Celebrating the Revival of Irouléguy #Winophiles

This month the Winophiles group explores the wines of the French Basque country, which really means only one appellation: Irouléguy. This tiny wine region, just 220 hectares total, has experienced quite the revival in the last two decades. In fact, it turned its reputation around big time, and we love that kind of story, which applies to regions and sometimes even entire countries.

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New Zealand Chardonnay with a view of the Pyrenees

About two weeks ago, Wednesday 10pm, it was too late when we remembered the Wine Pairing Weekend tasting group on Twitter (#WinePW) had a New Zealand theme planned in August. A few hours later we were off to France. The odds of us joining the #WinePW fun looked slim. Finding quality New Zealand wine in Toulouse France, we thought, would take far more than a quick trip to supermarkets like Carrefour or Casino. Click on picture to read more.

A celebration of wine industry upgrading paired with South African food truck takeout #WinePW

When the #WinePW group announced the theme of this month, South Africa, the first word that popped in our minds was not a region or grape variety, but “upgrading.” That’s one of the big words we ran into at the beginning of our wine research a few years ago. Why? Because our first instinct was to go to… our university libraries’ databases. Oh, college professors. We can’t be saved. Anyway, this month’s #WinePW theme is a good reminder that we are terribly ignorant about South African wine, and South Africa more generally, and don’t drink enough South African wine!

Comfort food and sunny red: Gérard Bertrand Côtes des Roses with Senegalese mafé and fonio #Winophiles

When L.M. Archer announced that this month’s #Winophiles chat would focus on Gérard Bertrand, from the Languedoc, the first thing we thought was… sun, we need sun. And next, our squirrel brains took us back to sunny Senegal memories, and a craving for one of our favorite dishes: mafé. We’re so busy lately that we didn’t have much time for proper wine planning. But the beauty of big brands like Gérard Bertrand is that you can have them any time, no planning required. Gérard Bertrand wines are not only delicious, they’re also easy to find anywhere.

Made in China sparkling Cabernet Franc pairs great with weeknight dinner #WinePW

Every time we go to China, we bring back as many Chinese wines as we can fit in our trusty Wine Check suitcase. But knowing how hard they'll be to replace, we tend to be shy about opening them. You know, waiting for that "special occasion" that doesn’t come remotely often enough. Luckily, we’ve been following a group of wine writers who gave us the perfect excuse: “Cabernet Franc around the world” is this week’s Wine Pairing Weekend Twitter chat (#WinePW). We love Cab Franc, but it’s usually cooler climate reds from the Loire Valley. This time, we went a different route: bubbles from China. Click on photo to read more.

Foreign investment, joint ventures, and Chinese wine

Our story on how joint ventures with foreign wine groups played a role in boosting quality and credibility for Chinese wine. It was published by The Conversation on April 17, 2018. This one focused on French investments, but make no mistake, they're not alone, and with multinationals, who's from where can be a little complicated! Click on photo to read more.

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