The Best and the Worst of the 2011 Napa Cabs

Posted in American Wine Reviews, Featured, Wine Reviews

In PA Wine and Spirits Stores 2011 was a crazy year for Napa Cabs. California is in the grip of a massive drought, but that wasn’t the case in 2011. At least in Napa Valley, where rain pummelled vineyards from September to October. By harvest time, the grapes were bloated and rot was endemic. Many winemakers called it a very bad vintage. The wine critic Robert Parker of Wine Advocate rated it 84 points, the lowest in two decades. All is not lost, though. Anyone who...

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Four Great Barrel Aged Spirits from Philly

Posted in Featured, Spirit Reviews & Ratings

Whiskey & Rum I love my brown spirits, in particular the whiskies and rums.   Pour white spirits into a charred oak barrel, roll it into a warehouse and wait at least six years. Come back and pop it open. Out comes a brown spirit, provocatively lush and vanilla flavored. It’s a time honored truth that it takes a long time to make great whiskies and rums. Most distillers in Philly have only been at the game for a few years, not enough time for traditional brown...

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Top Rosé Wines for Summer 2015

Posted in Featured

Villa Des Anges 2014 “Old Vines” Rosé, Pays d’Oc Here’s a pretty little folly from winemaker Jeff Carrel of the Languedoc-Roussillon. Bright and wild strawberries on the nose, with a plume of toasted herbs. On the palate, it heads toward darker fruit and a leesy note of almond and ripe banana on the crisp finish. This label always brings good quaff-able quality wines to the market. For an awesome red check out his Les Darons. It’s a big old grandpa of a...

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Dry Farming: Save Water by Drinking Wine?

Posted in Featured, Wine News

On April 1st, California’s Governor Jerry Brown  issued an executive order that included a mandatory 25% water reduction. Not surprisingly, the news went national; this was a first in America.  An important story I was trying to get told was caught up in the flood of coverage and diluted. A week before that historic announcement, I was working on an article with Anita Balakrishnan,  an NBC journalist from California. The article was meant to focus on how the current...

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Best Buys in the PLCB Wine & Spirit Shops for April & May

Posted in Featured, Wine Reviews

This is our current list of the top wines currently available in the PLCB Wine Shops. This month we are featuring the best Spanish and French wines in the Chairman’s Selection program. Spanish Wine Reviews Anecoop 2008 Casa L’Angel Old Vines, Valencia (SP) This bottle smells like a pirate ship: aromas of ocean air, old wood, and gun smoke. It’s another story for the palate, which goes toward fennel, toast, and blueberry preserves. Very nice bottle with a...

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Great Wines for Early Spring

Posted in Featured, Wine Reviews

Wine Ratings These are the highest rated and best values currently available in the PLCB system. All wines are currently available in Philadelphia & it’s suburbs. Clos du Val 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley (Cali) For 40 years, this vineyard in the valley has been bottling top-notch Cabernet Sauvignon, and their mature craftsmanship shows. The same winemaking finesse shows in this bottle, too, so it’s surprising that this is only their second vintage of...

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Best Wine Buys in the PLCB Stores for Winter

Posted in Featured, Wine Reviews

Wine Buys at the PLCB Stores   Victor Vineyards 2011  Roadside Red Fun little Zinfandel-based bottle from the town of Victor in California’s Central Valley. Red fruit, port-y raisins, licorice, and milk chocolate notes.  My current “house red” for everyday drinking. 88 Points  $8.99 (PLCB Wine Stores) Callabriga 2010 Dao A serious red from Portugal for very little money. A fistful of mineral and a gritty mouthful of tannin.  Ripe, dark fruit and...

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Wine Schoolers in the News

Posted in Featured, School Updates

A lot of our students go on to great things. A surprising number of them are in the news this month for their achievements.  Congrats, all!   Miguel Lecuona. A longtime Diploma student who went on to earn his Wine MBA in Bordeaux. For the past eight years, he has been running a marketing consultancy for the wine trade. It was just announced that he is a featured speaker at this year’s International Wine Tourism Conference in La Champagne, France. Ben Franco and...

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Ever Make A Wine Snob Cry? We Have, and It’s Good Fun.

Posted in Featured, School Updates

Wine Snobs or Wine Ninjas? We should probably be sad about the emotional state of Wine Snobs, but we aren’t. Admittedly, we’ve made a few of them cry. But we don’t train those type of people. We train Wine Ninjas. The following is a list of our recent “deviling” of the Snob set. Say Goodbye, Sonic Decanter Right before Christmas, we burst the bubble on thousands of Wine Snobs when we worked with the Washington Post on an exposé on the latest...

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