#TasteWithKaren Live

New York Wine—The Best Kept Secret

July 19, 2022 at 3pm PT / 6pm ET

Join Karen as she talks and tastes with two all-star sommeliers from New York. Together, they’ll taste and reveal why New York wine is ever-so-delicious and such a steal.

More info and registration HERE.

Get the wines they will taste here.


Bucerchiale Chianti Rufina Riserva 2018

(Tuscany, Italy) $42

Besides its delicious red berry, violets, tar, spice, and mineral aromas and flavors, a great Sangiovese has the inexplicable ability to seem both taut and muscular, lean and rich, at the same time. That’s certainly true here. But what makes Selvapiania’s “Bucerchiale” extra delicious is its faint hint of saline. Salty flavors amplify the flavors around them (think about tomatoes sprinkled with sea salt), so when you have this Chianti Riserva with a great pasta, it’s heavenly. Under the Giuntini family, Selvapiana has been making wine for almost two hundred years in Chianti Rufina (Rufina is the smallest subzone in the Chianti area). The estate is owned and run by the brother-and-sister team of Federico and Silvia Giuntini A. Masseti, children of the late Franco Masseti, Selvapiana’s longtime manager. They were formally adopted by Selvapiana’s owner, Francesco Giuntini (who was childless), to carry on both the estate and the Giuntini name. (14% abv)

97 points KM

Available at SaratogaWine.com

The WineSpeed Blog

A. The French word for “shatter”—that is, the failure of grapes to develop because the flowers that would have become the grapes remained unfertilized

B. A rough-and-ready workingman’s wine, notably drunk in bars in Burgundy

C. A licorice-flavored French liqueur with a cloudy greenish-yellow color

D. The general Italian term for wines made from grapes that have been intentionally dried by laying out the clusters on straw mats or hanging them up in special drying rooms


God forbid you find yourself in a café in southern France this summer and not in the mood to drink rosé. But just in case, there is another famous, well-loved libation that’s famous in that area—Pastis, a mild licorice-flavored liqueur served as an aperitif with a carafe of ice water. (Pastis gets its licoricey flavor from star anise.) When the water is added to the pastis, the drink immediately turns ominously cloudy. (A related more strongly flavored liqueur—Absinthe—gets its licoricey flavor from a substance once, but no longer, banned–wormwood). As for (A), the failure of grapes to be fertilized, that is known as coulure in French. A rustic wine served in Burgundy’s bars (B) is called passetoutgrains and is a blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay. And answer D is the definition of the Italian term passito.

Answer: False.

That would be Canada.  Eventhough icewine represents just 5% of Canada’s wine production, the country makes more of it that anywhere else in the world. In Canada, as in Germany and Austria, icewine (or eiswein as it’s spelled in German) must be made from grapes frozen naturally on the vine and picked by hand, grape by grape. More than 95 percent of Canada’s icewine is made in Ontario.


Bouchon is the French name of a special stopper with clamps that is used on an opened bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine to preserve the bubbles. Capped with a bouchon, a bottle of sparkling will last about a week in the refrigerator. A bouchon is also a type of bistro in Lyon, France, known for its friendly atmosphere and for serving traditional, unfussy Lyonnaise dishes.

The “Wine” of July 4th

One wine, more than any other, is strongly associated with the history of the United States. That wine is Madeira. Drunk by the founding fathers during the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Madeira was also what Francis Scott Key sipped as he composed “The Star-Spangled Banner.” George Washington (who reportedly drank a pint every night with dinner), Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin all adored it, as did John Adams (who wrote to his wife, Abigail, about the copious amounts they consumed during the Continental Congress). By the end of the eighteenth century, nearly a fourth of all the Madeira produced was being exported to the American colonies. Among the colonial well-to-do, Madeira parties—forerunners of the American cocktail party—became commonplace. Today, you can buy extraordinary lMadeiras—dry and sweet styles—from three principal import companies: The Rare Wine Company, Broadbent Selections, and The Madeira Wine Company. Madeira is one of the longest-lived wines in the world and you can still buy bottles that will outlive you. And a final important fact: Madeira is one of the few wines in the world that go incredibly well with chocolate. See for yourself!


Degrees (in Fahrenheit) that temperatures near railroad tracks in France reached this month in one of the country’s earliest and most severe heat waves. Trains had to slow down because the heat deformed some tracks and damaged electrical equipment. In Bordeaux city, misting devices were turned on in the hottest streets. In Spain and Portugal next door, the month of May was the hottest on record in nearly a century.


Amount (in billions of US$) that Americans will spend on tequila and mezcal in 2022, according to predictions by IWSR, the leading analytical firm for global beverage alcohol. That’s more than a billion dollars more than Americans will spend on either vodka or on American whiskey. Celebrity-backed tequilas are part of agave spirits’ strong sales performance. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kendall Jenner, and George Clooney have all launched tequila brands in the last few years.


Year that Joseph Phelps, a Colorado building contractor, bought a 600-acre cattle ranch in the Napa Valley, planted vineyards, and began making what would become some of Napa’s most coveted wines, including the winery’s flagship blend Insignia. This week, forty-nine years later, the Phelps family ended their wine journey. Möet Hennessy Louis Vuitton has bought the winery and vineyards for an undisclosed sum, but comparisons to Shafer Vineyards’ recent sale price of $250 million are inevitable.

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