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Vermouth to Savor By Itself

The Wine of the Week: La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Rouge

by Annette Tomei

NV La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Rouge, France

Maybe you are most familiar with vermouth as the often-maligned but necessary ingredient in a martini, manhattan or negroni – one that you would no sooner pour a solitary glass of than the angostura bitters that are often overlooked as well. Or maybe you are much more in touch with your inner-hipster and have a great collection of obscure hand-crafted vermouths on your well-curated bar cart. Either way, I’d like to introduce you to my latest nightcap. Read more

Premium Cava Perfect for Celebrations

amy reileyWoman on Wine

with Amy Reiley

You’re probably already familiar with Spanish sparkling wine, or Cava. But the wines you most likely know are the ones from two or three producers that are priced around the ten-dollar mark. Don’t get me wrong, I drink my share of them, too! These are perfect, dry and reasonably sophisticated sparkling wines for the price. But Spanish winemakers are also capable of producing sparkling wines that compete with the best of the best in the world. One house making premium Cava is Castell d’Age. And if you like sparkling wine, this is a winery I think you should get to know. Read more

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Chardonnay from Napa Valley That Won’t Break the Bank

The Wine of the Week: Hess Collection Napa Valley Chardonnay

by Annette Tomei

2015 Hess Collection Napa Valley Chardonnay, CaliforniaHess Collection Chardonnay from Napa Valley

The Napa Valley and its world-renowned wineries have had a difficult year. As one who called the area home for nearly a decade, I want to do all I can to show my support. This includes drinking more wines from Napa and Sonoma. And I’m happy that I can share a Chardonnay from Napa Valley that falls into the affordable range. Read more

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Organic Wine from Italy – Si, Grazie!

The Wine of the Week: Cirelli Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, a bargain organic wine from Italy

by Annette Tomei

2016 Cirelli La Collina Biologica, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC, ItalyCirelli Montepulciano d'Abruzzo a great organic wine from Italy

Francesco Cirelli is building a strong reputation for his dedication to organics, natural wines, and true biodiversity on his farm in the Abruzzo region of Italy. In under two decades, Francesco and his wife Michela have built a thriving organic farm. They have a diverse production that includes wine grapes, olives for olive oil, grains, and even geese. Read more

Why Make Buying Thanksgiving Wines Complicated?

amy reileyI tend to focus my monthly column on wines that are unusual, small production or somehow obscure. I somehow feel as though it’s my duty to share my knowledge of those things that are exciting and possibly little known about the wine industry.

But we don’t always need an education. Sometimes we just need a good drink. That’s why I took a step back and reevaluated what I had planned for my Thanksgiving column. Just as I was kicking around new ideas, a letter arrived in the mail accompanying a couple of samples of California wine. For some reason I was touched by the sentiment of the letter. It was written by winemaker Jamie Benziger of Imagery Estate Winery. The sentiment compelled me to open the two bottles of enclosed wine right away. The wines happened to be perfect for a Thanksgiving article.

The wines, a Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, fit the bill for what I think wines for a Thanksgiving table should be: affordable, approachable, available nationwide and made in the USA. After all, this is America’s holiday. We should drink American wine! But more importantly, Imagery is a Sonoma winery, from one of the areas hardest hit by the recent wildfire disaster. And what that area needs more than anything is for Americans to support the region by buying the wines.

Tasting notes

Have trouble picking Thanksgiving Wines? Imagery Chardonnay is a good choice.2016 Imagery Estate Winery Chardonnay

This wine is made from a blend of 95% Chardonnay and 5% Chenin Blanc. The addition of Chenin Blanc gives the wine beautiful floral and melon notes which harmonize nicely with the Chardonnay’s apple and pear. The result is something pretty, fresh and fruity. It is the super easy drinking sort of wine that tastes great before dinner and won’t overshadow the delicious flavors at the table.

2016 Imagery Estate Winery Cabernet Sauvignon

Imagery made this wine with the addition of 15% Petite Sirah to the Cabernet. The wine is a super smooth, boldly fruity style of Cab. The Petite Sirah gives it a sexy hint of baking spice and pepper that I, of course, love. If your table is full of serious oenophiles, this is not going to be the wine for you. But if you are like most of us and want to enjoy an easy-to-drink wine that will compliment rather than overpower the meal, this is not only going to fit the bill at an affordable price, it will likely absolutely delight many of your guests.