Category Archives: Cork 101 (Wine)

Our long-running column on wine — by Scott Harper

Cork 101— The wines of South Africa

South Africa was certainly on my list of wine countries or wine lands, as they say in South Africa, to visit but not at the top of my list. It should have been. I am very happy that I accepted an invitation to speak there and endured the incredibly long flight to this Southern Hemisphere country to find perhaps the most naturally beautiful wine country I have ever visited. Continue reading Cork 101— The wines of South Africa

Cork 101: Regional Picks — All Wine is Local

Our wine panel picks good values from their favorite wine regions, explaining why and how local conditions influence the character of wine. 

Often, people who want to know more about wine get befuddled because there seems to be too much to learn — grape varieties and vintages and appellations and labels that supposedly tell a lot, but appear to be written in code. One way is to sample wines of a particular region, to understand how the geography and geology and climate of a place affect the growth of grapes and determine the style of wines it produces. Continue reading Cork 101: Regional Picks — All Wine is Local

Cork 101— What wines are undervalued?

[Originally published in the F&D Fall 2015 issue]

Our challenge this issue for our wine guys was to select wines that they thought were “undervalued.” That turned out to be an ambiguous term, or one that has wide latitude for those in the wine biz. Some chose inexpensive wines–well under $20–that deliver tastes and textures more commonly found in more premium-priced wines. Others chose wines most casual drinkers would term pricey, but to our experts show characteristics of even more upscale wines–sometimes rivaling in taste pleasures that exceed those of wines costing twice as much. Continue reading Cork 101— What wines are undervalued?

Cork 101: Holiday Picks

For many, the seemingly mundane task of picking out an inexpensive but good wine for a party is fraught with worry. Choosing an extravagant bottle for a special occasion can bring on heart palpitations! How little can we spend and still bring to that big party something that will make us look cool or knowledgeable? If we splurge a bit to impress in-laws, or business clients, how do we know what we choose will be worth the investment?

F&D asked four local knowledgeable wine purveyors to suggest two bottles each that are readily available locally, either for a special gift, or as a reliable value purchase (under $20) suitable for holiday imbibing. We suggested a limit of about $50 for the splurge bottle, but one of two of our experts went a little above that, and gave good reasons. Continue reading Cork 101: Holiday Picks

6 Wines Under $12

It’s not easy choosing wines for holiday events because seemingly every menu is completely different—both at home and away.

As guests at others’ dinner tables, we’re on the hot seat to make a choice that will match our host’s spread, so we want to get it right.

Well fear not, dear foodie, we’ve assembled a crack team of oenophiles to guide you toward proper wine picks for any occasion. Take our local experts’ advice on what matches which and what it’ll cost you. Continue reading 6 Wines Under $12

6 White Wines Under $12

Vintage when used to refer to the quality of a particular year is always a source of debate and, ultimately, subjectivity.

Often, too much is said about vintage, especially when it comes to value white wines. The single most important thing about vintage in a value white wine is youth! One should never even consider buying a value white wine that is more than 3 years old. Continue reading 6 White Wines Under $12