Snooth - Articles Read the opinions of wine professionals en-us Tue, 23 Sep 2014 18:25:32 -0400 Tue, 23 Sep 2014 18:25:32 -0400 Snooth Your Wine Drinking Soundtrack Claudia Angelillo <p>So much of your wine drinking experience relies on set and setting. Is the room tidy? Do you have the right glassware? What is the weather forecast? With whom are you drinking? And of course, what sort of music is playing? Allow us to assist you with the latter-most question. Here are our top five wine-themed songs for a guaranteed good wine-drinking time!<br /> </p> Wed, 24 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5576 Value Southern Italians $15 and Under Gregory Dal Piaz <p>We are looking for great values, and you can find them from just about every region on earth except for a small handful of regions that seem to only do well with wines that start at what no one I know is calling a value price. On the flip side, there are many wine producing regions around the globe that seem almost incapable of cracking through the value ceiling. For whatever reason their appellation or variety just has failed to gain the cache, and grab the imagination of the modern consumer.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Take southern Italy for example. With few truly expensive and important wines from the region, as I loosely define it to include the wines from Lazio, Abruzzo, and all points south, there&rsquo;s not much buzz or interest from many influential players in the wines scene. And so the wines don&rsquo;t get the attention they deserve. The same can be said for the wines from the Marche, of which I have included a few in today&rsquo;s tasting. Nothing fancy going on there so why crow about it? And I also included them here because they otherwise would have been ignored and that&#39;s not fair, and I am all about being fair.<br /> So these wines, Southern Italian and not, fly under the radar. They are not well understood, and generally thought of as cheap wines. Speaking of fairness, that is an unfair characterization. While the wines are inexpensive they are not without great value. As I taste through values wines throughout the year I am struck by how difficult it can be to find good value in among some groups of wines, and yet how easy it can be when I am tasting from another region.&nbsp;<br /><br /> <br /><br /> The wines tasted for this article certainly had some with lackluster performance but for the most part these wines rocked. Just lovely expressions of fruit and place, and one even sells for $6 a bottle? How they can do that I don&rsquo;t know but let me just say that this 2008 Casato d&rsquo;Alojsa Rosso Puglia &nbsp;is one of the great bargains of the year!<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Many of the remaining top wines in today&rsquo;s line-up stuck closer to the top end of the under $15 price limit I impose for these tastings, but there were several wines under $10 and few just over that i would be glad to have on my table. With a tasting like this, across regions and with various grape varieties being used it&rsquo;s worth giving a little run down of the wines I found most appealing and what you should expect from them.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong>Aglianico:</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Primarily from Campania, though also found in Basilicata, Aglianico is often referred to as the Barolo of the south due to the wines powerful tannins, dark muscular fruit, and exceptional ageing ability. Less expensive examples retain much of the character of Aglianico with richness, complexity, and savory flavors though in a less structured, though far from easy style.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong>Negroamaro:</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> One of the great grapes of Puglia, the black bitter, as Negroamaro translates, has benefitted immensely from the modernization of the southern Italian wine industry. previously responsible for leather, broad, supple and slightly spicy wines, more recent examples have revealed a wonderfully perfumed wine, rich with dark fruit and still retaining a vegetal hint that adds complexity to the supple, and sometimes velvety palate.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong>Primitivo:</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> it&rsquo;s Zinfandel folks! Briary and brambly fruit, modest tannins, usually with good acidity in a round, easy going style. While subtly different from Zin, and usually with less alcohol, the finest Primitivo will be right at home in a line-up of comparably priced Zins!</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong>Salice Salentino and similar red blends:</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Blended wines featuring Negroamaro with some Malvasia Nera allowed in the case of Salice Salentino or dependant on the traditional varieties that were always planted here to ensure that wine could be made each year no matter what the weather was. Fortunately for the region the weather tends to be remarkably good so everything ripens well and the resultant wines draw on the Negroamaro for ageing potential, Malvasia for spice and subtlety, Primitivo for midpalate fruit, and the Malvazia to add a little spice to the mix.