Cahors: Your Favorite Wine For Fall

Cahors for fall Where I come from, fall is a relief. Summer is hot and humid and winter is long and unfriendly. Fall, most Midwesterners agree, is the best time of year when it comes to weather. It’s a short window of time, the truly kind season, so it’s common for people to fall into tradition to make the most of nostalgia and comfort. But we’ve got nothing to lose if we shake things up a bit — if we try new things. Like, perhaps, a new wine. Cahors (“kah-OR”) wines are made from malbec, a variety featured on wine lists around the world. It’s a marginal member of the classic Bordeaux blending crew (found more in Côtes de Bordeaux than elsewhere) and Argentine growers have embraced malbec in such a way that their treatment could be seen as a full-on revival. A dash is also grown in the Loire Valley. Called côt ...
Cahors Mapa

You Might Want To Take Notes: Wine Writers On Cahors

French wine, wineophiles, This month our French Winophiles group covers Cahors. It’s a singular wine region that works with a singular grape: malbec. Malbec is situated nicely, I think, in a position to satisfy most wine drinkers. It tastes great with many foods, comes in a range of prices and represents wine regions around the world. Though South American malbec hits the headlines lately, the origins of this dark-skinned varietal are actually in the south of France. Cahors is home to the original malbec. One of the oldest wine regions in France, this relatively small spot is situated along the Lot River in Occitanie. Curious to learn more? Follow the Winophiles Twitter chat on Saturday, September 15, 2018 with our hashtag: #Winophiles. These writers have prepared background stories packed with history, food-pairings and perspective. Join us in our chat and brush up on Cahors with the following articles: Rob from Odd Bacchus tells ...

5 Surprises About Greek Wine

Assyrtiko, Savatiano, Skin contact wine, orange wine, natural wine, wild ferment, Santorini, Papaginannakos It is a coincidence that I published a story on European island wines this week and here I am, writing about Greek wines today. A coincidence, sure, but a fortunate one. Nearly all of the regions I featured had an ancient connection to Greek wines. Santorini, obviously. But also Hvar and Lanzarote. Corsica and Sicily, them too. Much olden-day influence wrapped in mystery. So much has happened since the Greeks ruled the seas, so much has changed in culture and method — even Greece itself has transformed greatly. As recently as the phylloxera (a Greek word, by the way) outbreak in the late 19th century, Greece had to decide an identity, how to move forward. Like so many regions, they replanted with what would not only survive but also sell and worked toward the future. Some old ways were retained, some new cards were dealt. There are so many fascinating ...

Wine To Match The Trees: 15 Italian Reds for Fall

Italian Reds for Fall 1.jpg There is something about fall that whispers to our senses. We seek comfort and nostalgia in the smells and tastes of spice and bounty. We long for the cool air that where I live we call “sweater weather” and the feel of chill on our cheeks. We look, oh goodness we look, for the colors of fall — in some parts of America, they call this “leaf peeping”, an attraction that causes a migration from cities into the wooded areas of the world — looking for fall colors is a beckoning. Taking inspiration from the appeal, giving into that which we seek, let’s drink to the fall colors and highlight some red wines. Ideal for this season’s meals, many-layered and long-cooked, red wines from Italy offer everything we could want from a fall drink. Variety is the spice of Italy, and here are 15 fall reds for the fall season… ...
What does wine taste like? How to taste wine. Italian wine tasting.
A lineup of fresh summer wines from Umbrian and Lazio
Italian Reds for Fall 3.jpg
Italian Reds for Fall 2.jpg

Around Italy With Red Wines For Fall

Red Wines for Fall
On the first Saturday of the month, a group of food, wine and travel bloggers post about a region or a wine varietal. For September’s event, we look towards the change of season with food and wine that celebrate cooler weather and the abundance of harvest. These wines can be from any region, based on your own experience and preference. We are looking for roundup lists, pairing suggestions, travel inspiration, producer profiles and any other story that highlights red wine from Italy this time of year. The Favorite Italian Red Wines For Fall #ItalianFWT event will be Saturday, September 1, 2018. The following posts will go live early that morning and you can follow along on a Twitter chat — using #ItalianFWT — from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. CT. Marcia at Joy of Wine reveals Lacrima – The Aromatic Jewel in La ...

Cahors, The Original Malbec

The September event for our French Winophiles group centers around the region of Cahors. Here malbec is native (though it is called côt) with a history dating back to the 16th century. This email is an invitation to participate and/or mark your calendar for our Twitter chat on the topic of Cahors. We will cover the who, what and where of the region with suggestions, pairings, travel inspiration and more. No one walks away from a Winophiles chat without a long list of new things to try!
If you are a wine writer or blogger, this is your invitation to join in!
  • Contact me to tell me you’re in: Include blog URL, Twitter handle,  and any other social media details. If you know your blog post title, include that…but you can also send that a bit closer to the event. We’d just like to get a sense of ...

