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3 12, 2019

Quick Facts: Languedoc-Roussillon

By |2019-12-03T13:43:11-05:00December 3rd, 2019|Wine Blog|

The Languedoc-Roussillon region is France’s largest wine producing region and vineyard area (300,000 ha), with roughly one-third of all French wines produced here, including 11% of the world’s rosé wine production. To get our arms around this vast region, let’s start by taking a brief look at just the Languedoc wine region. Who The Languedoc AOP is home to more than 2,000 wine producers, 80 co-ops and 450 private winemakers. Arguably, the most notable producer in the region, and the [...]

14 11, 2019

Alsace Rocks

By |2019-11-14T17:28:59-05:00November 14th, 2019|Wine Blog|

by Kristy Wenz Several months ago, Wines of Alsace held their annual “Alsace Rocks” Grand Tasting in Chicago, and next month they’ll be returning for the Chicago Wine Fest. So, in preparation of the event, let’s do a quick review of this unique French wine region. Quick Facts: Alsace, France Who Wine making in Alsace spans centuries, with many wine-making families dating back 20 generations. Today, nearly 4,000 winegrowers can be found in Alsace with more than 38,000 acres of [...]

8 11, 2019

Sommelier for Hire

By |2019-11-08T15:35:53-05:00November 8th, 2019|Wine Blog|

We talk a lot about wine education here for obvious reasons, but there’s also wine for entertainment. Corporate wine dinners, pairing parties, birthday and holiday events, or even at-home dinner parties – each a great opportunity to share a variety of wines among friends and colleagues. But how do you pick the wines? You can do the research yourself, work with your caterer, or to kick it up a notch, and engage the services of a sommelier. Both sourcing and [...]

29 10, 2019

A Cultural Journey with One of Italy’s Winemaking Families

By |2019-10-29T16:26:05-04:00October 29th, 2019|Wine Blog|

Francesco Zonin of Zonin1821 Fine Wine & Spirits held a “Sommeliers’ Themed Lunch” in Chicago this month, but this was not an ordinary producer’s tasting. This was an experience. Francesco, a seventh generation Zonin, led a small number of industry professionals on a cultural journey of the senses through a blind tasting and multi-course lunch. “To understand the wine, you must understand the culture,” Zonin said. “Wine is an experience.” Having traveled through and spent extensive time in Italy, I [...]

16 10, 2019

Bringing Out the Wine Expert in You

By |2019-10-16T18:03:00-04:00October 16th, 2019|Wine Blog|

Kristy Wenz Last month at Bon Appetit’s Chicago Gourmet, the wine seminars hosted by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits and the American Wine School featured several sessions on tasting and blind tasting. Wine is often perceived as intimidating, particularly when ordering wine from an extensive list in a restaurant, shopping at the local wine store, and especially when tasting with those viewed as more “in the know.” How many times has selecting a bottle of wine for a friend that [...]

9 10, 2019

Chicago Gourmet Top 10 Takeaways

By |2019-10-09T16:18:12-04:00October 9th, 2019|Wine Blog|

Top 10 Takeaways from the Wine Experts at Chicago Gourmet 2019 Kristy Wenz The interest in wine knowledge and wine education is on the rise. In fact, the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), now in its 50th year, has seen year-over-year increases in candidates every academic school year in the past nine-year period, with a near 200% increase between 2010/2011 academic school year and the 2018/2019 academic school year. Here at the American Wine School, one of the oldest [...]

2 10, 2019

Australian Wines – Far From Ordinary

By |2019-10-02T13:40:22-04:00October 2nd, 2019|Wine Blog|

Kristy Wenz Most wine drinking consumers are familiar with Australian wines, but how familiar are we really? Often the first wine to come to mind is an Australian Shiraz – those big, full-body, fruit-forward, spicy wines that took hold of the U.S. market in the early 2000s. However, let’s think about that phrase for a moment, “Australian Shiraz.” Australia, the sixth largest country in the world, is almost 7.7 million square kilometers with four topographical regions – to say nothing [...]

9 09, 2019

Aussie Wine Month

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

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 [...]

17 06, 2019

Non-Alcoholic Wine

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

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 [...]

22 05, 2019

Zoning in on Priorat

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

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 [...]

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