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:

read more
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?

read more
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.

read more
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?’

read more
How Old Can You Go?

How Old Can You Go?

As we became more and more obsessed with wine, we began discovering older wines – wines from the years we were born (for the record, we are not that old…), and wines from famous old vintages (for example 1961). Wine is magical – is there any other substance you would willingly consume that was made in the 1960s?

read more
Why We Are Wine Critic Atheists

Why We Are Wine Critic Atheists

We’ve written several blogs already on our skepticism of wine critics – from wrong predictions on how certain wines would hold up over the ensuing decades to the unreliability of the 100 point wine scores. But, I think it’s time we face up to the disturbing truth, wine critic scores have no correlation with reality.

read more
Is There Apple Juice in My Wine?

Is There Apple Juice in My Wine?

We are extremely excited to announce that our first wine book is now available to purchase! The Amazon page for this book (where it’s available in both paperback and Kindle), is finally here.  Very very soon, it will also be available on Audiobook (stay tuned!).

read more
Del Dotto, and the Beginners Guide to French vs. American Oak

Del Dotto, and the Beginners Guide to French vs. American Oak

People either love or hate Del Dotto in Napa Valley (I think one could fairly say that I fit into both categories – I both love and hate it). On one hand, their tasting room has over the top Roman-style art and architecture that screams “I don’t know how to spend my money”.  Their barrel tasting tour is in a cave system that seems built more to showcase the cave than provide storage.  And their tour guides / poures can be a bit pretentious (as well as not always the best educated) and spout such phrases as “during sorting, other wineries pull out their worst grapes – while we sort the other way, we only pulling the best grapes to go in our wine.” – insert eye-roll. On the other hand, any tasting that almost exclusively comes from barrels is automatically great in my book. Del Dotto focuses on cabernets and has many different ones on their list, which my husband loves.  And, they are extremely generous with the number of wines to sample (more on that lower down). But the best thing about Del Dotto is the education your palette receives on oak. They let you try the same exact wine aged both in French and American Oak (just hope you remember what you learned after their generous number of wines to sample).

read more

Kick back and relax while you don't miss a single update from 10K Bottles.

You have successfully submitted your information! Check your email to confirm.

Pin It on Pinterest