Rhone Valley Overview

After Alsace, the Rhone Valley is probably my next favorite French wine region. The diversity in terrain, climate, and soils, makes for a whole host of grape varieties and wine styles. Much modern winemaking in my home state of California takes its literal and figurative roots from the Rhone, so the history, along with comparative tastings, are of particular interest to me.

Today, we start with an overview of the Rhone Valley. A lot will focus on signature grape varieties of both the Northern and Southern Rhone, as well as some key terms and facts that will help us moving forward. Because my text doesn’t go into the winemaking history of the region, I’m not going to cover that in detail during this series, though I may drop an interesting anecdote here and there if it is relevant to the material being discussed. If interested, The Oxford Companion to Wine (Fourth Edition), does have a good historical synopsis. And if you’re interested in the California-French Rhone connection, I highly recommend American Rhone: How Maverick Winemakers Changed the Way Americans Drink by Patrick J. Comiskey.

Drainage basin of Rhône River
Drainage basin of Rhône River

Alright, let’s get started.

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It’s the Biz: Bordeaux Wine Business

Alright, alright, alright…it is the exciting conclusion to our Bordeaux series, looking at the business side of things. If you haven’t read through the France Overview, Bordeaux Overview, the Left Bank, and Right Bank articles, please do-so, as there are a lot of key terms and facts that will help this section make a bit more sense. Also, check out the Bordeaux tastings, as it puts a lot of that knowledge into palate-perspective.

Berndt Fernow - Self-photographed Bottles of Bordeaux Wine in Shop, Bordeaux, France
Berndt Fernow – Self-photographed
Bottles of Bordeaux Wine in Shop, Bordeaux, France

On y va!

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This Week’s Latest Wine Headlines: November 8—November 13

It’s been another week filled with crazy current events, and I don’t blame you if you feel like you can’t focus on any one thing. That’s certainly how I feel most days. Don’t forget to take time to relax, breathe, and drink a glass of wine.

This week, the Somm-Scandal continues, as the organization attempts to restructure from the inside out. Meanwhile, the once closely associated GuildSomm is doing just the same, hiring a completely new board of directors in an effort to promote inclusion and diversity. But is it too late for the name—and maybe even the concept of—sommelier to be completely smeared in the eyes and ears of the wine industry and the consumer base? Curious what you all think…

Meanwhile, the ever increasing COVID cases throughout the US is significantly affecting the future of wineries, breweries, and bars and restaurants.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Wine Enthusiast has just this week released their full list of Wine Star Awards (of which I’m honored to say I was able to help write-up a few profiles); the Masters of Wine, in lieu of an in-person celebration, has created a video honoring the newest 23 individuals who’ve earned the coveted title—so now we can all join in the fun; and, this is totally random, but I found this breakfast-for-dinner recipe that I just had to share.

Down in the Blogs, we’ve got some independent insight as well as some great educational posts. So scroll through, have some fun, and don’t be shy to share your thoughts. Cheers and happy weekend-ing.

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Taste and Learn: Wines of Bordeaux

Here comes the fun part of the Bordeaux series—tasting! Putting all that knowledge from the previous four posts into palate-perspective. If you haven’t read through the France Overview, Bordeaux Overview, the Left Bank, and Right Bank articles, definitely do before diving in.

This photo has nothing to do with anything, I just really couldn't help myself...
This photo has nothing to do with anything, I just really couldn’t help myself…

Alright, ready for this amazingness? (Yes, yes you are…)

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Right Bank Bordeaux

Here we go into the Right Bank of Bordeaux and associated appellations. If you’ve not yet read either my France Overview or my Bordeaux Overview, please do so, as there are a lot of key terms and concepts covered there that will help make sense of this post. I’ve also already covered the Left Bank of Bordeaux here.

Included is also a look at the Entre-deux-Mers as well as the sweet wine appellations of BordeauxSauternesBarsac, and other, smaller sweet AOCs.

Right Bank Bordeaux, France; Fernando Beteta
Right Bank Bordeaux, France; Fernando Beteta

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