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Wines of Spain I: Northern Spain

Spanish wine regions

From the mountainous Pyrenees border with France to the Straits of Gibraltar, the gateway to the Mediterranean, Spain is a country, literally, of ups and downs. It is the second most mountainous country in Europe, after Switzerland. From a grape growing and winemaking point of view, this up and down nature means there are lots of microclimates. The weather varies depending on altitude and proximity to the ocean, and the soil varies depending on which particular geological wrinkle a specific plot occupies.
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American Cheeses for July

America is a country of immigrants. Our forefathers and mothers brought their food traditions with them. This month we celebrate American cheesmaking with American versions of cheeses from England, France and Italy.

New Wines from the Austral Zones

mendoza vineyards with andes.jpg

As I’ve mentioned before, I get the opportunity to try a lot of different wines and evaluate them for inclusion in our Wine & Words list. Sometimes they fit into some theme that draws them together. This time the only things these new wines have in common is that they are distributed by Winesellers, Ltd. (a rep from Baltimore showed us the wines) and they’re from the Southern Hemisphere, where wine grapes are harvested in March and April.
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Wines for Seafood

monte antico spirit of tuscany

The gifts of the sea are just now starting to come in down here in coastal Carolina, so I figured we'd offer a selection of wines that will pair very well with anything that swims, whether finned or shelled.
 
Cabriz Colheita Seleccionada 2009 (Dão, Portugal) Everyday low price $10.95
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Two Chards, Two Zins

white glass red glass

I'm always getting into trouble for being too straightforwardly outspoken. I did it again the other night at Back Bay Cafe. The lady said she wanted "a glass of Chardonnay," a vague descriptor that usually says "I like a not-too-dry white wine...but Chardonnay is the only one I know." So I asked her what kind of Chardonnay she usually drinks. She replied, "Well, I usually drink Kendall-Jackson." That's when I put my foot in it.
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Four for Four

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Often it's hit or miss when one of our wine distributors brings us wine to taste. The wines they bring could be end of stock items they want to unload (which I'm never interested in, unless they're offering a really good price). Or the wines they bring are what they happened to have with them on their way to another tasting or wine dinner. Distributor reps usually bring 6 or 8 wines. Sometimes I'll like 1 or 2; sometimes they just don't fit in any of our open slots for country of origin, style or price point. Often I politely decline all that's offered.
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Let the Summertime Good Times Roll

summertime wine.jpg

This week we're introducing a couple of primo wines for summer, as well as bringing back the Sangria Classico that quenched our thirsts so well last summer. And...we're cutting you in on an extraordinary deal in summer Chardonnay.
 
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