Must-have Spanish Wines to have in your cellar

Spain is a country of great diversity, as evidenced by its multiple languages, landscapes, customs, food, and, of course, wines.  As discussed in a previous blog, Spain is going through a revolution in its vine-growing and winemaking practices. Producers are rediscovering indigenous grape varieties, regions, and forgotten vineyards, which is expanding the already rich list of different styles.  From the point of view of the serious wine … Continue reading Must-have Spanish Wines to have in your cellar

Five White Spanish grapes you should try

In my recent post on Rias Baixas, I pointed out that most people would mention Albariño, along with Verdejo from Rueda as the iconic Spanish white varieties. Though the country continues to be best known for its hearty red wines, there are dozens of exciting white grapes worth getting to know. This group includes a mix of cool climate varieties from rainy Galicia such as … Continue reading Five White Spanish grapes you should try

Rias Baixas: The Cradle of Albariño

Ask any casual wine drinker to give you the name of a Spanish white grape, and Albariño would most likely be at the top of the list. And no place is more closely identified with the variety as Galicia, in particular the region of Rias Baixas in the far northwest part of the country. The Land Galicia is part of an area known as “España … Continue reading Rias Baixas: The Cradle of Albariño

A Napa Icon arrives in Washington State

Mullan Road Cellars is the Washington State wine project led by Dennis Cakebread, founder of one of Napa’s iconic wineries, Cakebread Cellars.  The winery focuses on small-production, age worthy Bordeaux-style red blends sourced from top vineyards like Seven Hills in Walla Walla and Stillwater Creek in the upcoming Royal Slope AVA. For a bit of history, the winery is named after the military road built … Continue reading A Napa Icon arrives in Washington State

Four exciting trends in Spanish wine

I’ve been a fan of Spanish wines for quite some time. I admire the long winemaking tradition, wide diversity of regions and grapes and a large number of unique styles – from ethereal finos and manzanillas, elegant mature Riojas and bold and muscular Riberas del Duero.  Overall, they represent great values in the market across all price points. During the last few years, there’s been … Continue reading Four exciting trends in Spanish wine

Walla Walla comes to Seattle

In the last few years, the Walla Walla Valley has established itself as the premier wine region in Washington state, with wines that rival in quality those made anywhere in the world. Earlier this month, I attended “Walla Walla Wine in Seattle”, an event sponsored by the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance, which provided a fantastic opportunity to engage directly with over 40 Walla Walla … Continue reading Walla Walla comes to Seattle

Australian Wine Discovered

Up until recently, my perception of Australian wines was of jammy, over-ripe fruit bombs with an entire zoo of cute critter labels (kangaroos, koalas and porcupines, to name a few). However, that image is long gone as I’ve come to realize the new tidal wave on the country’s wine scene, as Australian wines are reinventing themselves with a revived emphasis in balance and elegance, while … Continue reading Australian Wine Discovered

The Beautiful Okanagan Valley in British Columbia

We hear every day about the reality of climate change and its future impact in world’s viticulture (all facts well-substantiated), though one of the positive side effects of this has been the ability of high-latitude, cool climate regions to grow and mature grapes consistently (Swedish Pinot Noir anyone?).  One of the countries that has benefitted from the recent temperature increase has been Canada, in particular, … Continue reading The Beautiful Okanagan Valley in British Columbia

Argentina: A guide to Mendoza wine country

Glaciers, Gauchos, Football, Tango and the best Steaks in the world.  As if these were not enough reasons to go to Argentina, there’s one more that makes it all worth it:  Vino! Vitis Vinifera arrived with Spanish settlers to the River Plate in 1541, and it experienced its fastest growth in the late 1800’s with the completion of the railway between Buenos Aires and Mendoza … Continue reading Argentina: A guide to Mendoza wine country

South Africa: Wines at the end of the world

It happened one evening at Nelson Mandela Square in Johannesburg.  I was having dinner with a South African colleague and he happened to order a South African Pinot Noir to go with our meal.  Pinot Noir?  From South Africa?      Up to that point, I’d only tasted bottom-of-the-shelf wines from that country and my expectations were quite low.  The wine, from Hamilton Russell in the … Continue reading South Africa: Wines at the end of the world