(Montlouis, Loire Valley, France) $34 (750ml)

Richness in wine often comes with a sigh of heaviness (witness so many chardonnays). But this beautiful Montlouis (mon-loo-EE) from the Loire Valley is just the opposite. Although it has a texture that’s as lush as lanolin, the wine’s flavors are electrically charged—a spring-loaded combination of roasted nuts, green apples, lemons, spices and something wonderfully saline and chalky. Like its sister Vouvray, Montlouis is made from chenin blanc grapes. Dry, racy, taut and opulent all at the same time, this François Chidaine is the product of a single biodynamic vineyard lying on top of a bench of ancient limestone. (13% abv)

92 points KM

Available at K&L Wines

Which of the following important rivers runs through the Rioja region of Spain?

  • A. The Duero River
  • B. The Río Oja
  • C. The Ebro River
  • D. The Guadalquivir River

Scroll down for the answer!

“We think of syrah as pinot noir with more structure. Syrah is for pinot noir lovers with really sophisticated palates.”

—Greg Harrington, owner/winemaker, Gramercy Cellars, Walla Walla, Washington


Thought to be the oldest branded wine in the United States (dating from circa 1835), Virginia Dare was named after the first child born of English parents in America. The white Virginia Dare was originally given the not-very-PC name Minnehaha (meaning the red, Pocahontas). The wine was made from scuppernong, a variety of native grapes that were found growing along the coasts of Virginia and North Carolina. (The grapes are named after the Scuppernong River). During Prohibition, the company that made Virginia Dare stopped making wine and instead manufactured flavorings, which depend on alcohol during extraction. In 2016, Francis Ford Coppola renamed his Geyser Peak Winery in California to Virginia Dare Winery. The Virginia Dare Extract Company is still manufacturing flavor extracts in Brooklyn, N.Y.


A term used to describe a briar patch or light bark-like taste in a wine. Briary wines can sometimes also have a slightly scratchy texture.


I once asked Luke Smith, owner/winemaker of Howling Bluff winery in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia what it was like to make pinot noir. He paused for a moment then said, “Making pinot is a little like waking up a woman at 3 in the morning… Continue Reading

C.The Ebro. Rioja, considered Spain’s preeminent wine region, spreads out for 75 miles along the Ebro River in northeastern Spain. The name Rioja, however, is probably derived from Río Oja, one of the seven small tributaries of the Ebro River. The Duero River runs through the Spanish wine region Ribera del Duero. And the Guadalquivir runs just north of Jerez (Sherry).