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 ...

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 ...

Visiting California this Summer? Discover these Wine Regions

Vineyards at Yorkville Cellars

In my last blog, I wrote about California’s Temecula wine region; however, California has many wine regions where wine enthusiasts can discover quality wines, view prolific vineyards and enjoy the ambiance of a variety of California winery tasting rooms. When planning your next visit to California, I suggest using a search engine to discover what wineries are available in your California destination. Also check out the California wineries we have visited and written articles about for Wine Trail Traveler. The wine regions list for California include these that we have visited:
  • Cucamonga Valley/Temecula/SanDiego
  • Lake County
  • Mendocino County
  • Napa
  • North Central VAlley
  • San Luis Obispo County
  • Santa Barbara County
  • Sonoma
  • Suisun Valley
Numerous wineries throughout the state are using sustainable farming methods in their vineyards. Sustainable programs in California include: California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA), Certified California Sustainable Wine Growing, Fish Friendly Farming, Green Business Program, Lodi ...

Traveling to Temecula, California this Summer? Visit a Winery!

Vindemia vineyards in Temecula, California

If you are traveling to San Diego, Orange County or Palm Springs, you will want to be sure to visit Temecula Valley where the vineyards are prolific, the wines are delicious and the dining is awesome with eateries offering quick stops or full menus. While in Temecula Valley, save some time to visit Old Town Temecula with all of its historical ambiance. In 2018, Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary.  While grapes have been grown in Temecula since the  1700s, it was in 1968 that Vincenzo and Audry Cilurzo planted the first modern commercial vineyard. In June the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association released a 50th Anniversary commemorative wine. This anniversary wine is a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre.  Enjoy visiting several of the more than 40 wineries in Temecula. The majority of wineries are easy ...

Visiting Oregon this Summer? Visit a Winery

The wine caves at Archery Summit in Oregon

Portland, Oregon is a delightful city to visit; however, there are many other areas of Oregon that are equally pleasant to visit. Our two favorite months to visit Oregon include August and September. No matter what time of year you visit Oregon, you will find wineries that are open and cater to visitors. Oregon is especially well known for Pinot Noir and and Pinot Gris. Amongst the many white grape varieties growing in its prolific vineyards are: Chardonnay, Gweürtraminer, Riesling and Semillon. Also be sure to look for Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Zinfandel. Oregon’s wine regions include:
  • Willamette Valley (North and South)
  • Columbia Valley
  • Columbia Gorge
  • Walla Walla Valley
  • Umpqua Valley
  • Roque Valley and Applegate Valley
  • Eastern Oregon
Wine Trail Traveler has visited and written articles about many of the wineries in Oregon. These articles are available on the ...

Traveling to Ohio this Summer? Visit a Winery

Raven’s Glenn Vintage Ohio Wine Festival

Ohio wineries can be discovered throughout the state. While traveling to or through Ohio be sure to stop at a winery to discover the wines produced in this large state. Currently Ohio has several AVAs including Lake Erie, Isle St. George, Grand River Valley, Ohio River Valley and Loramie Creek appellations.

Barrel Run Crossing Winery & Vineyard, Ohio

During the 1800s Ohio was known for growing the Catawba grape. This was where the majority of sparkling wines were made in the US during those early years. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote about about the Catawba grapes and the beautiful river, known as the Ohio River.  It was the Civil war and grape diseases that led to the demise of the grape industry in Ohio. Later the industry began to develop again but Prohibition put a stop to the industry until the 1960s. Today Ohio has ...

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

Visiting New York’s Finger Lakes Region this Summer? Visit a Winery!

Seneca Wine Trail sign helps travelers.

New York State’s Finger Lake region offers so much to summertime visitors. Among the many activities of hiking, swimming, fishing, boating and camping, the region offers numerous wineries to visit. Travelers will find small, boutique wineries as well as much larger wineries. Some of these wineries offer delightful views of Seneca Lake, Cayuga Lake and Keuka Lake. The lakes provide enough warmth to keep the grapevines safe during the harsh winters that the area can experience.

