Veteran wine writer Karen MacNeil shares insights with subscribers in her weekly newsletter, WineSpeed. Read excerpts from this week’s edition below.

DRY CREEK VINEYARD | CHENIN BLANC 2016

(Clarksburg, California) $15 (750ml)

The credit card bills from Christmas just rolled in. Time to atone for all those pricey wines purchased over the holidays. Here’s the right white that helps you do just that—it’s a juicy, fresh chenin blanc that’s cool and satisfying (and $15!). Clean and pure tasting, it’s the kind of good white you can drink with anything and anyone. This wine has been something of a California classic for decades and has won scores of awards. And who doesn’t need a steal in January? (13% abv)

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89 points KM

Available at Dry Creek Vineyard


Which of the following indigenous Greek grape varieties is red?

A. Agiorgitiko
B. Assyrtiko
C. Malagousia
D. Savatiano

Scroll down for the answer!


“To take wine into our mouths is to savor a droplet of the river of human history.”

—Clifton Radioman, American author and television personality (1904 – 1999)


LADIES OF THE NIGHT (HARVEST)

Most of us know it as a black-currant liqueur, which, when added to white wine, makes a drink called a Kir. But cassis, the liqueur, has nothing to do with Cassis, the wine region. A tiny but popular appellation of Provence, France, Cassis is a small fishing village a few miles southeast of Marseille. Stories are told about how the prostitutes of Marseille, in times past, helped pick the grapes at harvest. Surrounding the fishing village are the vineyards, fewer than 400 acres in all. Most of the wine is mouthfilling dry white, made principally from clairette and marsanne grapes.


Adventurous wines for adventurous people

RHOUS WINERY | ESTATE WHITE 2015

(Crete, Greece) $18 (750ml)

Nervy, edgy, packed with white pepper, this dry white lightning bolt of a wine is made with the grapes muscat of spina and the nearly extinct vidiano. Brace yourself. Rhous’ white is like liquid wasabi. And it’s so great with fish. Makes sense, right? Crete is one of the major islands of the Mediterranean.


Windspeed with Karen MacNeil - Winespeed blog

THE BEST WINE AND CHEESE PAIRING?

Each one of them is artisanal and bursting with flavor. Together, they are devastating. Dolce wine and bleu d’Auverge cheese—the single best way to celebrate National Cheese Lovers Day, which was last week but should be celebrated regularly.

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For some time I’ve been thinking about the idea that the most accessible of all the world’s extraordinary pairings is…Continue Reading


A.Agiorgitiko (ah-your-YEE-tea-ko) in Greek, means St. George. An important, widely planted Greek red grape, it is the source of Nemea, a spicy, earthy, dried-cherry-flavored wine from the Peloponnese peninsula. The grape variety has nothing to do with a widely used rootstock also called St. George.

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