10K BOTTLES

DISCOVERING WINE, ONE BOTTLE AT A TIME
How to Choose Wine at a Restaurant When You Don’t Recognize Any Wines on the List

How to Choose Wine at a Restaurant When You Don’t Recognize Any Wines on the List

Being a wine lover, I’m usually the one at the restaurant who is given the wine list for the table. But, in spite of how big of a wine geek I am, frequently I’ll be handed a wine list at a restaurant and not recognize a single wine on the list. This is hardly surprising considering Napa Valley alone has 500 or more wineries, and Bordeaux has 6,000+ wineries. Or, just as frequently, the only wines on the restaurant’s wine list that I know are ones that either I do not like or I cannot afford.

So, how does one choose a bottle of wine off a wine list when you don’t know any of the bottles you might be ordering?  I’ve come up with many tricks over the years.  Here are three of my go-to tricks:

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The Last Continent (for us) of Wine

The Last Continent (for us) of Wine

There are seven continents. Living in the United States, my husband and I have of course had tons of wine from our own continent of North America. Although sadly we’ve been to no wineries in South America, we’ve had plenty of wines from Argentina and Chile. South America, check. We’ve visited countless wineries and in France, Italy, and Switzerland (yes Switzerland has great wine like its more famous neighbors), so we more than have Europe covered. Australia has fantastic wine, and I’ve been fortunate enough to taste in the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale, among other places in Australia. Africa is pretty good too – my husband and I have been wine tasting in South Africa (with some pretty extraordinary wines), and we’ve even had some local Moroccan wines while visiting Marrakesh. So what is our last continent?

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Repost: March Madness and Wine:  Saint-Émilion’s Wine Classification

Repost: March Madness and Wine: Saint-Émilion’s Wine Classification

Repost: Are you confused about the Saint-Émilion wine classification? Or, did you not even know one existed? Have you been totally confused at your wine shop when you’re trying to figure out the difference between a label (in French, of course) listing a Saint-Émilion wine as a “Grand Cru Classé” or a “Premier Grand Cru Classé?” Don’t feel bad, it confuses us as well. Heck, it confuses most people who live in Bordeaux. In fact, while tasting in Bordeaux at a “Premier Grand Crus Classé A,” a few years ago, our pourer confided in us that even her friends don’t understand the classification system. So, we’re going to try to explain it with an analogy that most Americans can understand (and are quite passionate about) – March Madness.

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How to Help After The Sonoma Fires

How to Help After The Sonoma Fires

As of this writing, the fires in Sonoma are still raging strong. As a result of the fast moving fires due to dry conditions and strong winds, hundreds of thousands have been evacuated, thousands of acres have been torched, and homes, businesses and wineries (Soda Rock 🙁 ) have been damaged or lost. When devastation hits a region like this, many of us wonder, ‘how can I help?’

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