Category Events

Zoning in on Bobby Zohn’s 90-point wine specials

    Bobby ‘BZ’ Zohn pours from his 90-point wine list at the Wine ConneXtion.

By Jim Campanini

jcampanini@comcast.net

Bobby “BZ” Zohn was back in North Andover last weekend at the Wine ConneXtion, pouring from his list of “90 points and above” wines based on ratings received from Wine Enthusiast and Decanter magazines and top-flight reviewers James Suckling and Robert Parker.

Like snowflakes, Zohn’s events are never two the same. They’re filled with lively, intelligent banter, fun facts on wine trends, delivered in Zohn’s unassuming and friendly manner.For years he’s been a great ambassador for Martignetti Companies, where his title is listed as “Connoisseur Sales Representative”...

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Taste your way to an education in Italian wines (like I did)

By Jim Campanini
If you are truly interested in developing your global wine acumen, there’s no better way to start than with the Wine Scholar Guild’s Italian Wine Scholar program that begins Saturday, Oct. 13.
My mentor , Jo-Ann Ross, will be teaching Unit 1 on Northern Italian wines, which covers Piedmont, Trentino, Alto Adige and Val
D’Aosta.
I began my Italian studies with this class two years ago, and it was exceptional. I met wonderful people in the wine trade, restaurant owners and chefs, sommeliers, and young and older professionals who love wine.
We studied the different Italian regions — their customs and history — and learned about the unique native grapes and distinctive wine-making styles that have given Italy top-tier status with other global producers ...
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Grapes can’t talk — so the Wine Novice will

By Jim Campanini, The Wine Novice

If grapes could talk – some winemakers insist they can whisper to them – Italy’s more than 1,000 varieties could tell stories of how they fueled papal conquests, Roman legions on the move, and even the seductions of emperors and kings.

When I open a bottle of Italian wine, I often wonder who trod the ancient soil of the vineyard where the grapes were grown. The great Caesar? Augustine? Or maybe a Bendictine monk who would later become pope.

The history, culture and cuisine of Italy remain fascinating to this day.

That said, if you enjoy Italian wines or want to learn more about them, I’ll be holding another fun night of vino viniferous education on Thursday, Oct. 11, from 7-9 p.m. at the gorgeous Nesmith House in Lowell...

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5 wines to cure your spring fever

I’ve got spring fever for rosé and lighter white and red wines.

Lately, I’ve been sampling a bunch with the Wine Goddess, my wife Mary Lee, and here are five you should consider for your patio drinking pleasure. Most of these wines can be found in fine wine stores throughout the area and Greater Boston.

Ruffino Sparkling RosNV, Italy, $15

Ruffino Sparkling RosNV, Italy, $15

Ruffino Sparkling Rosé NV, Italy, $15 — This is one of the most exciting sparklers I’ve tasted so far this year (of course, it’s still early in the season). It combines the Glera grape, the foundation for the Veneto’s famous Prosecco wine, and small amounts of Pinot Noir. Both grapes are fermented separately as still wines and then combined in pressurized steel tanks...

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Six wines get stamp of approval from Club tasters

The panel, from left, Rick Sobey, Kori Tuitt, Chris Lisinski, Alana Melanson, Grant Welker, Richard Rourke, Jim Campanini

The panel, from left, Rick Sobey, Kori Tuitt, Chris Lisinski, Alana Melanson, Grant Welker, Richard Rourke, Jim Campanini

‘Tis the season for picking out a special wine for the connoiseur on your list.

The Mill City Oenophile Club, comprised of Sun reporters and editors, met recently at Ricardo’s Trattoria in Lowell for a splendid evening of food and wine tasting. The panel, which included Richard “Ricardo” Rourke himself, blind-tasted six wines in three varietal categories.

The goal was to evaluate the wines individually and assign each a score (5-point system, with “5” being the best) in five categories — appearance, aroma, body, taste and finish.

The beauty of the exercise proved there is a wine to fit every palate preference and price point.

In the end, club members gave all six wines ...

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Hospitality, holiday cheer overflow at Four Oaks’ Doubleback wine dinner

Doubleback Winery's Drew Bledsoe had a fun night talking about his wines and raising money for local charities at Four Oaks Country Club in Dracut. The auction of Bledsoe wines raised more than $48,000 for the Boys & Girls Club of Lowell and the Salvation Army.

