Thursday, July 28, 2016
Rose is chic and easy when it comes to sunny summer entertaining, but to take it up a notch, add Champagne. After all, the ultra chic Madame Lily Bollinger famously said,
“I drink it when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it – unless I’m thirsty.”
– Lily Bollinger (October 17, 1961)
Enjoy these selections from the nearly 200-year old French estate:
Read our reviews of Champagne and Sparkling wine here:
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Summertime, and the living is easy. What better time than now to try a few wines in that portable package, the box?
Today's box wine is everything from organic French Chardonnay to premium Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Pick up a few different boxes just for fun. Write down the name of the wine and price, then your comments on the wine's color, aromas and taste.
Then take the box and fill a couple of attractive glass carafes and set the wine on the table. This is where the true test comes in. If your guests enjoy this wine and you do too, you have a winner!
Thursday, July 14, 2016
After a grueling three days of exams, including a timed blind tasting of six wines, a practical tableside service exam with multiple tables to attend to, a Business of the Sommelier written exam and spirits tasting and finally a theory exam, 24 of 72 candidates made it through to become Advanced Sommeliers last night at the Palomar Cityscape Hotel in Phoenix.
Congratulations to those who passed, to all my fellow Master Sommeliers for a smooth program, to the venue and staff, and finally huge kudos to Court of Master Sommeliers Education Directors Shayn Bjornholm and Melissa Monosoff on the ground and CMS Executive Director Kathleen Lewis for her behind-the-scenes logistics management and support.
And to those who did not pass this time, take a little break and then work on your game plan for the next time. We will be waiting to celebrate with you!
Catherine Fallis Master Sommelier
Friday, July 8, 2016
July 2016, Italian Ministry of Agriculture
The 2016 harvest will bring with it new bottling and blending opportunities, as well as a wine with a brand new name
Authenticity and territorial recognition have always been the key elements for the promotion of the distinct and unmistakable wines from Montefalco. An important turning point in the regulation of the indigenous white wines from Montefalco has been achieved recently, and Grechetto will now be referred to as an indigenous white wine from the “green heart” of Italy. Beginning with the 2016 harvest, the autochthonous white variety, one of the most popular in Umbria, will officially become Montefalco Grechetto, enjoying the brand recognition of a region that is becoming increasingly popular for its distinctive wines.
There are also some important and welcome changes in the composition of Montefalco Bianco DOC, which previously had to be made up of 20-30% of Trebbiano Toscano, a grape not known to produce wines of great note. Trebbiano Spoletino, an indigenous Umbrian variety of Trebbiano known to be of superior quality as compared to other Trebbianos, can now be used instead of Trebbiano Toscano.
Montefalco Rosso DOC and Montefalco Rosso Riserva will also be affected by changes that modify the composition of the wines. It will no longer be mandatory to use a third red grape in addition to Sangiovese and Sagrantino, in order to give producers the opportunity to focus more on the expression of the territory than on the blend.
Along with the rules regulating vinification and mandatory aging, the bottling process must now take place within the territory of the municipality of Montefalco and part of the municipalities of Bevagna, Gualdo Cattaneo, Castel Ritaldi and Giano dell Umbria in the region Perugia area. This measure has been introduced to safeguard the quality and reputation of Montefalco DOC wines, to guarantee their origin and to give to the consumers around the world a guaranteed consistency of quality and taste.
Read our reviews of Sagrantino wines here:
and an article we wrote published in The SOMM Journal:
THE MONK’S ELIXIR – Unique Sagrantino DOCG is Ripe for Discovery