Wine Enthusiast Magazine's 25th Anniversary, 1988–2013

Here are the top stories that changed the way we drank then, and are still influencing today's wine culture.


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From Malbec Mania to Sideways hysteria and beyond, Wine Enthusiast has been on the ground and in the dirt for every major wine story in the last 25 years. Here are the top stories that changed the way we drank then, and are still paving the way for the new wine culture now.

As Wine Enthusiast kicks off its second quarter century, we dump the urge to navel gaze or unleash a history lesson on our readers and—along with a nod to why it mattered then—offer a healthy dose of how it affects what’s in your wine cellar now. You’ll learn a little about where we as a magazine, and the wine drinking public, have come in the last 25 years, but you’ll also walk away with relevant and current wine recommendations tying into the trends from our expert team of wine reviewers.

Here’s to 25 more years of excellent wine in the glass. Cheers!


Top Story 1991: Once King, Now Just a Prince

Relax, Merlot’s place in the hierarchy is secure.

Given Merlot’s post-Sideways blues, when it was almost fashionable to diss it in public, it’s hard to believe Merlot was the “it” variety in the late 1980s and early ’90s.

Critics dubbed it “the soft Cabernet,” the red wine you didn’t have to cellar to enjoy. That it also sounded romantically French probably helped boost its image.

Merlot was so hot, America’s first woman Master of Wine, Mary Ewing-Mulligan, wrote about the “international cult of Merlot vintners” in the March 1991 issue.

But only a few years later, critics and consumers began to find the problem was with the wines themselves. Many were lackluster, with indistinct flavors. They certainly had little in common with the great rich wines of Pomerol.
By the mid-1990s, most experts found Merlot boring, leading to Miles’s famous hissy fit in the 2004 movie Sideways, “I am NOT drinking any @#$%&*# Merlot!”

Today, the variety is enjoying a comeback, although it’s also fair to say that consumers never really abandoned Merlot. Sales have always been brisk, especially when priced moderately on restaurant wine lists and store shelves.

The best Merlots are costly, although when compared to the best Cabernets, they’re relative bargains. While Sonoma County and the Santa Ynez Valley can impress, look to Napa Valley’s mountains and benches for standard bearers that are lush, soft and decadent—exactly what Merlot is supposed to be.

Taste the Trend

These West Coast Merlots are the real deal—and are realistically priced.

90 Sbragia 2010 Home Ranch Merlot (Dry Creek Valley). An impressive wine. Ed Sbragia wrestles that famously briary Dry Creek rusticity to the ground, forcing it into refined elegance. With straightforward blackberry, cherry, mocha and cedar flavors, it’s simply delicious for drinking now. Editors’ Choice. —S.H.
abv: 14.5%       Price: $25

90 Chateau Ste. Michelle 2010 Canoe Ridge Estate Merlot (Horse Heaven Hills). Made in fairly modest quantities, this Merlot bears dark fruit that shows a pleasing, dusty quality. The blend includes 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, which keeps it in the Bordeaux-style camp. Firm and concentrated, it finishes with a tasty mix of cocoa, coffee grounds and Asian spices. Editors’ Choice. —P.G.
abv: 14.5%       Price: $25

89 J. Lohr 2010 Los Osos Merlot (Paso Robles). A beautiful red wine to drink now for its rich, ripe flavors and overall balance. It’s soft in acids and fine in tannins, offering heady waves of black cherries, currants and chocolate. Easy to find, with nearly 75,000 cases produced. Editors’ Choice. —S.H.
abv: 13.5%       Price: $15

1989 1990 1991
Baroness Philippine de Rothschild and Robert Mondavi gave new meaning to the term Franco-American when they broke ground on their Opus One winery just east of Napa Valley’s Highway 29. Just in case you think chasing vinous Best Buys is a post-inflationary, post-recessionary phase, our first Value Issue appeared in 1990, when gas cost less than $1 per gallon and unemployment was under 6%. Our readers have always loved getting good deals. California’s grape growers were thrown into turmoil by the resurgence of phylloxera in the state’s vineyards. Despite the vast expense of replanting on truly resistant rootstocks, the new vineyards set the stage for today’s golden age of California wines.

 

Top Story 1992: Red, Red Wine

When 60 Minutes first reported on “The French Paradox,” America rediscovered red wine.

