Wine Reviews

All Things Corked & Forked

 

Over two thousand wine reviews! While most of our reviews focus on great wines under $20, we also offer reviews of luxury and collectible wines. As we are located in Philadelphia, most wines reviewed here are available via wine & spirits shops in Pennsylvania. Our main reviewer is Keith Wallace, the executive director and founder of the Wine School of Philadelphia.  Want to locate a specific wine? Use our PLCB Wine Finder.

Holiday 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...

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40 Essential Wine Terms

Have you ever gone wine tasting and had no clue about anything anyone was saying? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with these 40 common wine terms and tasting descriptions. For a full breakdown of wine terminology, we suggest our Wine Dictionary. Wine Scent...

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Holiday Gift Guide 2018, Part One

Apparently, many of you love our gift guide but think it's been getting too long.  So this year the guide has been split into two. This is the first edition, with the second --the holiday wine guide-- coming out in early December.  Have a great Thanksgiving! Keith...

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Getting a Job in the Wine Business

The wine industry is a massive industry with several different career options to suit different types of people. Whether it is physically dealing with the wine or simply selling the wine – there is something out there for anyone. Here we have a list of the most common...

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Wine Review Search

You can search our database of wine reviews for free. From Bordeaux to Virginia: there are over twenty thousand wine reviews dating back over twenty years. If you want access to the newest reviews, please register for our newsletter, the Wine Report. It’s a great free resource to find the top-rated wines currently available. 

Our focus is on wines available in Pennsylvania. We feature wines in the Chairman’s Selection program and other discounted wines available in the PLCB Wine & Spirits Stores. You can also check out our reviews of Philly’s Top Wine Shops

 

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Wine reviews and news from Keith Wallace and the Wine School of Philadelphia. 

Wine Reviews and Features from the Wine School

Spanish Wine Primer

It is no secret that Spain has a lush terroir; bringing us the world’s most interesting cultivars and high-quality wine. Spain is now known for being one of the world’s biggest wine exporters, the world’s largest organic wine producers and the country with the most...

Mark Herold 2014 “Collide” Red, California

  Mark's new tasting room just opened in Napa --just down from the Oxbow Public Market-- a scant three months before I reviewed his wines. I loved the room --super fun and modern-- but another journalist gently pointed out that it was geared towards Millennial...

Mount Veeder Winery 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

In the late 90's, Constellation Brands started buying up Napa wineries. At the time, they were an unknown wine company that produced low-end brands like Cribari. What a lot of people in the wine trade didn't know was how profitable cheap wine could be. It was a three...

Wines of Portugal

Portuguese Wines There is evidence of wine production in what is now Portugal since the time of the Tartessians, who planted vines in the Sado and Tagus valleys around, at least, 2000 BC. Later, Phoenicians, Romans, and Celts contributed to the expansion of the...

Cambria 2014 “Benchbreak” Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley

Cambria has always been that tiny corner of the Kendall-Jackson empire that didn't have that smell of overstuffed marketing. It was family home of Jess Jackson and  Barbara Banke, his second wife. His daughters grew up there. The winery itself, located in the Santa...

Mazzei Belguardo 2013 “Serrata” Toscana

  I've written about  Tenuta Belguardo over the years. It's a property owned by the Mazzei family of Chianti, which also owns Castello di Fonterutoli.  They consistently put out wines that perform well above their price categories. Belguardo's vineyards are on...

Bodegas Montecillo 2011 Reserva Rioja

A 19th Century winery that still manages to put out some serious juice,  year in and year out. If you need an everyday bottle of Rioja, this will fit the bill.  Aromas of cigar box and tomato leaf; flavors of cherry, burnt vanilla, and laurel. There is plenty of fresh...

Commanderie de la Bargemone 2017 Rose, Coteaux d’Aix en Provence

It's about time America fell in love with rosé wines. We've been extolling the virtues of rosé since the 2006 vintage. Historically, one of the great spots for the wine has been the  Coteaux d’Aix region in Provence, France. The region has been making one version or...

Jean Cavaille 2016 “Cep Noir Vielles Vignes” Apremont, Savoie

Sometimes you find a great bottle using a wine heuristic.  Sometimes is simply picking up a bottle from a beloved-but-obscure wine region. The Apremont region in the Savoie department in France makes delicious light wines, pretty as a filigree of sunlight on a...

Domaine Kuentz-Bas 2014 Alsace Blanc

Sometimes a wine review doesn't start with the wine, but how the writer discovered it.  Finding great wines at any price point would be impossible if I were to taste every wine. There are over 2 million wine brands in the world currently, which breaks down to about...

Brotte 2015 “Esprit Barville” Cotes du Rhone Blanc

If you happen to be in the village of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, you'll probably end up at the Musée du Vin. It's attached to Maison Brotte, one of the oldest wineries in France's Southern Rhone.  While your there, you'll notice a selection of black twisted bottles of wine....

Hillersden 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough

  Located in Upper Wairau Valley, a remote corner in one of the most remote wine regions in the world, Hillersden is an interesting winery that is as much about Kiwi ingenuity as it is of wine. The wine is an exceptional Sauvignon Blanc.  Nose of guava and...

July 2018 Newsletter

  Hope you are having a good summer. It's been really great here at the school, and we have a lot of interesting classes coming up. The Great Ciders of the World  class is going to be really interesting. The Mixology class is going to be really amazing. We did a...

Moniker 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendocino County

This is the last vintage of this wine, so I'd recommend picking up a few bottles.  A rock-solid cabernet that has the big oak and extraction one would expect for a luxury wine, but it snuck into the PLCB Wine & Spirits stores for half of that. There's a reason for...

May 2018 Newsletter

  I hope you are doing well.  I am a bit late with the newsletter this month. Sorry!  We've been a little busy renovating the school.  I hope you can forgive me. I've enclosed my top wine suggestions, and I've posted a few really cool classes. I think you'll like...

A Wrinkle in Wine: The Former Chairman Returns. Sort of.

    File under: down the rabbit hole we go. Jonathan Newman, the former Chairman of the PLCB is selling wine to Tim Holden, the current PLCB Chairman for the Chairman's Selections Program that Mr. Newman created when he was Chairman. Huh? It's been over a...

The Chook 2015 Shiraz Viognier, McLaren Vale

Like much of Australian lingo, Chook has a forboding silliness to it.  WTF is a Chook? Is it an insult? A term of affection? I went looking for clues. In Shakespeare's England, it was a term of endearment, first recorded in Love's Labor Lost. A wine of endearment is...

Robert Mondavi Winery 2014 Fume Blanc, Oakville

This is a landmark bottle of Napa wines. One of those historic wines that fly under the radar these days. Let's let the old guard take up the description of this wine: 1968 Mondavi's Fume Blanc is made entirely from the Sauvignon Blanc grape variety, the same that is...

Simi 2014 Reserve Chardonnay, Russian River Valley

A barrel fermented, barrel aged, full buttery bomb MLF of a Chardonnay. Largely sourced from the  Goldfields Vineyard in Sonoma's Russian River Valley, this bottle offers exactly what you'd expect from a luxury-level Cali wine. This is one of the last vintages made...

Hecht & Bannier 2016 Rosé, Côtes de Provence

  Hecht & Bannier are a négociant winery based in the southern French town of Aix-en-Provence. Since 2002, they've released a number of very good red wines. However, it's their rosé program that is getting noticed and for very good reasons.  They produce...

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