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Taproom visits are on the rise. According to a recent Nielsen survey, 42 percent of respondents said they increased their visits to taprooms, tasting rooms, and brewpubs over the previous year.

Brewery visits are not only a good time, though. They help grow the beer industry. Beer consumption has been decreasing over the last decade, which is why stopping into your local brewpub — or, if you’re like us, planning entire vacations around them — is essential to the health of the craft beer industry.

Luckily, supporting local breweries is relatively easy. As the Brewers Association points out, the U.S. is now home to 7,000 breweries and counting, with 85 percent of drinking-age adults living within 10 miles of a brewery. This means it’s easier than ever to support a nearby brewery, or travel out of town for a tour.

With that in mind, VinePair polled our staff and readers to create a list of the best breweries of the year. They didn’t have to be new in 2018, but they sure had to be notable. Choices range from geeky to accessible, big city to mountain town, and multi-location to lone cabin in the woods. Like last year, requirements were that the brewery has a taproom open to the public; that the taproom is open more than one day a week; and, of course, that the beer and vibe impress in equal measure.

Here are VinePair’s top 10 breweries of 2018.

GREAT LAKES (IL, IN, MI, OH) Half Acre Beer Co. (Lincoln)
Chicago, Ill.

Chicago is now the beer capital of America, home to more breweries than any other city in the U.S. Half Acre opened on Chicago’s Lincoln Avenue in 2008 and launched a second location in Balmoral in 2015, followed by the Balmoral Tap Room & Garden in 2017. We’re partial to the original Lincoln location, with its beautiful natural light, walls made of upcycled grain silos, and friendly giant bear head above the bar. There’s also a shop next door where visitors can pick up merch and beer to go.

Half Acre’s Lincoln location in Chicago, Ill. Credit: Half Acre Beer Co.

MIDWEST (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI) Side Project Brewing
St. Louis, Mo.

What started as a literal “side project” of former Perennial Artisan Ales brewer Cory King and wife Karen is now one of St. Louis’s best breweries. In fact, the only criticism we hear about the beloved brand is its limited distribution, since Side Project beer is sold almost exclusively in its own taprooms. All the more reason to pay the brewery or cellar a visit. Oak-aged, wine-inspired wild ales, sours, and stouts are Side Project’s specialties. Derivation, a series of barrel-aged imperial stouts, is a crowd favorite. The most recent, Blend #8, features a blend of stouts aged for one to three years, then blended and infused with coffee, coconut, and vanilla.

Side Project Brewing in St. Louis, Mo. Credit: Side Project Brewing

WEST (CA, HI, NV) Beachwood Blendery
Long Beach, Calif.

Not only did Beachwood’s Funk Yeah! place among our 50 Best Beers of the year, that same lambic-inspired brew took home a GABF gold medal in 2018. The brewery has medaled at the festival 12 times, including five golds, and won awards for brewpub and brewer of the year in 2013 and 2014. Beachwood’s footprint includes a restaurant and bar in Seal Beach; a taproom in Huntington Beach; and a brewpub in Long Beach; but our pick is Beachwood Blendery, also located in Long Beach. This location showcases the brewer’s knack for méthode traditionnelle, with artful interpretations of Belgian lambic- and gueuze-inspired, barrel-aged wild ales. Popular potions include Chaos is a Friend of Mine, a Belgian lambic-style blend aged in neutral French oak barrels with Beachwood’s house culture for up to 14 months; and Cosmic Caravan, a barrel-aged, mixed-culture saison.

Beachwood Blendery in Long Beach, Calif. Credit: Beachwood Blendery

NORTHWEST (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY) The Ale Apothecary
Bend, Ore.

If ever there were a magical place in the mountains to taste beers unlike any you’ve had before, The Ale Apothecary in Bend, Ore., is it. The brewery began as a cabin in the woods in 2011, launched officially in 2012, and debuted a proper tasting room last year. Its sophisticated, complex beers such as Sahalie, Sahati, and Ralph are all wild-fermented, long-term barrel-aged, 100-percent bottle-conditioned, and totally unforgettable. The beer’s wooded origins are evident in the decor throughout, and a glass case of medicinal memorabilia will charm any patron.

