Category: Vino Sense

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The Perks Of Being A Master Sommelier

When I was a child, I often wondered what it would be like to be a pilot. I thought it would be really cool to be able to fly a plane and all the perks like free travel, and not having to wait in line at security (although long security lines are a recent phenomenon). […]

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The Importance Of Context In Wine Tasting

If the painting Water Lillies by Claude Monet was hanging on the wall of a sidewalk café, would it be treated with the same reverence as it does in the Musee de l’Orangerie? I was reminded again of the importance of context at a dinner a few weeks ago. I was invited by a friend […]

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So What’s Wrong With Riesling?

If Burgundy and Champagne did not exist, my favorite wine would be German Riesling. Several years ago I wrote a piece extolling the virtues of this noble varietal. And as wonderful, versatile and expressive Riesling is, the amount of it sold in the state of Hawaii is pathetic. Importers and winemakers alike wonder what is […]

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A Fine Line Between Sweet And Dry Wine

The boundaries between dry and sweet wines are much more blurred today than I can remember. Moscato d’Asti is the rage, and sweet red wines are even more abundant than “dry” red wine drinkers can imagine. To purists and geeks, it is quite easy to tell the difference between sweet and dry, but for most […]

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Tales Of An Accidental Sommelier

I would like to think that everyone has a seminal moment or epiphany when they realize just what they want to do for the rest of their lives. But the truth is that not everyone has that moment. That is why I am so thankful and blessed to have been in the right place at […]

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The Varied Nuances Of Oak In Wine

I was sitting next to a campfire on the beach after a day of playing in the sand and water. The fire’s smoke wafted this way and that as the breeze took it wherever it played. That smell of smoke, toast and fire reminded me of the wood that so permeates the many wines that […]

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Wine In Island Culture

I have been reading about the history of wine for many years now, and its significance in many cultures, primarily European. The central role that wine plays in rituals, religious or otherwise, is unique as a beverage. The symbolism of life that the vine has in Western culture also is a recurring theme. The vines’ […]

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When Wine Geeks Are Fashionistas

You know how some wine fanatics can get really “geeked out” looking for the newest fashion in wine? I do, and the current fashionable category of wine for geeks and sommeliers to rave about is “orange wine.” No, this is not wine made from oranges. These are white wines that have so much color to […]

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Defining the Classic Cab

I recently returned from a trip to Napa Valley with a grim observation: I believe that most drinkers no longer know what a “classic” Cabernet Sauvignon tastes like. With the taste of the most influential wine critics, Napa Valley wine producers are chasing flavor and richness in their wines. The result is that Cabernets no […]

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Sommeliers Make Some People Nervous

Believe it or not, sommeliers are not the most beloved people in the wine business. Consumers sometimes treat us with distrust, disdain and even fear. I can understand that we can be intimidating at times. Some sommeliers are downright snob-by and condescending, which is unforgivable and class-less. Those sommeliers should learn some humility and remember […]