Domaine Pradelle 2010 “Courbis” Crozes-Hermitage

In the summer of 2012, after a stunning cellar tour at one of  the great wineries of  Hermitage, M. Chapoutier, I sat down at  a little cafe in town.  A number of bruised-knuckled Frenchmen came in–we were in rural France, after all– and started laughing...

St. Urbans-Hof 2011 Zickelgarten Riesling Spatlese

I tried this wine for the first time almost one year ago. I was at the annual trade tasting for a wine importer. He had just brought this wine less than a week before, and only 10 cases were imported into the United States. I told my client, a wine shop owner, to buy...

Napa Valley Register: The European tradition of mulled wine started in ancient Greece.

My friends in Great Britain insist no holiday can be merry without mulled wine. But why should the Brits have all the fun?

The European tradition of mulling wine started in ancient Greece where heat and spices were used to salvage old wine once the summer’s harvest went bad. In the Middle Ages, mulled wine was credited with medicinal and aphrodisiac powers (what serf wouldn’t love to snuggle up with a hot toddy), and in Victorian England a spot of tea was added to a glass of mulled wine and dubbed “Christmas tea.”

In the United States, nearly everyone cites eggnog as our most typical holiday libation. Historically this creamy holiday tradition has beat out mulled wine due to the availability of milk and eggs from our plentiful farms, as well as the rum that’s been an affordable U.S. import from the Caribbean.

Zuccardi 2008 “Q Series” Tempranillo, Mendoza

Smells like a little coffee house on fire, but without the hipsters. Yes,  that’s a good thing. This bottle is all about the oak. Full bodied, the wine sports a round fleshy structure with cola and espresso notes on the attack, and licorice and dark fruits on...