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.
Tired of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon? Looking for something different? Unique? Slightly obscure? Try one of the other wines that start with the letter “C” – Cinsault, Carignan and Criollo. These three grapes occupy a niche, but they hold important positions in the wine world within spe…
Say ‘Napa’ and people think Cabernet Sauvignon. Say ‘Burgundy’ and people think Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Say ‘Piedmont’ and people think Nebbiolo. Say ‘Oregon’ and people think Pinot Noir.
“It takes a village to raise a child. This is my village and I am the kid,” declared Jason Lett as he welcomed a group of wine writers to the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Jason’s father, David Lett, first saw the potential of Pinot Noir in Oregon.
Sing it: “You say Grenache, and I say Garnacha. You say France and I say Spain. Grenache, Garnacha, France, Spain, don’t call the whole thing off!”
Summer is coming to an end but drinking rosé has not stopped. I have found myself picking up a few more bottles of rosé from here and there as I travel around to wine regions. I come home and add the new bottles of rosé to my wine list and start to plan when to drink them.
Here is an interesting thought: what exactly is a flaw in wine or when is it part of the character? We know when a wine is tainted with TCA (trichloroanisole) or TBA (tribromoanisole), the wine has undesirable aromas and is not the intention of the winemaker. But, what about other things suc…
Long before congested freeways and millions of residents, Los Angeles was once part of California’s largest wine- producing region, the Los Angeles Viticultural District, which comprised the counties of San Luis Obispo, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Imperial, Rivers…
There is the saying, “wine is life.” But in Oaxaca, Mexico, “mezcal is life.” I am not talking about tequila, which is a type of mezcal. I am talking about mezcal, a liquor that can be made from more than 30 varieties of agave and is cooked inside earthen pits lined with lava rocks and then …
Everywhere we look, we can find rosé wines. The shelves at the stores are lined with bottles of rosé wines and restaurant by-the-glass lists always have at least one to offer. It seems like every domestic winery has added a rosé wine to their portfolio.
Many winemakers say that their job is to simply usher the grapes through the process of fermentation and into the bottle. But even a winemaker who focuses on minimal intervention has hundreds of decisions to make along the way.
Fifty years of growing grapes. Nineteen years of making wine. And you have probably not heard of them, as I had not until I visited them recently. Located in the Alexander Valley, Garden Creek Ranch Vineyards and Winery is a story of love: love for the land, love for the wine and love for th…
With more than a dozen estates in the Languedoc region, Gérard Bertrand is the king of the south of France. He is the embodiment of l‘art de vivre (art of living) and with his newest wine, Clos du Temple, he is perpetuating this art with abundance.
What types of wines do you think come from South Africa? Perhaps it is Pinotage or even Chenin Blanc. Or perhaps it is bulk wine, inexpensive wine or wine with animal labels.
Domaine Carneros is an unmistakable landmark in Napa Valley. Sitting between Napa and Sonoma in Carneros, the magnificent chateau at Domaine Carneros sits on a hill overlooking Highway 12.
When I first started in the wine business almost 20 years ago, I would take consumers on day trips from Los Angeles to the Santa Barbara wine country for a day of tasting and education. We would visit different wineries and the winemakers would meet with our group to share their stories.
When thinking about wines from Oregon, the Willamette Valley is what first comes to mind. But located in Oregon’s southernmost grape-growing region in Oregon, near the California border, is the Rogue Valley.
Have you ever needed a break from drinking but still want to go out and socialize? I know that I sometimes need a break from drinking alcohol but am still so tempted when I go out and see a great cocktail list.
Rosé season is officially here. While we now drink rosé year-round, it is ideal to drink in the summer months. The sun is shining, the temperatures are warm, and a glass of pink wine is refreshing, enjoyable and has the ability to pair with a wide range of foods.
When you think about sparkling wines that are not Champagne, you might think about sparkling wine from California, Oregon, France, Italy, Spain or another wine- producing region. But what about Japan? When you think about what grapes sparkling wines are made from, you might think about Chard…
Exclusive. Aspirational. Hedonistic. Revered. Indulgent. Pleasure. These are just some of the words that come to mind when I think about Krug Champagne. In fact, ask any Champagne collector, or lover, to name a brand that is respected the world over and they will likely answer Krug.
The 2015 Jordan Winery Cabernet Sauvignon was released on May 1. Releasing a new vintage each year will always excite customers. But the release of the 2015 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon was more than just the release of the new vintage. The release of the 2015 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon has been…
I took a look at the glasses on the table. The liquid was a pale gold with a stream of small bubbles. The nose ranged from mineral and citrus to apple and brioche notes.
Ridge Monte Bello is considered “the most internationally admired producer of American Cabernet Sauvignon” by the Oxford Companion to Wine.
As a lover of Champagne, and all sparkling wines for that matter, I can never pass up a glass of bubbles. So, as I wandered around the opening night party at Pebble Beach Food & Wine, I found myself stopping at every table that was pouring Champagne.
South Africa has been producing wine for more than 350 years. It is one of the most prominent wine producing countries in the southern hemisphere and is the ninth-largest producer of wine in the world.
