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Wine of the Week: Freixenet Sparkling Cordon Negro Brut Cava (Spain) $12

Wednesday April 23, 2014

One of the best-selling Cavas on the market, Freixenet's Cordon Negro Brut offers up exceptional citrus and toasted almond notes on the nose.

Built on the region's three dominant Cava grapes: Macabeo, Xarel-lo, and Parellada, this medium-bodied sparkling wine carries a fresh factor, lively acidity, and unmistakable balance on the palate.

Pair with Paella, shellfish, fresh fish and all sorts of poultry and pork picks!

Best Bets for Cava Wine

Wednesday April 23, 2014

Cava Caves

Cava is Spain's delicious (and affordable) answer to the bubbly sparkling wine scene. Utilizing the same method for making sparkling wine as Champagne, Cava relies heavily on three local grapes and comes from Spain's Penedes region, which lies just west of Barcelona.

Typically dry and crisp with abundant acidity, apple and citrus-driven fruit and depending on the aging a touch of creamy, yeast-filled character, Cava comes in a variety of styles with the most common being brut and extra brut, though semi-dry and sweeter renditions are hitting the market at high speeds.

Whether you are looking for classic Cava made from Macabeo, Parellada, Xarel-lo or rosé renditions, often based on Pinot Noir, the Cava options edge towards endless. So to narrow the field, we've rounded up some tried and true Cavas with an eye towards availability and affordability to help you get your Cava kicking. Check out our Best Bets for Cava Wine here.

Wine of the Week: Round Pond Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (CA) $24

Thursday April 17, 2014

Ultra fresh and lively, the 2013 Round Pond Sauvignon Blanc brings extroverted aromatics and remarkable layers to the table. The nose rotates through an impressive array of fruit with lemon-lime and grapefruit citrus dominating the conversation and peach with a dash of dried mango and lemongrass whispering in the background.

On the palate, expect fresh fruit flavors with zesty citrus-infusion, incredible acidity and a squeeze of herbal undertones on the crisp finish. This Sauvignon Blanc is made for assorted grilled veggies, recipes calling for fresh herbs, salads with goat cheese, and a slew of grilled seafood.

Five Kosher Wines to Try

Wednesday April 16, 2014

Kosher wines have had an uphill battle in overcoming their "sticky sweet" wine image.  Fortunately, many of today's kosher wine producers are focusing first on making good wine placing priority on the ground, grapes, and production methods with kosher compliance taking a secondary seat to quality and consistency.

From California to Argentina, and France to Italy, Israel and beyond, kosher wines are popping up all over established international wine regions, eager to offer consumers credible wines with a kosher label. Check out Five Kosher Wines to Try for this Passover.

Wines for Passover and Easter

Thursday April 10, 2014

Ten days 'til Easter and a week until Passover, it's time to start considering wines for both holiday traditions. Whether you opt for ham, lamb, or something completely different, pairing wine with favorite family recipes can be a snap - check out our Easter wine pairing pointers here.

Or if you are looking to get a grip on what's at stake with kosher wines for Passover and want to know where to find producers that are as serious about their winemaking as they are about the kosher labeling requirements, then brush up on the basics of kosher wines and snag a few recs here.

The Easter season brings a unique opportunity to get familiar with the solid wine offerings coming out of Israel.  Both well made and well rated, we've gathered up some of Israel's wine history, the lay of the land and appellations, along with fantastic producers to keep an eye out for the next time you are looking to expand your wine tasting adventure.  Read more...

Pairing Wine with Easter Dinner

Kosher Wines for Passover

Wines of Israel

Image Courtesy of David Roth/Photolibrary/Getty Images

Wine of the Week: Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava (Spain) $9

Sunday March 30, 2014

Bringing some serious value, not to mention bubbles to the table, Spain's Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava showcases an engaging blend of nutty nuances and a dash of citrus on the nose.

The palate profile is fresh, with zippy acidity, bright lemon-lime fruit and apple undertones.  A remarkable sparkling wine for the price, this Cava is made with a blend of regional grapes: Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel-lo.

Perfect for parties, keep Cava in mind for appetizers, shellfish themes, tapas, and a variety of poultry picks.

Why Vintage Matters

Thursday March 27, 2014

Bud break

Another year, another wine, but why does it matter whether you grab the latest release on the shelf or scout for a 2009 label? Varying considerably by wine and region, the specific factors of the local growing season exert an enormous influence on the vineyard's yields, ripeness or sugar levels, and overall vintage quality for the regional wines.

Bordeaux is often first to carry the vintage card, declaring vintages as excellent or merely good and giving consumers a glimpse of what to expect from different producers based on the season's weather conditions impacting everything from bud break to harvest and beyond.  Learn more here...

Wine of the Week: Domaine Faiveley Bourgogne Blanc Chardonnay 2010 (FR) $20

Sunday March 23, 2014

Classic white Burgundy, the 2010 Bourgogne Blanc from Domaine Faiveley offers up plenty of apple blossom and engaging almond notes on the nose.

The palate profile reveals a mix of Granny Smith apple and ripe D'anjou pear with earthy undertones and mineral-driven nuances transported on zesty acidity.

The medium to fuller-body wraps up with remarkable balance and a persistent finish.  Perfect for pairing with a variety of poultry dishes, grilled fish or shellfish, this 2010 Bourgogne Blanc sports delicious versatility.

Wine Country Travel

Sunday March 23, 2014

Bordeaux

Happily, grapes typically grow in stunning locales with plenty of foodie themes thriving in restaurants and various eateries surrounding the vines.  Making the necessary marriage of food and wine a seamless adventure, regional restaurants often showcase local grapes in tandem with local fare.

Outdoor enthusiasts (and history buffs) may also find a friend in wine country travel, as many of the slopes, rivers, and climate components that give the grapes a unique terroir also double as the grounds for outdoor pursuits and entice avid cyclists, hikers, rafters, and horseback riders.

Plenty of wine country destinations welcome guests with gusto.  Some roll out the red carpet with a bit more ease and are geared for impromptu visits with tastings offered daily, while other wine regions keep things simple and would love to host wine fans for a glass, but need some advanced notice to make it happen. California, Washington, Oregon, and Virginia run similar wine themes with full-fledged tasting rooms, plenty of foodie havens thriving in local restaurants and almost limitless outdoor adventure pursuits.

Old World wine regions are equally welcoming, but may not always be ready to receive spontaneous visitors without at least a quick call ahead.

Learn more about wine country travel off the beaten path in Chile, Bordeaux, Virginia and more...

Wine of the Week: Michele Chiarlo Gavi 2012 (Italy) $20

Monday March 17, 2014

Made from 100% Cortese grapes, the 2012 Michele Chiarlo Gavi brings a lively wine, brimming with sultry citrus and the classic notes of fresh cut grass, to the table.

Perfect for spring, this particular medium-bodied white wine from Piedmont showcases unmistakable grapefruit and zesty lime on the palate well-supported by vibrant acidity and an enduring, delicious finish.

Consider pairing the 2012 Gavi ("Gavi" is the place the grapes are grown in Piedmont, named after the town) with a variety of shellfish, grilled fish, and roasted veggies.

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