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong>Rosso Piceno:</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Along with Rosso Conero, the mainstay wines of the Marche in Central Italy, though different in their compositions with Rosso Piceno containing between 35% and 85% Montepulciano d&rsquo;Abruzzo &nbsp;blended with between 15% and 50% Sangiovese, allowing for the additional inclusion of other black skinned varieties allowed in the region. On the other hand Rosso Conero is a minimum of 85% Montepulciano d&rsquo;Abruzzo blended with Sangiovese. In both cases the Sangiovese is used to add red fruit and lighten the texture of the grapey, rich and slightly chewy Montepulciano, resulting in complex, fresh and yet deep wines that have plenty of fruit that tends to be paired with modest, ripe fruit tannins. The influence of new oak is popular with these wines.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Armed with this primer on the wines of South and Central Italy, and the list that follows, you should be prepared to discover not only terrific values, but many unique expressions of the vine. In a world where too many wineries seem to be adopting a formulaic approach to winemaking, the variety of grapes found in Southern Italy paired with the regional attachment to tradition, offers consumers real choice and true variety in a world increasingly devoid of the same. The adoption of modern cellar protocols &nbsp;should not be mistaken for the abandonment of tradition here as these wines still, for the most part, speak clearly of their origins. Perhaps more clearly and distinctly than ever before, and at this price point that is not only a discovery, but a true treasure!</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2010 Musto Carmelitano Maschitano Rosso Rosso di Basilicata 13% $15</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>100% Aglianico</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: Polaner Selections</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Dark, smoky, slightly gamy, and herbal streaked aromas that resemble some dried salumi &nbsp;greet the nose followed by layers of peppery spice, wild mint, nettle, and wild blackberry and black currant fruit. Smooth, broad shoulder, a touch thick but well balanced and powerful in the mouth, this reveal great depth to the macerated black raspberry fruit thats filled with mineral, subtle oak, and black tea, dried herb, and subtle middle eastern spice notes. Powerful and tannic on the finish with a suggestion of bitterness to the mineral and think black cherry skin fruit flavors that finger on the palate, this is a serious wine. A bit strict and austere, I love it and think it has the balance and stuffing to improve with three to five years in the cellar. 90pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Felline Alberello Salento Rosso 13% $12</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>50% Negramaro , 50% Primitivo&nbsp;</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: Michael Skurnik Wines&nbsp;</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Complex and nuanced on the nose with a hint of musky florality followed by some toasty soil notes, black tea, tobacco, and slightly medicinal vegetal aromas. Rather powerful but super well balanced in the mouth with great supporting acids and ripe, slightly chewy tannins covered with fresh black cherry and plum fruit that retains some of the black tea and vegetal nuance found on the nose. Fairly long on the finish, this is remarkably well balanced, and exhibits lovely freshness of flavor and complexity. &nbsp;there&rsquo;s a little mineral note on the backend and perhaps a touch of sweet spice from wood on that long finish than ends with a &nbsp;fine pop of red berry fruit. This is terrific and it might even improve a bit. 89pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2012 Hisotelarayn Filari de Sant&rsquo;Antoni Negroamaro Salento 13.5% $13</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: Upslope Vineyards</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Made from organic grapes.</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Really gorgeously perfumed on the nose with spicy, muscatty floral tones, a hint of plum liquor, touches of smoke, sweet baking spices and pomegranate all coming together elegantly. Very well integrated in the mouth with an elegance to it and soft polish to the slight drying tannins that are embedded in a core of black cherry fruit. &nbsp;With enough acid to stay fresh on the palate this drives through a rather long finish that hints and prune and jammy strawberry fruit with a suggestion of something sweetly and medicinally herbal on the finale. &nbsp;Nice purity and lovely balance, this is a winner. 89pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2008 Sigillus Primus Salice Salentino Riserva 13.5% $9</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>An unspecified blend of Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: H Squared Wines</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Chalky and a bit astringent on the nose with an unusual spice note that melds cedar with iris, grilled beef, &nbsp;and beet root. Fascinating on the nose. In the mouth this is medium plus bodied and yet it remains quite light on it&rsquo;s feet with early suggestions of leather and juniper on the palate followed by slight bitter and earthy, if clear and fresh black cherry and black berry fruit. The tannins are fine grained but they do build on &nbsp;the palate. Through the moderately long finish this remains well balanced and fresh. It&rsquo;s a bit tight and reticent in the mouth but at the same time almost elegant and quite refined. 88pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2010 Velenosi Brecciarolo Rosso Piceno Superiore 13.5% $15</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: Domaine Select Wine Estates</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>70% Montepulciano d&rsquo;Abruzzo, 30% Sangiovese</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Dark and spicy on the nose with bigs note &nbsp;of spicy flowers and green fennel seeds along with toasty oak competing for one&rsquo;s attention on the inky, slightly peppery and floral laced nose. Big, smooth, and polished in the mouth this is positively exuberant &nbsp;in the way it rushes over the tongue and fills the mouth. The fruit is lovely, easy and not complex though with some attractive floral nuance and that bit of wood spice from the nose offering a base and added complexity in the mouth. the texture of this is terrific. It&rsquo;s going to prove to be very popular and will I enjoy it I find the palate just a little two step with the fruit and oak and the finish cut a bit short by the wood tannins. People with a greater appreciation for oak in their wines will love this. 88pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2012 Terrilogio Primitivo Puglia 13% $8</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: Monsieur Touton</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Rather spicy and minerally on the nose with a smoky cast to the &nbsp;dried herb and black olive tinged fruit. Round, a bit lusty and giving on the palate with simple but well defined black cherry and blackberry fruit. There are some soft tannins here that lends this some texture in the mouth and the acidity is bright and juicy keeping this quite fresh on the palate. The fruit takes on a rather aromatic tone on the back of the palate, and shows a hint of astringency and focus that serves it well through the moderately long, slightly austere and fresh finish. Nice firm and with attractive purity to the fruit. 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2009 Colli della Murgia Selvato Puglia Rosso 12.5% $12</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: H Squared Wines</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>60% Aglianico, 40% Primitivo made with organic grapes.&nbsp;</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A touch raw and woody on the nose with simple if deep aromas of macerated herbs, &nbsp;spicy, ashy soil, and slightly weedy black currant fruit that picks up some briary accents with air. &nbsp;Soft in the mouth and attractively fruity with bright acids lending a bit of curt to the black cherry and brambly blackberry flavors on the palate. This shows it&rsquo;s Zin side quite assertively , though it is more structured and focused through the moderately tannic finish than a Zin might typically be. A bit tough at the end of the day and dry on the palate though with the right dish this would be terrific. Gamy fowl would be gorgeous with this, particularly if cooked over hardwood. 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Perrini Negroamaro Salento 13% $14</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: LDM Wines</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Made from organic grapes.</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Very perfumed on the nose with a natural ferment array of earthy, herbal, and spicy fresh leathery and heathery aromas laced with fairly grape if fresh and pure fruit. Showing great freshness and clarity on the palate, this is clear and transparent with lovely wild cherry and blackberry flavors that cover subtle spice and vaguely herbal nuance with a thread on fennel running through the palate. Clean and fresh on the moderately long finish, this turns perfumy on the finale with lovely interplay between the spicy fruit and slightly musky herbal undertones. The tannins are very ripe here, you don&rsquo;t even notice them until they pop gently on the finale. 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2008 Casato d&rsquo;Alojsa Rosso Puglia 14.5% $6</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Negroamaro</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: Summit Selection</em>s</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Fruity, spicy and just a little smoky on the nose with nice fresh aromas and very focused spice notes. &nbsp;Juicy and medium bodied in the mouth with lovely fresh raspberry fruit that carries some plummy accents and ripe if slightly rustic tannins with it across the everso slightly jammy midpalate. Finishing with freshness and &nbsp;lovely structure if not great length, &nbsp;this is a simple, pure and juicy wine that is pure pleasure and lots of fun. Pair this with some ribs. I will! 86pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2010 Valle dell&rsquo;Asso Negroamaro Salento 13% $15</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: H Squared Wines</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Leathery, a bit sulphury, gently spicy and a bit toasty on the nose with slightly chalky and vegetal framing notes adding aromatic complexity. Bright, juicy and filled with sour cherry, rasp and tart plum flavors , this is rather light on its feet with a really light tough on the palate. Al red fruit and fresh with a brisk finish that shows a touch of tannins and refreshing acids. Lovely easy drinking and super fresh style. 