Happy Beaujolais Nouveau Day!

The third Thursday in November is a big day in the Beaujolais region south of the Burgundy in France.  On this day there is a mad dash for the first, freshest bottles of the new vintage of Beaujolais that has been sent into the markets to arrive on…

Malbec

If you didn’t know better, it would seem in the last decade a new varietal wine had been magically invented or finally discovered.  During the last American recession, a new standard for structured reds just magically appeared in the marketplace hailing from Argentina, and its name?  Malbec. The…

International Tempranillo Day

Tempranillo is a Spanish red grape variety whose name alludes to its nature of ripening earlier than the other Vitis vinifera of Europe (temprano = early).  Tempranillo has a very, very long history in the Iberian Peninsula, and is most likely as old as the discovery of wine…

Merlot, Merlot, Merlot…

Happy International Merlot Day! Here are 10 facts about Merlot you may (or may not) know: Merlot is the child of Cabernet Franc & Magdeleine Noire des Charentes, recent DNA testing has proven this where the grape’s full origins were unknown for many years. Merlot’s soft skin is…

Fumé Blanc?

Today marks a first for Cameron Hughes Wine: Fumé Blanc. So what, pray tell, is Fumé Blanc? In the 1800s Sauvignon Blanc was arriving in America and by 1960 was sadly degraded into a washed up, sweet, indistinguishable wine. Robert Mondavi decided it was time to refurbish the…

What is Carbonic Maceration?

Carbonic maceration is a process by which grapes are fermented in their skins in a carbon dioxide rich environment.  The weight of all the grapes crushes the juice from the lower areas of the tank that holds the grapes and gas, and undergoes a somewhat more conventional fermentation…

Dormancy

For those of us who celebrate daylight savings, it comes to an end this Sunday the 4th.  Getting up in the mornings will be harder, and driving home from work will begin to occur under the blanket of darkness illuminated by white headlights, red taillights, and yellow street…

Don’t Tell the Kids…

Tonight, after all the hustle and bustle of Halloween comes to a close, it’ll be time to get the kids off to bed – then raid their stash! Oh?  But what to pair with it all?  After all, if you’re gonna raid their stash, you might as well…

Calistoga AVA

Situated in the northernmost reaches of Napa Valley is the sub-appellation of Calistoga.  Established in 2010, Calistoga is the home to the highest rate of steep slopes to valley floor of any AVA, meaning warm to hot days, cooler evenings, better drainage from the soils, and subsequently higher…

Chocolate & Wine

It sounds like heaven on Earth, but there are a few things to keep in mind with regards to this delectable combination to fully enjoy your experience.  Often times people will auto-pilot red wine with their chocolate, paying no mind to things like the wine’s dryness, or how…