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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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…

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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 …

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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.”

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Roero is a hidden gem located in Piemonte, Italy. It is not Barolo. It is not Barbaresco. It is not even Nebbiolo Langhe. Roero, a hilly region located north of Alba in the northeast corner of the province of Cuneo, has its own distinctiveness and elegance.

There are many different ways to taste wine, from formal evaluations done for scientific reasons all the way to sipping a chilled white wine at a barbecue.

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The heat of the summer is here, and my palate is calling for crisp, refreshing white wines. One of the wines that is filling this request is Rías Baixas Albariño, and now is perfect timing for it because it is also the seventh annual International Albariño Days, Aug 2-7.

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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 …