A Closer Look At Grower Champagne With Champagne André Jacquart

1er Cru, Grand Cru, Premier Cru, Le Mesnil, Sur Oger, Vertus
Grower Champagne, such as this exceptional bottle, from Champagne André Jacquart, is often terroir-driven. Credit: Jill Barth
Many consumers have become accustomed to assuming that the grapes for their wine somehow always grow in relation to the winery. While frequent wine drinkers learn differently very quickly, many folks that pull a wine off the shelf attribute all of the work to the name on the label. This is all part of the learning process, perhaps one of the most intricate points of understanding wine. I’ll keep it brief and very basic.
Sell Or Make
Wine grape growers work in vineyards around the world. In some cases the vineyard owner and his close associates (even family) work in the vines, in other cases the vineyard owner is a third party that hires out the care of the vines. Either way, when the grapes are harvested, the vineyard owner needs to make ...

Favorite Italian Red Wines For Fall

Next month I’m the host of the Italian Food, Wine and Travel (ItalianFWT) writers group and I’ve chosen the couldn’t-be-broader topic of Favorite Italian Red Wines for Fall. Red Wines for Fall
Italian Food, Wine and Travel
On the first Saturday of the month, a group of food, wine and travel bloggers post about a region or a wine varietal. For September’s event, we look towards the change of season with food and wine that celebrate cooler weather and the abundance of harvest. These wines can be from any region, based on your own experience and preference. We are looking for roundup lists, pairing suggestions, travel inspiration, producer profiles and any other story that highlights red wine from Italy this time of year. The Favorite Italian Red Wines For Fall #ItalianFWT event will be Saturday, September 1, 2018. Posts will go live early that morning and you can follow along on a Twitter chat ...

What We’re Drinking Now: Chill White Wine from Spain and Portugal

Chill white wines. Perfectly refreshing but so much more. White wines from the Iberian Peninsula, abundant Spain and Portugal, are not only cooling and chill but also wise cultural ambassadors for their region.
Iberian wines
A selection of white wines from Spain and Portugal. Credit: Jill Barth
What these wines offer in terms of drinkability (especially in dog-days August) comes naturally, exhibitions of indigenous varieties calibrated by geographically-centered winemaking. Native yeasts, ancient methods, attention to detail and sheer craft enthusiasm make these wines serious contenders for top-of-my-list wines to drink. And wines to talk about — interesting helps, in our house, because we talk a lot about wine. My hubby and I work together on every meal that makes a showing on L’Occasion. To achieve our partnership, we talk a lot about wine and food. This week, as we worked on this post about Iberian wines I’m simultaneously publishing a piece on ...

Tasting With The Winemaker: Robbie Meyer Of Murrieta’s Well

Tasting wine with the winemaker — there may be no better way to experience a glass than this collaborative moment. Thanks to Snooth, I recently had the opportunity to experience a virtual tasting with Robbie Meyer, the winemaker at Murrieta’s Well. He was at home in California’s Livermore Valley and I was at home in Illinois.
Photo Courtesy: Murrieta’s Well
This interstate leap is a capture of how Murrieta’s Well does things. They are comfortable at home but have a global perspective and wide reach. Growing grapes since the 1800s — on cuttings from Château d’Yquem and Château Margaux — they honor small plot, terroir-driven philosophies to produce wines with California style and French roots. In the 1930’s, the winery became part of the Wente Estate, a name deeply synonymous with California wine history.
Livermore Valley
The Livermore Valley AVA is located about 30 miles east of San Fransico. ...
Cabernet Sauvignon, California Cab
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Livermore Valley, California Wine

Why Rosé Matters, According To French Culture

Rosé wines from France
Rosé wines from France. Credit: Jill Barth
I don’t think there is a topic I’ve covered more than rosé. Part preference, part probability, it seems only natural that a Provence wine specialist would document the past, present and future of vin trois, the third color of the wine trinity. Affiliations range from the “Hampton’s Water” lifestyle crowd to the “rosé all day, which turns all year” set to the “when in France, drink rosé” philosophy. But I’m here to argue, with the proud yet slightly guarded nature of the public defender, that none of these positions get that the root of what rosé really means. IMG_3465 From my coverage on my Forbes contributor column: “The Center for Rosé Research (Centre de Recherche et d’Expérimentation sur le Vin Rosé) is located in the small commune of Vidauban, situated in Provence in southeast France. Originated in 1999 as the ...
French wine regions
what is rosé? how is rosé made?
rosé color chart, Forbes rosé

