners continue to blend wines from many varietals to achieve their flavor objectives.

One of the most striking examples of countrywide grape specialization is Argentina’s...    -More-

Columbia Valley Merlot Picture

Merlot Surprises

As confusing as finding good Merlots can be, there are numerous growing regions that bring out the best in this grape, in addition to the obvious Bordeaux France, that is. One of these areas that is somewhat surprising is the Columbia Valley in Washington state. As many who have toured the wineries of this region can attest, their Merlots are actually taken home to the cellar more often than the Cabernets.

This is especially important to know if...    -More-

Napa Sauvignon Blanc Picture

Napa Sauvignon Blanc: Excellence

Over the past several years, the Napa Valley vintners struck back at worldwide competition in several white wine varietals with beautiful results. And of course, we all benefit. But this year’s huge inventory of Sauvignon Blancs can make any shopper’s head spin. However, there’s a bonus, many are excellent! So take advantage of the low prices and high inventory while it lasts.

Still not sure about Sauvignon Blanc? Then do a tasting at an outlet with a zillion...    -More-

Witness Tree Pinot Picture

A Reasonable Willamette Valley Pinot

Whenever a good Pinot Noir is affordably priced, it’s worth a second look, especially from a small operation with an excellent reputation. Specifically, AJs just happens to have a good supply of Witness Tree Vineyard’s 2008 Pinot Noir on hand. This Pinot definitely should be on your buy list, especially if a Salmon, Game Hen, or Roast Chicken dinner is in the works.

Over the past 20 years, the Willamette...    -More-

LemiShine Picture

Wine Glasses in the Dishwasher

When it comes to cleaning wine glasses, we’ve always been told to hand wash and keep them out of the dishwasher. Oh yeah, the dishwasher can do terrible things to wine glasses, including slimy films, soapy smells, and nasty little spots or rings! And don’t forget that those fragile wine glasses can’t possibly win a “clinking battle” against a juice glass.

But if there were only a way to just...    -More-

Pouilly Fuisse Picture

Rocks on the nose: Pouilly Fuissè

When it comes to celebrating a change in the weather, wine isn’t normally the first thing that comes to mind. But, believe it or not, some wines actually have flavors that remind of “wet rocks” or “fresh flowery earth” enhanced by an approaching storm.

However, achieving earthy bouquets and flavors without tasting moldy or musky is the trick here, and fortunately for wine aficionados...    -More-

Pinot Gris Wine Picture

Oregon Pinot Gris: More Versatile

Many Oregon wine producers have the advantage of a long growing season moderated by their proximity to the rugged Oregon Coast. They actually share many of the cool coastal growing conditions enjoyed by the Northern California producers, making their Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir wines top flight.

A prime example of a wine from a coastal Oregon estate location with some fruit sourced...    -More-

Phelps Cabernet Picture

A Cabernet to Know

From time to time it is always good to take a look at vintners who consistently do an excellent job with their product and make a concerted effort to keep their wines in choice spots of your rack to grab for that special occasion.

Of course, it is a matter of personal opinion as to which producers provide a consistent top quality product at a reasonable price, and therefore you can take that into consideration...    -More-

Velvet Devil Merlot Picture

Wine for an ASU Party or Tailgate?

From Charles Smith wines, comes a budget-priced ($11-$18) Merlot you may want to stock up on for those ASU parties or tailgates. It is branded the “Velvet Devil”, and with its pitchfork on the label, it is sure to be a good match with those “Sparky” table decorations that come out to celebrate our favorite local college sports.

Being a Columbia Valley, Washington State wine, the recent vintages are true to...    -More-