Monte Belmonte Wines: The brilliant 23 year old ordering bottles for ConVino
Jul10

Monte Belmonte Wines: The brilliant 23 year old ordering bottles for ConVino

“I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but you remind me of Rachel Maddow.” That was my reaction after meeting Franchesca Thepenier, the 23 year old certified Sommelier and beverage director for ConVino Wine Bar in Northampton. I worked with Rachel for two years over a decade and a half ago, and it was clear then that Rachel’s brilliance was not going to be contained to our subterranean radio studio on Main Street in Northampton...

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Monte Belmonte Wines: The potential of Massachusetts wine
Jun26

Monte Belmonte Wines: The potential of Massachusetts wine

Massachusetts is no Bordeaux. It’s no Napa. Perhaps with global warming, someday it will rival the great wine regions of the world, which is why I keep a tire fire burning in my backyard at all times. But given the limitations of our climate, are our burgeoning vineyards in Massachusetts able to produce great wine? If you read my last column, you’ll know I was recently illegally drinking canned wine on the beaches of Cape Cod. Route...

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Monte Belmonte Wines: Is the wine world ready for wine in a can?
Jun12

Monte Belmonte Wines: Is the wine world ready for wine in a can?

I am a proponent of Massachusetts becoming an open carry state. Not with guns. But with alcoholic beverages. Unless you happen to find yourself on the Buckland side of Shelburne Falls, where you are permitted to carry an open container of alcohol on the street, you might find yourself in trouble if you decide to imbibe outside — say, at one of our fine Massachusetts beaches. You could choose to obey posted laws about where alcohol is...

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Monte Belmonte Wines: The man who made post-Prohibition America love wine, through the eyes of his daughter
May29

Monte Belmonte Wines: The man who made post-Prohibition America love wine, through the eyes of his daughter

How would you like to buy a bottle of Château Lafite Rothschild for $1.75? Maybe a bottle of Château Haut-Brion for $1.95? Interested in two bottles of Château Mouton-Rothschild for a whopping $2.95 each? Or go ahead and splurge on a case of Château Margaux for $25. If you are deeply infatuated with wine, these names are familiar to you. And you may be incredulous of my listed prices, as current vintages of these wines go for about...

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Monte Belmonte Wines: The wines of Silicon Valley
May15

Monte Belmonte Wines: The wines of Silicon Valley

“Our neighbor in France had a trained donkey and a goat. We noticed the donkey and goat were always together during the evenings. During the day the goat was around but the donkey was gone. He had trained his donkey to do weed control in the vineyard. The donkey was really stubborn so he got it a goat as a companion animal. A calming goat.”   That’s where Jared and Tracey Brandt, the Berkeley, California, based winemaking couple...

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