Valpolicella, Ripasso and Amarone. Just saying the names sounds romantic.
Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday. It’s a time for family, food, wine, and giving thanks for all our blessings. There are so many great wines to choose from, but wines from the Loire Valley (France) seem made for the occasion. The Loire Valley is home to wines that pair perfectly with Thanksgiving feasts. Let’s get to know a little bit about this unique wine region in northern France, which runs east to west along the Loire River.
I’m sure we’ve all read descriptions of wines and thought to ourselves, “What are they talking about?!” Some descriptive words for wines, like “linear,” “brawny,” “fleshy,” “meaty,” and “fat” leave me perplexed. With training, I know now what those words mean—but I feel like they add fuel to the “wine snob” fire.
Let me share an approach to describing wine I hope you find much easier to understand. I use three categories of descriptors: fruit, non-fruit and structure.
Sales for sparkling wines soar during the holidays. Most of us pop a cork to ring in the New Year. And with good reason—celebrations and sparkling wines pair perfectly. But it’s time to think beyond the holidays: Sparkling wine goes very well with many occasions and many foods.
The most common reaction I get when asking friends about Riesling is: “Riesling is too sweet!” Sure, Riesling wines can be sweet, but quite often they’re far from it. Dry Rieslings are some of the most popular food-friendly wines available. Their natural acidity triggers a mouth-watering reaction that goes perfectly with many foods. My goal here is to offer basic clues to identify dry Rieslings.
Suggesting there’s anything hidden about Spanish wine is a bit odd. Spain is a large country with more acres of vines planted than anywhere in the world, and the list of great wines is a mile long. That said, Spain often plays third fiddle behind France and Italy. But Spain is full of amazing wines and is home to two of my favorite wine regions in the world, Galacia and Priorat. These two regional gems produce incredible wines.
In no way are the wines of southern Italy new. As a matter of fact, they are some of the world’s oldest, going back centuries to the Roman Empire. However, they are experiencing a resurgence here in the U.S. that offers consumers new and exciting choices. Wines of northern Italy have dominated shelf space for years, and for good reason. Barolo, Brunello, Chianti, Prosecco and Amarone are household names. They deserve to be!
For those of us who like wine, it’s nice to have a bottle on hand at all times just in case the occasion calls for it. But what if you want a few more options?
Home wine cellars can range from a small space under the stairs to full-blown, climate-controlled rooms, and there are some of both right here in Woodbury. Here we feature two wine cellars to give you some ideas if you’re considering starting your own collection, and show that wine is more than just a special occasion drink.
Fred and Heidi Conrad