Although the original 60 Minutes segment on “The French Paradox” aired Nov 17, 1991, the shockwaves it sent into the American consciousness (red wine sales spiked 40% in the following month) continued through the following year and persist into the present.

The idea that moderate consumption of red wine could have health benefits was a revelation to many at the time. Correspondent Morley Safer, who reported the story, told Wine Enthusiast that as many as 40 million viewers tuned in for that airing of 60 Minutes.

Numerous medical studies since the groundbreaking report have confirmed an association between moderate alcohol consumption and a reduced risk of heart disease.

Wine—red wine in particular—contains hundreds of chemical compounds thought to have disease-fighting properties. It’s rich in antioxidants, and particular attention has focused on the compound resveratrol, the subject of numerous studies about its potential health benefits.

Although there may be other reasons for wine’s boom, there’s no doubt the health effects have had a major impact on how much red wine Americans drink.

Taste the Trend

Pinot Noirs from cool, damp climates tend to have the highest levels of resveratrol, according to researchers at Cornell University.

90 Bergström 2010 Cumberland Reserve Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley). Bergström’s lineup of Pinot Noir begins where many other wineries finish. This complex, earthy wine shows its fair share of herb and even a hint of stem, but those are offset by crisp, well-defined flavors of cranberry, cherry and spice. A fine example of this winery’s house style. —P.G.
abv: 13.5%      Price: $42

90 Movia 2007 Modri Ceglo Pinot Noir (Brda). Like all of Movia’s red wines, the Modri Ceglo is deeply herbaceous on the nose and palate, with hints of menthol and bramble adding complexity to elegant, crisp red-fruit flavors. The palate is ripe and silken, but elegantly structured with brisk acidity and whispers of graphite, soy and brine that linger long on the finish. Domaine Select Wine Estates. —A.I.
abv: 13%          Price: $40

89 Heron Hill 2009 Ingle Vineyard Pinot Noir (Finger Lakes). Strikingly aromatic of plums, briar and menthol, this is a brisk, elegant Pinot Noir with concentrated but crisp red-fruit flavors. Tones of granite and penetrating, velvety tannins add structure and style. —A.I.
abv: 12.5%      Price: $20

1992 1993 1994
CBS News correspondent Morley Safer shared his thoughts on “The French Paradox” and some personal wine secrets in the May/June 1992 issue, where he divulged his preference for Bordeaux, especially Château Palmer from his daughter’s birth year, 1970. Following the repeal of apartheid in 1991, South African wines began to slowly enter the U.S., allowing WE to offer a first comprehensive look at that country’s “new to us” wine scene. This year marked the first time we crowned our “Best of Year” wines, a process that has grown into our annual Wine Star Awards program, including winemakers, wineries, wine regions, sommeliers and more.

 

Top Story 1997: Australia’s Ascent

Imports from Down Under have had a lasting impact on American wine drinkers.

In 1996, Australian wines were starting to take off in the United States. The biggest brand was Lindeman’s, which accounted for over 700,000 of the 2 million cases of Australian wine imported.

Most of that was the company’s iconic Bin 65 Chardonnay, a perennial on every critic’s list of great values. It would become a million-case brand before a series of management changes eroded its cachet.

In July 1997, Wine Enthusiast started to look beyond the dominant brands of the era, introducing readers to exotic-sounding wine regions like Barossa Valley, Coonawarra and Yarra Valley.

Today, big brands like Jacob’s Creek, Penfolds and particularly Yellow Tail (a reported 8 million cases imported in 2011) are ubiquitous. Colorful, graphic labels have replaced rows of staid, Old World packaging, revolutionizing how affordable wines are marketed.

And those regional Australian wines we championed more than a decade ago are increasingly turning up on upscale wine lists. There’s more diversity in Australian wines than ever before, from dry Clare Valley Rieslings to savory Victorian Shiraz and cedary Coonawarra Cabernets.

These are not the big, bulky behemoths that made a noisy splash in the early 2000s only to rapidly recede, but a new wave of balanced yet flavorful Australian wines. If you think you know Australian wines, these will show you how wrong you are.

Taste the Trend

These three wines may come from historic producers, but they highlight the resurgent themes of elegance and balance evidenced in today’s Australian wines.