Lake views between the grapevines

Two of the most well-known wine trails are the Seneca Lake Wine Trail with 35 participating wineries and the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail with 16 wineries. A third wine trail is the Keuka Lake Wine Trail with 8 wineries. A few wineries are also close to Canandaigua Lake which also has the Canandaigua Wine Trail. As one drives along the Finger Lakes, also ...

Visiting Indiana this Summer? Visit a Winery!

Owen Valley Winery

While enjoying a vacation in Indiana or winding through Indiana on your way to your summer destination, stop at one of Indian’s many wineries. Do you know that Indiana has several wine trails? Indiana wine trails include:

Vineyards at Huber’s Orchard, Winery & Vineyards

  • Cardinal Flight Wine Trail
  • Indiana Uplands Wine Trail
  • Indy Wine Trail
  • Indiana Grown Wine Trail
  • Hoosier Wine Trail
  • Indiana Wine Trail
  • State Line Wine Trail

Oliver Winery and Vineyards

If you have a moment, take time to enjoy wineries participating in one Indiana’s wine trails listed above.
  1. Indiana has two American Viticultural Areas, the Indian Uplans and the Ohio River Valley 
  2. More than 80 boutique-size wineries and large wineries can be discovered throughout Indiana
  3. Indiana wines are produced with traditional vinifera, hybrid and Native American grapes.
  4. Wines produced with fruit are also available including: blackberry, blueberry, black currant and strawberry
  5. Butler Winery & Vineyards


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?

Visiting Texas this Summer? Visit a Winery

Messina Hof Winery, Texas

Texas is home to many wineries. With so many wineries, it is quite easy to find a Texan winery to visit. Take time to visit the GO TEXAN website before leaving for Texas. You will find an plethora of information regarding Texas. The website also lists the numerous wine trails in Texas including:Texas Hill Country Wineries, Grapevine

Texas Legato Wine

Wine Trail, Way Out Wineries, Texas High Plains Wine and Vine Trail, Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail, Fredericksburg Wine Road 290 and several more. If you are looking for a grape harvest experience, you will want to consider participating at the Messina Hof Winery & Resort harvest experience. This year will be Messina Hof’s 41st Annual Harvest Festival. The Harvest Festival at their Bryon, TX location begins in late July and continues into August. The festival includes a  range of activities to choose from including harvest ...

Don’t Travel July 4th! Stay Close to Home and Visit a Winery!

A Maryland Sparkling Wine

The news has been reporting that travel over the 4th of July  is expected to rise. Rather than getting involved in intense traffic congestion, why not stay close to home and enjoy visiting a winery in your neighborhood? You may even want to consider leaving the driving to Lyft or Uber. In a winery tasting room you can enjoy the atmosphere while having an enjoyable conversation with other like-minded wine enthusiasts. And the topics are not just about wine, but can cover anything from food to travel and so much more. Do yourself a favor and visit a nearby winery and save the frustration of hours of driving. Fast Facts
  • Every state has at least one winery.
  • Several states have significant wine regions.
  • Numerous wineries offers special events open to the public.
  • Wines produced in the United States can rival those from other countries.
  • The ...

Traveling to Michigan this Summer? Discover the Leelanau Peninsula Wineries

Willow Vineyard, Leelanau Peninsula

Visitors to Michigan’s Leelanau Peninsula will discover a delightful combination of fun activities, quality wines and exquisite landscapes. Upon reaching Traverse City, it is easy to find your way to the wineries on the Leelanau Peninsula. Don’t miss the nearby Sleeping Bear Dunes, a National Lakeshore. While driving between the wineries, stop and enjoy the scenery and the small town atmospheres. Leelanau Peninsula Wineries More than 20 wineries are located on Leelanau Peninsula. Twenty-two of these wineries belong to the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail, which claims to be the oldest wine trail in Michigan. To help travelers navigate their way to the wineries, the wine trail offers three loops with suggested wineries. The loops are: Sleeping Bear Loop,  Northern Loop and Grand Traverse Bay Loop.

45 North Winery, Leelanau Peninsula

Located in the cooler state of Michigan, numerous winemakers have discovered that ...

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

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 ...