Murgo Brut Rosé is a Scintillating Sicilian Sparkler

Posted on: April 18th, 2018 by
The Murgo Brut Rosé is made from 100% Nerello Mascalese and is a delicious bargain.

It was my birthday and you know I was going to drink something sparkling so I headed to see my Seattle pal (we worked together at Bottlehouse for years) Carson at Scampi. He started me off with a glass of Murgo Brut Rosé (2015). First let me begin by saying the wine list at Scampi [More]

The Fizzy Delights of Pét-Nat: Three to Try

Posted on: April 12th, 2018 by
La Staffa Mai Sentito Pét-Nat is a fizzy delight.

Pétillant-Naturel wines, charmingly shortened to Pét-Nat, are some of the most fun wines out there. The (ancestral) method to its madness is that the wine is bottled (usually with a crown cap, like a beer) while still fermenting. Carbon dioxide, one of the byproducts of fermentation, gets trapped in the bottle. The resulting wine is a [More]

A Loire Cabernet Franc Duo That’s a Delicious Bargain

Posted on: April 11th, 2018 by
Loire Cabernet Franc in red and rosé form.

One of my all-time favorite red wines is Loire Cabernet Franc. Well-aged, on the powerful side, or named for “drunken nights,” its savory freshness makes me swoon. You can also find great deals on Loire Cabernet Franc made in a manner to drink right away. I (re)discovered this at a recent Loire Valley wine tasting. Cave [More]

I Praise This Wine Without Using Exclamation Points

Posted on: April 2nd, 2018 by
I do not use exclamation points in praise of this wine.

I am so guilty of excessively using exclamation points. If you read the “About Me” section of this very blog, I even confess/brag about it. I refer to my predilection as deploying an “overabundance” of them. A quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald has stuck with me: “An exclamation point is like laughing at your own [More]

Seven Hills Winery Rosé Makes Cabernet Franc The Star

Posted on: April 1st, 2018 by
The Seven Hills Winery Rosé is one of Washington's best.

I am a huge fan of Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley. Many bottles are in my Hall of Fame, including one that’s probably in my Top Ten reds, ever. It’s a rising star on another continent, in a different guise, and what might seem a surprising state. Yes, Washington. Enter the Seven Hills Winery Rosé. [More]

Chateau Cantelaudette Bordeaux is a Merlot Showcase

Posted on: March 31st, 2018 by
The Chateau Cantelaudette is a 100% Merlot from Bordeaux.

One of the many nice things about going to free tastings at wine shops is getting to try something you normally might not come across. Like a Bordeaux with a ubiquitous, old-school label on it. Enter the Chateau Cantelaudette. It was being poured at Dandelion Wine and I ended up taking a bottle home. Why? 2014 [More]

Rube’s Steakhouse Provides Memories, A Huge Grill, and Wine Advice

Posted on: March 30th, 2018 by
The grill at Rube's Steakhouse in Montour, Iowa.

When I was a student at Grinnell College years decades ago, one of the biggest treats was a road trip to Rube’s Steakhouse in Montour, Iowa. Grinnell is in between Des Moines and Iowa City, off I-80. You could drive to Rube’s in under a half hour. It’s a pretty amazing grill-your-own steakhouse in rural Iowa, [More]

Wine Label Q&A With Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyard

Posted on: March 29th, 2018 by
Cunning Carignane Bonny Doon wine label

As a former retail wine buyer, I have a particular love for cool wine labels. (And a loathing for lame ones….) So it was really great to interview Randall Grahm of California’s Bonny Doon Vineyard about the iconic and original labels adorning his wines. The depth and breadth of art and artists is really fascinating. [More]

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