Take a gulp of these wine statistics

Covid wine sales

Have you been drinking more wine – or drinking more in general – since the Covid-19 pandemic drove most of the world into isolated living almost a year ago? I’m not calling for a show of hands here, but I’ll say this for sure: I certainly wouldn’t blame anyone for pouring an extra glug or two during these troubled times.
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Pinson Frères Chablis

Domaine Pinson Chablis

A distinct, pleasant scent of fresh green apples rises from the glass of this clear, light-gold Domaine Pinson Frères 2019 Chablis, backed by subtler hints of citrus and spice. Fresh apples and citrus and chalky, stony minerality carry over on the palate of a medium-bodied wine that gains complex, interesting flavor as it warms in the glass: Serve it chilled but not ice-cold.

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Can we afford Cabernet Sauvignon?

The iron-rich red soil ("Terra Rossa" of Australia's Coonawarra region forms a nurturing environment for Cabernet Sauvignon vines.

It has been such a long time since I last reviewed a 100% varietal Cabernet Sauvignon that even Google can’t find it. Sadly, there is a reason for that: As the world’s economic divide has widened in the 21st century, wine has gone along with it. We’ve reached a pitiful point where the really good wines aren’t cheap, and the really cheap wines are rarely good.

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Criterion Coonawarra Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Criterion Coonawarra Cabernet

Criterion Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon shows dark blackish-purple with a thin garnet edge. Aromas of mint and black licorice rise from the glass, opening up to add black cherry and plum with time in the glass. Black fruit and subtle anise come together on the palate with tart acidity and modest tannins. It may not be elegant or refined, but it shows good basic Cabernet Sauvignon character.

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Follow this Wine-Searcher link to read more about Coonawarra and find listings for dozens of other wines from the region.

Read more about Cabernet Sauvignon and browse many good single-varietal bottles at this Wine-Searcher link. Read article.

Cecchi – The Pure Truth of Wine


Just to the north of the city of Siena at the start of the Chianti Classico region lies the initial Tuscan property of the Cecchi family, Villa Cerna. Started in the wine business in 1893 by Luigi Cecchi, today the Cecchi family owns five estates located in Tuscany and one in Umbria (learn more here). Their headquarters are in Castellina in Chianti near Villa Cerna where Cesare and Andrea Cecchi oversee 385 hectares of vineyards that produce 8.5 … Read article.

Shaken or stirred: Lillet

My variation on James Bond's Vesper cocktail, using a proper dose of Lillet.

Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel.”
” ‘Certainly monsieur.’ The barman seemed pleased with the idea.

James Bond’s memorable instruction, “shaken, not stirred,” has become part of the world’s folk wisdom since the fictional secret agent first uttered it in Ian Fleming’s 1953 novel, Casino Royale. You’re probably familiar with the concept even if you’ve never read the book or watched the Bond movies.

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Lillet Blanc


Lillet Blanc French Aperitif Wine ($21.99)

Poured on its own, Lillet Blanc shows a very clear, light straw color in the glass. Intriguing aromas offer a mix of fresh, dried, and stewed white fruit and orange peel, with a subtle hint of quinine, complex and hard to pick apart. That’s fine, it’s just as well to enjoy them as their scents entwine. Full-bodied flavors follow the nose, with faint sweetness cloaked by firm acidity, and a bitter edge of quinine. It’s brisk and refreshing, perfectly fine in the winter time despite its reputation as a summer drink.

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Follow this Wine-Searcher link to find listings for a wide variety of other styles of flavored spiced fruit wines. Read article.

Porto Kopke Fine Ruby and Tawny

Porto Kopke

Kopke’s Fine Ruby Port shows a dark purple color in the glass, with just a hint of its namesake ruby showing along the edge when you hold it up to the light. Its aromas and flavors are shy at first but open up with time in the glass to reveal dark red-berry and blackberry scents, leading into a full, smooth flavor that coats the palate. Fresh-fruit acidity and soft tannins become more apparent as you taste the wine, but it’s easy and ready to drink on its own or with cheese or nuts. As is typical of Port, its 19.5% alcohol is a brooding presence, but it doesn’t show up as harshness or heat. U.S. importer: Wine in Motion, Newark, N.J. (Dec. 27, 2020)

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Check prices and find vendors for Porto Kopke Fine Tawny Port on Wine-Searcher.com. Read article.