#181-183: Wine Trends Issue

  • California Close-Up: Top producers’ new releases reviewed
  • Is Red Bordeaux Rising On-Premise?
  • Special Report: Wines of Germany: Rieslings & Silvaners; Pinot Noirs & Lembergers
  • Wonderful 2015 white and red Burgundies; Ornellaia 2015; and a range of Italian wine white and red wine values.


Below is a summary of issue #181-183, published Sept-Dec 2018 and Jan-Feb 2019. This issue is available for purchase online by clicking “Add to Cart” below.

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Featured in This Issue

On-Premise Wine Forecast & What’s Trending in Wine On-Premise

What lies ahead in 2019 on-premise? We have some thoughts and observations. And we single out 7 wine categories that are thriving…

Is Red Bordeaux Rising On-Premise?

We taste 80 leading wines from the celebrated vintage, and recommend 74. Of these, 21 wines receive 5-star ratings—i.e., exemplary wines in their price categories—one wine each from Listrac-Medoc, Moulis-en-Medoc, and Pomerol; two wines each from St. Estephe and St. Julien; three wines each from Margaux and Pessac-Leognan; and eight from St. Emilion. We also taste 46 wines from the good—but lesser—2013 vintage, and find more than a dozen wines that truly impress.

Conversations with New Master Sommeliers

In the US in 2018, seven persons earned the prestigious Master Sommelier title. We speak with five of them:

  • Morgan Harris, MS, Angler, San Francisco, California
  • Dana Gaiser, MS, Fine Wine Sales, Lauber Imports, Ltd., New York, New York
  • Maximilian Kast, MS, Broadbent Selections, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • Douglas Kim, MS, Sommelier, Picasso, Bellagio, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Steven McDonald, MS, Wine Director, Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, Houston, Texas

Harris passed in September. The others in December.

An Extraordinary Range of Top Wines Recommended:
775 Wines from 14 Countries Reviewed


  • Very fine 2016 Chardonnays
  • 2017 Sauvignon Blancs, Pinot Gris, and Roses
  • Wonderful Cabernet Sauvignons & Merlot, from Napa to Washington State
  • Superb 2015 & 2016 Pinot Noirs, with a focus on Russian River Valley
  • Rhone-style blends & varietals
  • Petite Sirah, from Monterey to St. Helena

Special Report: Wines of Montefalco

Outstanding white and red wines from this noted district in Umbria, including some of the best Rossos we have tasted.

Other Highlights:

Great values from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Uruguay.

  • Fine Australian Shirazs
  • Inniskillin Icewines
  • 2016 White Burgundy
  • 2016 Cru Beaujolais
  • 2015 Rhone Valley reds
  • Tokaj Estate Furmints
  • Top Brunellos
  • Top Barolos & Barbarescos
  • Great Gimblett Gravels reds
  • Outstanding Douro reds
  • Exceptional Riojas