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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Paso Robles is the land of the big red wines — Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Zinfandel, Mourvédre, Grenache and Sangiovese. There are more than 200 wineries in Paso Robles and they are either exclusively, or primarily, red wine producers. While some of those producers also produce white wines, …

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Italy is home to more indigenous grape varieties than anywhere else in the world. According to Ian D’Agata’s comprehensive guide, “Native Wine Grapes of Italy,” there are approximately 2,000 indigenous grape varieties in Italy. Of those 2,000, approximately 400 of them are used to make comme…

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Saying that Chilean wine equals value wine is “like sticking fingers in a wound,” explained Rodrigo Soto, president of Veramonte, Ritual, Primus and Neyen Wines. “It is the passion that we want to show. It is the strong quality of wines that need to be shown.”

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Barolo. Just saying the name sounds important. It sounds regal. It sounds strong. When I lived in the Piemonte area in Italy shortly after college, I knew very little, if anything, about wine. But on the table at every meal, I was drinking Dolcetto and Barbera on a daily basis. It was on spe…

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After much anticipation, The Studio by Feast It Forward is opening in downtown Napa. Bringing together food, wine, design, art, music and philanthropy under one roof, The Studio is a live studio experiential showroom and wine collective. The wine collective includes 16 producers, most of who…

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As we look back at history, we can always find markers where something shifted and altered the future. Each of these significant markers have changed paradigms in life. These are game-changers, such as the invention of the car, the smart phone and every technology we use today.

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Zinfandel is California’s grape, but it was a grape I disregarded for the last decade. Of course, with iconic producers such as Ravenswood, Ridge, Rafanelli, Biale and more, I knew there were good quality Zinfandels in the market. But as a whole, every time I thought about Zinfandel, I thoug…

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According to Wine Marlborough, 77 percent of New Zealand’s wine production comes from the Marlborough region in the north-eastern corner of New Zealand’s South Island. With commercial plantings beginning in 1973 and the first vintage of Sauvignon Blanc in 1979, Marlborough is a rather young …

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While watching the Red Carpet during the Golden Globes the other night, I was motivated by what actress Natalie Portman said: “We have realized the scope of what we have lost, of the creative contributions of people who have been pushed out of the [film] industry. And when we think of other …

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Editor’s note: Until my son moved to Los Angeles to go to medical school and then decided to stay there for his residency, I’d never thought of L.A. as a culinary destination. But since then, every time we visit him, he takes us to a new and fascinating place: a hole in the wall that serves …

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Fifty-six kilometers (35 miles) long, Madeira is an island outside the mainland of Portugal. With a spring climate year-round and magnificent views of soaring mountains and the ocean everywhere you look, Madeira is a popular destination for the cruise ships.

To me, the best way to get to know a county and its culture is through its food and wine. Local ingredients and dishes, the indigenous grape varieties and winemaking processes, they all tell so much about a culture, its history and present-day. So, on my first trip to Portugal, specifically …

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We are bombarded of late by the news of men abusing their power. It can be overwhelming to listen to story after story after story about how men treat women. It is important to remember how many extraordinary women there are and many of them work in the wine industry. As I was thinking about…

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Cariñena may not be very well known, but according to Wine Enthusiast, it is the “region to watch.” Located in the heart of the Ebro Valley, between Barcelona and Madrid, in Spain’s northeast region of Aragón, Cariñena is the birthplace of the garnacha grape and the second oldest wine region…

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There is a new trend in fine dining and it is called “social responsibility.” Recently, I attended Taste Talks Los Angeles, a food and drink festival featuring talks, tastings, dinners and parties. As L.A.'s amazing chefs, restaurants and cultural figures came together, they engaged in great…

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The world of wine is vast. It is more than California, France and Italy. It is more than chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. There are more than a thousand wine-producing regions and thousands of different grape varieties in the world.

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At the heart of Beverly Hills is the famous Rodeo Drive, considered the intersection of luxury, fashion and entertainment. But now as people walk down the street shopping at the likes of Chanel, Prada, Gucci, Valentino, Armani, Dior, Cartier and more, they can also stop for a Napa Valley win…

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When I was starting out in the wine industry, I volunteered to pour wine at a Wine Spectator event. I was pouring for an Italian winery and was surrounded by other Italian producers. Next to me was a nice young man, and throughout the evening, we would pour each other a taste of wine.

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There was a time when Los Angeles was the winemaking capital of California. This was back in the late 1800s but today there is still a living link to Los Angeles’ winemaking past. Located in Lincoln Heights on the east side of downtown Los Angeles, San Antonio Winery is celebrating their 100…

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I was sitting in an outdoor patio in Healdsburg on a classically beautiful early afternoon. The sun was shining, a nice breeze was blowing and I ordered oysters. With the briny, delicate oysters, a natural pairing is a crisp, acidic sauvignon blanc.

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The 69th Primetime Emmy Awards took place this past week. The celebrities were out in full force, dressed in their very best, for a night of glamour and recognition. Naturally, with all the celebrating, there were a lot of toasts being made. And with each toast, the glasses were filled with …

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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 …