Critics

Best Sonoma Red Wine Worth Seeking Out (for the money)

IntoWine asked our panel of experts to share their recommendations for the best Sonoma County red wine for the price:

Sonoma seems to always have an uphill battle as its sibling, Napa, constantly gets the spotlight. But there are exceptional wines coming from this region. The Clos Du Bois Reserve Tempranillo ($22) is ripe with blackberry, black plums, soft and spicy blackberry, blueberry and black cherry positioned correctly with oak and acid. One-fourth of this wine is cabernet sauvignon, which builds a dense, strong structure most tempranillo’s do not have. Layered with a juicy fresh crushed dark fruit mouth feel, this is a surprisingly commanding wine that at first blush seem like it might have come from Napa. But no, Sonoma wines stand on their own. Michael Cervin, Wine Judge, Restaurant Critic, and IntoWine Featured Writer

Best Wine with Mexican Food

IntoWine asked our panel of experts to share their recommendations for the best wine to pair with Mexican cuisine:

Mexican food is a cornucopia of ingredients on a plate and to find a wine to work with the diversity of flavors isn’t easy. But the Kalyra Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 6 ($22) from Santa Ynez is full of black cherry, dark raspberry, oak and pomegranate combining to create a surprisingly rich cab with an acidic backbone that can stand up to grilled meats like carne asada and the subtle nuances of rice and beans. It’s also dynamite with guacamole! Not a powerful cab, the growing condition in Santa Barbara County allow it to be mild and charming. Michael Cervin, Wine Judge, Restaurant Critic, and IntoWine Featured Writer

Best Wine to Pair with Tomato & Mozzarella (Caprese) Salad

IntoWine asked our panel of experts to share their recommendations for the best wine to pair with a tomato & mozzarella (Caprese) salad:

Laraneta Sangiovese ($25). Ripe with raspberry, pomegranate, oak and wood notes this is another success from this small family owned winery located near Paso Robles. Simply put, their wines are just great to drink and taste wonderful. A long finish and a mild spice, it holds up against the acidity of the tomato and compliments with soft timid cheese. This wine is compelling and I usually lean toward an Italian wine with Italian food. One of the great hallmarks of a great wine is how quickly you tend to consume it; this sangiovese is deceptively good and will disappear from your glass too quickly. Michael Cervin, Wine Judge, Restaurant Critic, and IntoWine Featured Writer

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.  

Q&A with Andrea Robinson, One of the Country’s Leading Wine Educators

Andrea RobinsonAndrea Robinson one of the country’s leading wine educators, and is one of only 16 women in the world who have been appointed Master Sommelier by the prestigious Court of Master Sommeliers. She was the first woman ever chosen Best Sommelier in the United States by the Sommelier Society of America. In 2007 she was appointed Master Sommelier for Delta Air Lines, for whom she selects all of their in-flight wines as well as develops flight attendant wine training. Her production company JGR Productions produces informative food, wine and travel video content for Delta Air Lines, Borders Books, and broadcast media and she has worked with the Food Channel and PBS. She is the author of eight wine and food books including Andrea Robinson’s Wine Buying Guide for Everyone, and her articles have appeared in publications such as Health, Eating Well, Esquire, Real Simple, Money, and Bon Appétit. She has received a James Beard Award for Broadcast Journalism. Formerly this busy mother of three was the Wine Director at Windows on the World, and was Corporate Director of Beverage Programs for Starwood Hotels.

Twin Oaks Pinot Noir 2007 - IntoWineTV Episode 141

"Cult Wines of Crushpad" - IntoWineTV host Lisa Kolenda and wine experts Bartholomew Broadbent and Loren Sonkin convene among the vines at Crushpad in Napa Valley to taste and discuss the cult wine brands of Crushpad.

Tangent Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 - IntoWineTV Episode 140

"Cult Wines of Crushpad" - IntoWineTV host Lisa Kolenda and wine experts Bartholomew Broadbent and Loren Sonkin convene among the vines at Crushpad in Napa Valley to taste and discuss the cult wine brands of Crushpad.

Cult Vines Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 - IntoWineTV Episode 139

"Cult Wines of Crushpad" - IntoWineTV host Lisa Kolenda and wine experts Bartholomew Broadbent and Loren Sonkin convene among the vines at Crushpad in Napa Valley to taste and discuss the cult wine brands of Crushpad.

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.

Ellman Family Vineyards "Alexis Skye" Pinot Noir 2008 - IntoWineTV Episode 136

"Cult Wine Brands of Crushpad" - IntoWineTV host Lisa Kolenda and wine experts Bartholomew Broadbent and Loren Sonkin convene among the vines at Crushpad in Napa Valley to taste and discuss the cult wine brands of Crushpad.

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