About Marianne Frantz

A Certified Wine Educator, Marianne holds a Diploma in Wine & Spirits from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) of London, and has also earned the Advanced Sommelier qualification from the Court of Master Sommeliers. After successfully participating in an educational competition sponsored by the Wines of Australia in the spring of 2008, Marianne became an educational Ambassador for Wine Australia USA. She is also a Certified Spanish Wine Educator.

Aussie Wine Month

In 2008, I was lucky enough to enter (and win) a wine competition organized by Wines Australia. The winners, there were 5 of us, were treated to an educational journey to Australia to explore the major wine regions from coast to coast. Since that time, I have returned to Aussie land just about every two years to sip their wines and learn more about their terrific wine culture. OK, I will admit it. I have a few favorite relatives living [...]

By |2019-10-02T12:14:39-04:00September 9th, 2019|Wine Blog|

Non-Alcoholic Wine

In recent times, I have found myself looking to lower the amount of alcohol I consume - for no other reason than I can feel myself getting older and believe the time to be concerned about longevity has arrived. In doing so, I work to increase the number of alcohol-free days each month by sipping non-alcoholic beers, wines, and spirits or enjoying low-alcoholic beverages. One might ask why drink at all? The answer is simple: On nights that choose not [...]

By |2020-01-27T15:16:45-05:00June 17th, 2019|Wine Blog|

Zoning in on Priorat

Several years ago, I attended a wine conference in Priorat, Spain designed to re-introduce wine professionals around the globe to the historic region. Four sun-drenched days and many sips later, I was hopelessly in love. Hands down one of the most stunning and heroic wine regions in the world, the rugged terrain of Priorat (and the resulting wines) captured my heart. At some point during the weekend, the folks at the helm of the DOQ queried the attendees on the [...]

By |2019-05-22T18:52:39-04:00May 22nd, 2019|Wine Blog|

Spanish Springtime Sippers

Rias Biaxas Fillaboa Winery While Spain's sun-drenched reds have garnered international attention decades, the country's native whites are on the rise with plenty of varieties on retail shelves just in time for spring to summer sipping. Grown in the cooler "green region" of Rias Baixas, Albarino (a native grape variety) lays claim to some of the country's best whites. Cooler temperatures tempered by ocean breezes allow Albarino producers to make refreshing whites with aromatic peach, lemon, kiwi and floral notes [...]

By |2019-06-18T13:34:47-04:00May 7th, 2019|Wine Blog|

For Sake’s Sake

This week kicks off Sake Week in London: A fact I find very interesting - mainly because I adore introducing friends to Sake. This past New Year's Eve, my husband and I hosted a dinner for 8 of our friends. We dubbed the event "Dinner of the Decades" to welcome in the last year of the current decade. The evening began in the living room with fire-side appetizers made famous in the 1950's such as deviled eggs and a relish tray [...]

By |2019-02-27T13:52:19-05:00February 27th, 2019|Wine Blog|

Pairing Buttery Chardonnay

We have all seen terms like buttery, creamy, smooth on the back label of our favorite Chardonnay, but what does that mean in terms of pairing? For me, corn on the cob, lobster, and crab legs come to mind. The buttery texture of some Chardonnays just naturally stand up to foods that we often serve with butter. You might wonder why some Chardonnays have this creamy, buttery texture and flavor and others do not. In a word, malolactic fermentation. Ok [...]

By |2018-07-27T22:03:44-04:00July 27th, 2018|Uncategorized, Wine Blog|

Wine Chemistry 101

Ever wondered where wine gets its aromas? While the science of wine is complicated, here's a snap shot answer: The grape: Each grape has a unique flavor profile or set of characteristics. Much like apples, no two varieties taste exactly the same. Think Granny Smith vs Honey Crip vs Red Delicious and you will get the picture. Fermentation: All wine grapes under go full or partial fermentation, which is the process of allowing yeast to convert the grape sugar into alcohol. Sometimes [...]

By |2016-08-31T18:55:35-04:00August 31st, 2016|Wine Blog|

A Brutish Winter makes for a Bubbly Spring

One can only hope that the brut winter weather of 2014 is finally over, but dare we utter the word “spring?” Most of us have a fear of jinxing the mild weather when it arrives by declaring spring has sprung – especially if you live anywhere in the north to central eastern part of the country.  Crazy weather patterns and polar vortex influences have wreaked havoc on our faith in predicting the forecast. That said, given the choice of glass [...]

By |2014-04-18T15:54:04-04:00April 17th, 2014|Wine Blog|

Screwing Around with the Cork

Most winelovers would like to say that they always open a bottle of wine using proper technique. That said, many times necessity (aka lack of an opener) overrides technique, and the vinous will takes over. Personally, I have been know to open a bottle of wine using a self-created method I call "pigeage-bouchon" or punching down the cork with a sturdy chopstick. It may not be pretty, but it gets the job done.  Stuck without a corkscrew in a formal setting? No worries.  I once [...]

By |2014-02-26T04:36:30-05:00January 25th, 2012|Wine Blog|

Decanting Wine

WHY WE DECANT WINE  Reason #1 - Letting the wine breathe: If you like big reds, then you need a decanter. Here’s why: The aroma and complexity of full-bodied, red wine actually improves with aeration (the addition of oxygen). Simply removing the cork does not allow the wine to breathe. You need to get the wine out of the bottle, so oxygen can mix with the wine. Try this, pour yourself a glass of good, quality red wine, give it [...]

By |2011-08-17T12:48:41-04:00August 17th, 2011|Wine Blog|
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