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October, 2007

A Sherry Primer

100 Wine Tips: If I were to make a list of the most misunderstood wines of the world, I’d have to include Sherry. Comment.

September, 2007

September Recommendations

100 Wine Tips: September Recommendations Comment.

The Enemies of Wine

100 Wine Tips: When we built Red White & Bubbly we installed what I believe is the largest climate controlled room in New York City for fine wines. People often ask why we went to the trouble and the expense just to keep wine at 55 degrees and at 50% humidity, and if they need to keep their wines under those conditions at home. Let’s take a look at how wine can go bad and what we can do to prevent it, and see how that brings us to a better understanding of how to protect our bottles. Comment.

Is It Dry?

100 Wine Tips: There’s an old poem that I came across that only someone in the wine trade could truly appreciate: it’s the lament of an old man who has spent his entire life in the wine business, traveling, tasting, learning and buying. Comment.

Cotes du Rhone

100 Wine Tips: Real wine lovers take delight in well-made, unpretentious wines, and so many of my friends in the wine business love the wines of Côtes du Rhône. Comment.

August, 2007

Chardonnay, California Style, Part 2

100 Wine Tips: I wonder how many of you were shocked last week to read that many of those oaky-tasting Chardonnays from California never see the inside of a barrel but get their flavor from oak chips, tossed into the wine like a teabag into hot water. We’ll talk more about California Chardonnay today, and maybe we’ll uncover a few more little secrets and clarify a few more misconceptions. Comment.

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Chardonnay, California Style, Part 1

100 Wine Tips: One of the current forms of wine snobbery is to refer to yourself as a member of “The ABC Club”: Anything But Chardonnay. Comment.

August recommendations

100 Wine Tips: Wines for the summer heat. Comment.

Why France Matters, Part II

100 Wine Tips: Last week I spoke of the laws of Appellations d’Origine Controlée that govern, among other things, wine making in France. Let’s examine how these rational laws benefit both the producers of wine and the wine drinkers. Comment.

July, 2007

Why France matters

100 Wine Tips: I never understood the whole “boycott France” idea. France never said “No” to President Bush when it came to going into Iraq, yet some uninformed members of Congress loudly began to lay blame on France for almost all that was wrong with the world today. France never said “No”. Comment.

July Recommendations

100 Wine Tips: Great wines under $10. Comment.

I Hate Margarita Mix!

100 Wine Tips: There: I said it, loud and clear. I hate Margarita mix! Now, I love a good, cold Margarita, straight up, salt the rim, please. It’s one of my favorite cocktails, and one that becomes even more popular when the weather turns hot. Comment.

June, 2007

A Great Half-price Close-out!

100 Wine Tips: Ask any Sommelier, Chef or wine maker “What is the most food-friendly white wine?” and the odds are that they’ll answer “Sauvignon Blanc!” Comment.

Something for nothing?

100 Wine Tips: When I was much younger, I read every book written by the Science Fiction master, Robert Heinlein. Comment.

Which Wine is “The Best”?

100 Wine Tips: I can't tell you how often I’m asked, “Which wine is the best?” Usually I reply, “Best for what?” What may be the best wine for drinking at the shore while you’re shucking a pile of fresh oysters won’t be the same wine that I’d consider the best for sharing with friends when we’re grilling steaks on the barbecue… or the best for sharing in a great restaurant while having a remarkable meal. But there’s even more to it than that. Comment.

May, 2007

Is it dry?

April, 2007

Join us for a great tasting!

100 Wine Tips: Rosé wines, dry, not sweet, are the “official” casual warm weather quaffs in winemaking countries all over the world. Comment.

April recommendations

100 Wine Tips: Here’s one I discovered in Chile, and it’s Biodynamically grown! Fermented in stainless steel, so the fresh, ripe fruit tastes are not covered up by oak, this is an outstanding wine and an outstanding value. Flavors of pineapple, lemon, lime leaves and quince. Smooth, rich & delicious! $8.95 Comment.

A Gold Medal Winner from Chile: Millaman, Reserve Zinfandel

100 Wine Tips: There are times when my work really has some great benefits. This January I was flown to Chile to be a judge in the Wines of Chile Competition. Comment.

March, 2007

Decanters and Decanting

100 Wine Tips: When I teach aspiring Wine Captains about decanting wine, I tell them that there are three “Official” reasons for decanting, and one “Insider’s” reason. Comments (1).

I’ll Have Vouvray

100 Wine Tips: Vouvray is another of those delicious and wonderful white wines, known to connoisseurs, often misunderstood by most, that breaks almost every wine stereotype. Vouvray can be bone dry, off dry (often labeled tendre) or nutty sweet. It is most often a still wine, but it can also be pettilant (just barely fizzy) or mousseau, sparkling. While the accepted wisdom is that white wines must be drunk while young, well-made Vouvrays can be cellared for unbelievable lengths of time, improving with age and changing in the bottle into incredibly complex and truly amazing treasures. Comment.

Dealing with Wine Leftovers

100 Wine Tips: There are so many reasons why we all end up with a half bottle of unfinished wine, aren’t there? Dinner for one, and the wine that you want doesn’t come in half bottles; One bottle (or two) wasn’t enough for the dinner party, so another one was opened and not finished; Sometimes just a glass or two is enough. So, what to do with the wine that’s left over? Comment.

Don’t fear the Riesling!

100 Wine Tips: If ever there were a misunderstood grape, it is Riesling. Comment.

January, 2007


100 Wine Tips: I wrote last week that I have just returned from a trip to Chile, my first visit there. I was fortunate to have been chosen as one of the nine judges for the Annual Wines of Chile competition. Comment.

How We Drink Today... and Why

100 Wine Tips: I’ve just returned from Chile, where I spent eight wonderful days tasting and judging wines made there, visiting wineries and vineyards, touring the Andes and the coast, and speaking about Chilean wines and their future. Comment.

Darrin’s Best Buys & Discovery Wines for January

100 Wine Tips: Every month, from the two to three hundred wines I taste, I pick four that are my Best Buys selection: four delicious wines that I sell for less that $10 each that will taste like you paid more for them. The write-ups are my own, too. I tell you what I think of the wines, and what you can expect from them without any “wine speak” or confusing numerical ratings. Comment.

A Wine Lover’s Resolutions for the New Year

100 Wine Tips: I’ve learned that most (alright, all!) of the resolutions that we make for the coming New Year that set the bar too high will fail... and yet, there ARE things that I want to change. My solution is: this year’s resolutions will be ones that I can keep, and that will have a built-in incentive. Here’s my list, so far. Comment.