The Ale Apothecary in Bend, Ore. Credit: Tyler Rowe

SOUTHWEST (AZ, CO, NM, OK, TX, UT) Live Oak Brewing
Del Valle, Texas

Located on the outskirts of Austin, Live Oak is one of a handful of local brewers excelling at lagers. Its Grodziskie was one of our top picks for 2018, standing out for its historically-driven Polish recipe and lightly smoked flavor. The brewery’s lineup of lagers and other traditional styles sticks strictly to its European origins. You can taste perfectly balanced, consumable history in everything from its Bavarian-style HefeWeizen to its Czech-style Pilz. The space also features a nine-hole disc golf course and its own food truck, the Black Forest, serving up German-style fare.

Live Oak Brewing in Del Valle, Texas. Credit: Live Oak Brewing

SOUTH (AL, AR, PUERTO RICO, FL, LA, MS) Good People Brewing Co.
Birmingham, Ala.

Our staff and reader poll voted Good People Brewing, which opened in Birmingham’s 5 Points Neighborhood in 2008, and moved in a massive expansion to the Parkside District in 2010, the most-loved brewery in Alabama. Inside, visitors sit right in front of the brewery action as they taste, and the service is fast and friendly. The space is especially action-packed on game days, since Regions Field, a minor league baseball stadium, sits directly across the street. Outside, you might spot a friendly game of cornhole, patrons enjoying food truck fare in the large outdoor patio, or others taking crowlers to go. The beer here is simple and sessionable — the yearly lineup includes a pale ale, brown ale, wheat ale, farmhouse ale, and two IPAs.

Good People Brewing in Birmingham, Ala. Credit: Good People Brewing

SOUTHEAST (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV) Monday Night Brewing
Atlanta, Ga.

Monday Night has been on our radar for a while, but we enjoyed its beers more than ever this year. The versatile if eccentric lineup spans one of our favorite golden ales to a quadruple-hopped IPA, and the limited-edition Garage Series delves into barrel-aged experiments like a Berliner weisse aged in wine barrels with peaches, and imperial, adjunct-laden brown and Scotch ales. Its West Midtown location features a public patio with beer-garden-style tables, while its interior is spacious and industrial-chic. A wall covered in neckties reminds patrons of the company slogan, “weekends are overrated.” Its new facility, the Garage, opened in September 2017 to house Monday Night’s more experimental creations.

Monday Night Brewing’s Garage location in Atlanta, Ga. Credit: Monday Night Brewing

MID-ATLANTIC (DC, DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA) The Answer Brewpub
Richmond, Va.

There’s no need to question where to begin your Richmond brewery tour: The Answer, a brewpub on the northwestern edge of the city, excels at sour ales, stouts, and everything in between. It also has 56 taps, two bars, a mashup of Vietnamese-inspired food options, and live music. Helmed by the charming and talented An Bui, who happens to be a 2018 James Beard Foundation Awards semifinalist, The Answer is located next door to Bui’s restaurant, Mekong, where the selection of local beers is rivaled only by the caliber of its pho. The jovial vibe at the brewpub and restaurant are visible and palpable, making it a must for any Virginia-bound beer lover.

The Answer Brewpub in Richmond, Va. Credit: The Answer Brewpub

NEW YORK CITY Kings County Brewers Collective
Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Kings County Brewers Collective, better known to locals as KCBC, won our hearts with its balanced, crisp Bohemian-style pilsner, Janiak Maniac. It also produces on-trend yet expertly restrained IPAs like Dangerous Precedent and the Robot Fish series, and fruited sours like Beach Zombie and Marble of Doom. Better still, it flexed its community muscles in 2017 and 2018, from saving birds with the NYC Audubon Society with its Safe Flight IPA, to revealing its metal side with Morbid Hour, a black pilsner brewed in collaboration with Greenpoint’s Saint Vitus bar, and metal lifestyle show the Six Most Metal Breweries. The taproom is smartly designed and spacious, with a large window looking into the brewhouse behind the bar. The Bushwick brewery also puts out some of the best label art in the business.

Kings County Brewers Collective in Brooklyn, N.Y. Credit: Kings County Brewers Collective

NORTHEAST (CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI, VT) Industrial Arts Brewing
Garnerville, N.Y.

Located in the pre-Civil-War-era Garnerville Arts and Industrial Complex, in a picturesque corner of the Hudson Valley, Industrial Arts is both one-of-a-kind and historic. Visitors may be surprised by this trendy brand’s home base, marked by a brick-and-smokestack exterior and a glistening interior; atop tile floors in the taproom, a custom-made German brew house churns out beers regularly regarded as some of the best in the state. We’re partial to its Wrench IPA, Metric Pils, and recently released Winter Landscape, a dark lager.

