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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

Drink This Now

Wines of Bolivia

Bolivian wines

Bolivia is home to some old vineyards at altitudes of more than 10,000 feet (reportedly the highest vineyards in the world). Initially, producers made wines with the Moscatel de Alejandría grape to distill into singani, Bolivia's version of eau-de-vie. Today, they are increasingly growing international varieties but using the high altitudes to coax out new, marvelous expressions: white wines with a sweet, floral nose and very high acidity, and big, spicy reds with good structure but gentle tannins. However, approximately 99 percent of Bolivian wines stay in the country, and they are extremely hard to find in the United States. Here are a few of Gustu sommelier Jonas Andersen's favorites. Read more >

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Dr. Vino's Verdict

How to Tell When a Wine is Flawed

Ever wondered where the experts stand on the best wine practices and controversies? In this series, wine blogger, teacher and author Tyler Colman (a. k. a. Dr. Vino) delivers a final judgement.

When is it OK to send a bottle back at a restaurant? When there's something clearly wrong with it. The most common fault is being corked, meaning that a faulty cork has tainted the wine with trace amounts of an element called 2,4,6-Trichloroanisole, or TCA for short. The scent will suggest wet cardboard or mold. Other flaws include oxidation (which can make wines taste more nutty than fruity, and turn white wines brownish) and heat damage (which can make wines taste flat and increase their risk of oxidation). Flaws like these are always legitimate reasons for rejecting a wine. If you simply don’t like what you ordered, that’s a different case.

Related: More From Dr. Vino
Affordable Aged Bottles
A Winemaker's Oregon Nouveau Party

This Old Wine

Essential Drinking for the Beaujolais-Obsessed

You don't have to be a hoarder or deep-pocketed auction-goer to drink well-aged wine. Here, we spotlight affordable old bottles to buy now.

1998 Domaine J. Chamonard Morgon Le Clos de Lys: Beaujolais has come a long way since the days of Nouveau mania. The region now boasts an impressive lineup of skilled small-scale producers making fantastic wines with grapes from the 10 cru vineyard areas. The best wines from the Morgon area have often been known to age well, and this year the husband-and-wife team behind Domaine J. Chamonard released a small cache from the 1998 vintage that had been sitting in their cellars since bottling. While this wine isn't cheap (part of the region's appeal is that the best bottles rarely top $30), its quality and rareness justify the expense for any dedicated Beaujolais lover.

The (Wonderful) Effects of Age: Precise, red-fruit flavors are a hallmark of Beaujolais. Even at age 15, this one has plenty, though what might have once been sharp raspberry has mellowed to soft, sweet red cherry and strawberry. There's also a healthy amount of a pleasantly gamey, earthy note that comes from long aging. The fruit and funk work beautifully together on a light, silky-textured frame.

Drink It With: Something simple, like Judy Rodgers's classic herbed roast chicken with bread salad. Younger, brighter Beaujolais can work well with stronger flavors, but they could overshadow this subtler, more complex old wine.

Best Price Online: $49 at Chambers St. Wines. Find more stores.

Related: Beaujolais Guide
A Winemaker's Oregon Nouveau Party
Top-Vintage Bordeaux for Under $20

The Food & Wine Diet

A Smoked Salmon Rice Bowl with Riesling

Smoked Salmon and Avocado Rice Bowl with Riesling

These healthy recipes are all created to pair with wine (a 5-ounce glass has anywhere from 110 to 150 calories)—all for 600 calories or fewer. Read more >

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Tasting Room

Oregon's Best Gamays

Oregon's Best Gamays

2011 Bow & Arrow Gamay Noir ($19)
Scott Frank trained in France's Loire Valley before moving to Portland to make wines that emulate the Loire's fresh, clean Gamay style.

2011 Evening Land Gamay Noir ($23)
This dark-fruited Gamay, made in concrete vats, is from one of the original blocks of Evening Land's Seven Springs Vineyard, planted in 1983.

2012 Division Wine Co. Gamay Noir ($24)
Using the classic winemaking techniques they learned in Beaujolais, Tom and Kate Monroe produce just 63 cases of this cranberry-scented wine.

2010 Willakenzie Estate Gamay Noir ($26)
Burgundy-born Bernard Lacroute's winery specializes in wines from that region—Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and this fragrant, floral Gamay.

2011 Brick House Gamay Noir ($28)
Doug Tunnell has made Gamay in Oregon's Willamette Valley since 1994. His vibrant, organic bottling is from a four-acre plot on Ribbon Ridge.

Related: Where to Buy Wine Online
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