The magical ménage à trois: Wine, chocolate, and Valentine’s Day
Feb06

The magical ménage à trois: Wine, chocolate, and Valentine’s Day

Roses are red. Wine is red. Violets are violet. Let’s try some chocolate. Valentine’s Day, wine, and chocolate are like a magical ménage à trois. And like that other ménage à trois I was part of, you don’t want to realize in the middle of it all that you have made a tremendous mistake. (Also, the wine called Ménage à Trois? Not a fan.) Find a quality wine. Get some good chocolate. And pick which of the two people is your perfect...

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Monte Belmonte Wines: An AFC Championship 5-Bottle Wine Snob Quiz with Mesa Amy
Jan29

Monte Belmonte Wines: An AFC Championship 5-Bottle Wine Snob Quiz with Mesa Amy

I go to Mesa Verde, a burrito bar in Greenfield, pretty much every week and order take-out for the Belmonte family: blackened-chicken burrito with chipotle sour cream, Mesa salad, cheese quesadilla, large chips and guac and an unsalted margarita while I wait. A margarita because this is not a wine restaurant. That’s why I found it strange when I noticed back-issues of the fabulous British wine magazine Decanteur stacking up on the bar...

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Monte Belmonte Wines: You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Wine
Jan16

Monte Belmonte Wines: You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Wine

All natural. The kind of buzz words that make my extremely savvy, health-conscious wife cringe. When you see “natural flavors” on raspberry flavored items, it might as well read “flavors expressed from a beaver anus.” It’s true. Or at least it used to be. Google it. “Natural” is often just corporate-speak used for greenwashing. But in the world of wine, “natural” may actually be a word you want to seek out. Wine snobs often eschew the...

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Monte Belmonte Wines: This January, Give Dry a Try 
Jan02

Monte Belmonte Wines: This January, Give Dry a Try 

It is possible that you have spent the last month and a half punishing your liver. Look, I get it. You only drink socially and you are a very social person who went to three holiday office parties and 17 family get-togethers between Thanksgiving and New Years. But the holidays are over. Your liver may need some time to recover. A recent trend, especially popular in the U.K., is “Dry January.” Or the painful to look at (and endure)...

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Monte Belmonte Wines: Champagne to Toast the End of the World
Dec18

Monte Belmonte Wines: Champagne to Toast the End of the World

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock is set at two and a half minutes until midnight. This is the closest to nuclear annihilation we have been since the clock was created in 1947. Time to prepare for the countdown to end all countdowns. And when our Doddard-In-Chief finally provokes Rocket Man to push the button on the New Year’s Eve of our destruction, I know what I will be doing — drinking Champagne. I’m not sure what...

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Monte Belmonte Wines: Navigating the Holiday Winefield
Dec04

Monte Belmonte Wines: Navigating the Holiday Winefield

Holiday get-togethers are like a minefield of bad wines. A winefield, if you will. You are casually exchanging theories about The Last Jedi with your nephew when a well-intentioned relative hands you a glass of “red” because they know you like “red wine.” What on earth is in this glass? Don’t they know wine is so much more than just red or white? You are now in a live, active winefield. What do you do? As most people know, when you’ve...

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Monte Belmonte Wines: Drink Up, Pilgrim
Nov13

Monte Belmonte Wines: Drink Up, Pilgrim

Thanksgiving: when (non-Native) Americans celebrate their favorite (made up) moments from (revisionist) history. A time when you will sit down to enjoy a feast  (with historically incorrect menu), lovingly seated around the table next to your (mouth-breathing) relatives. So before you begin debating your (racist) uncle about the pros and cons of the football team called the Redskins, raise a glass and drink wine macerated on actual...

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How to Navigate Holiday Wine Tastings With Style 
Oct30

How to Navigate Holiday Wine Tastings With Style 

As we tiptoe toward the holiday season, you may find yourself with the opportunity to attend a wine tasting. A chance to try endless, free, tiny pours of wines and other alcoholic beverages in anticipation of having to endure the darkest and saddest time of the year — Christmas. I actually love Christmas. And Hannukah. And Kwanza (not much drinking with that holiday, though). I especially love Thanksgiving. And as we get closer to...

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Moldovan wine a welcome invasion from former Soviet Union
Oct16

Moldovan wine a welcome invasion from former Soviet Union

You already know that Russia hacked our election. What you might not have heard is how Russia has also inadvertently hacked our American wine market. And the two main culprits currently under investigation are from Agawam, the husband and wife team of Andrei Birsan and Daria Ratnikova from VinDistributors. Daria is originally from Moscow and Andrei is from Moldova. Moldova? Is that another country made-up by our Russian-compromised...

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Monte Belmonte Wines – Cooler Than You: Portuguese Wines
Oct02

Monte Belmonte Wines – Cooler Than You: Portuguese Wines

What’s a hipster’s favorite wine grape varietal? I mean, it’s wicked obscure, you’ve probably never heard of it. I’ve adapted one of my favorite hipster jokes to highlight one of the still obscure, I-knew-these-wines-before-they-sold-out regions: Portugal. Portugal as a country is still a bit of a mystery to me — it’s the country from where the families of all the non-Italian, non-Irish Catholics I knew growing up had their roots. But...

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Monte Belmonte Wines: Don’t Blame the Cat
Sep18

Monte Belmonte Wines: Don’t Blame the Cat

Bordeaux: It’s the wine capital of the world. Even Thomas Jefferson, while keeping busy hypocritically impeding people’s lives and liberties, pursued wine happiness there. When most people think of Bordeaux, they think, “Dude, how the hell am I supposed to pronounce THAT wicked weird word?” But if you have heard of Bordeaux, you probably think red wines — the best France, and maybe the world, has to offer. What people often overlook...

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New Column: Monte Belmonte Wines
Sep05

New Column: Monte Belmonte Wines

You are reading a wine column that was written by a non-expert: a rank novice who has never worked in the wine industry, or the restaurant industry; who has never been to France (outside of Charles de Gaulle) or to California (outside of L.A.); and who, frankly, has never written a column of any kind, for any newspaper, at any time before now. That being said, I am Monte Belmonte — a radio host on 93.9 The River with an extremely tiny...

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