Understanding the Wine Label: The South African Wine of Origin System

Feb 26, 2017

In every major wine grape growing region of the world, there is a system in place which regulates the information being presented on the wine label as truth, and protects the consumer from being intentionally misled. Each system is different, and can have varying levels of complexity even within the same system. In the United… Read more »

Holiday Pairings: Tips for Thanksgiving Dinner 2016

Nov 21, 2016

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, we once again we pose the question: β€œWhat is the perfect pairing for Thanksgiving dinner?” I asked a few Sommeliers and Beverage Professionals from around Chicago for their recommendations on what they like to pour on Thanksgiving Day. Here is what they came up with: Julia Burke @Stellenbauchery… Read more »

Exploring Italy: 2016 Brunello Report

Aug 24, 2016

Italy produces thousands of different wines from each of its twenty regions, but there are really just four that standout as being the most famous in the country. Barolo / Barbaresco, Amarone, Chianti, and Brunello di Montalcino are the names of these benchmark wines. Barolo and Barbaresco are made from the Nebbiolo grape in Piedmont,… Read more »

Exploring Italy: Kissing Cars in Orvieto

Aug 19, 2016

On the 8th day of our trip, we were planning a one day stop in the small hilltop town of Orvieto. This being my first time driving in Italy, I was especially proud of the fact that I had managed to get the car from Milan to Montalcino, by way of Lake Como, San Miniato,… Read more »

Exploring Italy: Tradition in Franciacorta

Aug 17, 2016

For anyone who is interested in learning more about a place in the world, travel and immersion is the purest way to make sense of it all. For me, Italy is one of the most complicated wine producing countries to study. There are 20 regions, all of which produce wine, including over 70 DOCG classifications… Read more »

Augusta, Missouri: Celebrating the Anniversary of our Nation’s First AVA

Jun 30, 2016

Just 9 days ago, on June 20th we celebrated the 36th anniversary of our nation formalizing its wine appellation system with the creation of Augusta AVA. In the United States, an AVA (or American Viticutural Area) is a designated wine-grape growing region distinguishable by geographic features, with boundaries defined by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax… Read more »

Sommelier Studies: Staying the Course

Mar 31, 2016

For those of you that are interested in pursuing a career in the wine business, there are quite a few different paths that you may choose. From importing and distribution, to winemaking, to working in a restaurant as a Sommelier. All of these different career paths have their own set of positive and negative associations…. Read more »

The Legacy of the “Dop System”

Feb 28, 2016

The Dop System (also known as the Tot system), while no longer legal in South Africa continues to have a lasting influence on the lifestyle of many South African people who became dependent on alcohol during its relevance. The Dop System (named after the Afrikaans word for an alcoholic drink) was a system of payment… Read more »

The Swartland: An In-Depth Look

Jan 19, 2016

The Swartland is a large agricultural district north of Cape Town, in the Coastal Region of the Western Cape of South Africa’s Wine of Origin system. Far less popular for the tourist crowd that flows steadily through Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Hermanus. The heart of the Swartland is centered between the small towns of… Read more »

Holiday Pairings: Tips for Thanksgiving Dinner

Nov 16, 2015

What is the perfect pairing for Thanksgiving dinner? With so many different flavors and textures being served together on one dinner table, that is a tough question to answer. I asked a few Sommeliers and Beverage Professionals from around Chicago for their recommendations on what they like to pour on Turkey Day. Here is what… Read more »