Category Events

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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Buying wine? Apps can help you make a decision

There are plenty of good wines on the market to fit everyone’s palate profile.

Ramey's 2013 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is stunning.

Ramey’s 2013 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is stunning.

This means there is no reason for anyone to overspend on a bottle of wine in order to enjoy a satisfying experience. I’ve preached this time and again, and yet wonderful people still call me and say, “Jim, I found this California Cabernet Sauvignon for $60. It got a 91 point rating by Wine Enthusiast magazine. Should I buy it?”

My first reaction is to say, “Did you taste the wine?” If the answer is “no”, my next question is, “Who recommended the wine to you?”

First, I rarely buy a wine I haven’t tasted.

Second, I do buy wines based on recommendations from people I know and trust. Once again, it’s not a frequent habit.

Third, while I use wine ratings as a...

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Trump Meritage: Hail to the chief!

At the beginning of election night, both glasses were full of Trump wine.

At the beginning of election night, both glasses were full of Trump wine.

So what’s the best way to celebrate a new U.S. President?

Drink his wine.

On Tuesday night, the Wine Goddess brought out the beautifully decorated presidential wine case she purchased months ago at the Merrimack Valley Food Bank charity auction. It contained two  Trump Winery bottlings and two glasses patriotically decorated glasses – one with Hillary Clinton’s name on it and the other for Donald Trump.

The game plan was to toast the winner – whomever that might be – and go to bed.

But the stunning course of events went beyond our normal 9:30 p.m. bed time.

Without knowing the official outcome, I cracked open the bottle and poured the rich, ruby-colored  wine into the glasses...

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The revival of ancient Greek wines

Parparoussis Petite Fleur Rosé

Parparoussis Petite Fleur Rosé

Greece is the 14th largest wine producer in the world, an astonishing fact considering the country’s total land mass is slightly larger than the state of Tennessee.

It’s not easy to plant vineyards there either. Of Greece’s 50,000 total square miles, 70 percent is mountainous and 20 percent is made up of islands.

Up until the 1960s, the Greek wine industry was nondescript, lacking in quality.

Ktima Biblia Chora Areti Wine

Ktima Biblia Chora Areti Wine

Ahhh, but how things have changed since then.

Greek producers have recaptured the glory of ancient times, when Plato and Socrates wrote about wine’s value in living a healthy, productive life...

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Fab 50: Tickle your taste buds and celebrate a milestone at a Grand Tasting in Andover on Saturday

From left, Krista Ross, Sam Messina, Chris Maban, Erica Rivera, Stephen Ross and David Messina of the Wine ConneXtion in Andover.

From left, Krista Ross, Sam Messina, Chris Maban, Erica Rivera, Stephen Ross and David Messina of the Wine ConneXtion in Andover.

Wine drinkers, rev up your palates!

On Saturday, the Wine ConneXtion in North Andover is hosting a Grand Wine Tasting event to celebrate its seventh anniversary.

Co-owners Sam and Tina Messina and their staff have culled a list of more than 1,000 brands and come up with 50 favorites in all wine styles, varietals and price points for your palate-pleasing pleasure.

The free-of-charge event runs from 1 to 5 p.m. and is open to the public. Food will be served and there is ample parking in the First and Main Street Plaza where the store is located.

“We have a lot of fun with this event but it’s hard work selecting the top wines for it,” says Sam Messina, the inimitab...

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Two wines that clear up the confusion on Montepulciano

What’s the difference between Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Montepulciano D’Abruzzo?
The answer is simple: Both are wines made entirely from different grapes grown in different regions.

Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepuliciano is enjoyed with a caprese salad.

Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepuliciano is enjoyed with a caprese salad.


Vino nobile di Montepulciano is named for the town/region in Tuscany where ancient Etruscans first planted vineyards. The wine is made from a clone of the Sangiovese grape; it is called prugnolo. (The red-skinned Sangiovese also furnishes unique clones to make Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino wines.) According to Karen MacNeil’s excellent book The Wine Bible, the wine was popular among “noblemen, poets and popes” and in the 18th century picked up the name “vino nobile” (noble wine).
On the other hand, the wine Monte...

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Tenuta Sette Ponti’s Crognolo: A consistently elegant Super Tuscan

The 2014 viintage of Tenuta Sette Ponti’s “Crognolo” — a Super Tuscan blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot — was released several months ago and is now available in Massachusetts and New Hampshire wine outlets.

A solid Super Tuscan blend for the price: Crognolo 2014

A solid Super Tuscan blend for the price: Crognolo 2014


If you like full-bodied, dry Italian red wines with a lot of character and smoothness, this one is worth a try. As far as Super Tuscans go, the price is a bargain. The suggested retail price for Crognolo is $35 but it’s now being offered at several locations at a deep discount. (It’s $26 at Vino Italiano in Waltham and $27.99 over the border.)
Crognolo, named for the wild bush Cornus, has a track record for quality and taste dating to its debut vintage in 1998...

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Say ‘Ole!’ to Jorge Ordonez’ Spanish wines

If you know little about Spanish wines, today’s your lucky day. Craig Gandolf, a Lowell resident, is the USA Wine Director for one ofthe biggest and most respected production and importing houses in Spain — Jorge Ordoñez Selections.muga0
Ordoñez, who has strong roots in Massachusetts, including a home and office on Cape Cod, has helped to liberate and elevate the Spanish wine industry over the past two decades. He’s promoted innovative methods to improve quality, turning what was once a bleak global market for Spanish wines into a leading position among consumers. (Spain is the world’s No. 3 wine producer.)  And for 19 years, Gandolf’s been a go-to guy in the Ordoñez operation...

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