The WineSpeed Blog


Sancerre 2015 

(Sancerre, Loire Valley, FR) $22

What I love about Sancerre is its unleashed wild side (as though some mad river creature whirled up out of the Loire River and drenched you in a minerally spray). Easy to find in stores nationally, Pascal Jolivet’s Sancerre is a delicious classic with a limey edge and terrific tension between fruit and acidity. Among all the sauvignon blancs in the world, Sancerre is not so much “green” as it is tangy and textural (which is one of the reasons it’s so versatile with food). I’m laying in a half case for the spring.  (13% abv)

91 points KM

Available at 

It’s a Spring Thing

Sauvignon blanc—crisp, limey, herbal—is tailor made for Spring. We decided to ask prominent cheese expert (and our friend) Janet Fletcher (Planet Cheese) to name some of the most delicious cheeses for sauvignon blanc. Here’s her list:
“I’m inclined to pair sauvignon blanc with cheeses that I would have early in the meal—like feta, ricotta, ricotta salata, mozzarella, and burrata. Nicasio Valley Cheese Company’s Foggy Morning is a fresh cow’s milk cheese that I love with sauvignon blanc. Also, Garden Variety’s Sweet Alyssum which is a fresh, rindless sheep’s milk cheese—much lighter on the tongue than most chevres. I also love Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese’s mozzarella, which is made with cultured milk (as opposed to acidified milk) so it has more flavor. And Bellwether Farms Jersey Milk ricotta  is marvelous with spring vegetables like asparagus, fava beans and beets.  My favorite fetas? Greek feta from Mt. Vikos and French feta from Valbreso. With olives and pita and cucumbers or beets or fava beans, bring on the sauvignon!”

“On more than one occasion in recent years, I’ve opened a wine list in a trendy restaurant and been a bit stumped. A lot of choices, but on the entire list, I may recognize about half the wines. I cannot imagine how a customer with less knowledge about wine than I, if such a person exists, feels reading an obscure wine list like that. Except intimidated. Which is not normally why a human goes to a restaurant. That’s why you go to church.”

—Ron Washam, The HoseMaster of Wine


“Stickies” are the affectionate name Australians give to their sweet wines. Though sticklers (so to speak) reserve the term specifically for late harvest wines and wines affected by the noble rot known as botrytis, other Aussies include the country’s phenomenal fortified wines under the sticky umbrella. The most wickedly delicious of these are the sweet fortified muscats and topaques (formerly known as Tokays) from the Victoria region. Reminiscent of toffee, brown sugar, roasted nuts, vanilla, honey, and chocolate syrup, these are wines not to be missed.

Bound to Happen

It was “nutty” and “clean.” It was organic. It scored a 91 which translated as “excellent.” But it wasn’t a score from Parker, because Parker doesn’t rate pot. But Rachel Burkons does. She’s the Cannabis Editor of Clever Root magazine. And just so you’re up to speed on this, here’s her rating system:

98-100     A True Classic
95-97       Outstanding
91-94       Excellent
88-91       Very Good
84-87       Above Average
80-83       Average

Oh, the 91 in question? It was for Mondo, a dissolving cannabis powder that can be mixed into any drink and which Burkons says is “great for daytime consumption.”


Amount (in billions of U.S. dollars) Americans plan to spend celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year according to the National Retail Federation. That’s an increase from last year’s $5.3 billion. Over 149 million U.S. adults are expected to spend an average of just under $40 per person, up from last year’s $38. The holiday is most popular among individuals 18-24 years old. And clearly being Irish isn’t necessary.


Amount (in millions of U.S. dollars) that Linfield College in Oregon’s Willamette Valley has been given to start a
wine studies degree program focused on wine management, hospitality and sales. The gift came from Grace and Ken Evenstad, owners of Domaine Serene. Linfield College is the site of the annual International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC) considered to be the top pinot noir event in the U.S. This summer the 31st IPNC will take place.


Number of patron saints of wine. Some (like Goar of Aquitaine) are the patron saint of wine and hotel keepers. Others (like Vincent of Saragossa) are the patron saint of wine, winemakers and vinegar makers. And at least one (Saint Trifon) cut off his nose with vine pruning shears after an encounter with the Virgin Mary (it’s a long story).

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