Photo CIVP/F.MILLO

Discover ‘Provence Food and Wine: The Art of Living,’ at Home

The French Riviera. Cote d’Azur. Saint-Tropez. Cannes. They all evoke a relaxed, outdoor lifestyle of warm breezes and brilliant sun overlooking azur blue waters, glass in hand filled with a light-bodied, mouthwatering and fruity rosé. But this region of nearly 70,000 acres is much more than just sunny beaches and fruity wines. In the new book “Provence Food and Wine: The Art of Living” the authors explain why in colorful detail and authentic recipes.

Photo by Craig Drollet

Two Words You Must Know in the Burgundy Lexicon

Last week, the Bourgogne wine region also known as Burgundy joined a global coalition of other classic wine regions to protect place name and origin. Now is the perfect time to start calling Burgundy by its real name, its French name, as we do for all other French wine regions. Going hand in hand with the authenticity of the Bourgogne name is the authenticity of its wines based on “climat”, the Bourgogne version of terroir.

Carneros Wine Alliance by Ashley  Teplin

Carneros Cool Factor

Carneros has a cool climate perfect for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. But at a recent Carneros Wine Alliance tasting, I learned the region is cool in more ways than one. It’s a region where a confident new generation embraces tradition in a search for authenticity, and the old garde hews to its free-thinking, but no less authentic, ways.

Edmond Fallot Moutarderie in Bourgogne

aMuse Bouche: Burgundy Spice

With Burgundy’s rich and strongly flavored dishes, it’s easy to see why tangy Dijon mustard would be a specialty here. At a Moutarderie tour at Edmond Fallot, I learned the difference between Dijon and Burgundy mustard.

Photo Francois Mill/CIVP

The Wines of Provence: Fifty Shades of Rosé

About this time every year, I emerge from winter’s cocoon with only one thought: sipping a glass of gossamer-hued, mouth-watering, fruity rosé from Provence. They’re light-bodied, crisp and fruity wines that are always dry. But what I discovered at a Provence Wine Council tasting in SF last week is that these wines can also show beautiful depth, expressiveness and even class that are unique to this region.

Yangarra Estate

Australia Uncut in San Francisco

Australia is known for their regional blends but at a Wine Australia trade tasting in the city last month, I got a better appreciation for their single varietal wines and how well they reveal the essence of the terroir, and the winemakers, there.

Denis and Florence Dubordieu and family

The Côtes de Bordeaux: Affordable Bordeaux With Pedigree

When people think of red Bordeaux, they usually categorize them by Right Bank or Left Bank. But there’s another family of reds called the Côtes de Bordeaux that is rising in visibility here in the U.S. because they’re great, sometimes extreme, values, crafted by small, family-owned wineries with a lot of care, pride and in many cases, world-class knowledge.

grandi marchi SF 2013

Passion for Italian: The Grandi Marchi in San Francisco

Passion for Italian doesn’t describe the rapt attention of the trade audience at the Grandi Marchi tasting last month in SF. Instead, it describes the passion of Italy’s greatest producers for their own uniquely Italian grapes, and their efforts to improve, revive and communicate them to the world…

anivin_bottles

Spreading French Joie de Vivre to the Masses: Vin de France

Don’t tell Managing Director Valerie Pajotin that Vin de France are mere “table wines”, even though technically, that’s what they are. For Valerie and a contingent of her colleagues from Anivin – the trade group for Vin de France – these wines have the potential to become a global force majeure

Don Melchor winemaker Enrique Tirado relaxing on the patio of Piperade in San Francisco

Behind The Legend of Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon

My reference wines for benchmark Cabernet Sauvignon are Napa Valley and Bordeaux, so when I had the chance recently to taste through a vertical of Don Melchor wines from Chile’s Concha y Toro with winemaker Enrique Tirado in San Francisco, they were going to have a pretty high bar to meet.

Bunraku Sake

The Wine Lover’s Sake

At a recent sake tasting at the Hotel Monaco in San Francisco, Sake Samurai Timothy Sullivan told us we really shouldn’t call sake a wine “a sake is a sake”. Still, it’s hard for a Wine Muse not to taste sake like a wine and by doing so, I could really appreciate these sakes even more in terms of flavor, quality craftsmanship, long tradition and yes, terroir.