First Taste Guides, Illustration by Margie McLain

First-Taste Guides

This popular series of articles breaks down some of Europe's most puzzling wine categories: mostly appellations where the wine is named after a place.

What the Winemaker Knows

The best educators in the wine world are the people who make it. Our regular interviews and profiles from a winemaker's perspective offer a deeper glimpse of what goes into the glass.

Vineyard Stories

Profiles on some of the most unique winegrowing terrain on earth.

Cyclists in Bernkastel-Keus ©Kevin Day/Opening a Bottle

Wine Travel

Our dedicated section to the wine destinations that launch a thousand day dreams.

Essays on Wine

This series of essays by our writers take an aspect of wine and explore it. The nature of flaws ... the way we describe wine ... how it evolves with time. Anything is fair game.

Pinot Noir grapes in the Russian River Valley. ©Kevin Day/Opening a Bottle
Pinot Noir grapes near veraison in Alto Adige, Italy. ©Kevin Day/Opening a Bottle

Should I Drink This?

Our recurring column on obscure grapes and wines, where the answer to the question is always "yes ... yes, you should."

How We Rate Wine - Wine bottles for Opening a Bottle ©Kevin Day/Opening a Bottle

How We Rate Wine

Our reviews are written for beginners to wine as well as "wine obsessives." And we use icons to indicate vineyard practices, history, and other compelling details that matter m0st to understanding a wine's story.

Key to Our Wine Icons

– Practicing Organic
 – Certified Organic
 – Practicing Biodynamic
 – Certified Biodynamic
– Promotes Biodiversity
– Old Vines
– Heroic Viticulture
– Volcanic Soil
– Traditional Winemaking
– Clay Vessel Winemaking
– Family-Operated Winery
– Historic Winery
– Co-operative Winery
– Négociant
– Stay at Winery
– Olive Oil Producer
– Age-Worthy Wine
– Expensive Wine (+$100)
– Requires Some Searching

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