Industrial Arts Brewing in Garnerville, N.Y. Credit: Susan Stava

The post The 10 Best Breweries in America (2018) appeared first on VinePair.

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Behind every successful person is a tale of grit, sacrifice, and compromise. For Melbourne native Steph Dutton, the road to becoming a winemaker at Australia’s most iconic producer, Penfolds, meant leaving the country’s second-largest city for a quieter life in the country. It’s a challenge, and she’s still getting used to it.

Dutton’s decision to stop serving and start making wine came while working as a sommelier in Melbourne. Her transition to winemaking started by completing a bachelor of science degree at the University of Melbourne, before moving to Adelaide to begin a masters in Oenology.

In 2007, Dutton started working at Penfolds’ Magill Estate Restaurant and Cellar Door tasting room. Three years later, she joined the winemaking team at Penfolds’ Barossa Valley Nuriootpa Winery.

Dutton describes her winemaking style as “intuitive,” and aims to create elegant, structured, and age-worthy wines. She recently caught up with VinePair to discuss her love of Chardonnay, and her preferred twist on a Whiskey Sour.

1. What’s the bottle that made you fall in love with wine?
The wine that changed the course of my life forever was a 1997 Barolo that I served to a table of four in the Melbourne restaurant I was working at. They loved it beyond words, and I figured if it was so rewarding for me to make this selection for them, how rewarding would it be to craft wines that had this effect on people?

2. FMK three varieties: Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay.
F: Cabernet (because you don’t feel like it ALL the time). M: Chardonnay (because I can live with this wine EVERY DAY). K: Pinot Noir (because of its temperament and the games it plays).

3. You’re on death row. What’s your last-supper wine?
To be totally pretentious and pick for purely hedonistic reasons, the 1996 Krug Clos d’Ambonnay.

4. You can only drink one wine for the rest of your life. What is it?
This ties in to me saying I could drink Chardonnay Every. Single. Day. Adelaide Hills and Margaret River Chardonnay.

5. You can only drink at one bar for the rest of your life. What is it?
Any bar that I find myself in when my football team is winning…

6. What’s the best and worst wine on your rack (or in your fridge) right now?
Worst wine would definitely be a German rosé that I brought home when I was working there nearly 10 years ago now. But I can’t throw something out that has traveled over 10,000 miles with me. Best wines would have to be old vintages of Penfolds Grange.

7. If you could no longer drink wine, what would be your beverage of choice?
Whiskey Sours. My preference is a smoky style using a Scotch base rather than bourbon.

The post Penfolds Winemaker Steph Dutton Would Drink Chardonnay ‘Every. Single. Day.’ appeared first on VinePair.

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VinePair by Rachel Tepper Paley - 5h ago

If you venture just outside of city limits in Santiago, Chile’s bustling capital, the scenery quickly shifts from urban to agrarian. Rolling valleys extend in all directions, lined with neat rows of curled grape vines.

This is Chilean wine country, a long and skinny stretch of countryside that spans more than 2,600 miles from top to bottom. Traversing the entire distance by car would take weeks when you account for all the required stops — wineries, restaurants, breathtaking vistas — but it’s a trip well rewarded with world-class vintages and delicious meals. For those looking for just a taste, the country still has so much diversity to experience on even the shorter trips.

Chilean wine country at large is not a single region at all, but a series of valleys differing in size and elevation, all noted for their micro-climates and transversal rivers that guide cooling breezes from the Pacific Ocean, which provide ideal temperatures for ripening grapes.

To see as much of Chile’s wine valleys as possible one smart plan is to start in the north and make your way south to take in as much of the country’s wine-soaked charm as possible. Admittedly, you could drink your way up and down the countryside for a year and still not sample everything — but there’s no harm in trying! We’ve crafted a four-day excursion to give you a taste of all things Chile wine.

Day 1

Most international visitors to Chile fly into Santiago, so, after you arrive, you’ll want to connect to another 45-minute flight to La Serena to begin your wine-drinking odyssey. Stop in the seaside resort town; founded in 1544, it’s the second-oldest city in the entire country. Linger for a few hours to take in La Serena’s gorgeous colonial architecture and palm-tree-dotted beaches. When hunger strikes, hit up ceviche spot Jack Fish for colorful plates of fresh fish splashed with tangy citrus.