85 pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Cantele Primitivo Salento 13.5% $11</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: Vias Imports</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> With a touch of tree bark lending this a savory edge, this opens on the nose showing off candied black fruit wrapped in spicy new oak. &nbsp;Smooth and almost supple in the mouth, this has lovely herbal shadings lending detail to the core of black cherry fruit on the palate and some well integrated and yet attractive wood spice notes add further nuance on the backend, though wood tannins also make themselves know here as well. Clean, a bit drying and slightly woody on the modest finish, this is just a bit drying and a touch simple on the palate, though it does speak of Primitivo. 84pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2010 Failoni Rosso Piceno 13% $14</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: H Squared Wines</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A bit astringent on the nose with notes of camphor and wild arugula laced with aromas of dates and smoke. Mid weight on the palate but not without a touch of heaviness. There&rsquo;s plenty of acidity keeping this juicy but this a bit pasty on the palate lending the wine a bit of an extracted feel. &nbsp;Tannins are a bit raw and drying, though there are some attractive mineral notes and the fruit turns out to be quite fresh and red toned on the backend and through the &nbsp;moderately long but drying finish. Theres nice fruit here and attractive aromatics but the wine comes off as a touch rustic and clumsy 83pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Pietraluna Negroamaro Salento 13% $13</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: Michael Skurnik</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Dark, earthy and focused on the nose with a hint of pencil lead laying over a base of sundried tomato, licorice and brunt herbal aromas. rather full in the mouth and a touch extracted with tannins that are a bit dry and forceful early on the palate followed by bright acids that help add some definition on the palate. The fruit feels a bit raw, matte, and extracted, though with some nice aromatic spice notes emerging on the backend along with some mulberry fruit that peters out quickly on the modest, dry finish. &nbsp;Rustic and a little chewy. 82pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2010 Palama Fregi Barocchi Salento Rosso 12.5% $9</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: H Squared Wines</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Sour on the nose with a hint of blood followed by a touch of green herbal spiciness, a hint of green watermelon peel and astringent red berry fruit. Smooth and a bit weighty on entry, this sits low in the mouth with mark, medicinal streaked bitter black cherry and carob laced flavors. There&rsquo;s not much of a finish here, just a medicinal note and then an echo of black cherry fruit appears and sticks around in a slightly pasty manner. &nbsp;The tannins are fresh and well measured, but his has &nbsp;fruit roll-up, candied dried quality cherry fruit on the palate. Some might appreciate that aspect of this wine more than I do. I like the texture here, the flavor profile less. 83pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2009 Villa Malacari Rosso Conero 14% $15</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: Polaner Selections</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Has a bit of ammonia on the nose that is off putting followed by dark, ashy fruit. What&rsquo;s with the ammonia? Medium full on entry with lots of blackberry framed plummy fruit on the palate supported by small yet drying tannins. Theres no over ammonia in the mouth and this is rustic, chunky and a bit chewy on the palate in a pleasant way with slightly gamy, acid driven black cherry fruit on the moderately long finish that shows off plenty of those small, tactile tannins. Definitely tastes better than it smells with both the ammonia and ash smelling a bit off and chemical. 81pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2010 Duca Carlo Guarini Primitivo Vigne Vecchie Salento &nbsp;14% $15</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: &nbsp;Vos Vinum Importing</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Jammy on the nose with wild &nbsp;cherries and strawberries in alcohol along with aromas of woodsmoke and a touch of spicy mushroom. Bright, juicy yet with a hint of sweetness lending this some roundness on the palate and helping to accentuate the jammy nature of the red berry fruit flavors on the palate. Nicely structured, if ever so slightly cloying, and extracted and a bit tough on the long finish. This picks up some leathery notes on the palate with air. Tough going. 