10 Best Zinfandel Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Zinfandel

In our latest Facebook Live Video chat, we chat about the robust red wine Zinfandel. What makes it different from other red wines? How is it related to the Italian red wine Primitivo? What foods pair best with Zinfandel? What’s the group Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP) all about, and International Zinfandel Day on November 19? You can click on the arrow above to play the video. If you’d like to read the 100+ comments, or make a comment yourself, visit: https://www.facebook.com/natdecants/videos/10154477064559845/ You’ll find the most recent live video wine tasting at the top of the timeline here: www.facebook.com/natdecants We taste […]

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10 Best Viognier Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Viognier

By Lesley Quinn With a gold like colour, luscious tropical fruit tones and a full body to pull it all together, Viognier is a bon-viveur’s dream wine. If done properly a good Viognier can be like a late summer walk through a peach orchard. Aromas permeating the warm thick air with pungent ripe fruit. And although it’s decadent, somehow it still leaves you feeling refreshed as most Viogniers are vinified to dryness. But if done poorly a Viognier can be flabby and flat and feel like you’ve decided to take up coconut oil pulling again. Let these 10 great Viogniers be your next buy and these 5 facts about the grape be the talking points you share as you […]

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10 Best Champagne Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Champagne

The sparkling wine Champagne is named after the northern region of France where it’s produced. Other regions of France, as well as other countries, make sparkling wine, but only those from Champagne may be called Champagne. You’ll find my most recent Champagne reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Champagne: 1. Supposedly the eighteenth-century blind Benedictine monk, Dom Pérignon, accidentally discovered how to put the bubbles in Champagne when his wines started fermenting again in the spring after the cold winter had stopped them. Other records attribute this discovery to the British scientist Christopher Merret thirty years before Pérignon. […]

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10 Best Moscato d’Asti Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Moscato d’Asti

Moscato d’Asti is a fragrant and slightly fizzy DOCG dessert wine produced in the Northern Italian region of Piedmont. You’ll find my most recent Moscato d’Asti reviews and ratings here. Surprising Facts about Moscato d’Asti: Moscato d’Asti is produced from the Moscato Bianco (white Muscat) grape in and around the town of Asti. The hub of Asti production being the tiny village of Canelli. Moscato Bianco is the fourth most planted grape in Italy and perhaps the first cultivated vine in Piedmont. Moscato d’Asti is often mentioned in the company of its relative wine Asti. The two have many differences. […]

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10 Best Ripasso Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Ripasso

Ripasso is not a grape variety, but rather a winemaking process, made famous in Italy. This sends the wine into a second fermentation and gives the wine more tannins, body, flavour, and alcohol. You’ll find my top 10 Ripasso reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Ripasso: 1. The wine of Valpolicella, made from a combination of native Italian grapes most commonly Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara, is re-passed over the leftover grape skins and seeds of the wine, also known as its pomace. 2. Some refer to the Ripasso style of wine as a “baby amarone,” more powerful than […]

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10 Best Valpolicella Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Valpolicella

Valpolicella, like Chianti, is a style of wine from a specific region of Italy bearing the name Valpolicella. Valpolicella is not an actual grape variety. You’ll find my most recent Valpolicella  reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Valpolicella: The grapes that are typically used to make Valpolicella include Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara. The area known as Valpolicella is a part of the greater wine region known as the Veneto and is inside the province of Verona, in the North East of Italy. Valpolicella labels can give you clues as to what wine you can expect from the wine […]

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10 Best Carignan Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Carignan

It’s hard to imagine that the Carignan grape used to play such a big role in France’s wine history, yet most wine drinkers have never heard of Carignan. Today, this red wine grape is mostly used as a blending wine, known for its rich dark color. You’ll find my Top 10 Carignan reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Carignan: 1. In France, Carignan was the most planted grape variety from the 1960s to 2000.  In fact, in the late 90s there were more than 150,000 acres of Carignan vines planted in France. 2. Why so popular?  Two words: large […]

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10 Best Barbera Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Barbera

Barbera is both the name of a grape and of the red wine it produces. Its ancestral home is in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy, from the vineyards around the towns of Asti, Alexandria and Casale Monferrato. You’ll find my Top 10 Barbera reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Barbera: 1. Unlike Barolo and Barberesco, Barbera is not considered a classic grape. It is Italy’s most common red grape. 2. In 1985 Barbera producers added methanol to their wines. Thirty people died as a result, and many were left with affected sight including blindness. The fallout from bad […]

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10 Best Cinsault Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Cinsault

Cinsaut, or Cinsault as it is sometimes called, is a dark-skinned red vitis vinifera grape that’s often blended with Grenache, Carignan and Syrah grapes to add softness and bouquet to a wine. You’ll find my Top 10 Cinsault reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Cinsault: 1. Cinsaut is the fourth-most planted grape in France. 2. A French grape in origin, it’s unusual to see Cinsaut produced as a single varietal comprising 100% of the wine. 3. Cinsaut is light in body and low in tannin, and adds lovely perfumed aromas of red berries to its blends, especially when harvested […]

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10 Best Nebbiolo Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Nebbiolo

Nebbiolo is a red wine grape from the Northern Italian region of Piedmont. Nebbiolo makes the classic wines of Italy, Barolo and Barbaresco, as well as Gattinara, Ghemme and Nebbiolo D’Alba. You’ll find my Top 10 Nebbiolo reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Nebbiolo: 1. Compared to other Italian grapes, Nebbiolo buds early and ripens late with harvesting taking place mid to late October. 2. The Nebbiolo grape produces lighter style red wines that can be highly tannic in youth with aromas of tar and roses. Prolonged aging is essential to mellow this wine and soften tannins. Aromas such […]

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