27 12, 2017

Champagne for the New Year

By | 2017-12-28T14:39:07+00:00 December 27th, 2017|wine|0 Comments

We wish you and your family a glorious New Year. This blog is dedicated to Champagne not sparkling wine. If you wish a good bottle of sparkling wine buy Roederer Estate Brut Anderson Valley (under $25) . This sparkling wine was # 25 on WineSpectators top 100. Should be plenty to go around with 80,000 cases. Back to Champagne. Champagne comes in a number of categories. Sugar Content (Dosage) Extra Brut – no sugar Brut champagne up to 15 grams of sugar Extra dry contains 12 – 20 grams, Dry contains 17 – 35 grams of sugar making a slightly sweet Champagne. Grape Variety Blanc de blancs are made from entirely Chardonnay Blanc de noirs is made entirely from Pinot Noir. This will be [...]

8 12, 2017

Wine for Holiday

By | 2017-12-08T14:58:47+00:00 December 8th, 2017|wine|0 Comments

What to buy for the holidays: The holiday season is upon us. This blog will focus on wines for the holidays, and in three sections. Wines for a crowd, wine to bring as a guest, and cellar worthy wines for that special someone. As I was thinking about writing this blog WineSpectators top 100 arrived, and we were out shopping at Costco. Both provided critical information to share. Wine for the Crowd So you have a crowd coming and need some good stuff cheap. You will find a range of options. Costco was featuring in our location three wines by the case @ around $5.50 per bottle. None of these wines will be winners of any contest but at under $6 and most likely rated in low to mid 80s it is [...]

27 09, 2017


By | 2017-09-27T18:06:00+00:00 September 27th, 2017|wine|0 Comments

Wines of TuscanyGrowing conditions is the big differentiator for Tuscan vintages. As life would have it the weather in 2014 was not conducive to growing good grapes. On the other hand 2015 and 2016 had wonderful growing conditions. Growing conditions “Cold and wet, the 2014 growing season presented many challenges, including pressure from fungal diseases, lack of sunshine and warmth, and abundant rainfall. However, from the end of August through September, the weather was perfect, an advantage for Tuscany's workhorse grape, the late-ripening Sangiovese.” While not all the vineyards under-performed it is just a vintage to avoid. The 2015 vintage is another story and the wines are just starting to appear on store shelves. The growing conditions in 2015 revolved around a hot summer with ample rain followed by a lovely [...]

3 09, 2017

2014 French Whites

By | 2017-09-03T13:01:24+00:00 September 3rd, 2017|wine|0 Comments

With the remains of Harvey pulling away from the coast, I thought writing my wine blog would be a great diversion from the weather.   Finding Good Wine Cheap. Our diets have turned lighter which has turned our attention to whites and light reds.  We are lucky that a small wine retailer in Wellfleet center has an eye for obtaining an array of good wines under $12.  For the most part my focus is on white wines from Spain, Portugal, France and Italy.  Not a fan of Pinot Grigio.  The whites in general pair really well with vegetables, fish and chicken.  Chardonnay is a challenge as we have moved away from oaky chardonnay in our household, and as such focus on chardonnay that is unoaked.  No of these whites will be confused with a Montrachet but they [...]

19 07, 2017

Value wines from Washington State – 2015

By | 2017-07-19T11:17:40+00:00 July 19th, 2017|wine|0 Comments

When I think of value wines Washington State is always on the top of my list.  The 2015 vintage does not disappoint.  Washington State is attracting young winemakers that are building new vineyards with new grape varieties to take advantage of the terroir. The 2015 vintage saw another year of hot dry weather requiring good canopy management.  In the end, however, though the crop was larger, the grapes were generally small, which created the potential for intense, tannic wines.  The tannins will require these wines to sit a bit to hopefully mellow out.  The tannins will stop the wines from scoring in the low 90s upon release but if those tannins mellow out the beautiful fruit will come forth. The wines will be deep, rich with ample structure.  Tannins will be in issue and the better [...]

