Recent Blog Posts

NOTABLE HIGHLIGHTS WINE STYLE ON FRONT LABEL

NOTABLE HIGHLIGHTS WINE STYLE ON FRONT LABEL

Notable Wines aims to take the mystery out of wine shopping. This spring they launched two Chardonnays, a “Fruity & Crisp” Chardonnay from Australia, and an “Oaky & Buttery” Chardonnay from California, both at $14.99. I was just commenting to a colleague that we often find ourselves observing then rescuing folks in the wine aisle trying […]

PARADISE RIDGE WINERY HOSTS WOW DINNER TO BENEFIT AT RISK YOUTH

PARADISE RIDGE WINERY HOSTS WOW DINNER TO BENEFIT AT RISK YOUTH

by Liz Thach, MW Perched on a hilltop overlooking the vineyards and a spectacular sunset view, Paradise Ridge Winery in Sonoma County is not only an ideal location for winetasting, but also as a dinner and special event venue. That is why it was an excellent location for the most recent WOW (Worth Our Weight) […]

WHAT MAKES THE SONOMA COUNTY BARREL AUCTION SO INNOVATIVE?

WHAT MAKES THE SONOMA COUNTY BARREL AUCTION SO INNOVATIVE?

By Liz Thach, MW for PLANET GRAPE WINE REVIEW Each year there are a variety of charity wine auctions held across the US, but the one that wins the innovation crown is the Sonoma County Barrel Auction. This is because auction organizers challenge local wineries to craft a unique, one of a kind wine blend […]

BEYOND SAUVIGNON BLANC – PRIME TIME FOR PINOT NOIR IN NEW ZEALAND

BEYOND SAUVIGNON BLANC – PRIME TIME FOR PINOT NOIR IN NEW ZEALAND

Beyond Sauvignon Blanc – Prime Pinot Noir Time in New Zealand Catherine Fallis April 19, 2017 Food and Wine I love former West End actor Oz Clarke’s description of New Zealand’s brash, pungent Sauvignon Blanc, an iconic style created by Cloudy Bay winemaker Kevin Judd. He calls it a “cloudburst, thrilling, shocking, lime zest, capsicum, love […]

CELEBRATING THE FRESH FLAVORS OF SPRING WITH SHAFER VINEYARDS

CELEBRATING THE FRESH FLAVORS OF SPRING WITH SHAFER VINEYARDS

From SHAFER VINEYARDS in Napa Valley, California Spring has sprung and the aromas and flavors of the season are bright, zesty, and fresh. Annette Shafer offers an all-new round of recipes which deliver the best of this time of year to your table. Enjoy! SPRING HEIRLOOM CARROT SOUP WITH PRESERVED MEYER LEMON SPRING HERB GRILLED […]

COOL COASTAL SIPPER

COOL COASTAL SIPPER

I like to say that Albariño is Miguel Migs. If you know music, you know this is the cool dude who mixes it up for the dance clubs in SoMa, San Francisco. With notes of apple, pear, lemon, lemon rind and toasted almond, tropical fruit, and occasionally, a vein of chalky minerality, this delicious, dry, […]

ROSE CHAMPAGNE NOT JUST FOR THE LADIES

ROSE CHAMPAGNE NOT JUST FOR THE LADIES

January/February 2017 Glass of Bubbly Issue 16 Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis   Despite the general perception, Rose Champagne is not for ladies only, although the very thought of it brings mouthwatering visions of decadence and frolic to mind. Rose is actually the weightiest and richest of Champagne styles, is made in non-vintage, vintage and luxury […]

LE MESNIL’S RISING STAR

LE MESNIL’S RISING STAR

November/December 2016 Glass of Bubbly Issue 15 Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis With a budget of $400 US, or $850, one can easily obtain one of the best Champagnes in the world, a bottle of Salon or Krug Clos de Mesnil. With any luck, the Grand Cru Chardonnay-based bubbly will be expressive, generous and fine, though […]

