Eat & Drink

A Bargain Red Perfect with Pasta or Poultry

By Arturo Ciompi | March 13, 2019

I remember a visit to Southern Season by Cosimo Taurino, one of Italy’s best producers of the Puglian red wine, Salice Salentino. Seems we were selling more of his wines than anybody in the American Southeast! The reason was simple; they were excellent, sound, flavorful wines that we were bringing […]

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A Classic Napa Valley Cabernet

By Arturo Ciompi | March 6, 2019

Many of you know the Charles Krug name as Napa Valley’s oldest winery. Established in 1861, during the very distant American Civil War, it has had a storied but checkered history. The Mondavi family, owners since 1943, endured a split between sons Robert and Peter. Robert left in 1965 to […]

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A Chilean Take on a Finicky Grape

By Arturo Ciompi | February 27, 2019

What is pinot noir supposed to taste like? Do pinots that taste wildly different from French Burgundy deserve a place in the wine world? Pinot noir is one of those grapes that doesn’t do well just anywhere. And the results can be just horrific – the smell of burnt rubber, […]

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Not Your Everyday Tuscan Wine

By Arturo Ciompi | February 21, 2019

One of today’s trends worldwide is to make wine using indigenous grape varieties. Badia a Coltibuono is a famed Chianti Classico producer using the traditional (and indigenous) sangiovese grape to produce outstanding wines. But a few years back they began bottling a red wine made from sangiovese and a handful […]

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Bubbly for Your Boo

By Arturo Ciompi | February 13, 2019

Lovers of all kinds, but perhaps Prosecco lovers, might like to try today’s bubbly as a fun alternative. Riesling is no stranger to sparkling wine, with Henkell German sparkling a perennial favorite. Today’s wine comes from Argentina and is comprised of 80% riesling and 20% torrontes, Argentina’s well-known, brisk white […]

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Instead of a Whole Bouquet, Try a Valentine’s Rosé!

By Arturo Ciompi | February 6, 2019

The Anderson Valley is, more and more, a ”go-to” county for seductive pinot noir. And that goes for brilliant rosés made from the pinot grape as well. Today’s example is from the small estate of Long Meadow Ranch Winery. Winemaker Stéphane Vivier works beautifully with these grapes that carry the […]

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Try This Fresh, Vibrant Côtes Du Rhône

By Arturo Ciompi | January 30, 2019

The scuttlebutt in the southern Rhône region of France has been 2016. This wonderful vintage of richness combined with freshness has tickled the fancy of value-oriented consumers. But 2015 and 2017 have also contributed to a “no miss” situation. However, the 2015’s are backward and require patience. The 2017 vintage […]

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Make Room for Merlot

By Arturo Ciompi | January 23, 2019

It was 15 years ago that the movie “Sideways” put the kibosh on merlot. It made for a good story, but many pundits and customers alike still avoid it without good reason. (Just why do some people stand in line to pay hundreds of dollars for Italy’s “Masseto,” a merlot […]

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Generous Reds for Winter Fare

By Arturo Ciompi | January 16, 2019

Wine geeks know there are two distinct wines that suffer name confusion. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is a generous grape, and wine of the same name, produced on Italy’s southeastern coast. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is a Tuscan sangiovese from the village of Montepulciano. Confusing? Yes! But we persevere. I loved today’s […]

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Veggie Tales: Eating Healthy in the Bull City

By Amber Watson | January 14, 2019

When you live in the South, eating healthy and eating well don’t always go hand in hand. I love cheesy grits, smoked barbecue, fried chicken and butter-slathered biscuits as much as the next person, but I can’t eat like that every day. When it’s time to switch things up with […]

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