Head out and take Highway 41 to the Elqui Valley, Chile’s northernmost winegrowing region. The area has a cool desert climate, with dry summers and mild winters. Strong winds from the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains do wonders for the grapes grown here, which range from Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It helps, too, that the soil is full of stones and gravel — not great for most crops, but perfect for vines that require drainage.

Head out and take Highway 41 to the Elqui Valley, Chile’s northernmost winegrowing region. The area has a cool desert climate, with dry summers and mild winters.

Hit up one of the many pisco distilleries in the area, such as Pisco Mistral Distillery, Fundo Los Nichos, and Doña Josefa de Elqui. Made from grapes like Muscat and Quebranta, pisco is Chile’s most popular spirit.

Once darkness falls, it’s time to go stargazing: The Elqui Valley is home to the world’s first International Dark Sky Sanctuary. Stop by the Cerro Mamalluca Observatory for a tour of the evening sky. Once you’ve had your fill, trek back to La Serena and spend the night in the comfortable, beachside Club La Serena Hotel.

Day 2

Journey five hours south on scenic Route 60, which hugs the great blue expanse of the Pacific Ocean, until you reach Chile’s Aconcagua Region. It’s home to the highest peak in the Andes, and, in recent years, has earned acclaim for rich red wines that rival France’s best. This is due in part to the cool daily breezes that blow in from the Pacific Ocean, which moderate the region’s otherwise high temperatures and lower the risk of vine diseases.

Your first stop is Viña San Esteban in the Aconcagua Valley, which grows a huge range of grapes from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to Carménère, Syrah, and Sangiovese. Take a guided tour of the vineyard before heading to the tasting room. Don’t leave without dropping by the archaeological park located within the Viña San Esteban estate, which has 1,000-year-old Inca rock carvings.

Next up is Viñedos Veramonte, an all-organic operation approximately two hours southwest by car. The Casablanca Valley is known for a cool morning fog that rolls in from the sea, making it ideal for growing white wines grapes like Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, plus cool-climate reds like Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Syrah. Taste all these at Viñedos Veramonte; afterward, bike through the vineyards on a guided cycling tour or drop into the winery’s Calicata Restaurant for a lunch of steak sandwiches and ruby-red beef tartare.

While you’re in the area, hit up nearby Emiliana Organic Vineyards. Taking advantage of Chile’s diverse terroir, Emiliana has vineyards in seven separate Chilean wine valleys. In the tasting room, opt for Emiliana’s signature wine, Coyam, a juicy, deeply flavorful red blend, or the fruity, creamy Signos de Origen white blend.

There’s one more stop today: Viña Casa Marin, nestled in the San Antonio Valley. Though just a 40-minute drive from the Casablanca Valley, the soil here is richer in calcium and the vines are closer to the sea, which helps create light-bodied, aromatic, and mineral-rich wines. Try a few in Viña Casa Marin’s tasting room; the winery’s Cartagena label includes Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Pinot Noir.

Exhausted? Fair enough. Fortunately, Viña Casa Marin has an on-property guest house, Villa Miramar. The space is surrounded by Sauvignon Blanc vines, and rooms have majestic views of the Pacific Ocean and the town of Lo Abarca.

Try a few in Viña Casa Marin’s tasting room; the winery’s Cartagena label includes Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Pinot Noir. Photo Credit: Casa Marin.

Day 3

Today and tomorrow are all about the Central Valley region, which produces the most wines in Chile and is likely the country’s best-known region internationally. It is uniquely rustic; horse-drawn carts are still a common sight here.

Head first to Don Melchor Casona, a manor house owned by Concha y Toro, the largest producer of Latin American wines. Try the operation’s signature wine, a distinctive Cabernet Sauvignon aged in French oak barrels.

Next, pile into the car and drive two hours south, deep into the Maipo Valley, one of the region’s most famous areas. Pop into Viña Ventisquero to try its Cabernet Sauvignon; then, take a 30-minute ride to the Colchagua Valley’s Viña MontGras. Recharge with a pour of the Ninquén red blend and one of Viña MontGras’s pre-packed picnic baskets chock full of bread, cheese, fruit, cured meats, and more.

