Airline #Wine is Taking Off

Natalie MacLean is an accredited sommelier, wine journalist and author of Red, White, and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass. I understand you travelled extensively to research your book. Yes, I spent three years sipping and spitting my way through various vineyards around Europe and around North America – Burgundy, Champagne and California, among others. How do you research your stories? You can only say so much about wine by just opening the bottle: it’s wet, it’s fruity, it tastes good or it doesn’t. The story of wine is the story about the place, where it’s […]

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How to Spit Wine Without Losing Your Dignity

Spitting out your wine—it’s an acceptable part of winery tasting room etiquette. In North America, we associate spitting with crudeness and great gobs of wet tobacco. Europeans, however, are completely uninhibited about spitting wine—as they are about nude bathing and May-December sexual liaisons. The French call it recracher, and they have no qualms about doing it in the vineyard, down drains, or even on the barrel room floor. (Here are my top reviews for wines not to spit.) But don’t think it’s a mark of European sophistication to spit on a floor that’s finished in bird’s eye maple or covered […]

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How to Get the Most from Your Winery Visit: 20 Tasting Room Tips

1. Plan your visits Visit wineries clustered together, such as the ones in Niagara-on-the-Lake area. Visit no more than three to five a day: two in the morning, one for lunch and one or two in the afternoon. That leaves you time to taste and talk. (I know, I crammed in more visits, but a drink writer in wine country is like those stunt drivers in car commercials—you’re not really supposed to do those tricks in real life.) Go to both small and large places to get a sense of the range of wines produced. 2. Designate a driver If […]

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