25 05, 2017

Spanish Wines

By | 2017-05-25T15:16:31+00:00 May 25th, 2017|wine|0 Comments

In this blog we are going to discuss a few subjects; 2015 / 16 French futures Improving health with wine Spanish wines to buy French Futures Both the 2015 and 2016 vintages are excellent wines.  The 2015 vintage was a classic great vintage and well worth the time to obtain some great French wines to lay down for a few years.  The 2016 futures will come along in the next year.  The growing season was very unusual with lots of rain in the spring, drought in the summer, and just enough rain in the fall to create a great vintage.  The 2016 vintage was different from 2015 and will evolve and taste differently.  The 2016 vintage is definitely worth investing in a few cases to lie down. As a general rule the most expensive of [...]

20 04, 2017

Chilean Wines

By | 2017-04-20T11:44:28+00:00 April 20th, 2017|wine|0 Comments

Normally weather conditions in Chile are perfect for growing grapes, but in 2014 and 2015 like many parts of the west coast Chile had its challenges.  But with careful attention to processing the grapes the vintners continued to bring strong value wines to the market.  The best wines may be coming from the central valley (Maipo and Colchagua Valley)  which saw a very hot dry summer with torrential rain before the 2015 harvest leaving the wines with very well-balanced alcohol and acidity Chile has long been known for Cabernet but you will see increased selections of Pinot Noir and Syrah.  The cool waters of the Pacific create good growing conditions for more delicate grapes used to make Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir from Chile generally is not in enough abundance to make this newsletter that focuses [...]

17 03, 2017


By | 2017-03-17T10:16:28+00:00 March 17th, 2017|wine|0 Comments

Are you having trouble finding a good California Chardonnay at a reasonable price on your retailers’ shelves?  Join the crowd. We turned to Chardonnay from Washington State but those appear to be in dwindling numbers as well.  The drought in California had a negative impact on the 2014 and 2015 harvest.  Both were very small down 50 to 90% per WineSpectator in some locations. The 2016s are not on the shelves but coming soon.  The rains in 2016 improved the harvest both in terms of volume and quality.  These wines will start to show up in a few months. “The 2016 California winegrape harvest was early, with a mostly normal yield of exceptional quality fruit throughout the state. A relatively even growing season followed welcome winter rains that helped to alleviate the drought. “It’s been a [...]

26 01, 2017

Best of 2016

By | 2017-03-06T12:04:49+00:00 January 26th, 2017|wine|0 Comments

WineSpectator reviewed thousands of wines in 2016.  Their list of the top 100 is always fun but usually the wines are hard if not impossible to find.  In this blog we will look at the best of 2016.  What is meant by best is not the best wine at all costs and not wines that are hard to find. This list consists of really good wine at under $20 that are easy to locate and enjoy.  Many of these wines are what we are consuming in the Lucarelli household.  Good stuff cheap as they say.  You will find some of these wines at Costco or Total Wine. The country / location of origin is an important element to remember for wines in this price range as it usually indicates a strong growing season [...]

8 11, 2016

2013 Cabernet

By | 2017-03-06T12:04:49+00:00 November 8th, 2016|wine|0 Comments

2013 California Cabernet vintage followed the outstanding 2012 vintage with yet another strong performance.  WineSpectator rated wines from Napa 96 points and 91 points from Sonoma.  Robert Parker gave the 2013 vintage a 98 rating – rarefied air for sure. The 2014 vintage did not come out as well and was rated 91 points by  Robert Parker.  You will find both vintages on the shelves as I write this blog.  I would lean toward the 2013 vintage other things being equal. Cabs for the cellar Lewis Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Rated 95 points @$90 Remarkably elegant and refined for a wine of this size and depth, with tiers of plum, blackberry and currant flavors, as well as subtle touches of black licorice that remain pure and graceful on the long, lingering aftertaste. Drink now through 2028. [...]

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