Author Archives: firstvine

Four things I learned about wine this year

Another year nearly done.  Time for another “Things I Learned” blog post, right?  Unlike previous attempts, though, there’s a twist this year.  All of these topics have pushed me to do more digging, ask more questions.  Three of these four … Continue reading

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Thanksgiving Roundup

Over the years of this blog’s existence, we’ve put out plenty of recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers, but not too many for Thanksgiving dinner itself.  The rationale for this was simple:  most of you really don’t want to mess with Thanksgiving … Continue reading

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21st century independence, French style

Back in one of my previous ramblings about what’s changed over the time I’ve been importing wine, I wrote that I thought there were more independent producers in the Rhône Valley and the Languedoc than when I started the business.  … Continue reading

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A tale of two (wine) media

So…this happened:  the wines I import from Domaine Marion Pla in the Languedoc got a lovely review in the Washington Post.  I didn’t know about it, though, and was surprised when I started getting orders for the wines.  My customers … Continue reading

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Subsidizing French vineyards for the future

Last week I profiled Marion Pla, winemaker of Domaine Marion Pla in the Languedoc in southern France.  She had told me about wanting to make white wine and having to buy new land that already had white wine grapes growing … Continue reading

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Grandma knows best, and other tales of a family winery

  In February, I attended back-to-back wine shows in Lisbon, Portugal, and Montpellier, France.  I met a lot of winemakers and winery reps and tasted plenty of good wine.  I’ll probably end up buying from a few of them.  I … Continue reading

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Unlike grapes, truckers don’t just grow on trees (well, vines, but you know what I mean)

  Long time no blogging!  Those who noticed might have wondered what the silence was about. First, they don’t call it the summer doldrums for nothing.  Wine sales for First Vine slump in the summer and it doesn’t seem to … Continue reading

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Fungicides used most on wine grapes are one less thing to worry about, despite the numbers

Three years ago I wrote what has turned out to be my most-read blog post, a summary of a study on pesticides in French wine.  A French consumer protection organization, Que Choisir, tested around 100 French wines for 165 different … Continue reading

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Does wine shorten your life, or does life without it just seem longer?

I’ve read as many studies on alcohol and health as possible for the past decade-plus.  And also the media coverage that goes with them.  As I’ve mentioned before, wine studies are often big news.  And by the time the coverage … Continue reading

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Winemakers fight global warming with science and tradition

In my last post I mentioned some of the impacts of global warming on grape growers and winemakers, as told to me by winemakers at two European wine shows.  While extreme weather and shortened growing seasons were shared concerns, the … Continue reading

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