25 05, 2017

Spanish Wines

By | 2017-05-25T15:16:31-04:00 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 | 2017-04-20T11:44:28-04:00 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 | 2017-03-17T10:16:28-04:00 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 | 2017-03-06T12:04:49-04:00 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 | 2017-03-06T12:04:49-04:00 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. [...]

21 10, 2016

New Zealand 2015 vintage

By | 2017-03-06T12:04:49-04:00 October 21st, 2016|wine|0 Comments

Wines from down under are on a hot streak in the US.  I for one tend to order a crisp New Zealand Sauvignon blanc from New Zealand when out with friends before dinner.  You will also find a growing number of Pinot Noirs from New Zealand.  The production of Sauvignon Blanc is ten times that of Pinot but that is slowly changing.  Good news for those of us that like Pinot.  The Sauvignon Blanc’s most often associated with New Zealand will have intense acidity and citrus notes with tropical fruit overtones.  These are generally the wines produced by large corporate producers.  You will find the single vineyard usually at a higher price point that will be more complex, softer and a longer finish.  In general Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is not meant for the cellar and [...]

23 05, 2016

Update – Chilean wines

By | 2017-03-06T12:04:49-04:00 May 23rd, 2016|wine|0 Comments

  Chilean Update Over the years we have enjoyed some lovely Cabernets from Chile primarily in the under $20 range.  For cellaring purposes they offer some interesting options but I tend to look for good years that will improve with age with a focus of under $20. Chile continues to make capital expenditures in the vineyards and the cellar.  These investments are starting to pay dividends.   Chile’s growing conditions are similar to those of the Mediterranean of cool wet winters with summers on the dry side. That said they have different a climate structure for rain and temperature. Harvest time is party time A leading expert on the terroir in Chile is Dr. Parra who holds numerous degrees in soil studies. Mr. Parra states that Chile’s diverse terroirs alien nicely with the finest wine growing [...]

1 04, 2016

Wine Update

By | 2017-03-06T12:04:49-04:00 April 1st, 2016|wine|0 Comments

Spring is finally here and the snow and cold stayed north of the border for much of the winter. This blog will take a look at: What minerality means.  Can we really taste minerals from the soil in our wine or is it a myth. Parmigianto-Reggiano - yes cheese - a short discussion on how to buy a really good Parmigiano. The real deal. Alternatives to expensive French Wines Minerality What does minerality mean in wine. When I am cooking certain foods they work best with a wine showing minerality.  When I think of minerality I think in terms of certain European white wines vs our California chardonnays.  When I sip the wine it makes me think of what a mineral might taste like and really enhances shell fish.  This was discussed [...]

23 02, 2016

World of wine

By | 2017-03-06T12:04:49-04:00 February 23rd, 2016|wine|0 Comments

Winter is usually a quite time in the world of wine. The fall harvest is in sitting quietly in barrels maturing. In this blog we will take a look at WineSpectator's top 100, the business of wine as it impacts our buying power, and some good stuff cheap. The Business Side of Wine Consumers spending habits have changed slightly in the last few years with a slight decline in purchases of wine under $10 and a new sweet spot of $10 to $25.  In my view some of this is driven by distributor pricing rather than folks looking to spend more.  The $ value proposition has changed and it is more difficult to find really good value from large productions.  Some of this is driven by weather and some by price of vineyards.  [...]

18 11, 2015

Wine / Beer for Thanksgiving

By | 2017-11-21T14:55:07-04:00 November 18th, 2015|wine|0 Comments

Thanksgiving is upon us. The extended family is coming for dinner so you start to think what fluids can be served to the masses without breaking the bank. As will be explored in a little more detail Thanksgiving dinner is not a time to serve expensive aged wines. Too much sugar and flavors mingle around the table so keep it young and fruity. We will take a look at some wine and beer varieties to provide some structure for your shopping pleasure. Pairing wines and beers with the Thanksgiving meal goes beyond what goes best with turkey. The Thanksgiving table is bursting with flavors: sugary sweet potatoes, garlic fennel mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing that ranges from just bread to apple sausage corn bread stuffing, rich gravy, and Aunt Susan’s special whatever. All these [...]

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