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Maggie Bernat Smith
Maggie Bernat Smith
Member Since 2012
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U.S. producers are now making wine in all 50 states. So just what happens when you plant grapes in a tropical place like, say, Hawaii? You don’t see the larger fluctuations in temperature of the more well-known wine regions. But if you believe in the French term terroir, you will get a product bespeaking the soil from which it grew: you will get bottled sunshine.

Bubbles v. Bubbles
By: Maggie Bernat Smith
Posted: Dec. 27, 2012

Bubbles vs. Bubbles, what's the difference? There are endless choices now of fizzy wines to choose from, Champagne being the most well-known and most expensive of all the fizzy wine is where the tradition started. It's the original masterpiece. Champagne is the region outside of Paris where the bubbles were perfected and is the gold standard of sparkling wine today. Depending on your budget and palate, you can get a wide range of fizzies now and this will help you pick the right one.

How Champagne is Made
By: Maggie Bernat Smith
Posted: Dec. 26, 2012

Champagne is the only region in the world where the wine breaks all the rules of what we consider the best, such as wines made from a single estate, from a single vintage, where what happens in the cellar is noninterventionist. Champagne is the epitome of a blend. It’s a blend of grapes (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier), it’s a blend of regions within Champagne, and it’s a blend of years. But the winemaker, called a master blender, is considered to hold the most coveted and respected position in the Champagne region.

Once the nectar of the wealthy and the symbol of luxury, the essence of finesse and grace is now thankfully accessible to all of us. We drink bubbly wine to celebrate the biggest events in our lives, to ring in the New Year and to make an already wonderful event even better. But understanding Champagne vs. other sparkling wines is still misunderstood. Why would you pay a starting price of, say $50, when you can buy a bottle of Prosecco for $8?

‘Tis the season to throw parties, one of my favorite pastimes. Deciding on the guest list, hors d'oeuvres, which cheese pairs with which wine, and every other detail that goes into planning a holiday party can be exhausting. We understand you have a wide range of guests and different palates to satisfy so here's your fail-proof wine guide for all your holiday events.

If you seek pleasure in life and in wine then my suggestion to you is, do not miss out on dessert wines. This lost and forgotten soul of the wine world rarely gets the attention it deserves anymore. Once the wine of kings, it is now rarely indulged by us, maybe because we just don’t know what to expect. The holidays are the perfect time to take your indulgence to the next level (you can worry about your diet on January 1). Accompany one of these pleasure-bringing wines with your dessert this year and you will see eyes light up like the Christmas tree!

You say "potato," I say "Idaho!" But if you think of the Pacific Northwest wine regions, Idaho may not roll right off the tip of your tongue. As a wine region, this underdog is definitely the lesser known, to say the least, but it’s worth a moment in the spotlight. Get the primer on Idaho wine from Sommelier and WineTable writer Maggie Bernat Smith.

Napa Valley is Napa Valley is Napa Valley. That seems to be the general consensus when talking about the wines from there. But it’s an unfortunate generalization—comparable to saying San Francisco is the same wherever you go in that great city. In truth, there are many unique distinctions in the valley, one of which is the wine from the hills.