Wine snob tastes wines from box – and lives!

La Petite Frog Picpoul de Pinet

The box wine concept makes sense. You put wine into a collapsible plastic bag protected by a colorful cardboard box. There’s a handy spout. You’re rewarded with one or two extra bottle equivalents. And you don’t have to worry about spoilage if you only want one or two glasses. But how do they taste? Our tasting panel found out. Read article.

Loire Pinot: Rare and delicious

The most frustrating thing about featuring Loire wines in our monthly Wine Focus is that so many of these tasty wines are limited in quantity and hard to find. The Touraine wines of Puzelat-Bonhomme, for instance, as I wrote in March 2012, are ultra-limited in production, hand-made wines are both rare and well-done.

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Puzelat-Bonhomme 2012 Touraine Pinot Noir ($22.99)


Very dark ruby, as dark red as fruit juice. Intriguing floral scents of old roses and violets, plus a hint of something like concentrated cherry syrup and a whiff of white pepper on the nose. Consistent on the palate, tart red fruit with complex nuances, good acidity and appropriate tannic astringency, Pinot character and an intriguing hint of stony minerality: dry and long with dark cherries and roses in the finish, a food-friendly 12.5% alcohol.

This specific wine is going to be difficult to find. It is produced in tiny quantities and sells out fast. However, You can use this link to find sources and prices for Puzelat’s wines in general on Read article.

Cahors: The birthplace of Malbec

French Malbec Vineyards in Cahors, France

It was called “Black Wine” for years – the French Malbec wines from Cahors in France’s Southwest region. Phylloxera decimated the vineyards in the late 1800’s; but 100 years later, Cahors awakened to a different Malbec world far from their shores, in Argentina. Late to the party but undaunted, Cahors now seeks to regain its birthright. Read article.

Arsenic in wine! A scientific perspective

The latest health scare about the presence of small amounts of arsenic in some wines has been widely disseminated by the news media. And, as usual with such alerts, what has been reported are only the sensational and incomplete “facts,” which have led to much confusion and concern, particularly in the wine consuming public. Read article.

Raising the Organic Bar

Roberto DiFilippo and horse.

Today, there are a large number of organic vineyards throughout Italy, writes Neil Duarte, but the DiFilippo family has a somewhat unique vision of organic and biodynamic cultivation. Constantly looking to improve the methods of growing, they use horses instead of tractors for work in the vineyard. They also use geese. Read article.