The last stop today is Viña Los Vascos, a Chilean winery owned by France’s Domaines Barons de Rothschild. The volcanic soil here is sandy and clay-like, which yields flavorful Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère, Syrah, Malbec, and Chardonnay. Tour the facilities to try wines like Le Dix de Los Vascos, a complex red blend made with fruit from 70-year-old Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Carménère vines.

Rest up for the night at the nearby Hacienda Historica Estate, a fully restored, 18th-century country house surrounded by elegant grounds.

Rest up for the night at the nearby Hacienda Historica Estate, a fully restored, 18th-century country house surrounded by elegant grounds. Photo Credit: Hacienda Histórica.

Day 4

Your final day in Chilean wine country takes you deeper into the Central Valley region’s Maule Valley, one of the oldest growing regions in the country. It has some of the coolest temperatures of any Chilean grape-growing region, and, thanks to the Maule River, its alluvial soil is rich with grape-friendly granite, red clay, loam, and gravel.

Kick off the day at the 11,000-acre Viña Vik Winery, which spans a restaurant, lounge, spa, wine shop, and 22-suite hotel. Try the VIK wine, a fruit-forward and dynamic blend similar to big, flavorful Bordeaux.

Afterward, it’s time for a little road trip: Two hours south leads you to VIA Wines’ beautiful glass-enclosed tasting room. Set among the vines at San Rafael Farm, and suspended over a peaceful lagoon on the property, the building looks as though it’s floating. It’s a magical backdrop for sampling Red One, a full-bodied blend with notes of fresh fruit, coffee beans, vanilla, and cocoa.

Two hours south leads you to VIA Wines’ beautiful glass-enclosed tasting room. Photo Credit: Via Wines Winery.

Finally, make your way to Viña Bouchon’s Mingre Estate. The Mediterranean climate means summertime temperatures can swing anywhere from 47 to 86 degrees F, which is perfect for attaining a high color concentration in the grapes. There are some 50 acres’ worth of them here, spanning Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Carménère, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Carignan, País, Garnacha, and Mourvèdre. Visit the winery’s main building, a plain adobe structure with clay floors that dates to the 1890s, and then head to the tasting room to sample the Bouchon Extra Brut made with País and Cinsault grapes.

With that, your adventure is complete, and it’s time to head back to Santiago. But don’t worry: There’s plenty more to eat and drink on your next trip back.

This article is sponsored by Wines of Chile. Taste the Unexpected.

The post The Essential Chilean Wine Country Guide appeared first on VinePair.

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The holiday season is here, complete with twinkly lights, gift swaps, and parties galore. No matter your creed, it’s a season of giving.

What you choose to bring to your friends, family, and office-wide White Elephant exchange doesn’t have to be frivolous, either. Many highly giftable items do double duty as agents for change in local and global communities.

With that in mind, we’ve rounded up six wines that give back with the pop of every cap or cork. Whether your cause is the environment, LGBTQ rights, children’s health, or military families, we’ve got a bottle for that. Here are six wines with charitable benefits.

Schweiger Vineyards Camp Fire Relief Chardonnay, Napa, California Supports: Victims of California’s Camp Fire

In the wake of California’s deadliest wildfire, Schweiger Vineyards is taking giving to the next level: 100 percent of the purchase price of this golden Chardonnay goes directly to Tri-County Bank for Camp Fire survivors. Based in Napa Valley, the Schweiger family is no stranger to the devastation fire can bring. This 400-case release is geared to help all the people still without homes this holiday season.

The Camp Fire Relief Chardonnay is a special release of Schweiger’s 2014 Spring Mountain Chardonnay, a white wine from one of Napa Valley’s hottest subregions. Bright, tropical fruit flavors are balanced by a soft richness in this medium-bodied white. It’s the definition of drinking well and doing good, all at the same time.

Lubanzi Wines, South Africa Supports: South African Families in the Wine Industry

The Pebbles Project for Families and Children in South Africa, an organization that provides health and educational resources to the families who support South Africa’s vibrant winemaking community.

Born from the adventures of two American exchange students in South Africa, Lubanzi is a global wine project with dual headquarters in Washington, D.C. and South Africa. Inspired by the people behind South Africa’s wine farms, Lubanzi works directly with the Pebbles Project, which feeds over 700 children per month, and nurtures families from birth through college.

