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The wine journal

Tastings notes, wine stories, and adventures from the road.

Ice cream wine

Sonoma, CA Never eat ice cream before going to a wine tasting. If you recall from last week, we had gone to the Marimar winery (as in Marimar Torres of Spain’s famous wine dynasty) to taste wines from grapes grown on the Sonoma Coast. The slopes of Marimar Sonoma...

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Sonoma’s Big Secret

Sebastopol, CA“I taste pork rind.”C began consoling the sommelier: “I don’t know what he’s talking about. I’m getting flowers...maybe honeysuckle?”We swished the liquid around in our own glass, admiring the clarity and lack of sickly yellow coloring one often finds in...

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12 Dirty Secrets of Cheap Wine (Part 2)

Last week, we showed you how winemakers trying to compete on the new global wine market are using techniques that wind up removing coveted flavors and textures, if not outright demolishing the “gout du terroir” that makes a wine great. As we like to say: there’s a...

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12 Dirty Secrets of Cheap Wine (Part 1)

A number of you have written in asking for more information about the dirty secrets of the mass market winemaking process.We turn, this week, to those dirty secrets, and how they have resulted in a wine market overflowing with juice but a virtual desert when it comes...

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How to Make Wine

Boca Raton, FloridaWe are traveling this week, so we’ll dispense with the usual essay. The only news to report isthat our Italian collection has been finalized, now only waiting for importation approvals. We’re extremely happy with the selection – it’sthe...

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The Barolo Wars

Baltimore, MD Up in the rolling hills, where the grape vines grow under shrouds of dense fog, a war has been raging. Fog drapes over Nebbiolo vines photo credit: BlueMoonInHerEyes As nasty and contentious as any US presidential election, yet the Barolo Wars of...

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Will You Pass the Gualfin Test?

Will You Pass the Gualfin Test?

Baltimore, MD From within the trees, we heard a pitched scream. “Sh*t,” I muttered, dismounting my horse in a single leap and running up the dry embankment to the cluster of trees. Moments earlier, we had been riding along a dry riverbed at the bottom of a steep...

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Julien’s Weekly Tasting Recap

This week - a complete recap of Julien’s weekly tastings so far. Enjoy! Grab some wine and a friend (or two) and try these tasting tips yourself. Any feedback for Julien? Let us know!Enjoy!Bonner Private Wines

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A rose dipped in tar

“Would you be interested in meeting a beautiful woman with a delicious Barolo?” he asked. How could we say no? Barolo, from the Nebbiolo grape, is one of Italy’s most prized wines. The name “Nebbiolo” is thought to refer to the clouds of fog that so often carpet the...

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