91 Petaluma 2012 Hanlin Hill Riesling (Clare Valley). This is floral on the nose, offering up hints of talcum powder and restrained fruit. Yet the apple, cinnamon and lime flavors bust out on the palate before ending in a long, potent, citrusy finish. Drink now or hold up to 10 years. Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners. Editors’ Choice. —J.C.
abv: 13%            Price: $22

91 Yarra Yering 2009 Dry Red Wine No. 2 (Yarra Valley). The Yarra’s relatively cool climate gives this wine its unique balance of blueberry fruit and savory espresso and black olives. It’s ripe enough to be supple and round, yet crisp enough to remain lively and fresh, with a lingering finish. Old Bridge Cellars. —J.C.
abv: 13.5%          Price: $95

90 Yalumba 2010 Menzies The Cigar Cabernet Sauvignon (Coonawarra). This textbook example of Coonawarra Cabernet shows hints of the minty perfume characteristic of the region, plus bold cassis fruit and ample oak. The tannins are supple, the acids bright, making it easy to drink now and over the next 7–10 years. Negociants USA, Inc. —J.C.
abv: 14.2%          Price: $25

1995 1996 1997
Movie director Francis Ford Coppola became the Godfather of Napa, purchasing the historic Inglenook Winery and estate for a reported $9 million. Since then, he’s cast one wine sequel after another. Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and…wine? Yankees skipper Joe Torre posed on the cover of the October issue showing that wine was just as much a part of our culture as Chevrolet. The World Wide Web started becoming the World Wine Web, as wineries scrambled to build their first Web sites and retailers ventured into the Promised Land of online sales.

 

Top Story 1998: The Rise of the Celebrity Chef

From haute gourmets to household names, cooks are today’s rock stars.

The chef-as-celebrity phenomenon may have originated with Julia Child in black and white, but Emeril Lagasse certainly “kicked it up a notch” in the late ’90s, bursting out of the kitchen and into our living rooms by way of bold flavors and a colorful personality.

As Wine Enthusiast reported in the 1998 story, “Sparkling Emeril,” Lagasse brought the cult of cooking home to thousands of viewers on his hit Food Network show Emeril Live. It marked a turning point in foodie culture, as Lagasse became one of the first chefs to brand himself with award-winning restaurants, cookbooks and, of course, signature one-liners. “Bam!”

So what’s the recipe for celebrity chefdom today? It’s one heaping portion of personality, one part signature cooking style and one part empire building. From running restaurants to hosting TV shows to staging epic cooking battles in “Kitchen Stadium,” chefs are up there with the rock stars and actors of our time, building brands that reach across platforms to make us passionate about—even obsessed with—food.

Mario Batali, Alain Ducasse and Gordon Ramsey have all featured on Wine Enthusiast covers since 2010, marking the rise of the celebrity chef as a continuing trend, not a passing fad.

Taste the Trend

Michael Chiarello, Tyler Florence and Lidia Bastianich are all chefs whose reaches extend far beyond the plate—now all three have wine projects to watch.

93 Chiarello Family Vineyards 2008 Roux Old Vine Petite Sirah (St. Helena). A beautiful wine, just what a Napa Petite Sirah should be: Dark, dry, tannic and muscular, showing leathery, meaty flavors, with hints of blackberries, chocolate and violets, and a sprinkling of pepper. Great now for its full-bodied richness, and should develop interestingly over the next decade. —S.H.
abv: 14.9%            Price: $50

91 Tyler Florence 2008 TF Cab Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). This strong, brawny wine is furry in tannins and brambly in wild blackberry and cassis flavors. There’s a sweetness to it that suggests liqueur, though the finish is dry. The new oak is strong, but proportionate to the wine’s inherent volume. Entirely drinkable now with grilled steak, but if you have a cellar, try stashing some for up to six years. —S.H.
abv: 14.4%             Price: $65

87 Bastianich 2010 Adriatico Malvasia Istriana (Istria). Though aromatically subdued, there’s an intensity of tangerine and lime zest flavor in this dry, invigorating Malvasia. The midpalate is marked by elegant white-flower notes that linger on the slightly astringent lime-pith finish. Dark Star Imports. —M.L.
abv: 12.5%              Price: $16

1998 1999 2000
In our December issue, we took our food and dining coverage and “Kicked it up a notch!” adding celebrity chefs to our regular coverage mix. The September issue was the first one in which all of the wine ratings and reviews in the Buying Guide were generated by our own writers. Like ratings or not, we give that decision 100 points. Cover somm Ralph Hersom of Le Cirque shared some of his trade secrets, helping to make the folks with the tastevins around their necks much less scary.

