Allison is owner of Please The Palate, a boutique agency specializing in marketing and event planning for the wine and spirits industry. She is certified as an Italian Wine Specialist from the North American Sommelier Association and Level 3 WSET from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust. 

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Last week, I wrote about the dry riesling found in Nahe, Germany and the fact that 90 percent of German wine is dry. But fruity, sweet wines do still exist in Germany, specifically produced in the Mosel, Nahe and Rhinegau regions.

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When you think of German wine, you most likely think riesling. And when you think of riesling, you probably think sweet wine. Yes, there are sweet styles but not all riesling is sweet. In fact, there are many dry rieslings, and dry wine is what the German people prefer to drink.

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For 700 years and 30 generations, the Frescobaldi family has been an iconic name in the wine industry. With an eye on celebrating the diversity of Tuscany’s terroir, the family owns six estates in Tuscany and produces what some consider to be some of Italy’s finest wines.

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The sun was setting as we drove to our dinner at Chateau Moulin-à-Vent. It was my first time to Beaujolais, and as we turned up the road to our destination, we saw, sitting on the top of the hill in front of us, the iconic Moulin-à-Vent, or windmill.

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Some regions in the world are known for single varietal wines, such as pinot noir and chardonnay in Burgundy, nebbiolo in Barolo and tempranillo in Ribera del Duero. In other regions, such as in Bordeaux, Riojo and the Southern Rhone, they are known for their blends.

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They say opposites attract. There is a yin to every yang. There are two halves to make a whole. Perhaps that is what brings the two regions of Valpolicella and Lugano together. Two independent wine regions in their own rights, Lugana is the home of white wine, while Valpolicella is the home …

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Madeira is an historical island off the coast of Portugal. Its history as a traditional wine-producing region dates to the 15th century. Documents show that it was the wine enjoyed by Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams. The Founding Fath…

Rosé wines come in many shades of pink. They range from the pale color of “onion skin” orange to light pink to peach to salmon to “cotton candy” pink to red.

#DrinkPink #ThinkPink #PinkWineMakesMeHappy #RoséTime #RoséAllDay #RoséEveryday – The hashtags for rosé wine abound! With summer here, the shelves are lined with various shades of pink.

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Marseille, France, the second largest city in France after Paris, is known for its busy harbor and urban energy. Located along the Mediterranean Sea, visitors come for the beaches, the port, the ancient history, the cultural diversity and the food. So, when I had a day in Marseille, we wande…

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If I ask you to think about sparkling wine, Champagne will most likely be the first to come to mind. If I ask you to think about sparkling wine from Italy, you will most likely think Prosecco. But, I am here to encourage you to think about Franciacorta, not just when talking about Italian sp…

Tens of thousands upon tens of thousands descended upon BottleRock 2017 for three days of non-stop music on four stages. But in between top name artists to the likes of Maroon 5, Foo Fighters, Tom Petty and Ben Harper, to name a few, there was plenty of food and wine and beer and cocktails t…

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My recent trip to France included a one-day stop in Champagne, and I looked forward to visiting with great anticipation. I have had the privilege to visit many wineries around the world and go into their barrel rooms and cellars. But since I first began studying wine, I have been dreaming ab…

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What do you think about drinking when you eat sushi? Beer, sake or a crisp white wine such as riesling, gruner veltliner or sauvignon blanc? What if I said cabernet sauvignon? Yes, a red wine with sushi. After a recent dining experience, I have been convinced that it can work. But, it takes …

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Tasting wine uses all our senses. We use our eyes, our nose and our palates. But most of the time, we see the bottle first and conjure up pre-conceived notions of what we will find in the glass.

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Cinco de Mayo is a day celebrating Mexican pride and heritage. For many, that means drinking a lot of tequila. Perhaps you like your tequila neat or like to mix it up into a margarita. Why not add a little Lejay Crème de Cassis to your tequila for something different?

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The bi-annual Découvertes en Vallée du Rhône took place on April 10-13. Over four days, wine professionals from around the world explored the wines of the Rhone Valley in France, beginning with two days in Avignon in the Southern Rhone and then moving north for one day in Tain L’Hermitage an…

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Italy is made up of 20 regions, each of which produce wine. Three of the most well-known regions are Piemonte, Tuscany and Veneto and within these regions are the famous areas of Soave, Barolo and Tuscany.

During my recent visit to the east coast, I learned about how many winemakers first started planting vines in Virginia, New York, Maryland and elsewhere. Each one talked about how little information they had when they started, and that they turned, at first, to California’s wine industry for…

After spending a few days tasting wine in Central Virginia, I was already impressed by the quality of wines being produced by winemakers in both the Monticello and Shenandoah Valley AVAs.

