My Favorite Champagnes of the Year

Buy These for the Holidays and New Year’s Eve!

As some of you know, I drink a glass of Champagne every night. For me, Champagne demarcates the day from the night. It says the evening has begun. And because I immediately “recork” the bottle with… Continue reading

Best Restaurant All Year…

colorful food

The new French Laundry lives—and it’s in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Ok, it’s not the French Laundry (the Napa Valley restaurant owned by chef Thomas Keller). But the new restaurant ōkta in the small… Continue reading

I Hope I Remember This Night

I wrote the following poem on the evening of September 21, 2022 after attending a “Conversation” at Ashes & Diamonds winery in the Napa Valley. The presentation—by five winemakers—centered around the topic of sustainability. But,… Continue reading

Are Smaller Bubbles Really Better?

Wine bubbles in a glass

The first time I went to the Champagne region, a winemaker took me aside and showed me a glass of Perrier water. These, he said, were not “good” bubbles—not for Champagne wine anyway. The almost… Continue reading

The Rise of Fantastic Cabernet Franc

Wine bottles in a round photo

One of the more exciting things that we at Karen MacNeil & Company did this past summer was a double-blind tasting of every California Cabernet Franc we could get our hands on. There are more… Continue reading

Unleashed and Unhinged

image of 4 wine bottles

One of the first life-changing wines I drank in my 20s was a Guigal Côte-Rôtie “Brune et Blonde.” I was in a New York steakhouse and the sommelier I was with just stood there awaiting… Continue reading

OK, So It’s Not a Volcano!

Note from Karen MacNeil: My friend the geologist David Howell, a former scientist with the United States Geologic Survey and now a visiting instructor on geology and wines at Stanford University, has become our go-to… Continue reading

A MAN POSSESSED

John Terlato is more than a man on a mission. He’s a man possessed. Terlato, the co-owner of Chicago-based Terlato Wines, has spent the last 15 years trying to elevate the family’s crown jewel in… Continue reading

TEN OF THE GREATEST NAPA VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNONS

Plus, the Seven Attributes All Great Cabernets Share

I’ve recently tasted a slew of mind-blowing Napa Valley cabernets—wines that stop you in your tracks; wines that make you wonder how wine can taste and feel that damn good. And of course, these wines… Continue reading