Doubleback Winery’s Drew Bledsoe had a fun night talking about his wines and raising money for local charities at Four Oaks Country Club in Dracut. The auction of Bledsoe wines raised more than $48,000 for the Boys & Girls Club of Lowell and the Salvation Army.

Cindy and Michael Kuenzler know how to throw a party.

A week ago (Dec. 1), the Dracut couple co-hosted a spectacular wine dinner at their Four Oaks Country Club with Doubleback winery owners Drew and Maura Bledsoe.

More than 125 guests packed the soldout event, where they dined on Chef Beni’s superb four-course cuisine and drank three equally elegant Doubleback wines.

Drew Bledsoe — trim, fit and sporting a diamond-cluster New England Patriots Hall of Fame ring — wowed the crowd with his neighborly banter (“I grew up in a town that...

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Bledsoe hits new peak with Doubleback wines

bledsoe wines

Drew Bledsoe has spent as many years (9) being a farmer of vines as he spent quarterbacking the New England Patriots (1993-2001).

Boy, how time flies!

Today, at age 44 (he’ll be 45 on Feb. 14, 2017) the Patriots’ Hall of Famer is still turning out winning seasons but on a different turf — the sloping, mountainous vineyards of eastern Washington State where he’s become one of Walla Walla Valley’s leading wine producers.

Each new vintage of his highly acclaimed Doubleback Cabernet Sauvignon ($99 in stores, $89 from the winery) just keeps getting better.

Tonight, Drew Bledsoe and his wife Maura will co-host a private wine dinner with Cindy and Michael Kuenzler, at the Kuenzlers’ Four Oaks Country Club in Dracut. The event is sold out.

The Bledsoes founded Doubleback Winery in 200...

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Amado Sur blends make a nice holiday package

Amado Sur Malbec and Amado Sur Torrontés are a perfect pair for gifting.

Amado Sur Malbec and Amado Sur Torrontés are a perfect pair for gifting.

If you’re looking for a simple, expressive gift for the holidays, why not consider a bottle of wine or two?

Nothing says “thank you” to a party host or hostess better than a bottle of wine. And you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make a point about friendship.

Wine is divine. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy.”

With that in mind here are a pair of Argentinean blends — red and white — that will serve as a wonderful couplet presentation, especially if you add a bow to them. Each sells for less than $13 a bottle.

These are interesting blends that produce a lot of flavor: Trivento Winery’s Amado Sur Malbec red (Malbec/Bonarda/Syrah) and Amado Sur Tor...

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Need a Thanksgiving Day wine? Here are 21 great selections

My wine experts agree: Thanksgiving is an all-American holiday and the traditional turkey dinner with all the fixings goes best with American wine.
However, there are some wonderful Italian, French and Greek wines that pair well with the holiday meal. That said, here are 21 suggestions from some of the best wine directors in the business. Unless where noted, all wines are from California.
Please patronize your local retailers and enjoy — God Bless America!
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Jo-Ann Ross

Jo-Ann Ross

Jo-Ann Ross is a Napa Valley Vintners’ Greater Boston Wine Ambassador as well as New England’s first certified French Wine Scholar and Italian Wine Scholar.
Honig Sauvignon Blanc, $15.99 — The “H” in Honig has a yellow bee on the label as a dedication to its organic vineyards.
Acacia Carneros Chardonnay, $11...

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Wilson Creek’s Peach Bellini: A unique holiday sparkler

So what will I be drinking with the Wine Goddess, Bella the cat, and the rest of the family on Thanksgiving Day?

<a href=”http://blogs.lowellsun.com/winenovice/files/2016/11/Bellini.jpg”><img class=”size-medium wp-image-3531″ src=”http://blogs.lowellsun.com/winenovice/files/2016/11/Bellini-225×300.jpg” alt=”Wilson Creek Winery’s Peach Bellini is fine holiday starter.” width=”225″ height=”300″ /></a> Wilson Creek Winery’s Peach Bellini is fine holiday starter.

There’s one definite on my list, and I got it several weeks ago from Sam Messina of the Wine ConneXtion.
At the time of the store’s Grand Wine Tasting event, Sam said Wilson Creek Winery Sparkling Peach Bellini ($12.99) from Temecula Valley, Calif., would steal the show. I tasted it and he was right.
I drank my first Bellini (Prosecco...

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