Lubanzi’s bright, citrus-scented Chenin Blanc and Rhone-style red blend are both easy-drinking — and, at $15 apiece —easy on the wallet. Better yet, they’re sealed with corks that don’t require corkscrews!

Iron Horse ‘Ocean Reserve’ Blanc de Blancs, Green Valley, California Supports: National Geographic’s Pristine Seas

This crisp California sparkler proves saving the planet doesn’t always taste like locally grown kale. A limited-production, Chardonnay-based bubbly, the Ocean Reserve bottling donates $4 per bottle to National Geographic’s Ocean Initiative, which protects wild marine spaces and promotes sustainable fishing practices worldwide. Since its inception, Pristine Seas has protected over five million square kilometers of seascape across 19 marine reserves.

Ocean Reserve is a consistent critical favorite, too. Your $4 donation from a single bottle might just do more than declining plastic straws all year long.

Tom of Finland OUTstanding Red, Sierra Foothills, California Supports: Human Rights and Sexual Expression Through Art

Founded in 1984 to promote tolerance for all sexual identifications, the Tom of Finland Foundation is a wide-reaching, international organization. Today, the global organization promotes human rights and sexual expression through art, and each bottle of its full-bodied, juicy red contributes directly to the foundation.

The OUTstanding Red leans heavily on California’s native Zinfandel and makes a perfect gift for those who judge a bottle by its label. As muscular as its label image, the OUTstanding Red is a full-bodied, robust red that’s ideal for the smorgasbords that cover holiday tables.

Purple Heart Wines ‘Heroic Red,’ Sonoma, California Supports: Veterans and Military Families

A partnership between the Mondavi family and Purple Heart Foundation, this ripe Sonoma red has contributed over $10,000 to military veterans and their families in 2018 alone. Inspired by our country’s most cherished medal of honor, the team behind Purple Heart has good reason to stand behind the project — both winemaker John Moynier and the late Mondavi family patriarch Peter Mondavi are veterans. Each bottle of the Heroic Red adds to the total of over $70,000 Purple Heart Wines has given to families since its inception.

Based in the heart of California wine country, the 2015 Purple Heart Heroic Red bottles a classic expression of California wine country with notes of plum and blackberry plus cedar and baking spice. A sophisticated, standout bottle, it’s an easy way to tip your hat to America’s veterans.

Maysara ‘Immigrant’ Pinot Noir, McMinnville, Oregon Supports: Immigrant and Refugee Services

Made from estate-grown Pinot Noir, Maysara’s “Immigrant” bottling has dazzling complexity and terroir. Farmed completely without chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides, this is a wine to feel good about — on several levels.

“The Momtazi family immigrated to the United States from Iran, fleeing from political persecution after the Iranian revolution and the hostage crisis,” Carrie Wynkoop, founder, Cellar 503, says of Maysara’s winemakers. “When they relocated to the Northwest, they found a piece of property that was perfect for growing grapes just south of McMinnville, Ore. They planted grapes in 1998 and have been biodynamically farming from the beginning, and the winery is still a family affair.”

Maysara donates a third of proceeds from this bottle to organizations assisting refugee and immigrant families, with donations going to programs servicing permanent residency, immigrant counseling, and family-based visas. It’s the perfect way to raise a glass to inclusion this season.

The post Six Wines With Charitable Benefits to Give (or Receive) appeared first on VinePair.

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VinePair by Vinepair Staff - 2d ago

Contrary to what that one wine snob friend might have you believe, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to selecting glassware for Champagne. Instead, drinkers have a diverse range of options to choose from, each showcasing a different aspect of the famous French bubbles. From flutes that help preserve bubbles, to aroma-enhancing coupes, here’s VinePair’s guide to the best Champagne glasses of 2018.

THE BEST FLUTES Best Classic Flute: Spiegelau Champagne Flute (Set of 4)


A must have for all celebrations, these lead-free crystal flutes are a staple that every Champagne lover should own. Simple, elegant, and dishwashers safe, you can’t lose with these lead-free crystal flutes.
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Best Stemless Champagne Flute: Sienna Etched Champagne Glasses (Set of 6)


For those looking to ditch the stem for a more contemporary aesthetic these Etched Stemless Champagne Flutes are the happy medium between absolutely refined (think luxuriously thin) and delightfully casual.
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Best Splurge Flute: Hand-Blown Monaco Flutes (Set of 4)


