Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc rises to a ‘Signature’ station

By Jim Campanini
Every once in a while I feel the urge for a lip-smacking,
grapefruit-driven, crisp Sauvignon Blanc. It started several years ago when the Wine Goddess — my wife Mary Lee — and I took a spectacular fall trip to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Guess what we drank with our oysters, which were the most impeccably Oysters Rockefellerwe’ve ever tasted? Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, NewZealand.

(Suggestion: If you ever get to Halifax, go to The Press Gang Restaurant & Oyster Bar on Prince Street. The oysters are delivered
fresh daily from 12 local farms. The friendly place features a nice wine menu too.)
There’s nothing like hitting upon a perfect food-wine pairing, and Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc is a go-to drink with shellfish, lobster, seafood app...

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Lacryma Christi may just have you weeping for joy

Terra Mia’s Lacryma Christi has a distinctive label and story to tell.

Just the name – Terra Mia’s Lacryma Christi di Vesuvio Bianco – is enough to intrigue a curious wine drinker to investigate what’s in the bottle. So begins today’s journey into a truly unique white wine from the Italian province of Campania.

According to archaeologists who analyzed residue left on ancient casks, Lacryma Christi comes closest to matching the version of wine drunk by the ancient Romans who lived around the still active volcano Mt. Vesuvius, which overlooks the Bay of Naples.

Lacryma Christi, which means the “tears of Christ”, was a very prized wine in the Middle Ages.  Iit still  lives up to its reputation today although few non-Italians know about it.

Centuries ago, the Romans exported it throughout th...

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Don’t blush to judgment with rosé

A friend asked me why I liked to drink rosé. This was back during Christmas season. He said rosé is a “summer wine.”

I laughed. “Think pink when you drink,” I replied.

Then I explained that rosé has actually become a year-round dry, refreshing wine. It’s a great for as a dinner aperitif, party sipper, or to finish a long day with a vibrant pick-me-up.

But my real affinity for rosé is that it’s not my father’s — or mother’s — sweet White Zinfandel of the 1970s and 1980s.

Naturally, tastes change. Sweet, “blush” Zinfandel wines still sell — 17.2 million cases in 2016 in the United States alone — but total sales are declining each year.

Sales of dry and drier rosés, on the other hand, are soaring. Imports from France, particularly from Provence, are up 44 percent in the U.S...

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Making a case for fabulous Italian wine at $8.11 a bottle

I went on a shopping trip last weekend to New Hampshire with the Wine Butler — my good friend and former Sun photographer Mike Pigeon — to see if we could cash in on a $25 discount coupon published in this newspaper and a 15 percent sale on Italian wines.

We did.

We purchased 13 bottles of red wine that regularly priced at $304.87.

We paid $196.72 — a savings of $108.15.

On a dollar-cost average basis, we ended up paying $15.13 per bottle, definitely the sweet spot of my price range.

The true value was in the wines we secured.

A Volpaia Chianti Classico rated 92 points by Wine Spectator for $16...

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Three unique wines that will change your mind about California

It’s not true that all California Chardonnay tastes the same. In fact, I’m going to suggest several white wines from different appellations to prove that vineyard locations do matter..

While I prefer unoaked Chardonnay (Chablis from France), my all-time favorite Chadonnays are from California. I can always count on Chateau Montelena ($40) and Rombauer ($36.99) to put me in a good mood on the special-occasion wines when I drink these premium wines.

But for everyday patio sipping with friends, California offers great value in the $12 to $25 range. I’ve written previously about Michael David’s Chardonnay from Lodi ($15.99), Au Contraire ($16.99), True Myth ($13.99), Hess Select ($13.99), Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Chardonnay ($10.99), Stag’s Leap ($18.99) and others.

I’m adding two mo...

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A lesson in Chianti Classico from a Wine Novice

Chianti Classico 101. That’s this week’s lesson. Lesson? Well, I received notification from the Wine Scholar Guild in Washington, D.C., that I passed my final exam, taken March 31, and I am now a certified Italian Wine Scholar. My diploma arrived in the mail two weeks ago.

Nearly 18 months of class work, online study and tasting wines are over — for now anyway.

I want to thank my instructor and mentor, Jo-Ann Ross of Boston, for all her patient and inspirational instruction on the art and science of Italian viticulture. Of course, the Wine Goddess, my wife Mary Lee, deserves ultimate credit for lending me her support and palate when most needed.

So back to the lesson.

I fell in love with Chianti Classico during my studies.

It’s an intriguing red wine from central Tuscany whose history date...

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Want good and inexpensive wine? Rhone Valley is right up your alley

Some of the most impressive and wallet-friendly wines arriving in America these days are coming from vineyards in southern France’s Rhone Valley. There’s a reason: The location and conditions are exceptional for growing Grenache, Syrah and Mouvedre — the backbone varieties of the famous Chateauneuf-du-Pape red blend that is lusciously captivating.

Les Dauphins winery isn’t going to sell you a $90 bottle of wine. It would like to, but that’s not the winery’s style. It produces quality Rhone blends that you can buy by the case and without worrying about interest payments accumulating on your credit card.

Its red and white blends for the 2016 vintage year are hitting store shelves now. These are fresh wines and best consumed within a year of their release — which is now.

Les Dauphins is a big...

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Chateau Miraval: Shades of summer

If you’re looking for a dry and delicious rosé to get your summer sipping season started, try Chateaux Miraval Cotes de Provence Rosé. It’s one of my favorites for relaxing on the deck, reading a book in the pergola, or for welcoming guests before dinner.

Chateau Miraval is now on sale for $19.99 through Saturday, April 29, in New Hampshire wine outlets.

The rosé has a Hollywood story behind it.

In 2008, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, then a couple, bought the rundown Chateau Miraval estate in the south of France for $67 million.

They restored the property, including its 150 acres of vineyards, in a joint business venture with the famous Perrin family of Chateau Beaucastel in Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

The viticultural union has turned out better than the Jolie-Pitt marriage, which dissolved i...

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An event all Merlot and Cab fans will drink up

Hilary Goldschmidt “Charming Creek”

World-renowned winemaker Nick Goldschmidt will be showing some of his signature Napa Valley wines Saturday at the Wine ConneXtion in North Andover, from 1-5 p.m.

The public is invited to attend the complimentary tasting, which offers wine enthusiasts a chance to hear this extraordinary talent speak about his passion for single-vineyard Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Chelsea Goldschmidt Alexander Valley Merlot

You never feel cheated from a Goldschmidt Vineyards wine; they’re all 100 percent varietal Merlot or Cabernet and built for power.

He’s got operations all over the world, including New Zealand, Chile, Argentina and California, and is a consultant for many leading wine producers.

Last February, when I wrote about Goldschmidt’s wines following a WC ta...

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Deal (or is that steal) of the week: Kirkland Chianti for $8.47 at Costco

Kirkland Signature Chianti Classico Riserva 2014

The best deal of the week? Kirkland Signature Chianti Classico Riserva 2014, which is now on sale for $8.47 at Costco in Nashua.

This is a steal, and I thank the Wine Goddess, my wife Mary Lee, for her sharp-eyed shopping on a recent trip across the border.

I’ve been drinking a lot of Chianti lately to complement my Italian Wine Scholar studies. In my opinion, Kirkland’s version falls squarely in the middle of the best of the best on quality — yet it’s the price that just bowls me over.

This wine is 100 percent Sangiovese, Tuscany’s primary varietal and the essence of Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.

While Chianti is the name of both a wine and a town in Tuscany, it is the Chianti Classico zone that matters...

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