Bon Vivant: (n) a person having cultivated, refined, and sociable tastes especially with respect to food and drink.

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Posted in: Helpful Hints, Upcoming Events, Wine vocabulary

Have you ever been surprised when a glass of wine you ordered was much different than you expected? A single varietal can express many different characteristics depending largely upon where it was grown.

Although this difference can sometimes be affected by cellar manipulation, usually it’s a matter of what wine people call “terroir”.

Terrior is defined as “the complete natural environment in which a particular wine is produced, including factors such as the soil, topography, and climate.  The characteristic taste and flavor imparted to a wine by the environment in which it is produced.”

Have you ever compared your favorite varietals from different locations?  What words come to mind when you see “Chardonnay”? “Oakey” and “buttery” are overwhelmingly used to describe this versatile grape.  However, they’re the last words that come to mind when I taste a crisp Chardonnay from Chablis, France! 

If you’re interested in learning more about how terroir affects your favorite wines, check out my next event, “Vino vs. Vino”.  We’ll be blind tasting 4 wines from California and France and discussing some of the major differences in these esteemed wine producing regions.

Vino vs vino 4


When did a wine last surprise you?


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5 Wines to Beat the Heat

Posted in: Bon Vivant, Upcoming Events

‘Cause it’s hot as hell

With DC facing heat advisories for the rest of the week, I could think of no better time to recommend some of my favorite wines to cool down with during these dog days of summer.


1) Grüner Vetliner

  • This Austrian grape offers crisp acidity, often with green apple and citrus notes. If you like Sauvignon Blanc, there’s a good chance you’ll like this, too!

2) Provençal Rosé

  •  Aromatic, with lovely fruit notes on the palette and a dry finish, rosés are immensely food friendly. Gone are the days of syrupy sweet white zins! This easy drinking wine makes it chic to drink pink, and most can be had for well under $20!

3) Vinho Verde

  • This lightly effervescent wine from Portugal is perhaps the quintessential warm weather wine. Vinho Verde is known for being refreshing & extremely easy on the wallet! The New York Times recently ran an article on this mainstay of summer libations, calling it “cheap and cheerful”.

4) Riesling

  • I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this grape, as 2013 has been dubbed the “Summer of Riesling”. More versatile than many people realize, many Rieslings are actually dry! They can be quite refreshing and are immensely food friendly. Try one from the New York Finger Lakes, Austria or Germany!

5) Cava

  • If you like your sparkling wine on the crisp side, Spanish cava is a sure bet to cool off these hot DC days!

Want to taste some of my personal picks?

I’ll be hosting a happy hour and teaching a wine class at Tabula Rasa on August 1 featuring wines to get us through the Dog Days of Summer in style! Check out the details on my events page for more info!

What’s your favorite wine to beat the heat?

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