When one thinks of Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, it is typically of a wine with big pungent aromatics of lime, gooseberry, grapefruit, passion fruit, pineapple, lemongrass, fresh-cut grass, green bell pepper, and jalapeno and zesty, high acidity on the palate.
When Megan McGrath Gates was a little girl, she would listen to the stories of her grandparents. A ninth-generation Californian, Gates was raised in Riverside. But, her ancestors were ranchers and she is a direct descendant of the historic Olivas family in Ventura, California.
Early in my wine career, I worked as a sales representative for Chambers and Chambers Wine Merchants. With a fantastic portfolio of wines primarily from California and France at the time, I was introduced to many wineries and would spend days working with the different owners and winemakers.
The Duero River starts in the north of Spain and travels 460 miles through Portugal to the Atlantic Ocean. Along the river, there are several recognized wine-producing regions, including Ribera del Duero in Spain. Just outside the Ribera del Duero wine region sits a unique destination, Abadi…
Champagne has been thought to be invented by Benedictine monk Dom Perignon in 1693, but sparkling wine was invented in 1531 by the Benedictine monks of the Abbey of Saint-Hilaire in Languedoc, France.
Studying wine is a lofty task. For the wine professional, or for the passionate wine enthusiast, there are the most well-known certifications through The Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) and The Court of Master Sommeliers.
For many people, their first memory of Chianti wine is a bottle in a straw basket that you would put a candle in as soon as you finished drinking the wine. While the baskets have long since disappeared, many people think of Chianti as a grape, not as a region. And Chianti Classico is thought…
When you think of wine production in Northern California, you likely think of Napa or Sonoma. Of course, there are other wine regions in Northern California, such as Mendocino and Lake counties.
One of the things that fascinates me about the wine industry is the level of friendship, camaraderie and passion that exists in such a competitive industry. In essence, every winery is seeking placement in a very crowded market. But, friendship and collaboration seem to overpower the competi…
Editor’s note: This is part of a series of stories about Allison Levine’s visit to this region in Portugal.
The new year brings a sense of possibility, of new beginnings, of resolutions. A new year can also bring a sense of discovery and for me. I love discovering new wine regions. Along that line, it is time to discover the Dão.
Have you ever thought about how they used to make wine before all of the luxuries of modern technology? Before electricity? Before mechanization, whether with tractors or machines for harvesting and sorting? What about temperature control? Is wine simpler to make today because we have techno…
In 1998, Jimi Brooks started Brooks Winery, focusing on Oregon’s potential for expressive, complex and balanced Riesling and Pinot Noir.
Fetzer Vineyards is celebrating their 50th anniversary. Owned by Chilean company Viña Concha y Toro since 2011 and one of the largest wine companies in the United States, one might think that they have achieved their pinnacle after five decades.
Winemaker Cruz Bilbro is the fifth generation in his family to make wine. But what sets him apart from other multi-generational winemakers is that he is only 10 years old.
On Main Street in St. Helena is Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch. From a coffee in the morning to a tasting in the afternoon to a dinner at night, it’s a one-stop shop. And with it comes sustainability and health, supporting the community and doing good.
Fess Parker Winery is a third-generation winery in the Santa Ynez Valley. Fess Parker, an American film and television actor best known for playing Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone in the 1950s and 1960s, purchased a 714-acre ranch in 1988 with the idea to run cattle, grow a few acres of grape…
Living in the United States, we are exposed to many wines from around the world: France, Italy, Australia, New Zealand and Spain, to name a few countries. But, what about Portugal? I am familiar with the fortified wines of Madeira and Porto and have tasted some still wines from Alentejo and …
SANTA YNEZ VALLEY — The 2018 harvest marks the 30th anniversary of Fiddlehead Cellars, a winery in Santa Ynez Valley owned by winemaker and head fiddle, Kathy Joseph. Thirty years is a significant marker in the California wine industry, especially for Santa Barbara County, where post-Prohibi…
When mountains were created millions of years ago, volcanic eruptions resulted in extrusive and intrusive lava soils. These mountains were less fertile, and it was realized long ago that food crops and orchards thrived off the fertile land of the flats.
In Italy, more than 80 percent of the grapes grown are native varieties. One of the most cultivated indigenous varieties is Nero d’Avola, the flagship red grape of Sicily. It makes up 60 percent of Sicily’s agriculture. When speaking about Nero d’Avola from Sicily, it is like speaking about …
If you have ever had a Torrontes from Argentina, there is a good chance that you drank Crios from Susana Balbo, one of the foremost winemakers in Argentina.
The 70th Annual Emmy Awards took place this week, and throughout all the pre- and post-Emmy events, as well as at the ceremony itself, sparkling wine was being drunk.
The late Anthony Bourdain once said that “Food is everything we are. It’s an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It’s inseparable from those from the get-go.”
If you say “Pineau” out loud, it sounds like “pinot.” As I looked into my glass filled with a golden yellow liquid, I thought, “This is pinot? Perhaps it is pinot grigio?”