80pts</div><br /> </p> Tue, 23 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5581 Being in Burgundy Christy Canterbury MW <p>There is nothing like spending time in <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Burgundy</strong></a>. The villages and countryside are beautiful and timeless. The people are discreet but warm. Burgundy is like comfort food for wine lovers.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Arrive</strong><br /><br /> The TGV is the most convenient way to arrive from Paris. There are frequent, direct trains to Dijon and Le Creusot (about ten minutes east of Chalon-sur-Sa&ocirc;ne and 30 minutes south of Chassagne-Montrachet). There is also an occasional direct train to Beaune. If you&rsquo;re going to Beaune and there&rsquo;s no direct train, just transfer at Dijon for a regional train. The wait is usually no longer than 20 minutes. Beware: you will have to haul your luggage up and down stairs at both stations.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Dijon and Le Creusot host rental car companies at the train stations. Most of Beaune&rsquo;s car rental options are not on-site but are only a quick taxi ride away. Driving from Paris is, of course, an option, but it&rsquo;s a tedious, three-hour drive to Beaune on the A6.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> If you&rsquo;re touring France&rsquo;s wine regions and are coming from <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Bordeaux</strong></a>, hop on an Eastern Airways flight to Dijon. It&rsquo;s inexpensive and much faster than taking the train all the way north to Paris then south to Burgundy. No TGV routes cut across the plateau in the center of the country.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Sleep</strong><br /><br /> Burgundy is cozy, but it&rsquo;s not small. Though the <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>C&ocirc;te d&rsquo;Or</strong></a> is only 32 miles long, Chablis is 1.5 hours north of the northern tip of the &ldquo;Gold Coast.&rdquo; M&acirc;con, at the southern edge of Burgundy, is an hour from Santenay at the southern point of the C&ocirc;te d&rsquo;Or. (For this column, I am not including Beaujolais.) So, the location of your pillow is very important.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> For most, <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Beaune</strong></a> is ideal. It is centrally located and full of stores, wine bars and restaurants. &ldquo;Downtown&rdquo; is small and pleasant to stroll. Charm oozes from mortar at the chambre d&rsquo;h&ocirc;te Jardins de Lo&iuml;s, situated on the southern side of the loop that circles Beaune. Just across the way is the larger and more luxurious H&ocirc;tel le Cep, which cutely classifies its rooms from Bourgogne to Grand Cru to Nectar!<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Dijon</strong></a> is the largest city and home to almost 50 percent of the C&ocirc;te d&rsquo;Or&rsquo;s residents. However, it is a major city, so it doesn&rsquo;t feel like wine country. I suggest visiting for a day and lodging closer to the vineyards.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=";search_source=search_form&amp;version=llv1&amp;anyorall=all&amp;safesearch=1&amp;searchterm=burgundy+france&amp;search_group=&amp;orient=&amp;search_cat=&amp;searchtermx=&amp;photographer_name=&amp;people_gender=&amp;people_age=&amp;people_ethnicity=&amp;people_number=&amp;commercial_ok=&amp;color=&amp;show_color_wheel=1#id=102997307&amp;src=0ed8a1d15b8902f1560c102e7aa970f9-1-4" target="_blank"><em>Burgundy, France image via Shutterstock</em></a><br /><br /> <br /> If you&rsquo;re romanced by the idea of staying in a sleepy village, try Maison d&rsquo;H&ocirc;tes La Colombi&egrave;re run by winemaker Anne Gros. The rooms are intimate and tasteful. Besides, the maison is in the heart of Vosne-Roman&eacute;e, just a stone&rsquo;s throw from Domaine de la Roman&eacute;e-Conti.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> [PAGEBREAK]<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Sip</strong><br /><br /> It is critically important to establish your tasting itinerary before you reach Burgundy. Many wineries are small family businesses. They must organize who is in the field tending to vines or bottling the Bourgogne Blanc, who is picking up Jean-Pierre from l&rsquo;&eacute;cole for lunch and who is pouring wine for you. The French, especially the Burgundians, have not yet embraced the Internet. However, if you can&rsquo;t find a producer, there&rsquo;s a good chance the <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>BIVB</strong></a>, the regional winegrowers&rsquo; association, will have their details. Again, this is not Napa Valley; you will often taste in the cellar or at the kitchen table. In fact, I even recommend making appointments for tastings and tours at n&eacute;gociant houses of Beaune.