The Tremendous Wines of John Duval

Hanging with John Duval in Adelaide

Hanging with John Duval in Adelaide

I’ve known Australian winemaker John Duval (formerly the maker of Penfolds Grange, now producing Barossa Valley wines under his own name at www.johnduvalwines.com) for a long time.  I think our first meeting was actually in Denver in 2007, but my best memory is of having curry with John in Adelaide, Australia, in 2008, and of looking out onto the street and seeing a rock band riding around in the back of a truck while playing lusty tunes.  “Welcome down under, mate,” was John’s comment at the time. Continue reading

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Varietally Correct – New World Pinot Noir

Burgundy is grand but New World pinot noir can also be awesome!

Burgundy is grand but New World pinot noir can also be awesome!

Varietal bottlings are wines made primarily from a single grape variety that typically display the name of that variety on the label.  More such wines are being created all the time as producers realize that specificity can lead to higher margins.  The consumer may pay more but can also receive higher quality in return.  This week’s column is about varietal pinot noir wines from the New World that are well-priced for the pleasure they deliver.

 

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What It Takes to be a Wine Sherpa

Wine On The Road

Wine On The Road

As I grow Wine On The Road (www.wineontheroad.com), my wine-focused, behind-the-scenes touring company, I am often asked by other wine lovers whether they can tag along in my suitcase or perhaps hold my glass while I write tasting notes in wine country.  All joking aside, I do think it makes sense to let you know what it would take to be one of my Wine Sherpas.  The rest is up to you, and if you’re still interested after you hear the gory details then email me at benweinberg@wineontheroad.com or call me at 303-522-6738. Continue reading

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Fun with Bubbles and Wine On The Road

Riddling Racks at Rene Geoffroy in Champagne

Riddling Racks at Rene Geoffroy in Champagne

As I’ve mentioned in previous columns on Crazy-Ass Reds and Crazy-Ass Whites, there are many great wines that don’t have gold-plated pedigrees.  Some may be made from unfamiliar varieties in well-known regions.  Others are produced from familiar grapes in unfamiliar locales.  Due to the resulting uncertainty among the wine buying public, the consumer can often pay less per bottle for these offerings than when purchasing more standard fare, yet also receive extremely high quality in return. Continue reading

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Crazy-Ass Whites with Wine On The Road

Time for Crazy-Ass Whites!

Time for Crazy-Ass Whites!

As mentioned in the previous column on Crazy-Ass Reds, There are many great wines that don’t have gold-plated pedigrees.  Some may be made from unfamiliar varieties in well-known regions.  Others are produced from familiar grapes in unfamiliar locales.  One commonality is that, because of uncertainty among the wine buying public, the consumer can often pay less per bottle than when purchasing more standard offerings yet receive extremely high quality in return. Continue reading

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Crazy-Ass Reds with Wine On The Road

Time for some Crazy-Ass Reds!

Time for some Crazy-Ass Reds!

There are many great wines that don’t have gold-plated pedigrees.  Some may be made from unfamiliar varieties in well-known regions.  Others are produced from familiar grapes in unfamiliar locales.  One commonality they often have is that, because of uncertainty among the wine buying public, the consumer can pay less per bottle as compared to more standard offerings yet receive higher quality in return.

 

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Wine On The Road in Campania, Italy, Including Naples and Pompeii

Campania has some of the best food in Italy

Campania has some of the best food in Italy

My love for the wine lifestyle in general and Italy specifically is why I’m so pleased to tell you that Wine On The Road will be touring the renowned wine region of Campania, including the bustle of Naples and the hallowed ground of Pompeii, in luxury and style, from September 14 – 21, 2014.  It’s also why this column is structured as a travelogue that closely follows the tour’s preliminary itinerary (check out www.wineontheroad.com/campaniaunfiltered.php for more pictures, videos, additional information, and a booking form). Continue reading

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Wine On The Road in Umbria, Italy

Enologica34 street decal in the town of Montefalco

Enologica34 street decal in the town of Montefalco

As part of my extensive travels late last year, and with the help of Diana Cataldo and Massimo Iannaccone of Miriade & Partners, SRL (www.miriadeweb.it), I attended Enologica34 (www.enologicamontefalco.it), the most important event dedicated to sagrantino, held in Montefalco, the wine capital of the Italian province of Umbria.  This is the story of that trip. Continue reading

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Wine On The Road in Champagne and Burgundy, France

Wine On The Road does Champagne and Burgundy, France!

Wine On The Road does Champagne and Burgundy, France!

In 2011, I had the extraordinary opportunity to visit Champagne twice in the same year, and in 2010 and 2009 I was able to spend significant time in the hallowed wine region of Burgundy, France.  While very different places, Champagne and Burgundy also have significant similarities in that they focus on the same grapes (primarily chardonnay and pinot noir), have longstanding culinary and hospitality traditions, and also feature both large and small producers of extraordinary quality (although the big boys are much bigger in Champagne). Continue reading

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Wine On The Road in Piedmont, Italy Part II

Beautiful scenery

Beautiful Piemontese scenery

Last November, in my capacity as Chief Wine Sherpa for Wine On The Road, I led a small group of adventurous travelers to Piedmont, Italy, during the annual truffle festival.  We focused on visiting wineries with which I had special relationships, and as a result we were able to access some behind-the-scenes experiences not available to the general public (for more information on WOTR tours, including upcoming visits to Champagne and Burgundy in France and Piedmont and Campania in Italy, call me at 303-522-6738, email benweinberg@wineontheroad.com, or go to www.wineontheroad.com).

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