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WineSpeed with Karen MacNeil | Joseph Drouhin

Veteran wine writer Karen MacNeil shares insights with subscribers in her weekly newsletter, WineSpeed


(Saint-Véran, Burgundy, France) $19 (750ml)

Come December, just about every wine-drinking household needs a good “winter house white.” Something with a little body, but something that’s still refreshing. Something that will satisfy (even impress) friends who drop in. But something that is definitely not a splurge (after all, you’re probably going to drink a bunch of it). Here’s that wine. A snappy, minerally, simple white Burgundy (100 percent chardonnay) from the old negociant house Joseph Drouhin. It’s not oaky. It’s not a butterball. It’s not opulent. It’s just plain good, and you won’t regret having a lot of it on hand.

87+ points KM

Available at Wine.com

Sauternes is among the few regions in the world devoted to extraordinary sweet wines. Which of the following is not one of the five communes that can produce Sauternes wines?

  • A.Barsac
  • B.Bommes
  • C.Loupiac
  • D.Fargues

Scroll down for the answer!

“Pinotage is what happens when you leave the lovely Pinot Noir in a room with Bill Cosby—an offspring to avoid.”

—Ron Washam, aka The HoseMaster, writing in the Wine Advocate, Nov. 21, 2016


Today, December 5, marks the 83rd anniversary of the end of Prohibition, the nearly 14-year period that shaped America’s current drinking patterns. Prohibition quashed the budding wine culture, and the U.S. became, almost overnight, a society that found pleasure and solace in hard liquor. The Eighteenth Amendment’s constitutional ban on the manufacture, sale, and transport of all alcoholic beverages officially took effect Jan. 16, 1920 (although various Prohibition laws were on the books of individual states earlier), and ended Dec. 5, 1933, with the ratification of the Twenty-First Amendment, repealing the Eighteenth Amendment. It might have taken 83 years, but the culture of wine in America is once again flourishing.


The words “low-alcohol wine” make anyone who has ever tasted one, shudder. The wines are that bad. But maybe not for very much longer. As most wine drinkers know, the high alcohol levels… Continue Reading

C.The communes of Sauternes, Barsac, Bommes, Fargues, and Preignac in the southern Graves region of Bordeaux all produce sweet wines, and all are permitted to use the overall name Sauternes for their wines. (Barsac, a slight exception, can be sold as either Barsac or Sauternes). Loupiac, an appellation also dedicated to sweet wine, is not a part of the Sauternes “group,” although its wines are made in the same manner from botrytised grapes. Loupiac is located between the Garonne and Dordogne rivers in the Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux. Loupiac is sometimes thought of as “poor man’s Sauternes.”


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