Rhône Wines

Hermitage – the finest manifestation of Syrah and Marsanne

Standing guard with a fabulous view looking south over the Rhône Valley is the magnificent hill of Hermitage, crowned by the famous chapel of St Christopher.

Geologically, the hill was part of the right bank Massif Central until the Rhône River burrowed its way to the west, ensuring Hermitage as the only granitic terroir...
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Southern France Vineyards Struck by Severe Frost

Temperatures as low as -7֯ C  (19.4֯ F) were recorded in the Var in the early morning hours of March 25 and 26. Snow flurries were seen but it was the frost that caused damage to vineyards throughout the Var and apparently in parts of the Vaucluse, Bouches-du-Rhône, and Gard...
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Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Big Boy

I recently had a comment regarding the high alcohol percentage (14.5%) of a white wine, and how the reader felt that more and more wines were being produced with increased alcohol content. My response was that, for me, it was all about balance. That particular wine was beautifully balanced and I never once was aware of...
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Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Spice is Nice

When faced with a recipe that is very spice-forward, I am sometimes at a loss for the wine selection. Spice, in this case, is all spice and no heat. The hottest spice within the recipe is the dried mustard powder. Ancho chile (sweet, not hot), cumin, coriander, and mustard are the other ingredients in...
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Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Clubbing

I’m not one to join country clubs. And I definitely don’t frequent night clubs. However, when wine is concerned, joining clubs has its benefits, especially when one (me, for example) lives in a bit of a wine desert.

Yes, Arizona has all the national...
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Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Birthday Wines Never Go Bad

As you may recall from my reviews over time, I have become a big fan of Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc. It is one of those wines that says “special occasion” to me. Thus, I decided to treat myself for my birthday and get a bottle.

The only problem is that my birthday—more than one month ago—got busy, and this specially-purchased bottle of Château La Nerthe Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc rested untouched in my wine rack. How on earth did I forgot that?...
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