The three-tier distribution system (Maker – Distributor – Retailer) goes back to the repeal of Prohibition in the United States in 1933. The states were put in charge of the laws around distribution of alcohol, but the states and the federal governmentwere mostly concerned about collecting taxes. Most states have outlawed the ownership of the entire chain of distribution to make sure there are clear demarcation points where they can collect, except in some special cases like brewpubs. Continue reading “How Does the Wine Distribution System Work?”
If you answered $90, you are only partially right. You can spend a widely varying amount on a bottle of wine, from a bottle of Barefoot wine at under $5.00 to a bottle of of Chateau Petrus at nearly $5,000. They are both wine, made from grapes, so what causes this difference? And what goes into the costs? It turns out it starts from the very ground the grapes are grown on and goes from there. Continue reading “What is the Difference between a $10 and $100 Bottle of Wine?”
The 4th of July is around the corner and while the traditional beer goes well with your grilled hot dogs, burgers and steak, there are some patriotic wines that can make great summer sippers. Continue reading “Red White and Blue Wines for the 4th of July”
Making wine starts with grapes and most importantly, ripe grapes. The secret of the grower is to bring the grapes to their ultimate peak of ripeness, given their local weather and geography. The trick is to pick them as ripe as possible before colder weather or storms that can ruin a harvest arrive. This means the grapes have the most sugar possible and that’s what the winemaker needs to produce a great wine. Continue reading “What Sets the Alcohol Content of Your Wine?”
We’ve all seen the ratings of wines in in our favorite wine shop, usually wines with scores in the 80s or even 90s. 88 points! 92 Points! But what do these scores really mean? Are higher scoring wines definitively better? And what does a wine score mean and how are they derived? Continue reading “Making Sense of The 100 Point Wine Scale”
Champagne. It just rolls off the tongue and sounds luxurious, just like you are about to celebrate a special occasion. But wine with bubbles is fun anytime and I’d suggest that we can never drink enough bubbles! Continue reading “You Can Never Drink Too Many Bubbles”
One of the parlor tricks that Sommeliers use to deepen their appreciation of wine is called deductive tasting. When doing this, they taste a wine without seeing the label on the bottle, or “blind”. Based on the various sensory input, they will deduce the grape, country, region, quality and age of the wine. If they are a Master Sommelier, they will likely be able to name the estate as well.
As impressive as this performance is, it is really designed to deeply understand a wine and deconstruct it so they can accurately and properly describe it to guest. While most of us aren’t going to become a Sommelier, we can learn from the deductive tasting method used by these experts to more deeply appreciate out wine.
So how do Sommeliers evaluate a wine? It’s as simple as eyes, nose, mouth. Continue reading “Using Three Senses to Drink Your Wine”
If you hang around wine people, you’ll hear the phrases new world versus old world wines. It seems like a simple phase but it has meaning for taste and other factors when you drink each of these wines. Continue reading “Old World and New World Wines Smell Different”
We’ve all seen it – wine connoisseurs swirling their wine, dipping their noses into the glass and taking a big whiff. But, is this the right way? How do the experts smell their wine? Continue reading “How to Smell Your Wine Like a Professional”
At some business dinners, the wine can make up over 50% of the total bill and that leaves the host to wonder, “how should I tip on the wine?” Should I tip less on the wine and blend the overall tip, or should I tip the Sommelier separately? This is especially true if the Sommelier did a particularly good job.