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    Wine 101

    April 20, 2018 | By Lauren Mowery for Coravin

    Born of Fire and Violence: Volcanic Wines

    Vineyards and volcanoes may sound like an unusual pairing, but in truth, it’s one that has long been established. For hundreds of years, from Italy, Spain, to Greece, grape vines have flourished in the mineral-rich particles of battered volcanic rocks. How is it that wine grapes not only thrive in this soil but produce wines of distinct character? 

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    Wine 101

    April 6, 2018 | By Lauren Mowery for Coravin

    Five Tips to Improve Your Wine Game

    Looking to improve your wine game? From chilling, to decanting, to navigating a restaurant wine list, here are five tips that save time, money, or simply elevate your wine drinking experience. 

     

    1. Chill Your Whites Rapidly. You’ve got guests coming who will be eager for an aperitif, but your white wines are still in the grocery bag. The solution is not the freezer or ice cubes in your glass, but a salt water bath. If you’ve got an ice bucket, fill it with water and a few tablespoons of salt. Add ice cubes. Then, the wines. If you don’t have a bucket, plug your kitchen sink. The ice creates a freezing cold bath, and liquid draws heat from the wine better than solid cubes. The salt lowers the freezing point of the ice water, allowing it to become even colder, resulting in faster chilling. Finally, gently spin the bottle in the water every few minutes which helps expose all sides of the glass to the cooling bath. The result: wine chilled in 10-15 minutes instead of an hour. 

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    Wine 101

    Garnacha. Grenache. Cannonau. Regardless of the synonym, the evidence is clear: Grenache is one of the most widely planted grapes in the world and yet its popularity is only now soaring. 

    Why now? A few reasons. The great international varieties like Cabernet, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir have all enjoyed long turns in the spotlight at a time when consumers, more than ever, are open to new flavors and grapes. Across the world, a young generation of winemakers have risen to treat the grape more like Pinot Noir than Shiraz, resulting in fresher, transparent styles with finesse. And finally, Grenache’s early spread around the world has left valuable pockets of old vines, from Spain to Australia, which are finally being recognized for their quality potential.

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    Wine 101

    March 16, 2018 | By Lauren Mowery for Coravin

    California Wineries Growing Italian Varieties

    Italian grapes are notoriously difficult to grow successfully in other countries. The issue isn’t that they won’t flower and ripen, per se, but that they taste nothing like their Italian counterparts, and usually not for the better. Until recently, I had written off California’s attempts, especially for grapes like Sangiovese and Nebbiolo, which seemed to thrive in slightly cooler climes back home. American versions were often clunky and overripe, lacking character and finesse. However, a recent spate of tastings has definitely changed my mind, proving site, microclimate, and deft handling of fruit make all the difference in the world. Here are five winemakers doing great work with Italian grapes. These wines just might inspire you to search the California aisle next time you’re shopping for Italy. 

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    Wine 101

    February 16, 2018 | By Lauren Mowery for Coravin

    Get to Know Albariño from Rias Baixas

    When viewed from space, earth shows distinct areas of blue, white, green, and brown. Zooming in offers a closer look at the emerald hues blanketing places like Northern Brazil and Ecuador, or southeast Asia. But while those regions may be known for their exotic vegetation and fragrant mangoes, it’s on the northern tip of Spain where one can find grapevines. Known as “green Spain,” the coastal appellation of Rias Baixas produces one of the planet’s loveliest, aromatic white wines called Albariño. 

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    Wine 101

    February 2, 2018 | By Lauren Mowery for Coravin

    Three Wines for Spring Sipping

    Spring is a time of renewal. What better way to embrace the spirit of the season than to open and share bottles worthy of rediscovery. Here are three regional wines that have flown too long under the radar or have been ignored but deserve to be incorporated into your spring sipping routine.

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    Wine 101

    December 8, 2017 | By Lauren Mowery for Coravin

    Three Lesser Known Reds Perfect for Deep Winter Drinking

    Three Underappreciated Big Reds for Deep Winter Drinking 

    While many white wines have year-round appeal, there’s no denying the sensual experience of drinking a body-warming red on a chilly January night, especially if you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace. While everyone knows the usual suspects – Bordeaux, Barolo, Rioja – the wine world is a vast space filled with hundreds of varieties that hit similar pleasure points. Here’s an overview of three big reds few consumers know about but should. 

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    Wine 101

    November 24, 2017 | By By Lauren Mowery for Coravin

    Three Wine Regions to Hit in 2018

    The close of a year inspires introspection. We assess our successes and failures of the months prior and prepare goals for the 12 to come. For the traveling oenophile, aspirations might include hitting a vaunted region that’s eluded, say Burgundy, or a far flung place that’s appeal is as much in the passport stamp as the wines.   To inspire your travels in 2018, here are three unsung destinations to consider.

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    Wine 101

    November 3, 2017 | By By Lauren Mowery for Coravin

    Ten Wines to Nudge Your Holiday from Special to Extraordinary

    Hosting a holiday feast at your house this year? Have oenophiles on your shopping list? There’s a wine – and price point – for everyone on this list of ten special bottles.  

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    Wine 101

    October 27, 2017 | By Lauren Mowery for Coravin

    Understanding Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

    If you’ve ever shopped for Oregon Pinot Noir, you’ve probably noticed most bottles on the shelf come from the Willamette Valley. Given 90 percent of the wine produced there is made from this thin-skinned red grape, it’s fair to say Pinot is to Willamette as tequila is to Jalisco.

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