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Merlot, which in French means The Little Blackbird, is the second most popular red grape in America (after Cabernet Sauvignon). Known for being soft, ripe and elegant, most Merlots are easy drinking reds that go well both with food as well as on their own. This is an approachable grape varietal and is often recommended as the first red wine someone new to red wine should drink. It is believed that the first time the grape was used in making wine was in the late 1700s when a French winemaker...

International Pinotage Day celebrates the uniquely South African grape – merging Pinot Noir and Hermitage (Cinsaut) grapes. Pinotage is one of these varieties that are almost only grown in one single country. In the case of Pinotage the only country where you will find it is in South Africa. It is also unusual in that it is a very recent grape variety. It is not an ancient domestic variety. In fact, Pinotage was created by Abraham Izak Perold in 1925. He was professor of viticulture at the Stellenbosch University. He...

Whatever your feelings on Columbus Day — beyond the profound sense of joy if you do indeed get the day off — it’s hard not to be impressed by those sea voyages of yore. You know, the whole challenging-an-angry-sea thing with no certain sense of success, let alone safety; also the whole thing about who was wearing whose eyepatch and didn’t return it, etc. But when we do harken back to those brave, adventurous days, we wonder how sailors could steel themselves for that voyage into uncertain waters. Our assumption (not...

Grenache is that overlooked friend you always under appreciate. You know the one: You always forget about them until you bump into them at a party, but when you do, you have a great time. But today, overlook that friend no more, because it’s International Grenache Day. Whether you drink wines in which Grenache plays a supporting role, or you purposely seek out Grenache-based wine, you need to know more about it. It’s incredibly diverse, widespread and has a reputation for making every other grape around it perform better. Grab...

Does Cabernet Sauvignon really need a day? It’s already one of the most popular wine grapes in the world, and it’s also best friends with steak. Yes and not just because Cabernet is one of the most reliable, hearty, assertively flavorful wine grapes out there (ensuring that everyone all over the world can get a nice glass of dry red wine). Sure, Cabernet Sauvignon is a strong grape with awesomely thick skin and strong character. But lest what makes it special becomes just another wine caricature, we’re taking a little...

”“The most romantic of wines, with so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, and so powerful a punch that, like falling in love, they make the blood run hot and the soul wax embarrassingly poetic” -Master Sommelier Madeline Triffon   Pinot is a fantastic wine, but a temperamental grape. With its rich color and complex flavors, it is largely considered one of the most hedonistic wines ever made. Elegant and berry-lie, its velvet flavor is the perfect addition to any affair. Pinot Noir Day celebrates this wine and the...

Wine is a healthy drink, brimming with antioxidants. But the glass you topped too many times for the past couple of days is probably why you need to run an extra mile. The number of calories present in certain kinds of wines could be a shocking revelation for most of us. In fact, it probably contributed to making you oversized for your favorite pair of jeans. Healthy living should always be a priority. But having to stay on the edge every time you look at a gorgeous bottle of wine...

”The discovery of a wine is of greater moment than the discovery of a constellation. The universe is too full of stars.” ~ Benjamin Franklin There is a positive rainbow of wines in the world, but none so sweet and fair as those that are deemed white. Make no mistake, white wines are rarely if every truly white in color, but instead are beautiful varieties of straw-yellow, gold, or yellow-green. White Wine Day was created to help celebrate this wine that stands out from all others.   History of White...

The word ‘Cabernet’ slips so easily off most people’s lips we forget that in the 1950’s, most Americans didn’t even know what Cabernet Sauvignon was. In the mid-century, Americans felt that Cabernet Sauvignon was too difficult to pronounce. So now that Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay have become the norm it’s time to get familiarized with some new wine grapes. Get your glasses ready. Sémillon wine is loved for its full body, like Chardonnay, but with flavors closer to Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc. It’s an important blending component in White...

The world of sparkling wines is vast and varied, extending far beyond the borders of Champagne, France. Today, just about every wine growing country is producing fine, high quality sparklers. So don’t limit yourself in a world of options and feel free to check out some of these great Champagne alternatives! What are your options? Champagne Made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes, this is the gold standard of sparkling wine. Styles range from lean and crisp with lots of lemon, green apple and stony minerality to rich and...