 

Top Story 2003: Bonded wineries Reach all 50 states

America Becomes a Wine-Producing Country.

In 2002, when Pointe of View was bonded in North Dakota, every U.S. state officially produced wine. Not every winery grew its own grapes—some trucked them in from out of state—but the spirit of winemaking was alive and well in America.

To celebrate, Wine Enthusiast published a roundup of some of the country’s unheralded wine regions in the August 2003 issue. From New York’s Hudson Valley to broader overviews of entire states, like Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Pennsylvania, it was a tribute to the winery pioneers who led the way.

Less than 10 years later, many of those areas have blossomed. Virginia earned feature coverage in our March 2013 issue, and we expect others to follow. Arizona, Colorado and Texas all show considerable potential and are developing wine tourism opportunities.

Minnesota is home to one of the world’s foremost cold-climate viticulture research facilities, continually developing grape varieties hardy enough to withstand harsh conditions.

As Americans’ interest in wine has grown, so have the number of wineries, giving consumers an increasing number of locally produced options. It’s a development that has gone hand-in-hand with the locavore movement, and one that’s sure to continue bearing fruit in the years ahead.

Taste the Trend

From elegant reds to charming whites and even aged fortifieds, we continue to be surprised by the wines emanating from many of the 50 states.

90 Barboursville 2009 Octagon (Virginia). This Octagon is dark and charred smelling, with aromas of blackberry, cocoa, savory spice and cherry. The palate is tight yet finessed, bearing vigorous yet manageable tannins that should eventually fade with time to reveal a charming wine. Flavors of graphite, fine herbs and coffee grounds add interest to the finish. —A.H.
abv: 13.5%           Price: $50

90 Sawtooth 2011 Riesling (Snake River Valley). Spicy and substantial, this authoritative Idaho Riesling snaps into tight focus around apple and melon flavors. Hints of clove and ginger add complexity. Best Buy. —P.G.
abv: 13%              Price: $11

87 Mount Pleasant Winery NV Tawny Library Vol. XIV Port (Augusta). The nose drips with browned butter and herbal liqueur accents, with added complexities of spiced fruitcake, cocoa and roasted nut. Huge in flavor, the palate is chocolaty and nutty, with a salient oloroso-like quality. It finishes on a gutsy toasted-almond note. —A.H.
abv: 20%               Price: $55

2001 2002 2003
Our World’s Best Vintage Chart moved to its permanent home in the February issue. Now representing more than twice as many regions of the world, it’s also available at winemag.com/vintagechart More than just pretty faces, impressive wines from Colgin, Dalla Valle and Viader landed Napa’s leading ladies on the cover of our June 2002 issue. The lack of French backing for the invasion of Iraq creates a short-lived but emotionally charged anti-French sentiment in America. “Freedom” fries reigned and Bordeaux was banished. We’ve moved on.

 

Top Story 2004: ‘Tinseltown’ and Wine

Pinot Noir explodes in popularity following 2004 film.

Which came first, California Pinot Noir’s popularity, or the hit movie Sideways, which brought it to the world’s attention? However you look at it, the movie became linked with the phenomenal rise of the great grape of Burgundy in the Golden State.

As recently as the 1980s, critics argued that California was too hot for Pinot Noir. They disparaged it as simple, thin, rustic—and most of it was. Planted in areas that were too warm and overcropped, it yielded indifferent wines.

However, a few visionaries saw the possibilities. From Anderson Valley in the north, down through the Sonoma Coast, Carneros, the Santa Cruz Mountains, the valleys of San Luis Obispo and into the Santa Rita Hills, they defied conventional wisdom and planted Pinot perilously close to the ocean, in places that would be anathema to Cabernet Sauvignon.

The result has been to demolish the “Pinot can’t succeed in California” thesis.

In all likelihood, the state’s Pinot Noir would have become famous without the movie, although it might have taken a little longer. But the movie was fun, and it brought droves of tourists to Santa Barbara’s wine country. Pinot Noir now rivals Cabernet Sauvignon as California’s greatest red wine.

Taste the Trend

Here are three top-rated California Pinot Noirs from three different parts of the state. We’re sure Miles would be glad to try any of them.

