Wine Reviews and Ratings

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.

Our wine reviews are conducted blind, and we do not accept free samples. Our goal is to showcase excellent wines that are also a great value to the wine consumer. All the wines we rate are small independent producers who engage in natural and sustainable winemaking practices.

Many of the wines we review are also featured in classes and wine courses held at the Wine School of Philadelphia and affiliates of the  National Wine School.

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A Great Wine Moment

In the last class of the Wine School‘s Advanced:Classic Certification program, I taught on the terroir of Bugundy. The wines we used (all 1er Cru from Nuits) were some of the most perfect examples of the variation of the limestone scarp overlooking this tiny region, but also the extreme variation of winemaking styles now at play.

For those who want the DRC experience without spending $400+ a bottle, heres the short list:

Read moreA Great Wine Moment

Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

Between the wines we’ve been pouring for the Intermediate course and the ones I’ve tasted both at home and at professional events, I’ve recently found myself drinking a lot of wines that I normally wouldn’t. This, of course, isn’t because I don’t like them, but simply because, like most people, I tend to get stuck in a wine rut.

Let me explain: Like most wine lovers, I have a few styles of wine that I gravitate towards. In my case, these tend to be Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines from Bordeaux’s Left Bank, Grenache-dominated reds from the Southern Rhone, classic and international varietals from Tuscany and Southern Italy, Pinot Noirs from Burgundy and the Russian River Valley, and Gruner Veltliners from Austria. I buy these because I enjoy them, and because I relish any and every opportunity I have to explore them in greater depth.

Read moreGetting Out of Your Comfort Zone

A Cellaring Primer

With all the talk of the 2005 vintage in Bordeaux, this is probably a good time to discuss a few strategies for collecting wine. Because the truth of the matter is this: While buying a few bottles to lay down can potentially be one of the most rewarding things a wine lover does (aside from drinking Gaja Barbaresco on someone else’s nickel), it can also be the most heartbreaking.

There’s nothing worse than opening a bottle that has been staring out at you from its shelf in the cellar for the past decade, only to discover that it’s flawed. And whatever that flaw may be—corkage, old age, oxidation, whatever—the fact remains that you’ll likely find yourself almost frighteningly upset.

The sad truth, however, is that all wine collectors should expect this: It happens to the best of us.

Read moreA Cellaring Primer

Can’t Put My Finger On It

The never ending quest to find the veritas in vino was the impetus for a recent trip to the Finger Lakes wineries, to ascertain the New York state of wine. Maybe it was the numbing winds spiraling off Seneca Lake or the forlorn look of vineyards in winter, but this brief “tour du vin” left more questions than answers.

Read moreCan’t Put My Finger On It

The b-day gift

If you were wondering what to get me for my birthday…

From Vinography :

These days all the new wine gadgets I hear about seem to have something to do with using magnets or cosmic rays or something to make cheap wine taste better or to make young wine taste properly aged. It’s pretty rare to see a major innovation in the wine world that actually represents a serious breakthrough in anything.

Which is why when someone sent me the link to Spiral Cellars, I got so excited. They seem to be a great concept. Anywhere that you can dig a big hole under your house, you can have a wine cellar.

Read moreThe b-day gift

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