Winter sipper: Madeira Sercial

In Madeira Wine, due to its natural mouthwatering, tangy, crisp and racy acidity, balanced by its slight sweetness, Sercial is always used to produce dry wines, which are light bodied and exceptionally fresh, and present intense and vibrant aromas.

When summer heat comes slouching around, you’ll often hear talk of something called a “summer sipper.” These quaffable wines, as the name implies, offer cooling relief in something light and refreshing. It’s January now: Who’d like a winter sipper? I suggest Madeira Sercial.
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Blandy’s 5 Year Sercial Madeira

Blandy's 5 Year Sercial

Blandy’s Aged 5 Years Sercial Dry Madeira is an attractive clear bronze color. Good pecan and walnut scents add a backdrop of juicy lemon. Brown sugar sweetness gives way to tart, lemony acidity, with subtle nuts and lemon in a long finish.

Check prices and find vendors for Blandy’s Aged 5 Years Sercial Dry Madeira on

You’ll find a detailed article about Blandy’s and its history on this Wine-Searcher link. Scroll down to browse the wines in Blandy’s portfolio and check vendors and prices.

Follow this Wine-Searcher link for more Maderia Sercial bottlings, with listings for dozens of other wines using this variety. Read article.

Santa Marina Toscana Rosso

Santa Marina Toscana Rosso

Clear, dark reddish-purple in color with a garnet edge, Santa Marina Toscana Rosso shows the typical character of a Tuscan Sangiovese-based red: Dark cherry and dried-cherry aromas and a fresh cherry-berry flavor make for a simple, rather rustic but pleasant and approachable wine and a very good value.

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Follow this Wine-Searcher link to find listings for dozens of other Toscana IGT wine values. Read article.

Don’t be afraid: Pop that cork with style

Cork from Mumm Napa Brut Prestige

Are you planning to uncork a bottle of sparkling wine to hail the arrival of 2023? If so, you won’t be alone. … An estimated 29% of all Americans will enjoy a glass or more to celebrate the New Year. And I’m pretty sure that quite a few of them will be a little nervous about popping that cork.

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Mumm Napa Brut Prestige

Mumm Napa Brut Prestige

Labeled “methode traditionnelle,” Mumm Napa Brut Prestige uses a typical French Champagne blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Pinot Meunier. Clear, light gold and full of lasting bubbles, it unveils delicious, subtle scents of pears and peaches. Its creamy, nearly dry mouthfeel shows white fruit consistent with the nose, with good, crisp acidity for balance.

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Read more about Mumm Napa at this Wine-Searcher link and view listings for other wines from this producer. Read article.

Santa Tresa “Rina Russa” Frappato

Santa Tresa "Rina Russa" Frappato

Made with organic indigenous Sicilian Frapatto grapes and billed as vegan friendly, Santa Tresa “Rina Russa” Frappato offers pleasant mixed-berry and cherry aromas and mouth-watering flavors shaped by crisp, fresh-fruit acidity. It’s a food-friendly table wine; chill it a little for a lovely aperitif. An appealing wine, a real treat with a relatively little-known grape from Sicily.

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Follow this Wine-Searcher link to find a fact sheet on the Frappato grape and listings for dozens of other wines made with it.

Learn more about Terre Siciliane, the new (2011) IGT title for wines made in the entire Sicilia region, comprising the main island of Sicily and its satellite islands. Read article.

“La Petite Bellane” Côtes du Rhône Villages

"La Petite Bellane"

Certified organic, fermented with indigenous yeast, and fermented and aged in concrete vats with no oak exposure, La Petite Bellane opens up to delicious aromas of blackberries, plums, blackcurrant, and a distinct note of fresh-ground pepper in the background. Mixed black fruits on the palate are shaped by crisp acidity in an all-Syrah blend of appealing complexity.

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Read more about the Côtes du Rhône Villages at this Wine-Searcher link, where you’ll find listings for dozens of wines of the region.

Follow this Wine-Searcher link to read about the Syrah grape and browse wines of this variety from around the world. Read article.