99 Williams Selyem 2010 Hirsch Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast). This expresses the greatness of its vintage and vineyard, offering wave after wave of raspberry and cherry pie flavors, plus notes of red currant, sweet licorice, spicy Dr. Pepper and smoky sandalwood. There’s also something exotically briary and wild that intrigues. Even more remarkable is the texture, an amalgam of acids and tannins that rivals any Pinot Noir ever produced in California. It should age for up to 20 years. Cellar Selection. —S.H.
abv: 14.3%         Price: $75

96 Talley 2010 Rosemary’s Vineyard Pinot Noir (Arroyo Grande Valley). Exceptionally delicious to drink now, this is rich, vibrant and complex. It offers wave after wave of raspberry and cherry pie filling, rose tea, mineral and smoky sandalwood flavors, which are all wrapped into an incredibly fine texture of complex tannins and vibrant acids. The finish is dry and graceful. It’s tough to keep your hands off of this wine, but it should hold in the bottle for 6–8 years, gradually losing fruit and gaining earthy, mushroomy complexities. —S.H.
abv: NA%            Price: $70

95 Cassiopeia 2010 Wentzel Vineyard Clone 667 Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley). A very pretty expression of Sean Thackrey’s Cassiopeia clonal experimentation, this is gorgeously floral and well-rounded, with bright, concentrated lush flavors of cherry with a light layering of spice. Well-integrated, it’s a standout among standouts. —V.B.
abv: 14.3%          Price: $45

2004 2005 2006
The stemless “O” wineglass is released by pioneering glassmaker Riedel, making it officially O.K. for wine lovers to go casual. Yet to read a newspaper restaurant review that takes wine seriously, we launch Wine Enthusiast’s own Restaurant Awards program. It now appears in our August issue as America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants. With the addition of Chicago to our roster of event cities, WE officially covers the country with signature consumer tasting events. Look for a colorful new twist this year as we launch the Red and White Bash.

 

Top Story 2008: Malbec Mania

During this three-year period, no wine was more popular in the United States and grew faster than Malbec from Argentina.

From 2007–2009, there may have been only one consumer product that Americans embraced more than Argentinean Malbec, and that was Apple’s iPhone—that’s heady company.

In 2006, the Argentine wine industry had shipped just over 900,000 cases of Malbec to the United States. Three years later, that number had exploded to nearly 4.2 million cases. Along the way, annual growth of Argentine Malbec in the U.S. was over 45% in 2007, over 60% in 2008, and nearly 50% in 2009, according to the Wines of Argentina trade group.

While sales growth of Argentina’s signature wine has slowed in recent years (aggregate growth from 2009 through 2012 was about 10%), by the end of 2013 nearly five million cases of Argentine Malbec will pass onto the palates of wine drinkers smitten with one of the world’s friendliest, most value-rich, full-bodied reds.

Paul Hobbs, a leading California winemaker who has made wine in Argentina since the 1990s, attributes the Malbec explosion to attractive pricing, the “discovery” factor and what’s in the bottle.

“Malbec serves up a delicious, almost irresistible blueberry cheesecake in a glass experience,” says Hobbs. “Consumers can spend under $10 or over $100 a bottle and be confident that they’ll get a lot of bang for their buck.”

Taste the Trend

These top examples of Malbec are among the best we’ve reviewed this year, and while not cheap, none will break the bank.

94 Viña Cobos 2010 Bramare Malbec (Luján de Cuyo). This beautiful, lush, modern Malbec explodes with power then simmers with complexities. The color is opaque and the bouquet issues intense blackberry, lemon peel, graphite and toast aromas. In the mouth, it’s full but not flabby, and then comes an avalanche of black-fruit flavors matched by notes of spice cake, molasses, pepper and mocha. It’s warm, toasty and full of licorice on the finish. A superb wine to drink now through 2018. Paul Hobbs Wines. Editors’ Choice. —M.S.
abv: 15.2%          Price: $44

92 Bodega Catena Zapata 2009 Catena Alta Malbec (Mendoza). This is gorgeous on the bouquet, with earth, flower blossom, licorice and sandalwood aromas. It feels lush and layered, with ripe, happy flavors of sultry black fruit and cassis. Fruity, long and delicious on the finish, this is a very easy Malbec to dig into now and until 2015. Winebow. —M.S.
abv: 14%            Price: $55