Midwestern Gardens and Missouri Wine: Augusta, America’s First AVA

American wine, where to visit wineries, wine tasting
The View from Noboleis in Augusta Missouri. Photo Credit: Jill Barth
American wine history is packed with unexpected turns and hand-of-fate outcomes. Our population has thirsted for wine since the founding fathers sipped Madiera and Thomas Jefferson’s agrarian pursuits inspired a true American wine. History isn’t complete without the Wente “mother clone” in Livermore Valley or the Judgement of Paris in Napa (with some Sonoma fruit, but that’s another story). I’ve read that New Mexico was the site of the first American vineyards and I’ve followed the prosperity of hybrids from American universities, making it possible to cultivate wine in every state of the union. Many people, despite the fact that they are told to expect the unexpected, are still surprised to find that the first officially recognized American Viticultural Area (AVA) in the United States was awarded to Augusta, MO. 35 miles from Saint Louis along the verdant ...
wine tasting trip, Illinois wine tasting road trip
sweet wine, Missouri wine, where to taste wine, Day trips from Chicago
Vignoles Infographic-01
Norton and Food-01

Chiaretto Goes With Everything: Italy’s Versatile Rosé Wine

rosato, Italian Wine, Lombardy,
Chiaretto, dry Italian rosé
One of the most popular stories on L’Occasion is this > Rosé or Rosato: Is There A Difference? Reader interest in pink Italian wine is much stronger than I’d known at that time, causing me to pay much more attention, drawing me into wines like Chiaretto.
Chiaretto Means A Lighter Shade of Pale
Chiaretto is short for Chiaretto di Bardolino, a pale, dry rose-colored wine produced on the shores of Lake Garda in Lombardy, Northern Italy. Hop in your care in Verona after breakfast, and have plenty of time to drink wine before lunch. Highly popular in Italy as well as Germany, Americans have recently taken note, claiming a bit of their share of the 8.5 million bottles that are produced each year.
Chiaretto means ‘a lighter shade of pale’
Similar to other dry rosés, Chiaretto is beautifully versatile and food-friendly. Because it is ...
rosé or rosato? what is rosato?

French Rules Ease To Help Winemakers Deal With Extreme Weather

Vignerons Indépendants du Lot-et-Garonne, Périgord Wine, Dordogne Wine
Vignerons Indépendants du Lot-et-Garonne cave in Duras, France. Credit: Jill Barth

The French governing body overseeing wine appellation regulations, the National Institute of Origin and Quality (INAO), announced this month that wine producers are now allowed to hold back more stock, following recent losses caused by extreme weather conditions. The action enables winemakers to set aside a portion of any vintage in order to maintain a supply for future use. The INAO compared the action to “crop insurance” as a measure of adaptability.

The current stock storage rules date back to 2013, put in place in order to maintain a reasonable reserve in the case of adverse conditions resulting in reduced quantity. Prior to the June 2018 announcement by the INAO, wineries were allowed to hold back an amount equal to 10% of their stock. To read the full story, please visit my Forbes contributor page here.  For background on ...

A Riesling Experience: Nuanced Terroirs of Alsace

Views and vineyards of Alsace. Courtesy: Wines of Alsace
Exploring terroir can be a bit of a mystery — what can we experience of place in a sip of wine? Because we are all unique and our senses explore the world based on our own personal motherboard of programming, there isn’t a definition of terroir’s translation to taste. That’s a good thing, but curious minds relish the chance to test and explore and this month I got an irresistible opportunity to examine Alsatian Riesling from four soils — the same variety and the same slice of the world, but different land composition.
A Bit On Alsace
Alsace is located in the northeast corner of France and threads along the Rhine river. The Route des Vins d’Alsace leads wine lovers through over 100 villages frosted with charming timber homes and buildings. The Vosges Mountains create an additional layer of appeal: beautiful, ...
Grand cru, riesling, wine for summer
what to drink this summer, Alsace wines to try
French wine, wine travel, Riesling, white wine, Grand Cru

Want To Work In Wine? These Jobs Are Now Hiring

Languedoc Wine, Minervois Wine, South of France
Martine Bonnavenc pours a selection of Minervois wines in the tasting room at St. Jacques d’Albas

Working with wine is a dream career for many—beautiful vineyards, happy customers, daily variety and, well…the wine. While it’s not easy work, it is rewarding and you may be surprised to discover the scope of potential career paths leading into the wine world.

