Understanding AVA: 85% Rule

Sub-appellate wines are handled very much like appellate wines, with one more level of strictures.  The 85% rule. Where appellate wines need only be 75% of the stated varietal, 100% grown in the stated appellation, sub-appellate wines must be 85% of the stated varietal, 100% grown in the…

Understanding AVA: 75% Rule

It is commonplace to believe when you buy a Central Valley Cabernet or a Central Valley Zinfandel, that you are getting 100% Cabernet with 100% of the fruit from the Central Valley, or 100% Zinfandel 100% from the Central Valley.  Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Appellation…

Understanding Italy: Abruzzo

Residing due south of Marche along the Adriatic Sea on the east coast of Italy is the wine region of Abruzzo.  Home to possibly the most fun grape name to pronounce: Montepulciano.  One more time, Mon-te-pul-ciano!  Just makes you want to talk with your hands as it rolls…

Understanding Italy: Marche

Le Marche, Italy.  Located on the central eastern coast of Italy, and home to Cesare Mondavi (Father of Robert and Peter), this is a region sadly somewhat overshadowed on a global stage by its neighbors Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Abruzzo, and Umbria, yet in no short supply of exceptional wines…

Community Question: How Do You Celebrate Love?

Is it a reservation on Valentine’s Day? A box of chocolates? A dozen roses? Fine bottle of wine? Something else? Please use the comment section below to leave your response. Register with Disqus to comment as a user, or you can always comment as a guest!

Understanding Italy: Alto Adige

Residing in the northernmost reaches of Italy, sitting just due east of the center, and producing a whopping <1% of the country’s wine production is the small, yet world-renowned wine producing region of Alto Adige.  The region is known for its Austrian influences not only on the grapes,…

Understanding Italy: Piemonte

Beautiful Piemonte, home to Barolo and Barbaresco.  Well, home to Nebbiolo more correctly.  Take it a step further, home to Barbera, Dolcetto, Moscato, Cortese, and Arneis in addition to other local and international varietals. In addition to a plethora of grape varietals grown in Piemonte, the region produces…

Understanding Italy: Chianti & Chianti Classico

In both Chianti and Chianti Classico, Sangiovese is the main grape.  So what is the difference between the two? No one would fault you if you believed (until reading this) that one is what it is and the other is the more “classic” expression of the wine.  Sorry,…

Understanding Italy: Super Tuscans

Super Tuscans are wines made in Tuscany, outside of the well known Chianti and lesser known Tuscan regions DOC guidelines.  In the 1970s winemakers wanted to experiment with blending Sangiovese (the main regional variety) with the noble grapes of Bordeaux (and in a few cases Syrah from the…