When popping a baller bottle of vintage bubbly, one needs an appropriately baller set of glasses. Each one of these stemless Hand-blown Monaco Flutes has a unique, textured pattern which is only amplified once you add a gorgeous brut rosé.
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Best Flute For Brunch: Wonderland Rose Crystal Flutes (Set of 2)


We love these Wonderland Crystal Champagne Flutes for their gorgeous, rose crystal construction and refined gold rim. They’re our go-to for brunch with friends and can make a great home for a quick mimosa.
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Best Flute For Sparkling Wine Cocktails: Spiegelau Prosecco Glass (Set of 4)


Whether you’re mixing up a simple Basil Spritz and sage or a classic bellini, these Spiegelau Prosecco Glasses make the perfect home for whatever your mood is.
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THE BEST COUPE GLASSES Best Everyday Coupe Glass: Spiegelau Crystal Champagne Coupe (Set of 4)


We absolutely love these Spiegelau Crystal Champagne Coupes. Ideal for showcasing the aroma of your bubbly, this classic glassware whisks us away to the roaring 20s, when cocktails and bubbly flowed and anyone who was anyone had one of these glasses in their hands.
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Best Splurge Coupe Glass: 5th Avenue Coupe Glass (Set of 6)


Reserved for the more special occasions than anything else, these 5th Avenue Champagne Coupes are mouth-blown and handmade in Germany. Must have for graduations, holiday celebrations, weddings, and even the casual Friday if you’re feeling fancy.
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THE ALL-PURPOSE Best Champagne Glass For Tastings: Spiegelau Universal Wine Glasses (Set of 4)


Ask the VinePair tasting team their go-to glasses for all wine tastings and you’ll hear the rave reviews of these Spiegelau Universal Wine Glasses. The angle and rim of the glass is specifically designed to enhance and open up the aromas of the wine.
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Best Splurge Champagne Glass: Italesse White Wine Glass (Set of 6)


When we were travelling in Italy, we fell in love with these Italesse White Wine Glasses and haven’t been the same since. Thin and beautiful, yet durable enough for the dishwasher, these lead-free crystal glasses are now our go-to vessels for holding all white wine — especially an amazing Champagne or vintage Cava.
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Best Decorative Champagne Glass: Mid-Century Modern Wine Glass (Set of 4)


When entertaining, we love incorporating more flair into our place settings (everyone needs a little extra spice sometimes).These Mid-Century Modern Wine Glasses are diamond-wheel engraved in the USA, and have a simple and clean design at the base of the bowl which elegantly accentuates the bubbly in your glass.
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BEST SPECIALTY CHAMPAGNE GLASSES Best Novelty Champagne Glass: The Chambong (Set of 2)


There’s a time and place to rapidly drink Champagne and that time is now and the place literally doesn’t matter. With its hand-blown glass construction and elegant gold rim, the Chambong is quite possibly the classiest way to quickly drink Champagne or sparkling wine. We love it for big celebrations with friends, such the holidays or New Years Eve, but have been known to also break them out for bachelorette weekends, birthdays, or even just another casual Friday.
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The post The Best Champagne Glasses of 2018 appeared first on VinePair.

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Good wine glasses — much like a good bottle of red — don’t have to break the bank. In fact, any true wine lover will tell you that the pro move when it comes to stocking up on glassware is to save your pennies for that vintage Champagne you’ve had your eye on by opting for something affordable yet reliable instead.

We love this set of four Spiegelau universal crystal wine glasses because at only $39, they’re not only budget-friendly, they’re the one-stop-shop for all your drinking needs as well. Cracking a chilled bottle of rose to enjoy outside? Not a problem. Pouring a Chardonnay for guests at a dinner party? That’ll work too. As beautiful as they are functional (did we mention they’re dishwasher safe?!), a sturdy stem and all-inclusive bowl shape mean these glasses work no matter what bottle you decide to open next. Once you’ve stocked up on these, you can start focusing on the fun part: what goes inside the glass.

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The post The Best Affordable Wine Glass Set You Should Own appeared first on VinePair.

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VinePair by Keith Beavers - 3d ago

The post Ridgeview Cavendish Brut appeared first on VinePair.

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VinePair by Keith Beavers - 3d ago

The post Ridgeview Bloomsbury Brut appeared first on VinePair.

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VinePair by Keith Beavers - 3d ago

The post Domaine Bousquet Brut Rosé appeared first on VinePair.

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