CLE International Conference on Wine, Beer & Spirits Law in Charlotte, North Carolina

Wine beer spirits law CLE in Charlotte, North CarolinaCLE International is hosting its annual Wine, Beer, and Spirits CLE. This year, the program will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina on September 16th and 17th at the Le Meridien hotel. Attendees can earn up to 12 hours of MCLE credits including one hour of ethics.

This year’s conference is subtitled Developments & Trends in the Alcohol Beverage Industry. Conference includes sessions on trade practice laws, supplier-wholesaler relationships and terminations, hard seltzer and other innovative products, current retailer issues, and trademarks. More details can be viewed here. read more

How To Throw Out Your Phone On A Summer Road Trip

smartphone-1281632_1920In today’s digitally consumed world, taking a “digital detox” is difficult for many to do.

When you go on your summer vacation, can you also take a vacation from your smartphone?

Can you give Facebook and Instagram a rest and enjoy conversing with the people around you rather than constantly scrolling, posting, and checking for comments from your legion of followers?

Critics of chronic users of smartphones and social media doubt people can go without them for long. In today’s digitally consumed world, taking a “digital detox” is difficult for many to do. read more

Maitia 2018 Weon Carignan, Maule Valley, Chile

IMG_20190817_194014What to pair with an eclectic assortment of Latin dishes? How about a Carignan from Chile.

I swear I had no idea as the phrase came out of my mouth. We had been seated at our table at in Raleigh for a few minutes. It was long enough for our server to give us the menus and start perusing the wine list.

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As we were trying to unscramble the very delectable small and large plate offerings we were waiting for the server to return. Green Dragon asked if I had ordered wine. I replied, “I’m waiting for the dude to come back.” Little did I know that “dude” would play an important role in our meal. read more

The Pearls of Sicily at Assuli Baglio

I’ll be continuing over the next month or two sharing some of my personal selections from the Gambero Rosso event I attended earlier this summer.  Thankfully I have been invited to tour the vineyards of Mt. Etna and some other locations this October so I can’t finally wait to truly understand what makes these wines unique. 

Sicily has always been a wine region I find intriguing, mostly due to its volcanic soils.  I have a number of favorite grapes that I have enjoy read more

Wakefield Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (Australia) – Wine Review

After having enjoyed the 2015 Wakefield Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignon a few months ago, wine review is the latest vintage that arrives in LCBO VINTAGES on .

This red wine is crafted by the Taylor’s family that has been making fine wines for three generations. Wakefield Wines produces different ranges of wines, with the Jaraman range falling directly in the middle and created from parcels that offer extraordinary fruit that showcases the varietals distinctive regional characteristics and style. read more

La Coqueluche 2018 Rosé, Pays D’Oc

P1050436Can a $6 rosé deliver taste as well as value? We uncork a Trader Joe’s special to find out.

Last night I got together with some friends for 18 holes of disc golf. We had a great time and maybe frightened a few drivers in Middle Creek Park with some errant throws.

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The humidity was withering. At the end of our match, my shirt was wringing wet. That’s the type of weather we’ve had this summer in the Old North State.

Summer heat means lighter, chilled wines. Usually we opt for a nice rosé or chilled Sauvignon Blanc. A couple weeks ago I decided to stock up on some everyday white and rosé wines and happened to be in Trader Joe’s. read more

August 17, 2019 LCBO VINTAGES Release Wine Picks: Argentina + Euro Gems

LCBO Wine Picks: August 17, 2019 VINTAGES Release

The main theme of the upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release features wines from Argentina for perfect pairings, while the mini-theme focuses on hidden treasures from Europe. All of the wines from the themes, plus the main release will arrive on LCBO VINTAGES shelves across Ontario by this .

We’ll begin with the main theme that features wines from Argentina that will pair perfectly with grilled fare off the barbecue. Of the twelve wines featured as part of the theme, five are included among my top wine picks. The lone white wine is a barrel fermented Chardonnay. Among the red wines from Argentina, there are a trio of lovely Malbec wines that would be awesome to try side-by-side. The last of the reds is a very nice Cabernet Franc. All of these delicious wines should go great with foods made over the barbecue. read more

Closerie des Alisiers Bourgogne Aligoté 2017 (Burgundy) – Wine Review

wine review is a lovely white wine that is made using Burgundy’s other white wine varietal – Aligoté – and will be arriving on VINTAGES shelves this weekend as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release.

It is produced by Stéphane Brocard, son of famed Chablis winemaker Jean-Marc Brocard. Closerie des Alisiers was founded by Stéphane when he settled in Marsannay (south Dijon) in 2007. In addition to working his own vines in Pommard and in the old wine village of Daix, Stéphane has also been working for years with the same growers and on the same plots for the wines he sources according to his philosophy that focuses on purity, fruit and freshness. He likes to produce genuine wines while having respect for terroir and environment. Stéphane’s main objective is to highlight terroirs through the each grape variety. read more

Biodynamic (and Natural Wine) Fake News #3

There’s been a spate of articles lately focusing on the “natural wine” trend pulsing through wine world today. In almost every article there is a reference to biodynamic vineyards as a source for these uncertified “natural wines”. This is almost invariably not true, so it’s essential to understand the differences, but real bond, between “natural wines” and certified Biodynamic® Wines.

First of all, biodynamics is not simply a winemaking method; it is an agricultural discipline that is then extended throughout the cellar work. The focus of biodynamics is on soil and plant health. Healthy soils make healthy plants, which produce healthy fruit, which is what you need to create distinctive wine. If you want to practice minimalist winemaking, you can only do so with impeccable fruit. None of the biodynamic preparations (500, 501, etc.) are used in the cellar. All are applied to either the soil, the plants, or the compost that will be applied to the soil. The structure and rules to be certified Biodynamic® are all designed to be sure that nothing in the winemaking process detracts from the pure expression of vineyard, vintage, and variety that you have achieved through biodynamic farming. As the Demeter Biodynamic® Wine processing standard states, “The Biodynamic® Wine category denotes a wine that is made with 100% Biodynamic grapes and is intended to be an undisguised, vintage-based expression of a given estate vineyard.” read more

Harvest In Napa Valley Begins Today With Spectacular Quality Anticipated

Harvest in Napa Valley typically begins with the sparkling wine producers and Rodgers Vineyard will begin picking Pinot Noir for Mumm Napa Valley today (August 13). Throughout Napa Valley most white varieties will be harvested through the end of August, while the Cabernet Sauvignon harvest will likely begin mid-September.

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“We have had favorable ripening conditions in Napa Valley over the past 30 days,” said Napa Valley Grapegrowers President Paul Goldberg, who is also president of Bettinelli Vineyards. “The very mild, early-season temperatures have led to an incredible growing season.” read more