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Working hard but having fun


I’m working hard at my studying for the WSET Diploma but I’m also enjoying myself.
The hard work comes from having 600 hours of studying over a 2 year period. If you break that down, that’s around 6 hours per week so just like a full day. I’m fortunate in that I’m only working 3 days […]

Garnacha/Grenache - an Introduction


The same grape but two different names.
In Spain this red variety is Garnacha. It is the most widely cultivated grape in Spain where it is easy to grow and supplies producers with good yields. Often used in blends as its body, fruitiness and inherent ‘meatiness’ make it a great partner. Rioja is a blend of […]

What to Do When in Rome


Not that I am advocating you take any steps to put yourself in this position, but should you be in Rome and find yourself on the wrong side of the law, you might find their jail an interesting sort of place.  Just South of Rome is the Rehabilitation Program at Velletri Prison.  While serving time, […]

Earth-Friendly Wine


Yes, believe it or not, there is such a thing, though I’ll admit, it was news to me.  French Rabbit’s Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay are made from grapes that are grown on sustainably farmed vineyards in Southern France. 
The wine comes in lightweight, recyclable containers that create a staggering 90% less waste than […]

Keeping the Faith of Terroir


I have the faith. I believe in terroir.
What prompted this public assertion? A couple of weeks ago I was reading a posting by Alder Yarrow from Vinography commenting on an article about terrior that had been published in T Style magazine (New York Times). The premise: does terroir exist? And can it be proven, or […]

To Your Health with Champagne!


When raising a glass of Champagne and toasting ‘Cheers’, the sentiment is generally a way of praising one’s health and well being in a figurative way.
Now, from an article found on Wine Spectator Online, a study is highlighted where according to research done at the University of Reading in England and the Università degli studi […]

Calling All Centenarians: The Wine Century Club


If you’ve been sipping Assyrtiko, Ehrenfelser, Xarel-lo, or Zweigelt lately, chances are you’re eligible for membership in the Wine Century Club. Now more than two years old, this obviously fun-loving group of wine enthusiasts was founded by Deborah and Steve De Long in the spirit of adventurous wine drinkers everywhere. Now I ask you, do […]

Semillon Synonyms


Writing a blog post generally leads me to obscure tidbits of knowledge — usually not the knowledge that I was originally looking for. That ’s how researching the use of semillon in French wines — Sauternes, Bergerac, Loupiac, blah, blah, blah — got me plunged into the fascinating world of wine variety synonyms.
The French language […]

The WSET Diploma and fortifieds


Relief! I’ve passed the first of the exams for my WSET Diploma, this being the one on wine production.
I was concerned that I hadn’t read widely enough although I had put in enough hours, 80 compared to the WSET guidance of 60. There were some sections of the Oxford Companion especially on rootstocks and diseases […]

Torrontes- The White Wine of Argentina


I have recently fallen in love with Torrontes wine, and I will unabashedly and eagerly introduce you to this amazing varietal.
One sip for me was all it took to be lurched out of my standard white phase of Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio and into the lush and richly flavored Torrontes, a grape with a […]