Wine Guide 2018

Wine Guide 2018

I’ve included my holiday wine selections below. If you’re thinking of a wine-soaked holiday season, I’d also like to recommend a few of our wine classes, as well.

I just released our Top Wines of 2018 class. I intentionally left it off the front page until now, so our newsletter readers could get a shot at registering. Also, I have some great Grand Cru and Monopole wines that I’ve reserved for our Burgundy & Beyond class. Finally, I’ve brought back our Bordeaux class, which is one of my personal favorites. 

If I don’t see you, have a great holiday season!



Keith Wallace, Founder
Wine School of Philadelphia

Earn Your Advanced Somm Pin

…And We’ll Cover $400 of Your Tuition

Is it your dream to earn the Advanced Sommelier pin?  Or maybe it’s the holiday wish of someone you love? If so, we have just unveiled a new program that includes ever requirement that you need to earn the coveted Advanced pin, just one step below the Master Wine/Somm level.

The CORE/ADV SOMM Plan spreads out the cost over a full year, with payments of only $69 per week. Plus, the Wine School of Philadelphia will donate over $400 towards your education.  This program includes the following:

  • Two Semesters of Core Wine Classes
  • Four Semesters of Advanced Wine Classes
  • Seven Professional Certifications
  • Two Sommelier Pins (Core and Advanced)
  • VIP Student Support

For more information:

Great Wines for the Holidays

These highly rated Chairman’s Selection wines are both classy and gift-worthy. Plus, they are priced 20-50% below retail, so getting a few bottles for yourself would be a great idea, too. As always, these wine buys can be found in the better Wine & Spirits Stores.

Chateau St. Jean 2014 Reserve Chardonnay, Sonoma County

Chateau St. Jean 2014 Reserve Chardonnay

Aromas of cherry blossom, toasted nutmeg, and ripe pear rise out of the glass.  Decadent textures of caramel and pear confiture are balanced with a mineral undercurrent. There is a joyful buoyancy in the underlying acidity, which starts as lemon curd and rises into a high toned guava.

A note of earthy praline shows a significant level of lees aging. The finish here is a delightful goodbye of jasmine, vanilla, and melon. This is a deeply layered wine of great elegance and pedigree. 

$29.99 PA Wine & Spirits Stores | 95 Points (Keith Wallace)

Santa Julia 2017 "Magna" Red, Uco Valley

Santa Julia 2017 “Magna” Red, Uco Valley

Firm structure and supple tannin underpin multiple layers of delight. Wildflowers, fresh cherry, tobacco, and vanilla are woven into a core of ripe dark fruits. A lush and beautiful wine that outperforms its price point by a wide margin.

$11.99 PA Wine & Spirits Stores | 92 Points (Keith Wallace)

Carodorum 2012 Seleccion Especial Toro Reserva

Carodorum 2012 Seleccion Especial Toro Reserva

Aged for two years in new French barriques, the 2012 Carodorum Selección Especial is the best bottle of Toro on the market today.  Aromas of jasmine, melted chocolate, and dark fruit. Full bodied and massively tannic, this is the biggest bull in the pen. Serve with prime rib for an evening of hedonistic pleasure. 

$34.99 PA Wine & Spirits Stores | 95 Points (Keith Wallace)

Rotie Cellars 2013 "Northern Blend" Red, Walla Walla

Rotie Cellars 2013 “Northern Blend” Red, Walla Walla

A full-throated experience, both aggressive and jubilant. Aromas of bouquet garni and Texas BBQ are layered with dark fruit and black pepper. On the palate, it’s a textural pleasure, full-bodied and lush. An attack of sauvage herbs, game and blackberry coulis evolves into white pepper and tapenade. In the finish, an oaky sweetness and orange zest come through. More here. 

$19.99 PA Wine & Spirits Stores | 95 Points (Keith Wallace)

Bersano 2012 "Badarina" Barolo

Bersano 2012 “Badarina” Barolo

A beautifully structured Barolo, with a core of tannins pushing against perfumed aromas and elegant acidity. Cigar box and rich dark fruit on the palate give way to oak spices.

$29.99 PA Wine & Spirits Stores | 93 Points (Keith Wallace)


Mount Veeder Winery 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Mount Veeder Winery 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon

A sultry Cabernet from mountainside vineyards in Napa.  Aromas of fresh flowers, blackberries, and oak spices. Full bodied and melted tannins give way to toasted vanilla and fresh minerality. More here. 

$25.99 PA Wine & Spirits Stores | 94 Points (Keith Wallace)