92 Michel Torino 2011 Don David Finca la Maravilla #6 Malbec (Cafayate). After years of tasting Don David Malbecs, here’s one that rises above the rest. This is jammy and stacked with brawny black-fruit aromas. The mouth is bulky and bullish, but balanced, with blackberry flavors that are coated with copious oak and end in a tornado of coffee, mocha, mint and oak. Drink now through 2016. Frederick Wildman & Sons, Ltd. —M.S.
abv: 13.9%        Price: $25

2007 2008 2009
Americans ring in the age of dry rosé, launching an era of unprecedented growth for the genre. Today, consumption of premium dry rosés continues to boom. Tuscan authorities accuse several producers of violating Brunello di Montalcino DOCG production laws by using unapproved grapes. But in true Italian style, the Brunellogate scandal doesn’t appear to slow sales. In the face of economic uncertainty, we and many other Americans emphasized home entertaining over big nights out. Party tips, décor, menus and—of course—what to drink.

 

Top Story 2012: China Goes Red (and White)

As the massive country’s middle class grows, so does the demand for wine and its associated lifestyle.

In the May 2012 issue of Wine Enthusiast, Beijing correspondent Jim Boyce reported on an emerging and potentially insatiable Chinese thirst for wine, especially in the cosmopolitan cities of Beijing and Shanghai.

More than 1.6 billion bottles of wine were sold in China in 2011, mainly prestige bottlings from France often used for gifting as a sign of respect. That number can’t be ignored.

We heard the call, launching a Mandarin Chinese edition in 2012 with wine-loving basketball star and Napa winery owner Yao Ming as our inaugural cover story.

Wine bars, events and tastings are sweeping China’s major cities. Domestic wineries are winning international awards for reds that meet the country’s taste for smooth but ageable bottlings. The bulk wine trend that was so prevalent just 2–3 years ago has been largely relegated to the past.

A fast-growing number of consumers are thirsty for information on value wines, up-and-coming regions and wine travel and lifestyle trends.

Wine Enthusiast continues to expand its footprint in the ever-expanding market, releasing seven issues a year focusing on wine education, lifestyle, entertaining and more.

Taste the Trend

Despite enormous hype about the effects of China’s wine consumption on Bordeaux, consumers there are branching out and discovering good-value wines from all over Europe.

88 Les Deux Rives 2010 Rouge (Corbières). The bright nose leads with aromas of crushed granite, damp forest floor and baked boysenberry cobbler drizzled with cassis liqueur. This is medium-bodied, with integrated alcohol and very little glycerol. This robust red has focused acidity and pleasantly tugging, broad tannins. Squeaky-clean fruit and smart winemaking make this a curiously rambunctious yet polished wine. Pasternak Wine Imports. Best Buy. —L.B.
abv: 13.5%          Price: $12

87 Beronia 2009 Crianza (Rioja). This is light in color but packs punch and quality. The nose is mild but spicy, with red plum and cherry aromas. It’s juicy, fresh and medium bodied, with flavors of plum and raspberry along with oak-driven vanilla. For a snappy wine, this has just enough stuffing to take it up a notch. San Francisco Wine Exchange. Best Buy. —M.S.
abv: 13.5%           Price: $15

89 Loosen Bros. 2011 Dr. L Riesling (Mosel). Intense lemon and lime-skin aromas add sheen to ripe, juicy citrus, peach and honey flavors in this off-dry Riesling. Racy and crisp on the palate, it finishes vibrant and dry with lingering crushed-slate minerality. A fantastic bargain for such a solid wine. Loosen Bros. USA. Best Buy. —A.I.
abv: 8.5%             Price: $12

2010 2011 2012
Seemingly overnight, the cocktail culture took off. America went from having a couple of mixologists to having thousands, and through the pages of Proof Positive, WE continues to bring the trends, the drinks and the personalities home. Contrary to what we’d like you to think, the best way to learn about a wine isn’t by reading about it here. It’s by going to the place where it originates—and in 2011 we expanded our travel coverage to help you get more out of your trips. Technologies like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram add new social aspects to wine appreciation that reach global proportions. Now everyone can show off the fabulous bottles they’re enjoying. 

 

Sideways may have propelled California Pinot Noir to popularity, but hip-hop stars Drake and Trey Songz put Moscato on the map. Check out other pop culture wine references and trivia here >>>

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