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Eat</strong><br /><br /> Not only is Burgundy comfort food for wine lovers, it also serves comfort food. The food is often rustic and always heavy. After all, it takes a lot of energy to punch down all those cuv&eacute;es or to stay warm pruning vines in icy wind! Of course, certain establishments serve highly refined food. Whatever the style, the food is very likely made using local and often organic ingredients. Even if you&rsquo;re not cooking, the Saturday morning markets in Dijon and Beaune are great feasts for the eyes. Chagny hosts a Sunday market that is small, quaint and very bourguignon. Here are some of my favorite restaurants:<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Chablis</strong>: Hostellerie des Clos<br /><br /> <strong>Gevrey-Chambertin:</strong> Chez Guy and Family<br /><br /> <strong>Nuits-Saint-Georges:</strong> La Cabotte<br /><br /> <strong>Beaune:</strong> Le Comptoir des Tontons, Bistrot de l&rsquo;H&ocirc;tel and Bistrot du Bord de l&rsquo;Eau<br /><br /> <strong>Montceau:</strong> J&eacute;rome Brochot<br /><br /> <br /><br /> When you just want a glass or a pint, here are my top spots:<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Beaune</strong>: Pickwick&#39;s Pub, Bar du Square and Route 66&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br /><br /> <strong>Puligny-Montrachet</strong>: Le Montrachet<br /><br /> <strong>Chagny: </strong>La Cave &agrave; Bi&egrave;res<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>See</strong><br /><br /> When you are not tasting, you should be touring. In Beaune, don&rsquo;t miss the famous Hospices de Beaune and the wine-focused bookshop Athenaeum. You can also tour the Ch&acirc;teau du Clos de Vougeot.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Surprisingly, there is more to Burgundy than wine. You can&rsquo;t look right or left without seeing a hiking or biking route. Climb the Parcours Batier from <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Gevrey-Chambertin</strong></a> to <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Chambolle-Musigny</strong></a> after lunch at Chez Guy and Family. Bike the Route des Grand Crus from <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Maranges</strong></a> to <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Puligny-Montrachet</strong></a> then quench your thirst at Le Montrachet&rsquo;s wine bar.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> In Dijon, learn about making mustard at the Boutique Maille. Remember: always make a reservation in Burgundy! In the <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>M&acirc;connais</strong></a>, a visit to the restored Cluny Abbey is a must. In Beaune, antique shops abound. Kids love riding the merry-go-round on Place Carnot and boating at the Parc de la Bouzaise.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Burgundy offers many pleasures and many comforts for everyone. The landscape, the wines, the food, the people and the pace of life are all irresistable. Pardon me, I must go book my next flight on Air France.</p> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article3841 The Last Roses of Summer Jon Thorsen <p>Poor ros&eacute;. It might be one of the most misunderstood and misconstrued wines in all of winedom. First there&#39;s the horrible misconception that all ros&eacute; is terribly sweet. This is in no doubt thanks to the huge popularity of White Zinfandel in recent years. That sugary sweet slop has understandably scared many of you from ever trying the pink drink again. However, there&#39;s hope for those of you with PTWZD (Post Traumatic White Zinfandel Disorder) and it&#39;s called &quot;dry ros&eacute;&quot;.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> While the technical definition of dry is often confusing, it basically means that a wine has low levels of residual sugar. This doesn&#39;t mean that the wine is not fruity however, as you&#39;ll see in our selections below.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> The second misconception is that ros&eacute;, because of its delicate pink hue, is not a &quot;manly&quot; drink. As a dad to two young girls I&#39;m used to pink. That signature color comes from dark grape skins being left in contact with the juice during fermentation. If you remove the skin or juice part way through fermentation, you essentially end up with a light red, or pink, ros&eacute; wine. The skin is also what imparts much of the tannins to the wine. This makes ros&eacute; a great bridge between red and white wines for proponents of each grape. And if the color is really a stumbling block for you, no worries, just call it light red.<br /> </p> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5575 Learning to Love Leeks Gregory Dal Piaz <p>Can you think of a less appreciated vegetable than the lowly leek? OK, kohlrabi is right in there but leeks have so much more going for them. tender, with an aromatic and deep onion flavor, leeks are a wonderful ingredient in soups, adding a magically sweetness to my Pasta Fagioli, but are also terrific on their own; a rarity for an onion and something that can be used creatively to complete many autumnal menus.