Napa Valley Past & Present

Master Sommelier Tim Gaiser is a well-known lecturer, author, and wine educator who has mentored many MS candidates, including SommSelect’s Ian Cauble. Recently, he posted this piece on his personal blog and, with his permission, we’ve reproduced it here. Anyone with a love of both history and wine will appreciate Tim’s revisiting of a classic book […]

You Say Indigenous, I Say Autochthonous…The Best Native Grapes to Try Now

It’s a wide world of vitis vinifera out there, but which lesser-known native grapes are most worthy of more attention? We’re not two months into 2019, and already SommSelect has offered wines from grapes such as Pelaverga (Piedmont, Italy), Xinomavro (Macedonia, Greece), and Kékfrankos (Slovakia!). Oh, and Piedirosso (Campania, Italy) and Loureiro (Vinho Verde, Portugal), […]

What We’ve Learned:
Wine & Food Pairing

  Each of our daily wine offers contains a suggestion for a recipe to prepare with the featured wine. It’s not just because all of us at SommSelect share a love of cooking (and eating), but because we want to describe not just the “whats” and “wheres” of a wine but the “whys” and the […]

Champagne: The Year In Review

Chances are, given the season, you’re drinking more Champagne than usual. And with one of the biggest Champagne occasions of them all right around the corner, we’ve found ourselves not only re-stocking our own supplies but reflecting on a year chock full of delicious Champagne offers. In addition to myself, the SommSelect team includes another […]

“It’s Like Those French Have a Different Word for Everything”

A refresher on some of the more heavily used winespeak in our rotation. One of the formative experiences of my adolescence was my receipt, at the age of 13 or so, of Steve Martin’s comedy album, “A Wild and Crazy Guy.” I’m assuming most of the SommSelect demographic knows this album (and, for that matter, […]

Burgundy’s Game of Inches

When our offer of Boyer-Martenot’s 2016 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru “Le Cailleret” came up in the queue recently, I was prompted to rummage around in my photos from our visit to Burgundy back in March. And, boom, there is was: A picture of Ian Cauble standing on the narrow path that separates the Grand Cru “Le […]

SommSelect Lands a Whale: Fred Dame, MS

Anyone who’s seen the SOMM Films (a third installment of which is headed to theaters this fall) or spent any time working in the wine trade knows Fred Dame—one of the “O.G.” Master Sommeliers in America and a mentor to many who’ve gone through the MS program since (including our own Ian Cauble). Fred was […]

A Master Sommelier’s Napa Valley Favorites

All of us at SommSelect are thrilled to welcome back our buddy Matt Stamp, MS, who’s not only a great sommelier but a great writer. We asked Matt, a longtime Napa resident, to share some of his favorite spots with our subscribers—read what he has to say below: Some autumn days, Napa Valley feels like […]

SommSelect Tour de France: Day One!

  We’re excited to report that we just landed in France and are about to embark on a barnstorming tour of the Loire Valley, Burgundy, and the Rhône with our friend Bill Elbring of North Berkeley Imports—one of our go-to distributors of French wines (Elbring, by the way, is Gold Watch material at North Berkeley; […]

A Few Words on Modern Wine-Speak

  Speaking as the co-author of “The Wine Snob’s Dictionary”—a book which, at the time of its publication (2008), was a pretty thorough accounting of wine snob terminology—I think it may be time for a Volume II. My talented pal David Kamp, a Vanity Fair writer and the creator of the “Snob” series (which also […]