10 Best Petite Sirah Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Petite Sirah

There’s nothing petite about Petite Sirah. The robust red grape is also known as Durif and is mostly grown in Australia and California to produce full-bodied red wines. You’ll find my Top 10 Petite Sirah reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Petite Sirah: 1. Petite Sirah it should not be mistakenly spelled as Petite Syrah, which is a small berried clone of the Syrah grape variety from the French region of the Rhône Valley. However, Petite Sirah still has a familial connection to Syrah, as it is a cross of a Syrah pollen-germinating with a Peloursin plant which is […]

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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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5 Surpring Facts about Pinot Grigio + Top 10 Pinot Grigio Wines to Buy Now

Pinot Grigio is one of the fastest growing white wines in the liquor store. It has a clean, crisp, fresh nature that works well as an aperitif or as a companion to a wide range of dishes from seafood and chicken. Here are my top 10 Pinot Grigio reviews and ratings. 5 Surprising Facts about Pinot Grigio: 1. Pinot Grigio is a white variant-clone of the red grape Pinot Noir. The Italian region of Friuli produces the best Pinot Grigio in a crisp, refreshing style. Other Italian regions produce it too but it can be over-cropped and taste insipid. 2. […]

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

The most popular Bonarda-based wine in the North American retail market is made in Argentina where it is the second-most planted grape variety, just behind Malbec. You’ll find my most recent Bonarda wine reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Bonarda: 1. Bonarda is a late-ripening grape variety that requires a large shift in temperature from day to night, so that the wine reaches high enough sugar levels without overheating and creating a stewed wine. 2. The Mendoza Valley in Argentina is ideal for creating this climate for the grape and is where the majority of the plantings are. […]

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

Tempranillo is a native grape from Spain, and many believe, the most important grape for Spanish wine. The name Tempranillo comes from the Spanish word “temprano” which means “early” and is a reference to the fact that this grape ripens earliest of all other grapes in the country. You’ll find my most recent Tempranillo reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Tempranillo: 1. Tempranillo is most commonly known as Tempranillo, but it does have as many synonyms, as there are dialects of Spanish. Here are a few more of its names: Tinto Fino, Tinto del Pais, Ull de Llebre, […]

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

Garnacha, as it’s known in Spain, is more commonly as Grenache in the rest of the world, and is one of the most widely planted wine grape varieties on the planet. Garnacha is also responsible for some of the most delicious and some of the most expensive wines in the world. The most exalted wine region in France for Garnacha is the Chateauneuf-du-Pape district in the southern Rhone Valley. About 80% of the Chateauneuf-du-Pape blend is Garnacha. You’ll find my most recent Garnacha reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Garnacha: 1. Garnacha’s origins go back to Spain in […]

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

Cava is the name for sparkling wine made in Spain, think of it as the Champagne of Spain, just remember to call it Cava since Champagne may only be used in reference to the sparkling wines from the French region of Champagne. Spain has adopted similar regulations to Champagne, as Cava may only be used to name a wine if it was made using the traditional Méthode Champenoise. You’ll find my most top 10 Cava reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Cava: 1. Most Cava comes from the region of Catalunya where Barcelona is located, in particular the […]

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

Primitivo is an Italian red grape that many wine drinkers recognize by its American counterpart Zinfandel, although the grape’s true origin is Croatia, where the grape is known as Crljenak Kaštelanski. Some have taken to calling Primitivo ZPC to include all three grape names as an acronym, even though it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue the way the wine does. You’ll find my Top 10 Primitivo reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Primitivo: 1. Primitivo has been grown in the heel of Italy, Puglia, since the 18th century, where it is now roughly the twelfth most planted grape […]

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

Pinotage is South Africa’s best-known red wine grape, even though it is far from the most widely planted variety in the country. It is the iconic grape because it was created in South Africa and has a storied history. You’ll find my most recent Pinotage reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Pinotage: 1. In 1925, at the Stellenbosch University a Professor of Viticulture crossed Pinot Noir with Cinsault (also known as Hermitage) to create the hybrid Pinotage grape. 2. Pinotage is the key component in the “Cape Blend”, a blend that was created to showcase Pinotage’s ability to […]

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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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