A Guide to Wine, Food & the Good Life


This tag is associated with 10 posts


  The Tablas Creek Vineyard fall releases are out and, as usual, they are wines not to be missed. There are 6 wines in total including 4 white wines and 2 red wines. All are really delicious. Tablas Creek Vineyard consistently produces really amazing and well-priced wines that few other California wineries can match (to read […]

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    A GRAND SLAM Tablas Creek Vineyard consistently produces really amazing and well-priced wines that few other California wineries can match. The specialty is, of course, Rhone varietals and their wines are beautifully crafted and very food friendly. Since 1997 they have made balanced and harmonious wines year in and year out. Below is […]

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  The new releases from Tablas Creek Vineyard include 3 white wines from the 2015 vintage, 1 white wine from the 2014 vintage, and 1 red wine from the 2014 vintage. As usual the wines are really lovely and very good values. Tablas Creek Vineyard continues to produce amazingly good and very consistent wines. And, […]

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My history with Calera goes back some 35 years when I first visited the new winery and tasted the first wines from the 1978 vintage. Since then I have followed their remarkable progress (to read my latest article based on my August 2015 visit including new and old wines and links to earlier articles click […]

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  Shortly after the online Underground was launched I visited Tablas Creek Vineyard and I was most impressed. Below is the introduction from the first article: Tablas Creek Vineyard is a partnership between the Perrin family, proprietors of Chateau Beaucastel in Chateauneuf du Pape, and Robert Haas, founder of Vineyard Brands, as majority partners and […]

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OK. So I have been writing recently about inexpensive red wines and doing blending of wines that are not exactly to your liking to make something that you do like. Yes, I know that sounds radical to some and down right heresy to some wine purists. So what? Get over it. Wine is just a beverage. It is a beverage that exists to complement your food and contribute to the dining experience.

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I recently attended a new release trade tasting in Los Angeles for New Zealand wines. Some 26 wineries were represented and there were well over 100 wines available to taste in a 3 hour period. These types of tastings are a way to get a general idea of the wines. But, for me, they are not an opportunity to write detailed notes on each wine.

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Call For Torrontes, Other Terrific Inexpensive White Wines, An Old Friend Chardonnay, And A New Friend Pinot Noir

Recently, in buying wines for my Inexpensive Red Wines article, I picked up a few other wines. Voila! I hit the mother lode! All these wines are terrific and not expensive.

I found a new Torrontes, 2009 Trapiche. Earlier, in my Under The Radar 2009 Wines article, I reviewed two others, 2009 Inacayal Vineards and 2009 Zolo. All are from Argentina and all are outstanding.

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Under The Radar 2009 Wines

We’ve been talking about the very favorable growing conditions in almost all parts of the world in 2009. So continuing with that theme here is a representative sampling of generally inexpensive 2009 wines that are distinctive and generally not well known. Hence, the “Under the Radar” theme. Be adventuresome. Try a few. I think you will be really glad you did and I expect you will find many new favorites.

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Recession Busters/Best Buys

Here are 28 wines, perfect for everyday drinking, and, priced at $10 or below, offering good value to the wallet or pocketbook and the palate. Eighteen of the wines are priced below $5. All are pleasant surprises, interesting, inviting and worthy of buying again. Until the last year or so, good wines in this price range were very difficult to find in the U.S., other than Two-Buck Chuck or wines found in stores’ bargain bins. These very affordable wines fill a vacuum in the American wine market: vin ordinaire and vino de tavola for the American table. Some are surprisingly good, some could benefit from additional aging and some are just nice, early-drinking quaffers. While quality and price are generally positively correlated, this is not always the case. You don’t need to be embarrassed to serve these wines to guests or to let them be the second wine served at a party. However, keep in mind that you can’t expect these wines to be perfectly balanced with great complexity and richness. While these wines may not interest a connoisseur, they are fruity and flavorful, perfectly quaffable on an everyday basis to the vast majority of the wine drinking public. Moreover, the wines are quite food friendly.

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