French Wine Region marsannay

A Jack of All Trades: Marsannay Is the Ideal French Wine Region to Diversify Your Cellar

One common problem I see with many wine collections today is lack of diversity. It’s great to specialize in the wines you love, but a diverse cellar is fun to drink from, as well as being a good investment. I know a wine collector who only invested in Cabernet Sauvignon or red blends made primarily from Cabernet. He had some beautiful wines in hi...
Halogen Lights Damage Wine

Can Halogen Lights Damage Wine?

I have a stockpile of halogen light bulbs stacked in my pantry. Most of the time, my house is filled with LEDs, but in the winter, when temperatures drop, I switch out my LEDs for a month or two to enjoy the warm glow of my halogens. Believe it or not, I’ve noticed that I don’t have to switch on my heater as often when I have halogen bulbs in p...
2016 Bordeaux harvest

What Collectors Can Expect from the 2016 Bordeaux Harvest So Far

Deciding on a vintage’s quality before all of the grapes have been plucked from the vines can be a gamble. Years ago, when I first heard reports about Bordeaux’s 2012 grapes, I was ready to write the vintage off entirely; cold, wet spring weather resulted in uneven flowering, and by July, a massive heat wave caused a halt in grape development. ...
Sancerre and Chablis

Wine Siblings: Understand the Connection Between Sancerre and Chablis to Diversify Your Cellar

I think of Sancerre and Chablis as sisters from another mister. Sure, Chablis is technically Burgundy, just as Sancerre is technically Loire, but they have far more in common with each other than they do with any of their regional peers. The very first time I tried a bottle of Chablis, I did a double take. It was flinty and sharply acidic, without ...
why sit at the wine bar

Better Service and More Chatting with the Sommelier Make Sitting at the Wine Bar a No-Brainer for Wine Lovers

I’ve had plenty of terrible restaurant experiences, but never while I was sitting at a wine bar. It might be the sense of camaraderie that comes with dining at the bar; formality dissolves, complete strangers strike up conversations, and most importantly, the sommelier is in the mood to talk. Years ago, I struck up a conversation with the sommeli...
Does Vibration Ruin Wine

Does Vibration Ruin Wine?

Years ago, I took a tour of a California winery with a few friends. Our guide took us through the gem of the estate: a carpeted wine cellar hidden away behind the kitchen. In the beginning of the tour, our group was loud and boisterous, but the moment we stepped inside that cellar, the mood instantly changed. Our guide spoke to us in a whisper, poi...
vinfolio-culling-grapes-great-wine

What Makes a Great Wine? Culling Grapes Separates Amateur Winemakers from the Professionals

I distinctly remember the first time I saw a vintner culling grapes. I was just seven years old, wandering through the vines of a family friend’s California estate, admiring all of the big, juicy grapes hanging from the branches. You can imagine my surprise when I saw one of the vineyard’s workers snip off what looked like a perfectly good bunc...
Richebourg 1986

Unicorn Wines: The Legendary Domaine Henri Jayer Richebourg 1986 Is the Last of Its Kind

Some wine experts have a pretty loose definition of “unicorn wine.” I’ve seen critics give unexceptional wines the unicorn title simply because the vintner didn’t produce as much wine as expected in a particular year. Personally, I’m far more measured about which wines I deem unicorns. They can’t just be rare or expensive; they should m...
Environmentally-Friendly Wine Storage

This Month in Your Cellar: The Ins and Outs of Environmentally-Friendly Wine Storage

A few months ago, I went to a Pinot Noir tasting and met a few budding wine collectors. They’d only been collecting wine for a handful of years, and they were loving every second of it–that is, until we started talking about wine storage. One of the collectors told the group that he’d just finished building his home wine cellar, and so fa...