Author Archives

William S. Shepard, Wine Editor


Easy Crème de Cassis Cocktails With Wine or Champagne

Crème de Cassis Cocktails Crème de Cassis Cocktails: Kir or Kir Royale 1 generous tablespoon of Crème de Cassis 3/4 cup white wine, sparkling wine, or champagne First add the Crème de Cassis, then the wine, for the perfect French aperitif Inspired By Casablanca: You’ve seen the movie often. It’s 1942, and “Casablanca” is playing. ...

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What is Cognac? Your Essential Quick Guide

What is Cognac?  When someone asks you “What is cognac?”  What is the easiest way to differentiate Cognac from brandy or Armagnac, or another spirit? Here is your essential guide to Cognac. Cognac is a brandy, a spirit produced by distilling wine from grapes. Cognac comes from a delimited region of western France, in the ...

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Valentines Day Wines for Your Special Someone

It’s not too late for considering Valentines Day wines. What makes the wine “special,” though, is not just the wine itself. Also bear in mind the person with whom it is shared, and occasions you have enjoyed together. Those shared associations will be more meaningful than a pricey wine bought off the shelf just before Valentine’s ...

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Northern Rhone Wines That Will Make You Happy

Northern Rhone Wines That Will Make You Happy I’ve noted to students in my wine tasting courses, many wine regions have produced finer wines over recent years; thus, transforming what is available on the market. That particularly holds true in France. Quality conscious producers are making better wines in many regions. This allows ...

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Bordeaux Wine and Cheese Pairings Guaranteed to Please!

Bordeaux Wine and Cheese Pairings What are the best Bordeaux wine and cheese pairings?  This is a question often asked, and we wanted to offer you an easy guide to help you when hosting a dinner party or luncheon. Easy wine & cheese combinations: Brie with red St. Emilion wine  Soft ripened Saint Albray cheese […]

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New Years Eve Menus With Perfect Champagne Pairings

New Years Eve Menus With Perfect Champagne Pairings So you have decided to host a festive New Years Eve champagne supper. You’ll want to choose from a few New Year’s Eve menus and make sure to pair the food thoughtfully. There are still many choices to make, depending upon your preference for sweet or dry […]

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What Are The Best Thanksgiving Wines? We’ve Got Answers

What Are The Best Thanksgiving Wines? The traditional Thanksgiving turkey is not an easy fit with wine. The upside of that dilemma is that there are no “right” Thanksgiving wines to serve. Turkey is not one of those meats that is automatically associated with any particular wine. And since our American family Thanksgiving ...

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Saint Emilion Wines: The Best You Need Under $100

Saint Emilion Wines: The Best Wines You Need Under $100 St. Emilion Wines can be pricey, luckily, you can find great values as well.  Here is our shortlist of Saint Emilion wines under US$100: Chateau Pavie-Macquin Chateau Figeac Chateau Canon Chateau Beausejour-Becot La Tour Figeac Chateau Balestard la Tonnelle Chateau Moulin St. ...

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What Is the Best Rosé Wine to Drink Now? We’ve Got Answers

What Is the Best Rosé Wine to Drink Now? It wasn’t long ago when rosé wine was something of a novelty, inexpensive and of marginable quality. You might enjoy a refreshing glass from time to time, but they were not considered to be serious wines. I recall a trip to Houston. At the time, the […]

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The Best Chablis Wines to Drink Now!

The Best Chablis Wines to Drink Now! When I was in college, it often was my task to provide refreshments when visiting dignitaries came to talk to our budding diplomats club. The talks were interesting, but the wine was pedestrian. The very worst of those was a sweet, unbalanced Chablis from California. I made myself […]

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Burgundy Wines of the Cote de Beaune: Rare & Compelling

The Cote de Beaune: Rare Wines and a Treasured City The Cote de Beaune, the southern half of the storied Cote d’Or of Burgundy, swings in a southwesterly arc from Aloxe-Corton four miles north of Beaune, to Saintenay, some 16 miles away. The entire region could be covered in a few hours, but do yourself […]

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Vosne Romanee Wine: Tasting Notes From Our Expert

Vosne Romanee Wine: Tasting Notes From Our Expert The wines of the Vosne Romanee region of Burgundy are rare, full-bodied and pricey.  The region lies between the picturesque Clos de Vougeot and the succulent Nuits St. Georges, many wine tasters’ favorite region in the Cote d’Or of Burgundy. To make a comparison with the Medoc […]

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The Rare Burgundy White Wine That’s On the Market Again!

Chambolle-Musigny: The Rare Burgundy White Wine That’s On the Market Again Chambolle-Musigny, the smallest area of storied grand cru wines in Burgundy, is well worth your visit. It has two grand cru red wines, Le Musigny and Bonnes Mares, and one storied grand cru Burgundy white wine, Le Musigny Blanc. Bonnes Mares is a ...

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Armagnac Makes the Perfect Hostess Gift

The Perfect Guest Brings Armagnac! You have been invited to a pleasant dinner party. And since you know a thing or two about wines, you might please your host and hostess with a fine bottle of wine. Why not try something different? A well-chosen spirit, Armagnac or Cognac, will last longer, and your host and […]

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What Are the Best Italian Wines For Your Collection?

What Are the Best Italian Wines For Your Collection? The value of a personal wine cellar is now well established. You buy young wines, often at their best price and greatest availability. Your wine cellar features the wines that you like best, both as to vintage and region of origin. With both young and mature […]

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When is the Best Time to Open Your Special Wine?

When is the Best Time to Open Your Special Wine? Many wine lovers have a good supply of wines that they enjoy drinking on a regular basis. One thinks of Chablis, for example, or Chateauneuf du Pape. Some fine Sauvignon Blanc wines from the Loire Valley, and some half bottles of Sauternes, give pleasure in […]

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