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Wine 101
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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
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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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Food and Wine Pairings
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Warmer nights call for lighter dishes. This whole roasted fish suits an April weeknight because it is easy to prepare and quick to cook. Stuffing it with fresh whole herbs from the farmer’s market gives the trout a sprightly taste of the season. When picking your fish, always look for glassy, not cloudy eyes. The skin should be wet, plump, and glistening, not dry or dehydrated. Try to buy from a proper fishmonger when possible over a grocery store for best quality. 

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Just for Fun
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March 2, 2018 | By Lauren Mowery for Coravin

Interview with Violet Grgich, President of Grgich Hills Estate

Considering she grew up under the watchful eye of one of Napa’s most famous winemakers, Violet Grgich’s passion for wine began at an early age. Her father, Vintners Hall of Fame inductee Miljenko “Mike” Grgich, encouraged her to spend the summers of her youth at the winery. She attended the University of California, Davis, earning a BA in Music while taking classes in biology, chemistry, and enology. After graduation, she returned home to Grgich Hills to continue her education in the wine business, learning about daily operations of the winery from her father. She received her Master of Music in Harpsichord at Indiana University, and then joined the winery fulltime in 1988. She’s now responsible for daily management of the winery, as well as sales and marketing.

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Just for Fun
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February 23, 2018 | By Lauren Mowery for Coravin

Q&A with Stacy Vogel, Head Winemaker at Miner Family Winery

How long have you been with Miner and what is it like working at a family-owned winery?

I started with Miner Family in 2008 as assistant winemaker and was named head winemaker in 2013. Working for a family-owned business is generally a more self-directed and less structured work environment. I love having the freedom to design and carry out experiments and the input to make changes in our wine offerings or styles.

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Wine 101
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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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Just for Fun
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February 12, 2018 | By Jessica Bourne

Compete in the Wine-Ter Games

Didn't spend a lifetime training? You can still compete in the Wine-Ter Games! Grab some friends and play

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Food and Wine Pairings
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As winter recedes unveiling the first shoots of spring, look for lighter dishes to suit the occasion. Since farmers markets won’t runneth over yet, stick with the first vegetables of the season: spring peas. These lovely little orbs should be prepared so their flavor can shine: simply. Lemon zest lends zippy flavor highlights, while leeks and button mushrooms provide a savory foundation to the sprightly white wine sauce. Roasted chicken thighs are always an easy-to-cook, juicy medium on which to paint. 

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Wine 101
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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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Coravin
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If you couldn't tell from Instagrams of your friend's friend's bae, or the general pink and red themes taking over every restaurant and Snapchat filter, Valentine's Day is fast approaching. While it's a lovely time for some to go out to dinner with their significant other, some of us can't do that — mainly because a half-eaten bag of Doritos apparently "doesn't justify a table for two." Instead of fighting with a hostess, try to celebrate this holiday solo with these essentials.

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