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Not the most economical vegetable, leeks require significant attention as they grow. they are routinely trenched, having soil pushed up against the growing stalk that forms the edible part of the vegetable. This serves two functions, adding support to and protecting the leek, thus keeping it tender and also keeping the growing stem in the dark, literally, and thus keeping the edible portion of the leek white and sweet. In truth while most recipes advice using just the white parts of the leek I have never had any issues cooking with the light green parts as well.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Tip: To maximize your yield from the leeks you buy don&rsquo;t simply chop off the top. Sharpen it like a pencil, the tender white core is longer in the center of the leek.&nbsp;<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Tip 2: Search for leek recipes! There are so many of them and they include amazing creations that will inspire anyone to get cooking!<br /> </p> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5572 Wine Friday Fun Claudia Angelillo <p>Hello, #WineFriday calling! It has been a long week, and you deserve a generous pour of fun wine content and news. So grab your glass, sit back, and snack on these sweet and savory tid-bits.&nbsp;<br /> </p> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5517 Pairing Wine with Secret Menu Items Claudia Angelillo <p>Secret menu items bring joy to the otherwise routine experience of fast food. They are either designed and hidden in obvious places (such as a website) by the restaurant&rsquo;s marketing team, or concocted by consumers who cleverly recombine existing menu items. Regardless of origin, none of these secret menu items had a secret wine pairing &ndash; until now! &nbsp;<br /> </p> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5574 5 GREAT GRENACHE WINES Louise Hurren <p>To celebrate the fifth International Grenache Day (Friday September 19, 2014) we&#39;re reviewing five wines from the south of France that showcase the diversity of the world&#39;s most widely planted red grape. Grenache, Garnacha, Garnatxa or Cannonau: this versatile grape goes by many names and can be found dotted around the globe, from Australia to South Africa via Spain, Italy and the south of France. &nbsp;In 2010, over 250 top Grenache producers, journalists and retailers from 23 countries gathered in the southern Rh&ocirc;ne valley at the Grenache Symposium, and from this think-tank was born an international association that promotes this lesser-known but remarkable variety.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> From white to ros&eacute; to sweet fortified wines, as light varietal reds or complex blends, Grenache has historically been hidden in blends from regions like Ch&acirc;teauneuf-du-Pape and Priorat. However, with its juicy, luscious fruit, warm spice, balanced acidity, supple tannins and versatility, Grenache has a good deal going for it. It can be a great gastronomic wine, thanks to its broad spectrum of winemaking expressions, and it&#39;s this diversity that Grenache Day aims to communicate. September 19, 2014 will see many Grenache Day activities being organised around the world; to join in the fun, check the updated list and Googlemap <strong><a href="">here</a>.</strong><br /> </p> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5571 Common Wine Questions Gregory Dal Piaz <p><em>Originally published in September 2010, it&#39;s time to revisit these timeless answer to our most commonly asked questions.</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> There&#39;s no doubt that wine can be confusing, with so many wines, with so much to learn about each one. But the most common questions I get tend to be about wine in general, and the answers to some of these questions are surprisingly simple. Should you worry about the crystals in your white wine or the sulfites on the label? Of course not, because wine is good for you, right? So, which one is the best for me then, and which is simply the best?<br /><br /> <br /><br /> So confusing and so many questions! Take a look at the answers to 10 of the most common wine questions!<br /> </p> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article1218 Zinfandel: Yea or nay? <p><div><br /> I made my thoughts regarding inexpensive Zinfandel known yesterday, and today we get feedback from some of our favorite wine writers. i feared that people might have a negative impression of Zinfandel, based on the style of wine that seems to dominate the bottom of the market, and the bottom of my ratings yesterday.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> To my surprise many of the writer polled for this article came back with rousing recommendations and support for this most American of domestic wines. So if you like Zinfandel, fear not. Not only can you get recommendations for the best of the value priced bunch on Snooth but you also have suggestions across the pricing spectrum from our favorite wine writers to look forward to!</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> And if you haven&rsquo;t heard about the <a href=""><strong>Lodi Native</strong></a>&nbsp;project yet, don&rsquo;t be surprised if you&rsquo;ll be hearing much more about it in the future. Terrific Zins well worth hunting down!</div><br /> </div><br /> <br /><br /> <br /> </p> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5568