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The famous Blue Ridge Mountains have been written about in songs. These mountains are the first major eastern line of the Appalachian Mountains, running from north to south though Virginia. Along the east side of the Blue Ridge in central Virginia are the historic homes of Thomas Jefferson, …

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In the past week, I have dined out at four restaurants and at three of these, there was a Greek wine on the menu. More and more, we are seeing Greek wines in the U.S. And, after traveling to Greece the last two summers, I was starting to feel confident in my growing knowledge of the wines. B…

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Sojourn Cellars in Sonoma, was started in 2001 by friends Craig Haserot and Erich Bradley who shared a common love of Burgundy.

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I am talking about Law Estate Wines from Paso Robles, not about legal laws, despite what the headline might suggest.

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Learning about the wines of the world can be an overwhelming endeavor at times. There are so many countries that produce wine. Then there are all the regions within each country, not to mention the thousands of grape varieties.

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It is a new year and the vines are dormant. In regions across the West Coast, much-needed rain is falling. But on the East Coast, the vines are buried under snow. As I see friends post photos of being in the snow, I am reminded about my visit this time last year to Loudoun County in Northern…

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Portuguese wine production dates to ancient civilization but it is a rather unfamiliar region for wine drinkers in the United States. You may know of Port or Madeira or even Vinho Verde. But have you heard of Alentejo, Dao or Tejo? Meet Ayesha Trump (no relation) of Douro Vino Selections who…

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Describing wine is not the easiest thing to do. When you are starting out, when asked to describe what you smell, you might say that you “just smell wine.”

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If you drink wine, the wines of Bordeaux need little introduction. There are the First Growths that collectors clamor over and there are the AOC classified dry, medium-bodied red wines and white wines that are affordable but also somewhat generic.

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If you grew up in the 1980s, as I did, you must know the song “Whip It” by Devo. Just hearing the name of the song, I start to sing: “When something’s going wrong you must whip it. Now whip it into shape. Shape it up. Get straight. Go forward. Move ahead. Try to detect it. It’s not too late …

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When I first began studying wine, I remember reading that the French called the trio of wine, bread and cheese the “holy trinity.” I cannot disagree. However, throw in a spa treatment and life is perfect!

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Rich Frank, former president of Disney Studios and owner of Napa Valley-based Frank Family Vineyards, can add grill-master to his title. Recently in Los Angeles, where Frank currently splits his time with Napa, Frank not only poured his wines but he got behind the grill in a cook-off to rais…

For many wine enthusiasts, picking wine for the holiday table is one of utmost importance. Once the meat, stuffing, potatoes, green beans and pumpkin pie are prepared, the question is what to drink with the meal.

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In 1983, while working at The Water Club in New York, Roy Hersh was introduced to the 1963 Sandeman Port. Sommelier Sam Correnti had purchased the 1963 Sandeman Port and “whenever he opened a bottle, he would call me in for the decanting,” Hersh recalled.

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The holidays are approaching, which means it is the perfect time for bubbles. OK, let me be clear. Every day and any day is a good day for bubbles. But with the pending holidays, ‘tis the busiest season for purchasing Champagne. From gift giving to holiday parties, there is no shortage of re…

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At a dinner recently, I was handed a glass of orange wine. To be specific, it was a dry muscat pét-nat, short for pétillant-naturel, a slightly sparkling natural wine. Orange wine being a trend in the wine world these days, I expected to be told that it was from Italy, Slovenia or Georgia. I…

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So many times, I hear people say that they do not like white wine or they prefer red wine. To me, there is a time and a place for every wine.

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A recent trip took me to the Languedoc in the south of France for the Jazz Festival at L’Hospitalet. It was my first visit to the Languedoc-Roussillon wine region, which borders the Mediterranean Sea to the east and the Pyrenees Mountains to the south. I was ready for the wine, the sea and t…

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In the Northern Hemisphere, harvest is well underway. In many places, the grapes have already been picked and pressed, and the juice is fermenting. As the wine is being made, what happens to the skins?

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Sake is Japan’s best known libation. But outside of Japan, this mysterious beverage is not as well understood. For me, sake is a subject for which I have only basic knowledge.

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Montepulciano, Italy — I am writing my column this week from Montepulciano, where I just finished being a judge at A Tavola con il Vino.

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Last year, I attended a seminar featuring wines from Lodi. A region historically known for mass production of large brands and higher alcohol wines, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of wines I tasted. From old vine carignane and zinfandel grapes to Spanish, Rhone and Italian varieti…

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Everyone is a wine critic, or at least everyone has an opinion about wine. With all of the thousands of wine producers, grape varieties and wine regions around the world, it helps to be able to turn to a source to help guide us.

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“Many people do not think Chablis is chardonnay but just a dry white wine that people love,” explained Gwenaël Laroche of Domaine Laroche as she spoke. “Chablis is in a class of its own.”

Champagne Palmer is likely an unfamiliar Champagne name. It is actually a new brand to the United States. But it is not a new brand. The Champagne house was started in 1947. It came to the East Coast of the United States in January 2015 and now it is available on the West Coast as well.