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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10 Best Sparkling Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Bubbly

Sparkling wines made outside of Champagne, France, may not be called Champagne as it’s a trademarked term. However, they often use the same methods and/or grapes used in Champagne. 5 Surprising Facts about Sparkling Facts: 1. Bubblies made in Burgundy, France, are called Crémants de Bourgogne while those from Alsace are Crémant d’Alsace. 2. Spain makes Cavas (“cave”), Italy makes either Prosecco (lightly sparkling) or Spumante (fully sparkling and sweet), Germany makes Sekt or Deutscher. 3. Those from New World regions, such as Canada, California, Australia and elsewhere, are simply called sparkling wine. 4. Drink bubbly from a flute glass […]

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10 Best Brunello di Montalcino Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Brunello di Montalcino

Brunello di Montalcino is a robust Italian red wine grape produced in vineyards in and around the town of Montalcino, about 120 km south of Florence in Tuscany. The word Brunello is derived from the Italian masculine form Bruno, which means “brown.” You’ll find my top 10 Brunello di Montalcino reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Brunello di Montalcino: 1. The origins of Brunello di Montalcino can be traced back as far as the 14th century. A red wine praised by the nobles of Tuscany as the “best wine in Tuscany,” Brunello is considered the youngest of Italy’s […]

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10 Best Nero d’Avola Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Nero d’Avola

Nero d’Avola is one of the most important red wine grapes in Sicily and increasingly in Italy as a whole. You’ll find my top 10 Nero d’Avola reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Nero d’Avola: 1. Nero d’Avola is named after Avola, a small town in South East Sicily. Several hundred years ago Nero d’Avola was known as “The Black Grape of Avola.” Nero d’Avola is also known as Calabrese, which lends to the idea that Nero d’Avola originated in Calabria on mainland Italy at the tip of the boot. 2. The best Nero d’Avola comes from the […]

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