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Janine Buchal
Janine Buchal
Member Since 2012
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Volunteering at wine events is a great way to get involved in your local wine scene and get stage-door access to the excitement of a special weekend or event. Janine Buchal shares some tips after volunteering recently at Colorado’s Urban Wine Fest.

Croatian wines are quickly gaining a following in the United States. Since the mid 1990s, the culture of wine production has significantly branched out from thousands of small vineyards run by families as hobbies (which still exist) to include private wine estates producing wine on a larger scale that appeal to wine drinkers in the U.S. and beyond. 

Mother’s Day Wine Gift Ideas
By: Janine Buchal
Posted: May. 01, 2013

You may be asking yourself what to get Mom for Mother’s Day. If she is a wine enthusiast with a creative soul or a sharing spirit, here are a few fun and economically friendly ideas to consider. Even if she isn’t much of a drinker, these ideas will aid her entertaining spirit and may be the centerpiece of the day that celebrates her fun loving, social centered, conversational side.

Wine Kegs, What a Concept
By: Janine Buchal
Posted: Apr. 16, 2013

Virtually everyone has been invited to a “BBQ kegger” or at least heard of a beer keg. But have you heard of a wine keg? The trend is taking off in both the consumer market and the restaurant industry.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Need a suggestion for pairing your cabbage and pork, your stuffed cabbage roll, corned beef sandwich or your no-so authentic roasted cabbage wedge salad? Look no further. Here are some wonderful wine pairings that will leave you satisfied and looking forward to those St. Patty’s celebrations. 

Top o’ the mornin’ to you Lassies and Laddies! It wasn’t too long ago that you would have to really dig to come up with viable wineries in Ireland. After all, the Irish folks are whiskey and beer drinkers, right? Not so anymore! The European Commission has now officially listed Ireland as a wine producing country! It seems Ireland has begun to put itself on the map as far as the wine world is concerned.

It goes without saying California is the big dog in American wine production, and as we saw a few weeks ago, its neighbors to the Southwest—New Mexico, Arizona and Texas—are developing their own wine presence (albeit on a much smaller scale). Our fellow countrymen to the East—New York and Pennsylvania, in particular—have fingers in the wine pie, too (literally, in New York’s case). And some determined vintners are producing better and better wines out of the complicated soil and moderate climates. Wineries in those states now represent some of the most renowned and well-traveled wineries in the United States.

Wine and cigars seem simple enough but often quickly confuse and alienate folks. Thankfully, it’s really not that complicated. A little chemistry 101 lesson and you will be good to go. It’s important to start with the components that make up cigars, then understand the components of wines. Once you know those two pieces of the puzzle, you’ll be able to decide which cigar would pair well with which wine.

Today is Presidents’ Day, and whether you’re working or have the day off (some people still apparently get the day off), it’s a day to celebrate the office of the President (and, sure, commiserate over this or that policy). One of the lesser-known components of our presidents’ lives are their favorite foods.

Domestically, California still leads in grape production among prosperous vineyards due to rich soil and a nearly perfect climate. Yet a few other southwestern states are showing up to the Wine Table. Among those getting a second look, and yes, taste, are Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. 

Ahhh, Love is in the air. When we think of Valentine’s Day, Cupid carrying a heart of chocolate comes to mind. How about Cupid carrying a glass of wine? This year, the theme for your Valentine’s Day could be “Romance from across the World.” There are some amazing choices for far reaching countries that can assist you in creating a pleasant experience of wine themed by a region like Australia or Portugal. Or try all reds from various countries pairing each with a separate regional course. Perfectly great wines for Valentine’s Day, of course, include luscious, flavorful and bold reds like Zinfandel or Syrah. They may also include vibrant sparkling wines too. Regardless of your choice, preparing a meal that includes wine should be thoughtful and from the heart.

Twenty years ago, a dozen Hawaiian restaurants banded together to launch a Hawaiian Regional Cuisine Movement focused on elevating the Hawaiian culinary experience by featuring local produce and seafood. Presented through each chef’s own distinctive style of cooking, it has resulted in exciting, creative presentations and delectable dining experiences.

We all think we know the rules: White meat and fish go with white wines; red meats, game, red sauces and stews go with red wines, right? Sometimes the options can be slim, and some foods actually do not go well with wine because of a sinister chemical reaction. But there are a few good rules of thumb to keep in mind when you’re not sure where to start. Read our guide.

Please take your seat. Make sure your tray is in its full upright and locked position and fasten your seatbelts, as we are about to take off for our flight! Wine flights are as popular as the leg from New York to London. No, these are not airline flights you pay for and wine is served as the beverage of choice. WineTable writer Janine Buchal explains why they are a hot trend not going away anytime soon and what you can expect when you try one.

So many wines, so little time. What is going on with all these wines on the shelf? Where are they from and how did they get here? If you are feeling confused—even disillusioned—while strolling the wine aisles of your local liquor store, you are not alone. A December 2012 University of Michigan study revealed that a small number of distributors control the majority of wine brands you see on the shelves, creating an “illusion of diverse ownership.” It’s a fact people in the industry know well, but one that evades many consumers.

In the beverage industry, winemakers and spirits and brew masters do not sell directly to restaurants or liquor stores. They need distributors. Much like the food industry, a three-tiered system is in place to achieve this. Producer, distributor and restaurant or retail shop owners all work in harmony to provide the makings of stellar libations from around the world. Janine Buchal shares insight into the work day, goals and benefits of a wine rep.

Collecting Wines on a Budget
By: Janine Buchal
Posted: Dec. 26, 2012

Collecting wines for the budget-conscious seems almost as vast and insurmountable task as collecting car parts or motorcycles. But as with motorcycles, you need to focus on specific goals and actually set a realistic budget or you may quickly get into trouble with your spouse... Staying on budget requires looking at your overall goals. Price, length of storage, where you store it and for what purpose (investment or eventual consumption) are all things to consider. Wine consultant Janine Buchal walks us through the important things to think about.

Curious about what goes on at a typical wine tasting event? Quite simply, it is a combination of interactive education, tasting, and my favorite, “eat, drink and be merry!” Find out what to expect next time you attend and search the WineTable events calendar for upcoming tastings in your area.