Serious Grape

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Champagne for Valentine's Day

Champagne—real Champagne—has unequaled power. Perhaps it's the finesse, the blush of bubbles that carry mineral notes like a stream burbling over stones. The hints of lemon peel and brioche, tea and quince. It's the festive pop, too, that tells us we're celebrating. But this love potion really works because we associate it with happy moments. More

Serious Grape: Dolcetto Under $20

The name Dolcetto means "sweet little one" in Italian, but don't let that fool you: wines made from this grape are dry and easy drinking. Mostly cultivated in Piedmont, Italy, Dolcetto wants to be sipped while young and cheerful and full of fresh cherrylike flavor. More

Cheers! Sparkling Wine for New Year's Eve

You can't ring in the New Year without bubbles. (Go ahead and toast with sparkling cider or a non-alcoholic punch dosed with club soda—it's the fizz that counts.) If you're not shelling out for real Champagne, there are a dizzying array of options. Luckily the Serious Eats team has sorted out the delicious from the drainpours and now present to you our top choices in bubbly for ringing in 2011. More

Serious Grape: A Look at This Year's Growing Season

Back in April, Michael Honig reminded us that at the heart, winemakers are farmers. "We don't grow bottles," he said, "we grow grapes." So today I wanted to take a look at how those grapes have been growing around the country. The weather has been somewhat erratic, hotter than usual in New York's wine regions, and cooler in California (with a few scorching days), but winemakers are hopeful about what they're seeing. Will 2010 be a great vintage or a catastrophic one? More

Critter Wines: Do They All Suck?

"Critter wines"—which feature a cat, dog, rooster, or other cute "critter" on the label—are generally sniffed at in the wine world. Some people love critter wines, but I've been warned that good critter wines are few and far between—that cute labels often compensate for mediocre wines. Today, I'm putting that theory to the test. More

Serious Grape: Grenache Blanc

Today we wind up our Grenache series with six wines made from Grenache Blanc. This grape probably developed from a mutation in red-skinned Grenache—the same way Pinot Gris arose from Pinot Noir. Grenache Blanc is common in southern France, where it's blended into white Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Côtes du Rhône wines. More

Extreme Wine Pairings: What to Pair with Snake, Bat, and Grasshoppers

Red wine with snake meat, white wine with bat? If you were ever a fan of Survivor, the reality show where contestants survive on some pretty funky foraged foods, you might have wondered if the right wine might have made that meal a little more palatable. We asked two gutsy, irreverent wine professionals to recommend wines to pair with "extreme" food choices. We even included suggested preparations. More

Serious Grape: Decanting Demystified

The idea of decanting a wine—pouring the contents of a bottle into another vessel—may strike you as fussy and pretentious act, conjuring up images of white-gloved butlers and wine snobs. People have been decanting wine since at least Roman times because until recently, wine was not filtered and clarified as part of the wine-making process. More

Serious Grape: A Mixed Case of Interesting Reds and Whites for Fall

If you're longing to learn something new this fall, how about grapes? Most of us gravitate to the same few grapes when we buy wine and prefer to bank on familiar favorites rather than take a risk with something we're not sure we'll like. But these grapes will please most palates and provide you with an opportunity to expand your wine knowledge--and your wine comfort zone. More

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