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Wine Tasting

Wine Tasting

One of the great ways to expand your palate beyond a wine club is by tasting wine with friends.  This is one of the ways Sommeliers grow their wine knowledge, they taste a broad diversity of wines – lots of grapes from lots of regions.  You can pretty easily...

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Wine Naming: Grapes or Places?

Wine Naming: Grapes or Places?

Yup, it’s confusing: sometimes a wine is named by the grape used to make it and sometimes it is named by the area that it is grown.  Lots of time, there is no indication of the grape used in this second group - you are just somehow supposed to know. So how does...

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The 20 Cocktails You Should Know (and Try)

The 20 Cocktails You Should Know (and Try)

There has been a rise of the celebrity bartender and the use of local fresh ingredients.  I think that’s a great thing and offers a chance to have some fun with a cocktail before we head to dinner and wine.  Most of these drinks are not designed to pair with...

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The Lowdown on Liquors

The Lowdown on Liquors

While I mostly write about wine, the synonymous liquor and spirits are an important part of professional drinking and it’s worth knowing the basics.  I am just going to cover a few of the major ones, but there are dozens I am not covering including variations of...

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Beer Basics

Beer Basics

Beer isn’t considered the classiest drink, but I have to admit after a round of golf on a warm day, it is hard to beat.  You can’t go frat party crazy when doing business golf or at an event, but many times, I’ll have a beer in place of a cocktail.  It’s a...

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The Seven Noble Grapes

The Seven Noble Grapes

The most basic wine knowledge involves an understanding of a very limited set of what are called Noble Grapes or International Varietals. These are the grapes that make the dominant proportion of fine wines around the world.  This is partially because these...

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What Do You Do When the Host Hands You the Wine List?

What Do You Do When the Host Hands You the Wine List?

One of the more uncomfortable situations is when you are at a dinner and the host hands you the wine list and asks you to pick.  This usually happens when you are the guest of honor, and even more complex, when in a foreign country.  This is fraught with...

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What’s Better, Screw Cap or Cork?

What’s Better, Screw Cap or Cork?

It’s a question as old as screw caps (corks have been around a while).  And the simple answer is – it depends.  Let’s dig into the differences because despite some technical issues, so wines are just better in one or the other.  Ultimately, it’s a...

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The Dirty Little Secret about Sweet Wines

The Dirty Little Secret about Sweet Wines

One of the most commonly misused words when people order wine is “Sweet”.  When wine people say a wine is sweet, they mean that there is residual sugar in the wine, in other words, not all the grape juice has been converted into alcohol.  This is a winemaker...

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How to Tell Your Server What Kind of Wine You Want

How to Tell Your Server What Kind of Wine You Want

Clearly, the easiest way to tell a server or Sommelier what type of wine you want is to point to the one that you have selected on the list. Frankly, if you can do that and be comfortable with all the wine styles, you might know more than your server.  But that...

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About This Site

Jim is a Certified Sommelier, holds an Advanced Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust and is a business person with 30 years of professional drinking experience helping professionals navigate wine and spirits, while keeping it fun!

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