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Rex Goliath, Chardonnay

by Jason Lightner July 23rd, 2014| California Wine, Wine
rex goRex Goliath

California, Chardonnay

$7.49

"It's a black fly in your Chardonnay..."

Those lyrics will forever haunt any occasion during which I am drinking an otherwise delightful glass of Chardonnay. It is perhaps well known that I am not what anyone might refer to as a drinker of white wine, although I have been known to dabble quite a bit, as one does. Variety is the spice of life, after all, and I'm not going to deny a good drink the honor of being enjoyed simply because of the beverage's hue. That would be both incredibly rude and unbecoming of a wine
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Masi, Masianco Pinot Grigio e Verduzzo, 2012

by Jason Lightner July 16th, 2014| Italian Wine, Wine
food-50940_640Masi

Italy, Pinot Grigio e Verduzzo, 2012

$15.99

There's something special about blends. The artistry, the level of detail, the expert awareness of subtle changes based entirely upon slight variations in the recipe ... It's an incredible balance which must be struck in the pursuit of not only a drinkable wine, but an enjoyable and memorable wine. This is why I tend to avoid blends from lesser renowned wine producers — you honestly can't be sure they really give a damn about consistency and quality. When I find a reputable source, however, that's when I feel as though I've won the lottery.

From the textured, egg-shell
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Martini & Rossi, Asti Sparkling Wine

by Jason Lightner June 25th, 2014| Sparkling Wine, Wine
KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAMartini & Rossi

Italy, Asti Sparkling Wine, Various Years

$19.99

As we venture further and further into the warmer months, the need for refreshment increases. The red wines and heavy beers will find refuge in our cabinets, while we reach for island lagers and chilled white wines. As it goes, however, there is another option for one's adult beverage enjoyment — sparkling wine. Long relegated to the task of a simple toast, sparkling wine (or Champagne as it's called in France) is seeing a resurgence in casual enjoyment, free from the shackles of wedding days, New Year's celebrations, and kitschy parties of the
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Villa Maria, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, 2012

by Jason Lightner May 28th, 2014| White Wine, Wine
a-glass-of-wine-259858_640Villa Maria

New Zealand, Sauvignon Blanc, 2012

$15.99

With at least 15 distinct wine regions, New Zealand is an interesting choice for the wine enthusiast. Though the country mainly exists within a maritime climate, the grape varietals grown in New Zealand produce some incredibly exquisite wines. The Marlborough region lies on the northeast tip of the South Island, and is considered home to the genesis of modern winemaking in New Zealand, dating back to the late 1970s. And wouldn't you know it — that first wine just so happened to be Sauvignon Blanc.

From the sleek, khaki label, dutifully stamped "Private Bin":
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Graffigna Centenario Reserve, Pinot Grigio, 2012

by Jason Lightner May 14th, 2014| White Wine, Wine
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Graffigna Centenario Reserve

Argentina, Pinot Grigio, 2012

$12.99

It's an Argentinian spring here in sunny Philadelphia. The rain which brought heavy flooding on the Schuylkill River is now just a fading memory, and the time is ripe to enjoy the sunshine with good company, good food, and of course, good drink. It's been several weeks now in which we've sampled the exceptional prowess of South America's finest winemakers, and this is hopefully going to be more of the same. This particular winemaker has produced what I'd consider to be one of my favorite reds (their Malbec) and I've got lofty expectations for their Pinot
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Stella, Pinot Grigio, 2012

by Jason Lightner April 30th, 2014| White Wine, Wine
stella pino grigioStella

Italy, Pinot Grigio, 2011

$7.99

With the weather finally breaking, and the cold chill of Jack Frost behind us, we can dispense with the necessary warmth of a bold and fragrant red and seek out opportunities which might be a bit more refreshing. Italian whites are a good choice for just such occasions, and it's been said that the Sicilian vineyards have been producing quite a product these past few years. The sprawling vineyards lead the way toward sidewalk ristorantes, enchanting music, and exquisite cuisine.

From the winemaker's website, as the minimalist label left it all to the imagination:

Made from

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Cliffside, Central Coast Chardonnay, 2012

by Jason Lightner April 23rd, 2014| White Wine, Wine
winery-253523_640Cliffside

California, Chardonnay, 2012

<$15

Once again, we're sampling a wine from the Cliffside gift basket. This time we've got our mitts on a Chardonnay, so we've chilled it to a cool 50 degrees fahrenheit, and are about ready to enjoy. Although it's never been my style to play by the rules of service temperature when it comes to wine, I decided to give it a go this one time to see what happens. Oftentimes I find wine enthusiasts to be a bit on the windy side, as much of the pomp and circumstance surrounding wine culture comes with a large
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Gnarly Head, Authentic White, 2011

by Jason Lightner April 9th, 2014| White Wine, Wine
white wineGnarly Head

California, Winemaker's White Blend, 2011

$12.99

As we touched on previously, whites have never quite been my thing, but as I sample more and more great wine, I find my tastes becoming ever more varied. This is the sort of thing all wine fans should hope to achieve on the road from the days of simply enjoying wine, to the eventual time when one might be considered a connoisseur. It's a long ways off, my friends, but we're getting there, and I'm excited to have you along for the ride.

Gnarly Head has been producing a plethora of wines for
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Once Upon A Vine, The Fairest Chardonnay, 2011

by Jason Lightner April 2nd, 2014| Wine
ouavOnce Upon A Vine

California, Chardonnay, 2011

$12.99

Far be it from me to limit my enjoyment of incredible wine to a single subset of varietals based simply upon the color of the grapes involved in the process. That, my friends, is what they call a folly, and I see no need for follies here today. It's an equal-opportunity world of drinking and merriment, you see, and with the weather breaking, it's high time we started enjoying the dry and refreshing taste of a beautiful white wine. As a beverage like something out of the storybooks, Once Upon A Vine's The Fairest
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Nobilo Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

by Jane Wangersky February 19th, 2014| White Wine, Wine
Nobilo RC SB Screwcap NV (Standard_Final_JPG) [CA-ECM2018074 Revision-4]It's summer in New Zealand. I kept thinking of this last night as I sat drinking Nobilo Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc in a much more wintry corner of the Commonwealth. It's definitely a summery wine.

Nobilo is the name of a winemaking family of Croatians who immigrated to New Zealand in 1936; Marlborough is where they settled, now one of the world's great wine growing regions. Nikola Nobilo helped develop the Marlborough wine industry, while also successfully lobbying for legal serving of wine with restaurant meals.

Sauvignon Blanc, as I find from reading the more experienced reviewers here on Parched No More,
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Folonari Pinot Grigio

by Brendan G February 12th, 2014| Budget-Friendly Wine Review, Wine
wines in windowI recently was at an event where guests were given an option. At every table there was a bottle of red and a bottle of white. The red was a fairly nondescript bottle of Italian Chianti, with which I was not familiar. The white was a bottle of Pinot Grigio with a famous, albeit maligned name. I decided to sample each. While the no name red left me unimpressed, I was somewhat surprised by the Pinot Grigio. Having worked on the retail side, in a liquor store (many years ago), I was familiar with the reputation of this brand:
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Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling (2012)

by Brendan G February 5th, 2014| White Wine, Wine
kfg etcThat time of year has come and gone again. The time that every football fan loves and hates. Loves, because the Super Bowl is upon us, and hates, because it's the last game of the year. Everyone has a different level of interest in the game. If either team happens to be the team you root for, then you will likely be glued to the television. If you're just a fan, you'll be interested, but more so for the final outcome, that may result in you winning a bet or the office pool. Then there's the casual fans, who
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