Award-winning wine columnist Dan Berger has been writing his nationally syndicated column since 1979 and continues to be one of the most outspoken and informative people writing about wine today. Here are his latest wine recommendations and insights from his "On Wine" column.

  • Updated

Wine “experts” come in all shapes and sizes, from generalists to specialists. What constitutes expert knowledge in one area of wine may have no meaning in other areas. This is one aspect of wine that makes it such a complex and difficult subject to master.

  • Updated

Scientists who delve into how people taste food and drink say that about a quarter of all of us detect bitterness at very low levels, which limits what we can appreciate, including in wines. 

  • Updated

When someone lifts a glass and offers a toast “To your health,” the message isn’t merely a salute — it’s a medical fact. Evidence of that appeared last week — for something like the 100th time — when University College London released yet another study that said wine has health benefits. 

  • Updated

Some people complain about this inevitable transformation in wine over time. Fruit lovers occasionally want that fruit to remain forever. But we understand it when our children grow up and evolve, so why don’t we all remember that wine also is like that?

  • Updated

The heat dome that hit Washington and Oregon is harbinger of the impact of global climate change, giving the wine industry a warning shot and a chance to assess what winegrowers face down the road, said environmental scientist Greg V. Jones.

  • Updated

Nothing justifies all the extra glass in heavy wine bottles. Ultra-heavy bottles do not protect the wine any better than do lighter bottles, but the environmental and health drawbacks are huge.

  • Updated

Americans have been taught over the last three decades to desire red wines that are akin to ultra-sweet cappuccinos; and lovers of unadorned espresso made from great coffee beans are a fast-shrinking minority.

  • Updated

It would take a large book to deal with the many spoilage elements that may be found in wine from brettanomyces to smoke taint but these are a reminder of the challenge of turning grape juice into a sublime potable beverage.

  • Updated

Sugar sells, writes Dan Berger, and this is leading to a widespread use of sugar in wines that once were dry, but which now aren’t? What can you do? One idea he suggests is try Cabernet Franc.

  • Updated

Getting a glass of wine at a restaurant usually isn’t a chore, but as we return to dining out and resume frequenting restaurants that have been closed for the better part of the year, several wine-by-the-glass pitfalls may become evident.

  • Updated

Dan Berger explains his skepticism of unidentified red wine blends: "They’re usually a mélange of unrelated grape varieties assembled in a hodgepodge-y manner. I usually have no interest in such wines because I can’t figure why they exist."

  • Updated

One of the ways people learn about wine is to pay attention to the region from which it comes and how it relates to its grape varieties. Learning about wine entails getting to know something about the appellations and sub-appellations where wine is impacted by its home soil.

  • Updated

Wine consumers don’t often see the real-world consequences of corporate business deals, but  E&J Gallo's acquisition of wine brands from Constellation may benefit those who regularly buy those and other Gallo-owned wine brands.

  • Updated

Sure, there’s a certain comfort in sameness. Fear of the unknown and unpronounce-ability keep most safe-leaning wine buyers from venturing far from beaten tracks, but they’re missing interesting alternatives.

  • Updated

Knowing what experiences a wine went through from grape to glass — including trans-Atlantic travel — might explain why one person tastes a different wine than the one that was rated where it was produced

  • Updated

Yes, half bottles (375 milliliters, 12.68 ounces) cost slightly more than half the price of full bottles, but a half bottle allows us to experience two different wines in an evening without having to worry about leftovers.

  • Updated

Michael Mondavi lifted a glass of a fine red wine, poured in a hefty slug of ice wate and took a sip. It was the start of his keynote speech at an international wine marketing conference and his topic was the demystification of upscale wines.

  • Updated

Since oxygen is one of the worst enemies of opened bottles, two vital strategies are (a) keep oxygen away from the liquid and (b) refrigerate everything until later — especially red wines. 

  • Updated

Festive dinner-table gatherings end up being complicated, especially when attempting to come up with the “right” wines. Dan's rule of thumb: serve several tasty wines and ignore food pairings. No one is vexed about the perfect wine to go with prune parfait.

  • Updated

Recent changes in the tax law are taking away the incentives for making lower-alcohol wines, and this affects how many glasses of wine a day you should be drinking. 

  • Updated

In a year when more than 200,000 Americans died because of a rampant virus; and when normal life nationally was shattered by wide-ranging weather catastrophes, a bad vintage in wine country might seem trivial.

  • Updated

Definitions of success in wine often relate to how much a wine costs, how hard it is to find, or how many points a reviewer gave it. But if the wine is a varietal, shouldn't success be determined how authentically it conveys the aroma and taste of that varietal?

  • Updated

 The definition of “wine” really is more complicated than most people realize. In some places, “wine” may refer to something unfamiliar most Californians – and here it gets murky. 

  • Updated

 "Shelf-talkers," a small sign that conveys information about a product someone wants to sell you, abound in wine shops. But who wrote them and how much can you trust them? 

  • Updated

If 10 winemakers each got one ton of exactly the same grapes, all picked at the exact same moment, and were told to turn that fruit into a wine, the result would be 10 different wines.

  • Updated

Numbers for wine act as a soporific, obliterating any need for potential buyers to think critically. The ultimate short-hand, they do an injustice to all wines, and to any wine lover with a brain that he or she might like to exercise.

  • Updated

Michael Broadbent, one of the greatest wine experts in history and a man who understood the soul of wine better than most, has passed away at age 92, leaving behind an astounding legacy based on the notion that the best wines of all time are those made to be aged.

  • Updated

There’s no question that wine is a complex subject. How complex? We’ve all been there: We’re standing in a retail store, facing a wall of 100 domestic Chardonnays. And we realize how confusing it is. Oh, the questions we could ask!

  • Updated

Today’s “adult beverage” market, driven largely by millennial buyers has roiled the market in unpredictable ways but changes have some benefits for wine consumers. 

Tags

Load comments