When you think about November, the holiday that almost certainly comes to mind first is Thanksgiving. If you are in France or make your living selling wine, however, November also means the celebration of Beaujolais Nouveau Day on the third Thursday of the month. Beaujolais Nouveau Day began as a local tradition in the bars and bistros of the Beaujolais and Lyons regions of France. Under French law, Beaujolais Nouveau wine is released at 12:01am on that date, and over the last seven decades that day has grown into a holiday celebrated around the world. In this blog, I’d like to clear up some confusion around the difference between Beaujolais and Beaujolais Nouveau, and also explain the history of Beaujolais Nouveau Day – and why you may want to celebrate it. Read More

White Zinfandel is something of a “bridge wine” for many wine drinkers. Known for its relatively high residual sugar and unique pink color, the wine is one of the most popular styles sold in the United States today. This is due in part to a fortuitous accident; in 1975, Sutter Home was making a batch of White Zin when the yeast died out before the sugar was used up (known as a “stuck fermentation”). They kept the batch and sampled it, and it turned out to taste even better than the intended version. Read More

One of the big impediments to people engaging with the wine community is the terminology. It can get complicated keeping track of some of the terms used in the industry, and it’s off-putting to listen in on a conversation that includes a ton of vernacular.

However, there’s a lot going on with wine, and some of those terms are essential to properly describe what’s happening. That’s why I like to periodically introduce some of these terms (for example, when I talked about what “dry” wine is all about).

Today I’d like to talk about another important wine term. The word is “terroir”, and no, it’s not terrifying! In fact, understanding terroir will help you understand why your wine tastes the way it does. Read More

There was a time, not too long ago, when “wine” and “North America” were never uttered in the same breath. Good wine, it was felt, came from France or Italy – the end. Now, picture a wine lover from that era in your head. Got it? Imagine that person’s response to you if you were to come up and tell them, after a lifetime of drinking wine from France, that you had an incredible bottle of California wine that they just had to try.

You can see where they might have some doubts! Read More

Even a young child, drinking wine somewhere that it’s legal for children to drink wine, can quickly and readily identify the fact that despite its many variations, wine is always, always wet. That’s an easy one.

And yet, you’ve probably heard wine referred to as being “dry” before (and if not, you’re about to). So what does that mean? Read More