BOTTEGA LIQUID METALS

BOTTEGA LIQUID METALS

September/October 2016 Glass of Bubbly Issue 14 Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis   Are you gold, rose or platinum? Like the iPhone 6sPlus, Bottega Liquid Metals offers choices of platinum, gold and rose gold metal coated bottles to showcase their premium Italian sparkling wines. The innovative and eye-catching packaging includes Moscato (platinum), Prosecco (gold) and sparkling […]

SMALL DISCOVERIES

SMALL DISCOVERIES

January/February 2016 Glass of Bubbly Issue 10 Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis With its iconic hand painted flower bottle, Perrier Jouet’s Cuvee Belle Epoque, formerly known as Fleur de Champagne, is one of the world’s most recognizable luxury brands, let alone Champagnes. To make their current releases even more memorable, the house teamed up young designers […]

AUSTRIA’S WALTZING VARIETAL

AUSTRIA’S WALTZING VARIETAL

February/March 2016 The SOMM Journal planet grape by Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis THE HILLS ARE ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF RIESLING Benchmark old world Riesling is one of the world’s great vinous treasures, and Austria delivers it in spades. Supremely intense, rich, pungent and dry, quite different from the lacy, low alcohol, delicate, minerally, acidic […]

NO MORE GEEK SPEAK

NO MORE GEEK SPEAK

February/March 2017 The SOMM Journal planet grape by Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis FOR SOMMS ON THE FLOOR, HOSPITALITY COMES FIRST Food servers have it down to an art, whether by training, instinct or experience. No server would earn big bucks by selling the restaurant’s food with ego-infused technical geek speak. Beyond that, no chef would […]

BEYOND TAPAS

BEYOND TAPAS

December/January 2016 2017 The SOMM Journal planet grape by Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis BASQUE PINTXOS TAKE IT UPSCALE Tapas, simple bites such as cured meats, chorizo sausage, olives, or fried seafood have their origin in Southern Spain. One story claims that King Alfonso X stopped in Cadiz to rest from a long journey and ordered […]

WHERE VIOGNIER SHINES

WHERE VIOGNIER SHINES

October/November 2016 The SOMM Journal planet grape by Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis THE ANCIENT GRAPE IS AT ITS BEST IN CONDRIEU AND SOUTH WEST FRANCE Viognier (vee oh nyay) was grown in the Northern Rhone during the Roman Empire. When the Romans were forced out of Gaul in the 5th Century, the vines remained uncultivated […]

OUT FROM UNDER THE SHADOW OF NAPA VALLEY

OUT FROM UNDER THE SHADOW OF NAPA VALLEY

August/September 2016 The SOMM Journal planet grape by Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis DISCOVERING THE LONG ESTABLISHED, NEWLY RECOGNIZED COOMBSVILLE AVA Just five minutes east of bustling downtown Napa with its popular riverfront and Oxbow Market is the bucolic, off-the-beaten-path Coombsville, a cool southern valley area protected by an ancient caldera which was granted AVA status […]

WHERE PINOT REIGNS

WHERE PINOT REIGNS

June/July 2016 The SOMM Journal planet grape by Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis AN INAUGURAL BARREL AUCTION MARKS A 50-YEAR MILESTONE FOR WILLAMETTE VALLEY WINES While wine grapes were cultivated in Southern Oregon in the mid and late 1800’s, it wasn’t until 1965 that marked the first plantings the Willamette Valley, when David and Diana Lett […]

PROSECCO DOC MOVES TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY

PROSECCO DOC MOVES TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY

Press Release PROSECCO DOC MOVES TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY The denomination is making important steps in its commitment to a healthy environment For years, the debate on sustainability and its various meanings has become an unavoidable topic of discussion in the world of agriculture at every level, from local to international, from producer to consumer. Clear, consistent, […]

