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Tag: french wine

White Wine: Step Out of Your Box

If I had to guess what white wine you had in your fridge right now, I’d say Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. I would also imagine that if you drink Chardonnay, you would only drink a Sauvignon Blanc if that was your only option and visa versa. It is now time to step out on your white wine and try something new, and I am here to offer some suggestions. Aren’t you glad this is not a post on box wine? I bet that is what you thought when you read the title.  I gotcha! White Wine Varieties There are somewhere around ten thousand varieties of wine…

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New Wines and Great Food

Even as someone who thrives on trying new places, I still need to visit some of my old haunts now and then. It is fun to see what new wines they are pouring and to try something new on the menu. In this post, I am sharing two such experiences. The first is about the incredible new wines I found. The the second a fantastic take on “Eggs Benedict.” @goat.sheep.cow.north One of my favorite old haunts is the wine bar and fromagerie goat.sheep.cow.north. “Old” here is a relative term because it has not even been open for two years yet. No matter…

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Bistro À Vin and Pannakakor

Oy, what a delightful but packed full weekend. It started on Thursday with the soft opening of the newest wine bar in Charleston, Bistro À Vin located at 40 Archdale Street in the heart of the shopping district just a block or so off King Street behind Charleston Place Hotel. On Friday, I had to begin preparation for my Dinner for ten on Saturday evening. Then I had my Saturday morning wine class which was awesome learning about several regions in France and blind tasting two wines. I am getting better at this but still not great. Saturday’s dinner party…

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Bottle Shock: Let it Rest

It’s Alive Yep, wine is as “alive” as any other agricultural product and can be affected by temperature fluctuations, movement, oxygen and many other factors. Think about it, wine changes as it ages so why not because it got jostled around on a ship as it crossed the pond from France or even after a week in a UPS truck from California to Charleston. There have been several times when we have purchased a new vintage of a wine that we have traditionally really liked. We pop the cork on that first bottle and think, “WHOA! what happened to this vintage?”…

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Whine: Not My Week for Wine

Whine: The Gamble I have become a huge fan of Chateauneuf-du-Pape white wine. It hurts the wallet real bad as an everyday wine, but it makes a perfect celebration wine. They are incredibly delicious and perfect for my palate and wine style. So when the opportunity arose to purchase and drink a vintage 1999 bottle, I had to jump on it. The price was only about 20% higher which made it an easy yes, but that also meant that this wine might have come from a collector or an estate sale leaving its care once initially sold in question. I was working…

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Obscure Wine, Surprising Wine – Updated!

I do hate to admit it, but I am lusting for an obscure wine. To satisfy my craving, I joined the Paris Wine Club.  I found this club when refining my search looking for that La Galoche Beaujolais Blanc back in May.  That search turned me on to so many great wine opportunities connecting me with McCarus Beverage Co. here in Charleston and Paris Wine Company in Northern California.  In addition to being an importer and distributor, Paris Wine Company has a club that features small winemakers throughout France that produce lower volume, classic French wines that do not usually see the light of…

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Alsace to South Africa

Different Wines, Distant Lands, Different Palates Alsace to South Africa It’s HOT! Hardly a cloud in the sky and 91 but feels like 96.  Crap, I think summer is here to stay until October.  As much as I want to drink red, I am going to at least have to wait until the sun goes down.  Or I could just set the thermostat on 65, put on a sweater and be good to go!  But I did not do that.  Instead, I picked up this Alsace Blanc for Gary and me, hoping Gary would like it as much as I suspected…

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Pink Bubbles from Mas de Daumas Gassac

In the summer of 2015, Gary and I met up with our with friends Bryan & Craig to spend ten days in France.  We spent a week in the Provence area using Villeneuve-lès-Avignon (a bedroom community next to Avignon) as our home base while exploring the south of France and then back up north for three days in Paris before heading home.  On this trip, we pre-arranged two winery tours whose wines we drink on a regular basis.  This post involves one wine from one of the wineries we visited that summer. Mas de Daumas Gassac At Mas de Daumas Gassac located…

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Two Rhone and a Languedoc-Roussillon: Red Wines from Southern France

While most vinophiles will gravitate to Bordeaux and Burgundy regions of France for the high priced and highly recognized wines from those regions.  I seem to be more focused on the three regions on or near the Mediterranean coast: Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence and Côte due Rhone.  These wines are much more approachable as well as affordable yet full of complexity. Getting into French wine can be difficult for some as it is not as straightforward as our American wines. As I have mentioned before most French wines are blended with at least two varietals of grapes from the same region or…

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French Wine… Why can’t I find a “merlot”?

French versus American wine bottle labeling Today I thought I would share some information about wine labels.  Specifically the differences for French wine versus American wine (and most other regions).  I know many people who shy away from French wines because they are unfamiliar and when they search for something recognizable they strike out.  To fix that the first obstacle is understanding the labels on the bottle.  So let’s break this down first before we go any deeper. The American Label In the US the winery name is usually the most prominent on the label.  Then the grape varietal used…

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