Archive for March, 2009

Mar 31 2009

American Blend: Global Heritage Evident in Domestic Wines

Yesterday, Expedition Wines & Spirits hosted a homegrown American wines tasting at Crofton on Wells, and Don and I attended in search of new Pinot Noirs to bring into the store. I was impressed to see the variation in acidity, tartness, and finish from California Pinot to Oregonian Pinot. The redder fruit in the cooler […]

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Mar 27 2009

Just Grapes Customers Cheer Graziano Zin on for the Win

Published by under Uncategorized

In our first official March Madness Taste-off, Grenache battled Shiraz, Malbec battled Malbec, Montepulciano battled Corbierres, and Petite Sirah battled Zinfandel in an “Elite Eight” showdown. Nineteen Just Grapes customers attended the class, which was open to the public, and when the Big Dance was done with, the 2005 Graziano Zinfandel from Mendocino, California stood alone, defeating […]

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Mar 23 2009

Wine at Weddings: Some Guzzle, Some Savor

By Brett Ashley McKenzie Too often at weddings the table wine is guzzled like tap water, and brides and grooms can only look on in horror as guests young and old Cha Cha Slide with perilously poor balance. In many cases, wines provided by reception halls are less than top notch, therefore offering little to savor and becoming nothing more […]

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Mar 18 2009

Sharpen Your Pencils (and Palates) for MARCH MADNESS at Just Grapes!

By Brett Ashley McKenzie Print out your Just Grapes bracket, grab your pencils, your stemware and favorite wines from Just Grapes, and prepare for our first-ever full-size Just Grapes March Madness Bracket Challenge! We’ve taken 64 of our favorites and pitted them against one another in four regional showdowns: North America, South America, Europe, and […]

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Mar 16 2009

Don’t Pass Over Paso Robles

by Brett Ashley McKenzie At the Paso Robles Grand Tasting on Tuesday, March 10, I stood at the Adelaida Cellars table with a glass of 2006 HMR Estate Pinot Noir in one hand and a giant, chalky rock in the other. The rock covered my hand in a fine white dust, which remained on my […]

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Mar 12 2009

Wines to Drink on Saint Patrick’s Day

Published by under Savvy Sip Tips,Wine Reviews

Full disclosure: I am not a beer person. I’m not a whiskey person either. So every Saint Patrick’s Day, when Chicago decks itself top to bottom in green, I bite my tongue and raise my lone wine glass amidst a sea of Guinness pints and whiskey shooters. I imagine this is how non-margarita people feel on Cinco de Mayo, how non-Egg Nog people feel on Christmas, and how non-Champagne people feel on New Year’s. So what’s a wine lover to drink with their corned beef and cabbage?

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Mar 11 2009

BYO FAQs to BYOB Basics at Just Grapes

by Brett Ashley McKenzie We’ve all had nights where we’ve planned a get-together with friends at our favorite Chicago Thai, Indian, Vietnamese or sushi spots. You show up, greet your friends at the door and head to your table, prepared to order a few bottles of wine to share… only to learn from your server […]

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Mar 09 2009

Don’t Be A Crab: Red Wine & Shellfish

By Brett Ashley McKenzie I’ve been in Las Vegas for the weekend for a friend’s wedding, and for the entire week leading up to the trip, I tried to decide where to splurge for our one fantastic dinner. Every trip we take, be it to New Jersey where I grew up or Barbados, my fiance […]

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Mar 04 2009

Surprising Spanish Wines in Ole’s 2009 Portfolio

On Monday, I attended the Olé Imports Portfolio Tasting at Cream Wine Company, where more than 50 Spanish reds, whites, and rosés from a dozen regions were poured. Region by region, here are the highlights. Cataluna: The Cataluna (also known as Catalonia) region of Spain is home to D.O. Cava, where 95 percent of Spain’s […]

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Mar 02 2009

Merlot Even Miles Wouldn’t Malign

By Brett Ashley McKenzie Jack: If they want to drink Merlot, we’re drinking Merlot. Miles: No, if anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving. Ah, Miles. The visceral hatred of Merlot espoused by the neurotic protagonist in “Sideways” effectively poisoned the public against the medium-bodied red wine, without the film giving a concrete explanation as to why. […]

23 responses so far