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 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Wines to Buy Now + Surprising Facts about Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Chateauneuf-du-Pape is the most southern and important quality-driven appellation in the southern Rhone Valley. You’ll find my top 10 Chateauneuf-du-Pape reviews and ratings here. Surprising Facts about Chateauneuf-du-Pape: The history of Chateauneuf-du-Pape can be traced back to the 14th century when the papal court of Rome relocated to Avignon, close to a limestone quarry for construction purposes. Pope Clement V arrived in Avignon in 1309 during the rebuilding of the papal summer quarters in Calcernier. He ordered the planting of grape vines. His successor John XXII is credited with developing the papal vineyard. This area became known as Chateauneuf-du-Pape, which […]

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

Barolo is a full-bodied red wine produced in the northern Italian region of Piemonte. Barolo means “commune” in Italian. Widely termed “the wine of kings, the king of wines” among the nobility of Turin and the ruling House of Savoy.  You’ll find my Top 10 Barolo reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Barolo: 1. This powerful DOCG red wine is made from the late-ripening Nebbiolo grape. Barolo tends to be light rust in colour. Barolo is often described as one of Italy’s greatest wines. 2. Traditional Barolos were known for their ability to age. These red wines extract lots […]

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10 Best Cabernet Franc Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is one of the five grapes in Bordeaux blends, along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot. You’ll find my top 10 Cabernet Franc reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Cabernet Franc: 1. Cabernet Franc is a thin-skinned, early-ripening grape with a lighter body and acidity than the robust Cabernet Sauvignon, but is more susceptible to spring frosts. 2. Cabernet Franc, along with Sauvignon Blanc, is actually one of the genetic parents of Cabernet Sauvignon. 3. In France, which boasts the most vineyard acreage of Cabernet Franc in the world, several regions have more plantings […]

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

Amarone della Valpolicella, which roughly translates to “strongly bitter,” describes this robust, rich red wine made in Valpolicella, in the northeast region of Italy called Veneto. You’ll find my top 10 Amarone reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Amarone: 1. The best and ripest of the dark-skinned grapes that are blended to create Amarone include Corvina, Molinara and Rondinella. These are carefully selected during harvest and gently stored for several months after harvest in cool, well-ventilated rooms on straw mats so that they dry, dehydrate and concentrate their sugars and flavors. 2. When they’re almost shriveled like raisins, they’re […]

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

Shiraz and Syrah are both originally from the same clone, but various regions have chosen one name or the other. You’ll find my top 10 Shiraz reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Shiraz: They both create rich, robust red wines with a smooth texture and signature aromas of spice, pepper, clove and licorice leading, followed by dark fruit such as blackcurrant, blackberry, plum and black cherry, as well as truffle, earth, violets, vanilla, smoke, sandalwood, cedar, cigar box, earth and leather. The greatest of these wines can age for 25 years or more. The grape was originally believed […]

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