10 Best Petit Verdot Wines to Buy Now + 5 Surprising Facts about Petit Verdot

Petit Verdot is most famously associated with the Bordeaux blend, and is added to the blend to increase the tannin, colour and flavour. You’ll find my Top 10 Petit Verdot reviews and ratings here. 5 Surprising Facts about Petit Verdot: 1. It usually only makes up 1-3% of the Bordeaux blend, which also includes the grapes Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. The exception is Chateau Palmer, in which it is 6% of the blend due to the vineyard’s microclimate. 2. Petit Verdot can be a problem vine, as it ripens late in the season, if at all. It has […]

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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 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 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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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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20 Red Wines Under $20 > Nat’s Conscious Coupling of Quality and Price

I’m always making lists of wines for different occasions and different price points. Ever since my second book, Unquenchable: A Tipsy Search for the World’s Best Bargain Wines, was published, I’m frequently asked for the best wines priced less than $20. Here they are … I’ll be updating this list monthly. (My thanks to Gwyneth Paltrow for the inspirational title ;) Here’s your shopping list showing your closest liquor stores that have these wines in stock, and how many of each bottle. Cheers! Oscar’s Estate Vineyard Shiraz Viognier 2011 Barossa Valley, South Australia   $17.95 This could be the ultimate hamburger […]

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