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Featured Articles

Whitley On Wine: Sommelier Challenge 2013 Results
Robert Whitley
Oct 7, 2013



Albariño: A Gastronomic Pilgrimage
Marguerite Thomas
May 6, 2008

You can drink a specific wine. You can read books and magazine articles about it. You may even catch a TV documentary describing it and the place it comes from. But sometimes the only way to truly understand certain wines is to visit their country of origin, specifically the region where the grapes are grown and some of the wineries there. Albariño is just such a wine.



The Comeback Trail
Robert Whitley
Jan 1, 2008

You probably don't stay awake at night worrying about the legion of grape growers tending hundreds of thousands of acres of Chardonnay vines in a world suddenly infatuated by leaner, crisper white wines. Neither do I. I do wonder, though, how long it will take to repair the damage done to the world's most important white wine grape by two decades of winemaking excess.



Sparkling Suggestions for the Holidays
Ed McCarthy
Nov 27, 2007

Is it just me, or do we all need Champagne more than ever this year? At any rate, what would the convivial holidays and family get-togethers be without some bubbly? If you'll be ordering or buying Champagne or sparkling wine for the holidays, I'll attempt to make your task easier. I've grouped my bubbly wine suggestions into three categories: inexpensive but decent sparkling wines for big parties; good-value, non-vintage Brut Champagnes and other moderately-priced sparkling wines for smaller groups and family gatherings, and Top Champagnes and sparkling wines for special occasions.



High-Alcohol Wines: Boon or Bane?
Gerald D. Boyd
Nov 6, 2007

In wine circles today, a topic generating a lot of buzz is high alcohol wines. Over the past few years, the amount of alcohol in a finished wine, especially reds, has crept up from a respectable 12.5% to more than 15%. The reasons for this alcohol escalation are many and varied, depending on who is being asked.



Bordeaux 2006: Variable, with Superb Peaks
Michael Apstein
Jun 5, 2007

Variable is the best way to describe the 2006 vintage in Bordeaux--except for the dry whites, which are consistently excellent. That's my assessment after tasting about 250 wines--all barrel samples--in Bordeaux last month. Although general variability suggests caution as a rule, some properties, such as Château Mouton and Château Lafite Rothschild, made fabulous wines, and some châteaux actually made better wine in 2006 than 2005.

2006 Red Bordeaux Reviews
Michael Apstein
Jun 5, 2007



Under-Appreciated Napa Cabernets
Linda Murphy
Apr 3, 2007

When it comes to Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, those priced under $50 can fall into no-man's land--they're not expensive enough to attract attention from 'serious' buyers and collectors, yet are too expensive for bargain hunters. Yet many under-$50 Napa Cabs taste as good, and in some cases better, than their more expensive counterparts.



Who's to Blame for Surge In High Alcohol Wines?
Gerald D. Boyd
Mar 2, 2007

In recent years, the very presence of alcohol in table wines has skyrocketed into the stratosphere, going from an acceptable 12%-13% to 14%-15% and over. Back in those good old days, there was the odd high-alcohol wine, like Italy's Amarone or California's Late Harvest Zinfandel, but even knowing their over-sized character, wine drinkers puzzled over what to do with these vinous hot shots.



Maxims, Mottos and Memories: An Interview with John Mariani
Marguerite Thomas
Jan 30, 2007

John F. Mariani, Jr. is proprietor of the family owned Banfi Vintners of Old Brookville, NY, and its Italian subsidiary, Castello Banfi of Montalcino, Italy. Banfi Vintners, wholly American-owned and founded in New York in 1919, today ranks among the world's most prestigious wine houses. Castello Banfi has garnered numerous medals and awards, including an unprecedented four-time presentation of VinItaly's Gran Premio Cup, Italy's highest honor.



WRO Wines and Wine Producers of the Year, 2006
Michael Franz
Dec 26, 2006

I recently asked all of our regular contributors to send me their selections for the wines and producers they most admire based on their experiences during 2006. You'll see that the wines selected are delightfully varied, which reflects the eclectic tastes of our writers. We don't push a particular stylistic preference or "party line" at WRO, and you'll see that this approach bears very interesting fruit.



Holiday Champagne & Sparkling Guide for Dummies
Ed McCarthy
Nov 24, 2006

Producers of Champagne and other sparkling wines love the month of December! And why not? Some of them sell as much as half of their annual production in this one month. Family get-togethers during the Holidays, office parties, annual bonuses and New Year's Eve all combine to push annual sales solidly into the black. The Champagne region in particular has been experiencing a boom in sales during the last several years.



