The indispensable tool for the Massachusetts adult beverage trade.

Sandy Block


ORIGINALLY FUELED BY EXCITEMENT over the wines from the Marlborough district of New Zealand, Sauvignon Blanc’s multi-year surge in popularity has only accelerated over the past year or two. Once shunned, the grape is now a fashion statement. It’s understandable that consumers have also shown a renewed interest in the...
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Pinot Noir From Oregon

PINOT NOIR won’t grow just anywhere. Genetically unstable, it’s susceptible to frost, rot and over cropping. It requires a long, cool, but sunny and dry growing season for its personality to develop. I was on a panel recently the topic of which was Demystifying Wine; that’s well and good, I...
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I was on a panel recently the topic of which was “Demystifying Wine”. A noble concept, I said, as far as it goes, but Pinot Noir is, in essence, a wine of mystery. Why? There is an “X” factor in a great bottle that resists explanation or reduction to a...
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SPANISH REDS remain one of the screaming bargains in the wine market. Why? In two words: old vines. As with many wine categories, it’s all about the terroir. Arid, rocky, perched at high elevations, Spain’s treasure trove of ancient vineyards tend to produce grapes with aromatic purity and concentrated flavors...
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IT SEEMS LIKE many years ago now but for a long period of time there were few people in the US, respectable people that is, who wanted it known that they liked rosé. This was a wine category consumed primarily at home, so as to avoid stares. Marketers substituted euphemistic...
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NEBBIOLO is certainly among the most enigmatic of grape varieties, far more “fickle” in nature, if one can even apply that word to a wine, and more site specific than Pinot Noir. Often spectacular in its home setting, the Langhe hills of Piemonte, interesting further north in the Norvara Vercelli...
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IF YOU’RE looking for classic Chardonnay that tastes bone dry, minerally and understated in flavor, there is little to compare with the wines of Chablis. While the historic village technically lies within greater Burgundy, it is a terroir unto itself, separated from the rest of the illustrious French wine region...
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AS ONE of Italy’s original five magic DOCG wines, Brunello di Montalcino has assumed classic status on the US market. Despite having recently been rocked by scandals involving fraud and adulteration, Brunello has bounced back and remains a standard bearer of Tuscany’s vinous greatness. It’s a wine that strongly appeals...
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Comparative blind tastings I’ve conducted over the years of wines from Alsace invariably reinforce my impression of their excellence, in line with my habit of ordering wines from unknown producers virtually at random in restaurants. In fact, there’s no bigger disconnect in my mind between a classic wine region and...
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IT’S BECOME almost a reflex among segments of the wine community to dismiss domestic Chardonnay.  How could something this popular be any good?  A common prejudice I hear sommeliers express regards Chardonnays whose aromas or flavors reflect even a trace of oak contact as examples of the wine industry using...
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