(Salta, Argentina) $17 (750ml)

Buenos Aires circa 1950; the lobby of a grand hotel. Ceiling fans circle lazily in the heat. Elegant women and well-dressed men feign desire for one another, but it’s too damn hot to do much more than drape oneself limply over a setee. Then a waiter arrives with an ice bucket. Inside, a cold bottle from Salta, beading up with condensation. This is that wine. Bracing, spicy, refreshing. Just enough edgy citrus to enliven the mood. Torrontés is Argentine’s racy white. This one, from 40-year-old vineyards in the Andes, deserves to be part of your summer. (13.6% abv)

90 points KM

Available at Wine.com

Which of the following statements about sauvignon blanc is NOT true?

  • A. Sauvignon blanc is a parent of cabernet sauvignon.
  • B. Savagnin is a parent of sauvignon blanc.
  • C. Sauvignon vert is a synonym for sauvignon blanc.
  • D. In Chile, friulano was mistaken for sauvignon blanc.

Scroll down for the answer!

“A raisin tastes like a raisin. It’s bad for the wine industry when [grapes get so ripe that] wine from all places tastes the same.”

—Randy Dunn, owner/winemaker of Dunn Vineyards in the Napa Valley. Dunn kicked up a controversy a few years ago by vowing to never make a wine over 14 percent alcohol.


We celebrated Cinco de Mayo last week with a glass of one of our favorite wines from Mexico. The quality of Mexico’s wines has been skyrocketing in recent years. Some of the best include powerful, super-soft cabernet sauvignons and red blends from Baja California such as Adobe Guadalupe’s Gabriel and José Luis Durand’s Ala Rota. While in Cabo San Lucas two weeks ago, I was also knocked out by a new wine called Megacero—a fantastic, complex merlot, shiraz, cabernet blend from the vast northern state of Chihuahua. The Pope was in Mexico right before me, and he tried Megacero before I did. Man, Francis is just too cool.



Pét-Nat is a contraction of the French term pétillant-naturel (natural sparkling). Pét-Nat wines are sparklers made in the “ancestral” method whereby the wine is bottled before primary fermentation is finished, without the addition of secondary yeasts or sugars (as would be done when making a sparkler by the Champagne method). The result is a cloudy, rustic bubbly that can smell pretty funky (sometimes appealingly so; sometimes not). Pét-Nat sparklers can be white, rosé or red and are usually stoppered with a crown cap (just like beer). Because of the way they are made, the sparklers have highly unpredictable flavors. Hard to say if that’s good or bad.

Windspeed with Karen MacNeil - Winespeed blog


I often hear people say a wine is elegant, and I describe certain wines that way too. But what is elegance in wine? If you look up elegance in the dictionary, the synonyms are grace, style, refinement, even sophistication…Continue Reading

C.Sauvignon vert—also known as sauvignonasse and friulano—is quite distinct from sauvignon blanc, but it was long mistaken for it especially in Chile. As for answer A, sauvignon blanc is indeed a parent of cabernet sauvignon. (The other parent is cabernet franc.) And regarding B, according to DNA profiling, savagnin, an important grape in the Jura, France, is a parent of sauvignon blanc as well as a parent of chenin blanc, grüner veltiner and silvaner among other white grapes.