2022 Terrazas de los Andes Reserve Chardonnay

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Grown high in the mountains of Uco, this Chardonnay is a blend of 10 different vineyard sites. This wine offers a lot of minerality and acidity, a step away from overblown butter rich chardonnays. And that’s why it’s the ideal food companion. Lemon lime, quince, peach, light guava and a hint of wild sweet grass permeate. There is a slight oak influence (eight months on the lees) but it is minimal and allows the fruit, acidity and freshness to come through. ORIGIN: Mendoza, Argentina. ALCOHOL: 13.5%.

Cuvaison 2021 Chardonnay, Hedon

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The Small Lot expressions of Cuvaison (wine typically under 200 cases and a focused identity) have become some of the most exciting and anticipated wines coming out of California. This latest Chardonnay expresses both traditional and non-traditional Chardonnay notes. Typical would be citrus, lemon lime, white peach and guava. Untypical shows kumquat, amber resin, a slight sour green apple and an even slighter butter rum hard candy.

Meet Doug Frost: Author, Master Sommelier, and Master of Wine

Doug Frost is a Kansas City author who writes and lectures about wine, beer and spirits. He passed the rigorous Master Sommelier (MS) examination and two years later became America’s eighth Master of Wine (MW). He is one of only three people in the world to have achieved both these remarkable distinctions, and he’s sincerely a nice guy. Doug is also the author of three books on wine including “ Far From Ordinary: The Spanish Wine Guide.” He is a contributor to the Oxford Companion of Wine, and writes about wine and spirits for many publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, Underground Wine Journal, Drinks International, Practical Winery & Vineyard, Wines & Vines, Wines & Spirits, Cheers Magazine, Santé Magazine, and Epicurious.com, and he is the beverage columnist for the James Beard award-winning food section of the Kansas City Star .

Is wine better or worse with a synthetic cork instead of a natural cork?

QUESTION: Is wine better or worse with a synthetic cork instead of a natural cork? I hate synthetic corks and love natural cork or Stelvin screw tops. Synthetic corks are often very difficult to pull out of the bottle. They haven’t yet convinced me that a wine can age as well with a synthetic cork as they can with natural cork or even screw top. To me, synthetic cork indicates cheap wine or a wine that is unlikely to be made in a natural way.

Do screw caps on wine bottles indicate a cheap wine?

QUESTION: Do screw caps on wine bottles indicate a cheap wine? No. Cheap wine indicates cheap wine . There is an issue with corks as a small percentage of them will cause a problem with the wine in the bottle. The most famous of these is TCA which is a bacterium that, while harmless, can cause a wine to smell and taste muted at best or like wet cardboard at worse. Other issues are imperfect seals which cause a wine to age prematurely.

What differentiates old world wines versus new world wines?

QUESTION: What differentiates old world versus new world wines? This is a question that does not have a consensus in the wine business. It used to be that countries like France were old world and New Zealand were new world. In general, these arguments can still stand. New Zealand really is a new wine producing country. However, it gets into murky water. Some people would consider South Africa, Chile, Argentina, Australia, Spain, Lebanon and Portugal as new world producers.

What does decanting do to a wine?

QUESTION: What does decanting do to a wine? There are two reasons to decant a wine. The first reason is to remove the sediment that can build up in a wine over time. Sediment is particulate matter that has fallen out of the wine. It is safe to consume, but some find it unpleasant and unattractive. The older the wine, generally the more sediment, although certain types of grapes produce more than others. To decant a wine for sediment, stand the bottle up in a cool place for a few days at minimum.

What does it mean for a wine to be unbalanced?

QUESTION: What does it mean for a wine to be unbalanced? When a wine is young , it can take years for all the various elements, such as acidity, tanning and fruit to integrate. Until such time the wine can be considered out of balance. However, some young wines can be balanced in the beginning and age gracefully to develop more elegance or character. A lot of the time, a wine professional will refer to a wine as being unbalanced if the wine tastes too strongly of one particular element, very commonly oak, alcohol or acidity.

What's the difference between Petite Syrah, Syrah, and Shiraz?

QUESTION: What's the difference between Petite Syrah, Syrah, and Shiraz? Syrah and Shiraz are the same grape. It tends to be labeled as Shiraz in Australia and Syrah in the rest of the world (remembering that in France it is more likely to have a geographic name such as St. Joseph or Cote Rotie). There are in fact different strains of Syrahs around the world and often in the same vineyard.