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WineSpeed with Karen MacNeil | Poggio al Tesoro

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


(Tuscany, Italy) $23 (750ml)

The name Solosole sounds like a song by Frank Sinatra, but this fresh, delicious vermentino is a terrific dry Italian white with lots of personality. (Side note: vermentino is everything pinot grigio wishes it could be, but usually isn’t). I love Solosole’s wild, piney aroma that seems straight out of the Tuscan countryside. And the light, clean flavors—peppery, outdoorsy, fruity, herbal—are intriguing. A few bottles of this in the fridge, some good pasta in the cupboard, and you could hide out at home for the whole weekend. (14% abv)

89 points KM

Available at wine.com

What is Savennières?

  • A. An appellation in Bordeaux where semillon and sauvignon blanc grapes are grown
  • B. An historic style of sweet wine made in the Côte Chalonnaise
  • C. An appellation in the Loire Valley where chenin blanc grapes are grown
  • D. An appellation in the Loire Valley where sauvignon blanc grapes are grown

Scroll down for the answer!

“I like on the table, when we’re speaking, the light of a bottle of intelligent wine.”

—Pablo Neruda, Chilean poet, Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature (1904 – 1973)


Tasmania, the smallest state of Australia, is a triangular, mountainous island in the Southern Ocean, about 150 miles south of Victoria. With its mild, sunny, cool, maritime climate, the island is known for its pinot noir, as well as chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, riesling and sparkling wines. Tasmania (or “Tazzy,” as it is often called locally) is named for the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, who discovered it in 1642. The island’s vast array of plant and animal life includes the Tasmanian devil, a not very devilish, doglike creature, which, like the kangaroo, is a marsupial.


In 1968, when Boots and Al Brounstein founded their winery Diamond Creek on Napa Valley’s Diamond Mountain, the going price for a bottle of great Napa Cabernet was $5. (Just about the only wine that cost more…Continue Reading


A flavor in wine generally associated with those of grass, moss, vegetables or herbs. Also a flavor found in wines made from under-ripe grapes. A certain amount of greenness can be characteristic of, and positive in, some varietals like sauvignon blanc. With most red varietals, however, significant greenness is considered a defect.

I swear, I did not make this up: A new line of red wine hair products called Vine de la Vie has come to the market, promising to make curly red hair shinier, blonde hair brighter and brown hair richer. (No word yet on black hair.) The $35-$50 products (shampoo, conditioner, mask, etc.) contain a red wine “extract,” which, according to the company, provides antioxidants that heal hair and keep it healthy. The product website says that the extract is “found in only one region of the earth.”

C.Made in the middle Loire Valley, in a tiny area just south of the city of Angers, Savennières (sa-vin-YARE) is a densely flavored dry white wine made from chenin blanc grapes. The best Savennières wines have such intensity, grip, minerality and taut acidity that they can be aged for decades.


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