• Gods & Heroes: Xinomavro in Northern Greece

    Most of northern Greece's PDOs are dedicated to Xinomavro or Xinomavro-based blends. It's a difficult grape, but the best examples are exceptional, with savory tones, intense structure, and an incredible ability to age.
    • 2 Aug 2017
  • Exploring British Columbia

    It’s natural to want to understand something new in terms of something known, to define A by its similarities to and differences from B. This is often especially true for emerging wine regions, where a direct comparison to a more established area provides a shortcut for consumer comprehension. Prior to my trip to the Okanagan Valley, I marveled at all the marketing materials that compared the region to Napa. In…

    • 25 May 2017
  • So You Want to Open a Wine Bar?

    Whether drinks professionals or professional drinkers, we all have our ideas as to what makes a bar or restaurant great. Some of us even go so far as to flesh out the fantasy, ruminating on the ideal location, décor, wine list, and preferred clientele. Far fewer execute on such a vision, and for good reason—as glamorous as opening your own business may seem, the reality is often far more tedious. For those that are seriously…

    • 10 May 2017
  • The Evolution of American Oak

    It happens almost every time. American oak comes up in a conversation, and I see it: that subtle flinch, a pinch of the lips, maybe a cocked eyebrow. As a subject, American oak seems to be forever filed away under “things sommeliers know they hate.” And yet, this hypothetical person, our imagined skeptical sommelier, would likely never turn down a glass of López de Heredia, well-aged Grange, Ridge Monte Bello, or Pappy…

    • 22 Mar 2017