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WINE POSTS

A COMPREHENSIVE RESOURCE FOR THE TRUE CONNOISSEUR

A port and chocolate pairing brings out the best in each.

How to Find the Perfect Port and Chocolate Pairing

One of my friend’s favorite holiday traditions is to sit next to the fireplace with a bottle of vintage Graham’s at her side. She sips the wine slowly while nibbling on dark chocolate truffles or chocolate-covered almonds. For her, port and chocolate go hand-in-hand. Even though she’s served port with other desserts before, she always goes back to that same classic port and chocolate pairing.

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Giving wine as a hostess gift

How to Give Wine as a Hostess Gift

For Christmas one year, my mom invited her childhood friend to stay over for a few days. As a gesture of gratitude, my mom’s friend brought her the most thoughtful gift: a beautiful wine basket filled with my mom’s favorite Champagnes, including bottles of Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame and Perrier-Jouët. Not only was the gift attractively packaged in a beautiful wicker basket, but the wine itself was of spectacular quality. Although my mom appreciates fine wine, she rarely buys it for herself, so the gift allowed her to enjoy the bottles she loves for the first time in years.

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Sauternes, Champagne, and port all make great Christmas wine.

The Ultimate Guide to Christmas Wine

Hosting Christmas can be a challenge—not only do you need to make sure there’s enough wine to go around, but you also have to choose those wines carefully so that they appeal to everyone. As a wine enthusiast, you might have a tradition of drinking aged Bordeaux on Christmas Eve, while your uncle prefers California Chardonnay. Even if you’re invited as a guest to Christmas, it’s customary in some families to bring along a bottle or two of wine to share.

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Hosting a New Year's Eve wine tasting party can be a great experience

How to Host a Memorable New Year’s Eve Wine Tasting Party

For much of my life, New Year’s Eve celebrations revolved around dancing, fireworks, and flutes of Champagne. However, in the past few years, I’ve made wine a much bigger part of my holiday celebrations. It all started when I was invited to a friend’s house for a formal New Year’s Eve dinner party. I brought along a magnum of 2001 Ridge Monte Bello to share with everyone. As the night wore on, I noticed that several of the guests had pulled their chairs over to my side of the table hoping for a refill. They’d never had Ridge wine before and wanted to learn more about the producer. This gave me an idea: what if I hosted a New Year’s Eve wine tasting party?

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A great start to a Christmas wine basket is one red wine and one white.

Why You Should Make a Christmas Wine Basket for Everyone on Your List

A wine collector I know buys dozens of bottles online around the holiday season, and over the years, he’s become acquaintances with the UPS driver who drops off the packages. They often have conversations about their favorite bottles of wine while he signs for the deliveries. One year, my friend decided to get the UPS driver a Christmas wine basket to show his appreciation for handling the deliveries with such care. He chose three bottles of wine that he thought the driver would enjoy and gave the basket to him during one of his usual deliveries. The driver was thrilled with the unexpected gift and the thought that went into it.

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How to Create Champagne Gift Baskets from Scratch

For the wine enthusiasts in your life who seem to have everything, the most memorable gift is one you can make yourself. Rather than buying them yet another waiter’s corkscrew or monogrammed glass, you can give a curated Champagne gift basket unlike any they’ve seen before. Even if the person on your gift list has a fully-stocked cellar, a carefully-selected basket of fine Champagne and accessories will make their holiday season unforgettable. These baskets also appeal to casual wine drinkers, so you can make one for nearly anyone on your gift list this year.

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Some of the best Southern Rhone producers are Rayas, Pegau, and Beaucastel.

Your Guide to the Best Southern Rhone Producers, Appellations, and Vintages

After your first experience with the best Southern Rhône producers, it’s hard not to fill your cellar up with these incredible bottles. One of my colleagues started buying Barroche Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Pure in 2004, and she has continued to buy this label ever since. The wine’s fine tannin, elegance, and perfectly ripe fruit flavors draw her back to this producer year after year, and she has also started collecting some of the estate’s other delicious wines, like the Signature label.

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The best holiday wines of 2018 are Sauternes and Champagne.

The Best Holiday Wines of 2018: Celebrate the Season in Style

Three years ago, I was invited to a New Year’s Eve dinner party with a small group of close friends. I knew that I wanted to bring a bottle of wine, but I was having trouble deciding what type to bring. I assumed that everyone else would be bringing the usual Champagne for New Year’s Eve, so I crossed that off the shortlist. I wanted to choose a wine no one else in the group would think to bring, like New-World Pinot Noir, Riesling, or Torrontés. I eventually decided on a bottle of Rhys Pinot Noir, and it turned out to be the perfect choice for the event. The wine paired beautifully with our food and it was a nice change of pace from the sparkling wine everyone else brought.

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Champagne can make one of the best wine retirement gifts.

The Best Wine Retirement Gifts, from Champagne to Fine Bordeaux

Some bottles are destined to make great wine retirement gifts. In a recent discussion on the Wine Berserkers forum, member Andrew Demaree wrote that he gave a bottle of 1997 Montelena to his father to celebrate his recent retirement. To Demaree’s surprise, another forum member responded to his comment saying that he, too, had been given an entire case of the exact same vintage after retiring from his company. Demaree wrote back, “That’s fantastic. They must’ve thought very highly of you!”

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Top producers made great wine in the best years of Napa Cabernet

Ranking the Best Years for Napa Cabernet

A few years ago, I attended a retrospective tasting event of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon at a local wine bar. We sampled wines from some of the best years for Napa Cabernet, and it was easy to see which vintages everyone enjoyed the most. The 2007 wines in particular were a huge hit among the crowd. The man sitting next to me gushed over a glass of intense, incredibly complex 2007 Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, saying it was one of the best wines he’s ever had. Most of the 2007 wines received similar praise; it was clearly the winning vintage of the night.

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The 2018 Napa harvest was bountiful.

The 2018 Napa Harvest: A Winemaker’s Dream Vintage

The 2018 Napa harvest ended on a high note this fall. Most winemakers across the region are reporting superb grape quality, high yields, and low sugar concentration in the fruit. Hudson Vineyards director Kelly MacLeod says, “This year, it really was a winemaker’s dream. They got to consciously choose exactly what they wanted.” While it’s still too early to tell how these wines will develop over time, all of these factors could result in a collectible, age-worthy vintage. If you’re looking for flavorful New-World wines that are well-balanced with comparatively restrained alcohol, the 2018 vintage may be your dream year, too.

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