A Quick and Easy Wine Education

Wine glass in a kitchen.

Here’s the secret to wine education: Drink wine. It is that easy.

There are two rules to follow.

Drink what you like. Someone might tell you how special, elite, unique or expensive a wine is, but
if you don’t like it, you don’t like it.

Try new things. Even if you say, “I don’t like chardonnay,” I bet you have not tried all of the thousands of types from around the world. Chances are, you will find one you like. One of my favorite sayings is: “Travel the world of wine, and your corkscrew is your passport.” Read more about A Quick and Easy Wine Education

Pop the Cork on Crémant

glasses of crémant

Popping the cork on a bottle of bubbly can fill a room with celebratory spirits. As we move into brunch season and springtime celebrations, let’s take a closer look at a Champagne’s lesser-known cousin.

With the same richness and body of Champagne, crémant (pronounced kruh-maant) brings party vibes just the same—at a fraction of the price. To learn more about the sparkler, we spoke with The Wine Shop’s wine buyer Gary Seelen, who has Level 3 certification from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

Read more about Pop the Cork on Crémant


The Month for Pairings

food and wine pairings

Once in a while moons align and the right wine matches with great food. I hope you enjoy some of my favorite pairings as much as I do.

Côtes du Rhône and the grill: Consider any food with a char or sear marks—from grilled veggies to a big steak. The deep fruit of a Château d’Aigueville Côtes du Rhône (around $14) pairs wonderfully with beef and veggies off the grill. Read more about The Month for Pairings


Wine of the Times

a glass of wine

Wine can be appreciated all year, but it’s especially apropos during the holiday season. Dinner parties, restaurant gatherings and holiday gift giving tend to make wine top of mind for many revelers. So, with stemware in one hand, we connected with local experts for information to help would-be wine drinkers get more comfortable buying, ordering and gifting wine during the holidays, or for that matter, any time of year. Because, anytime can be wine time. Read more about Wine of the Times


Consider Sparkling Wine Alternatives

sparkling wine

Bubbles are a must for the holidays, and there are so many great variations out there that I’d like to highlight an entire category, not just one producer. 

Champagne is the benchmark, but there are also appellations all over France that make great sparklers. If they aren’t produced in the Champagne region specifically, these sparkling wines are referred to as “crémant” by the French.

These wines are typically still brut in style but they are made from grapes native to other regions in France. Read more about Consider Sparkling Wine Alternatives



I’ve chosen a wonderful Barolo for a couple reasons. This region is just a small portion of greater Piedmont in northwestern Italy, known for a variety of wonderful reds. It is often overlooked as it can be quite expensive.  Piedmont makes great wine, no doubt, but Barolo in particular is a very robust, full-bodied red wine, but it is also very delicate, layered and complex. 

Kevin Castellano is a lake area wine and liquor expert. Read more about Sip



Subscribe to RSS - Wine