Kevin Morrisey, the winemaker at Ehlers Estate in St. Helena, put a decade into a career in film before deciding, at the age of 35, that he wanted to work in wine. He placed all the right pieces—a degree in enology from UC Davis followed by an internship at Château Petrus in Bordeaux—and the career move paid off, enabling to him to craft high-quality organic wines in the Napa Valley. “It’s a privilege to come to work and practice what you preach,” says Morrisey. Morrisey is an impressive example, but not every shift requires ...

Plan Your Summer Trip: Award-Winning Virginia Wines

It’s been called the birthplace of American wine, thanks to Thomas Jefferson. Like so many distinctions in American heritage, the Monticello AVA wine region in Virginia has Jefferson’s fingerprints all over it and it’s one of this summer’s most exciting wine-tasting destinations.
Virginia wine, winery tour, wine tasting, US travel road trips
King Family Vineyards. Credit: Jill Barth

“We could, in the United States, make as great a variety of wines as are made in Europe,” wrote Jefferson in 1808, “not exactly of the same kinds, but doubtless as good.” During his time in France from 1784 to 1789 he developed a nearly obsessive taste (one he called a “pressing need” in a letter) for European wine, which, upon his return to America, he addressed with constant shipments from the old world and later, with an attempt to grow his own European grapes on his Virginia estate, Monticello. History proves that his efforts weren’t successful in his time, but in true Jefferson fashion, he’s left ...

Guide to the Wines of Côtes de Bordeaux

I’m fascinated by Côtes de Bordeaux which is comprised of Blaye, Cadillac, Castillon, Francs and Sainte-Foy appellations. Look at these growing regions as a sorority of sorts — unique individuals grouped together with a common purpose. I love this explanation from the Côtes de Bordeaux website:
A Côtes de Bordeaux is:
a wine that has a history and at the same time is full of modernity a wine that develops the imagination, which refers to the heart of hillsides , around a story, a family a wine with a human face, personified by its ambassador: the winemaker a wine conceived with passion, which symbolizes the love of the craft and the know-how of the winemakers a discovery wine, a ” nugget ” that accompanies the beautiful moments of sharing and encourages conviviality a wine to please a safe bet

an elegant, round and structured wine, with good aging ...

Côtes deBordeaux (1)
Côtes de Bordeaux wines, affordable French wine, red wine
red wine for summer, bordeaux, merlot
wine photography, wine blog
Bordeaux Map
The vineyard of Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux - Gironde

The Rosé Research Center In Provence is Valuable to the Global Wine Industry

Rosé or Rosado?, what is French Rosé?, how is rosé made
Provence rosé from Château de Berne and Ultimate Provence is made in a graduated lineup of styles — from easy-drinking to complex and gastronomic. The new release is available now. Credit: Jill Barth

Provençal rosé—and rosé in general—has been riding a popularity wave in recent years. While there are instances of trendy lifestyle marketing involved, many rosés are wines of quality, made by winemakers of skill and terroir of distinction. Behind them lies a secret weapon, hidden in an unassuming coral-colored building with green shutters: The Center for Rosé Research.

The Center for Rosé Research (Centre de Recherche et d’Expérimentation sur le Vin Rosé) is located in the small commune of Vidauban, situated in Provence in southeast France. Originated in 1999 as the first and only rosé research center in the world, it serves as a resource for rosé producers in Provence and around the globe. Grounded on centuries of experience held by Provençal vignerons...

Monterey Wines for Summertime

California Wine, Carmel Wine, Monterey
Monterey Wines at sunset on Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Credit: Jill Barth
Last fall I had the extraordinary good fortune of a visit to Monterey wine country. From the hotel and dinners in Carmel-by-the-Sea to Hahn Family Wines in the Santa Lucia Highlands to Point Lobos to Monterey Bay Aquarium to Chef Duel at Folktale to whale watching on the Blue Grand Canyon the whole visit was stunning. Some background from my post for California Winery Advisor:

Monterey is part of California’s Central Coast and occupies space situated just north of the Monterey Bay and extends running southward to Paso Robles. The Monterey AVA runs a broad scope, pretty much the full stretch of Monterey County. Within the region there are eight other specific AVAs including Santa Lucia Highlands, Arroyo Seco, San Lucas, Hames Valley, Chalone, Carmel Valley, San Antonio Valley and San Bernabe. This generous area is ...

chardonnay, pinot noir, beautiful vineyards, salinas valley
sea life, seafood, sustainable sea food, sea food watch
California, big sur, wine country, a day in Monterey
wine and food, Monterey Wines, wine pairing, wine judging
where to stay in Monterey, luxury hotels in California
beach, seaside, Pacific Ocean, trees