Two Bottles for the Bird
Michael Franz
Nov 13, 2006

With Thanksgiving dinner bearing down on us once again, we confront the annual challenge of selecting wines that will harmonize with the highly varied flavors involved in this complex meal. I hope that you are as eager as I was to learn what some our Wine Review Online regulars would select as their 'play it safe' and 'go for broke' wine choices for what may be the year's most difficult dinner.



Catalonia: Leading the Renaissance in Spain
Michael Apstein
Sep 26, 2006

Spain, a country with a long history of wine production, is seeing an unparalleled renaissance in its wines. In the past few years, Spain has leaped to primacy among wine producing countries in putting exciting new wines on the market. Although many regions are making important contributions, Catalonia's recent performance has been particularly impressive.



A Chianti Benchmark Through Its Golden Years
Ed McCarthy
Jul 14, 2006

For Chianti, particularly Chianti Classico - clearly the finest district in the Chianti region - Ruffino's Riserva Ducale, especially its Gold Label, has been the paragon for Chianti for at least 50 years. It is arguably the best-known Chianti in the wine world, and has been consistently high in quality for many decades.

The Incredible Importance of the Wine Glass
Ed McCarthy
May 30, 2006

It is astonishing to me that someone can spend thousands of dollars on fine wines and then skimp on his or her wine glasses. I suspect that the explanation for this is that many wine drinkers simply don't realize how important wine glasses are in conveying the taste and complete flavor profile of the wine to our palates.



Special Report: Bordeaux 2005, A Vintage to Cellar
Michael Apstein
May 2, 2006

The 2005 vintage offers consumers a unique opportunity to cellar Bordeaux and reward themselves five to ten years later, after the wines have unfolded and developed as only Bordeaux does. These wines will take time to develop, to allow the tannins to mellow and the ripe fruit character to transform like magic into almost indescribable flavors.

Special Report: Bordeaux 2005 Tasting Notes
Michael Apstein
May 2, 2006



Benvenuto Brunello
Gerald D. Boyd
Feb 26, 2006

Opinions on wine are like noses: everyone has one. There are dedicated fans who prefer Piedmontese reds fashioned from Nebbiolo, while other Italian wine lovers claim the best rosso is made from Tuscan Sangiovese. Even among Tuscan red wine drinkers, partisans debate the relative merits of Chianti, Vino Nobile, Carmignano and Brunello di Montalcino.



Five Stars in Piedmont
Ed McCarthy
Feb 21, 2006

Torino, Piedmont's capital, has been receiving the world's attention lately, as host of the Winter Olympics. Just an hour south of Turin (the city's English name) lies one of the great, unique wine regions of the world, the Langhe hills, home of the Nebbiolo grape and its two most prestigious wines, Barolo and Barbaresco. Nowhere else in the world does Nebbiolo make such fine wines as here.



Venerable Liqueurs
Gerald D. Boyd
Jan 24, 2006

Venerable liqueurs, such as Chartreuse and Benedictine, have existed for centuries, their recipes kept by their makers under lock from one generation to the next. Classically rendered and full of finesse, these time-tested drinks bear little resemblance to today's breed of razzle-dazzle liqueurs, which boast a wild mix of brash colors, cloyingly sweet flavors, exotic names and outrageous bottle shapes.



WRO Staff Pops the Cork On Champagne Memories
Robert Whitley
Dec 20, 2005

When we asked our regular columnists here at Wine Review Online to share their thoughts and experiences with Champagne and/or sparkling wine as we neared the celebration of a New Year, I wasn't sure what to expect.

Beaujolais Rises to the Occasion
Robert Whitley
Nov 22, 2005

Whether you are serious about wine or merely indulge occasionally, somewhere along the way you've probably heard that Beaujolais is the perfect match with roasted turkey on Thanksgiving. It has become one of most enduring wine clichés.

Alsatian Wines: Personality Driven
Robert Whitley
Oct 25, 2005

It is hardly unusual here in the center of Alsace to encounter a vigneron whose family set up shop in the wine business in the 16th or 17th century. Stability and continuity are prized in this stunningly beautiful region that over the centuries has taken turns between pledging allegiance to both Germany and France.



Greek Wines on Stage
Ed McCarthy
Sep 27, 2005

Why are the wines of Greece suddenly getting attention in the U.S.? Perhaps it's because more and more American tourists are discovering them while vacationing in Greece. Also, the sprouting of quite a few fine Greek restaurants in our country has helped to promote them. But I would like to believe that the main reason is that Greek wines have vastly improved during the last decade.