2017 INTERNATIONAL ALSACE VARIETALS FESTIVAL FEATURING CREMANT D’ALSACE

2017 INTERNATIONAL ALSACE VARIETALS FESTIVAL FEATURING CREMANT D’ALSACE

Planet Grape Wine Review presented this past weekend during the sold out Educational Session at the 2017 International Alsace Varietals Festival, held at the Mendocino Fairgrounds in Boonville amidst the rolling hills and meadows of California’s Anderson Valley. Dr. Liz Thach MW and Fred Swan Diploma WSET joined me for a lively panel presentation of the sparkling […]

OSCAR NIGHT PASSIONFRUIT CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL

OSCAR NIGHT PASSIONFRUIT CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL

Piper-Heidsieck PRESENTS THE PERFECT CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL FOR OSCAR® NIGHT  Celebrate Awards Season with this Sweet and Sumptuous Passionfruit Cocktail!  Impress your friends and loved ones with the perfect passionfruit Champagne cocktail as you celebrate the Oscars® from home this year.  Made with Piper-Heidsieck, the sole Champagne to be served during the 2017 Academy Awards®, The Seductress […]

GLOBAL COALITION TO PROTECT WINE GROWING PLACE NAMES

GLOBAL COALITION TO PROTECT WINE GROWING PLACE NAMES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 14, 2017 CONTACT: Elizabeth McBain, 202-777-3511, emcbain@clsstrategies.com   Global Coalition to Protect Wine Growing Place Names Gathers at Chianti Classico Collection Representatives from Champagne, Jerez-Xérès-Sherry and Willamette Valley join Chianti Classico at annual tasting to raise awareness   FLORENCE, Italy — Representatives of the Joint Declaration to Protect Wine Place & […]

A MASTER CICERONE’S BEER PICKS

A MASTER CICERONE’S BEER PICKS

Master Cicerone, Brewmaster and Certified Sommelier Rich Higgins recommends these beers for Super Bowl and beyond:   nv Sixpoint Puff Brooklyn New York nv Siren Barrel Aged Lemon Cello IPA nv Fuller’s London Pride London England nv St. Bernardus Abt 12 Watou West Flanders Belgium nv Saison Dupont Tourpes Hainaut Belgium nv Dupont Avec Les […]

PINOT NOIR NEW ZEALAND 2017 – WELLINGTON WATERFRONT

PINOT NOIR NEW ZEALAND 2017 – WELLINGTON WATERFRONT

Global wine industry leaders to descend on Wellington this month In just under three weeks, an astounding selection of global wine imbibers and influencers will descend on our nation’s capital for Pinot Noir NZ 2017. We’ve got a line-up of 30 speakers from Japan, the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand, who […]

SHERRY-LEHAMNN/KEVIN ZRALY BORDEAUX MASTER CLASS NYC

SHERRY-LEHAMNN/KEVIN ZRALY BORDEAUX MASTER CLASS NYC

Explore the terroir of St. Julien and the great Leoville estate along with its newest acquisition, Chateau Mauvesin with Proprietor Damien Barton-Sartorius and America’s Leading Wine Educator Kevin Zraly on Tuesday, January 24th, 7:00-9:00pm, for a reception and seated tasting at the Sherry-Lehmann Gallery, 505 Park Avenue at 59th St. NYC. $250 per person. Limited. […]

FRED SWAN’S SPIRITS REVIEWS – MEZCAL & MALTS

FRED SWAN’S SPIRITS REVIEWS – MEZCAL & MALTS

Check out Planet Grape Panelist and Contributor Fred Swan’s latest spirits reviews! Bastille 1789 Hand-Crafted Whisky France Wemyss Malts The Hive Blended Malt Scotch Whisky Chamucos Tequila Blanco Mexico Chamucos Tequila Anejo Mexico Los Amantes Mezcal Joven Lot 11 Oaxaca Mexico Los Amantes Mezcal Reposado Lot 12 Oaxaca Mexico Los Amantes Mezcal Anejo Lot 13 […]