America $#(@* Yeah! The Best American Drinks

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You probably don’t expect a South Park reference from the Wine School. Of course, you may not know the Wine School was featured in a South Park episode a few years ago…. but that is a story for another time. This is the WINTER edition of our “Best American Drinks” class. Tonight, we select our current  favorite American wines, beers, cocktails, and spirits for your sipping enjoyment.

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The Year’s Greatest Wines

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The school’s founder uncorks his best bottles for 2015. Perfectly aged and expertly chosen for you. Spend a few hours with Keith, and selections from his cellar.

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History of the World in Eight Glasses

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Homo sapiens have been drinking fermented beverages since the beginning of time. In this class, we will be taking a stroll down antiquity with a tasting of eight different drinks that changed our world. We will be sampling wines, beers, and spirits made in traditional and ancient ways, so expect some interesting and mind-blowing flavors! A rare opportunity to taste history in a glass!

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BBQ Smackdown: Wine Versus Beer!

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It’s a beer and wine pairing competition and your palate is the judge.  With four courses of hickory-smoked deliciousness you taste all the pairings and cast your vote.  In this friendly competition, one of the city’s top sommeliers is pitted against a master brewer  to determine –once and for all– which is better with barbecue: wine or beer?

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Veramonte 2009 “Primus” Cabernet Sauvignon, Rapel Valley

Posted in South American Wine Reviews

Veramonte is a large winery in Chile’s Casablanca Valley, clicking in at just under 500 hectares.  Since its founding, it’s been a US-centric winery, with over 80% of its wines bought by American wine drinkers. That is by design: these are wines that fit our national palate incredibly well. The winery owner, Augustine Huneeus, lives in California, where he owns two other top-notch wineries, Flowers and Quintessa.  One may even think of this as an American winery...

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Mendoza Vineyards 2011 “1907” Malbec, Mendoza

Posted in South American Wine Reviews

Sometimes writing up a wine adds more questions than it answers. First of all, who is the winery?  Mendoza Vineyards is the winery on record, but they are a logistics and private label/control brand company. They make wine for other wineries, not themselves.  No winery claims this as there own, which is strange: it’s gotten rave reviews. It’s also apparently sourced from the Fairhills Vineyard in Mendoza, which is one of the very few “Fair Trade”...

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Landmark Vineyards 2011 “Grand Detour” Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast

Posted in American Wine Reviews

First of all, kudos to Landmark Vineyards for the awesome update to their labeling. It’s a great leap backward, and I mean that in the best way possible. This is a bittersweet vintage for Landmark. It was the year the winery was sold to Fiji Water for an undisclosed sum. Michael and Mary Colhoun sold it to Fiji largely because their children were not in the wine trade. This is the second family-owned winery that Fiji Water has purchased recently. (The first was Justin...

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Villa Mora 2007 Sagrantino di Montefalco

Posted in Italian Wine Reviews

With a grape as rare and wonderful as Sagrantino, a wine drinker may want to know a little more about its history. It’s been growing in a corner of Umbria for more than a century. It may have been brought into the region by ancient Greeks millennium ago, or possibly, it was a more modern crossing of a few wild grapes. And that’s the extent of our knowledge today. What we do know is that before 1976, it was used for a passito dessert wine. By the early 80’s...

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Vall Llach 2006 “Vall Llach” Priorat

Posted in Spanish Wine Reviews

  One of my favorite memories of visiting Priorat with my Wine School students was our time at Celler Vall Lach.  A stone –a triangle of iron-shaded black rock– from one of their vineyards still sits on my office desk at the school.  We spent an entire morning at the winery, which is the oldest building in the ancient town of Porrera. The 2006 was still in barrel at the time, and it was amazing even back then. The wine is sourced from the village’s...

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