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I'm off for vacation traveling through Europe for the next several months and visiting some wonderful wineries. If you would like to keep up with my travels, I will blogging on: http://www.mypersonaltraveler.com/johnandsandy.

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In case you are wondering, what happened to this month's article? I could say the dog ate it. But, that would be a fabrication. The truth is that I am taking a break from writing this month in order to prepare for my trip to Europe later this summer. No worries though, as I will be blogging on our trip as we visit the vineyards of Italy.

Until next time, Cheers🍷

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Okay, folks. Pay attention! May is buy your Sommelier a drink month! So, every time you see me in May you MUST buy me a drink!

Alright, yes, I just made that up but, it really should be a thing. Don't you agree?

I did an article sometime back in which I mentioned participating in May Day celebrations as a kid. I recall getting out of school early and skipping or running around a maypole chasing the girls. Does anyone still do that?

May Day celebrations predate Christianity; however, as Christianity spread across Europe, it began to loose its pagan religious character. Different cultures may attach their own definition to the day but, May Day is usually celebrated on May 1st by most. Some cultures celebrate it as the day of transition from Spring into Summer. However,...

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No, I'm not talking about libraries serving wine. Although, I suppose if you have your own library and want, you could serve wine. However, that is not what I'm talking about.

When wineries refer to their library wines, they are referring to wines from pervious releases that have been held back and allowed to bottle age in the winery's cellar. Wineries will release those stocks from time to time for sale to their wine club members (see previous article where I describe how wine clubs work) or for direct sales. It's a good way to purchase some of your favorites that have been aged in a proper cellar (see my previous articles on cellaring).

Not all wineries library their wines. Mostly due to limited production or lack of proper storage facilities. But, the ones that do are...

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I bet that got all the vets' attention. It also means that I am looking forward to March. After all, it is the month in which I'll be celebrating our 52nd wedding anniversary with the love of my life. It is also a month of birthday celebrations for some family and friends. If you have something to celebrate in March, then please, allow me to wish you nothing but happiness!

Speaking of happiness, I'm always happy to introduce folks to new wines and make new friends. My philosophy is that we can never have too much wine or too many friends. I hope you agree? I was privileged to make some new friends at the Ajo Restaurant/Bent Oak Winery dinner and wine pairing, which was held on February 7, 2017, at Ajo Restaurant, 121 Main St., Round Rock, Texas.

If you missed the event,...

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A few years back I did an article featuring the Romanic Wines of Italy in celebration of Valentine’s Day. One of the wines I recommended was a Brunello di Montalcino from the producer Marchesi de Frescobaldi. It is still one of my favorites to share with my Valentine and a box of chocolates. And while the Italians may not have invented LOVE, I grew up watching Sophia Loren, so I believe they perfected it. And then there is the language of love sung by the likes of Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli. Not to mention the food and wine. AMORE!

As the name implies, the wine comes from the hilltop town of Montalcino in the Tuscany region of Italy. Even through the first mention of Montalcino, a fortress, in historical documents wasn't until 814 AD, it is believed to have been settled...

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Update on the Ajo-Bent Oak wine dinner. The dinner has been rescheduled. It is now set for Tuesday, February 7, 2017. So, call 512-992-2335 and RSVP your place at the table. Don't delay, call today!

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May the new year bring you good health, an abundance of love, prosperity, and new friendships. We had a wonderful time on our November-December cruise sharing experiences with friends and family. There were ten of us traveling together including my wife and myself.

Everyone did their own thing during the day and then we would get together in the evening for cocktails and dinner. We dined in a different restaurant almost every night, but made arrangements to sit together as a group. We had a great time sharing that day's experiences. Lots of laughs and what fun! I encourage you to join us on one of our cruises. Check back regularly and I will let you know what we have planned.

I don't often write about restaurants, but thinking about the new year and new friendships, I have...

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It's true what they say about time flying by as you get older. I can't believe it's Christmas time already. Are you planning a Christmas gathering with family or friends? Need some help choosing a wine to go with your dinner or party? Email me [click here] with your plans and I'll respond with some recommendations.

If you're looking to keep things simple and pick just one wine to go with everything, then here is my recommendation. Last month I recommend a Beaujolais Nouveau to pair with a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Well guess what, it will pair with a traditional Christmas dinner, as well. However, my favorite to serve with Christmas dinner is a nice Burgundy or Pinot Noir.

Pinot Noir pairs well with turkey or ham, as well...

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Yes, it is that time of year. Can you believe it? Thanksgiving is upon us, which means that Christmas isn't far behind. Did I mention that we are leaving for a Caribbean cruise the day after Thanksgiving?

We will be flying to Miami to board the beautiful Norwegian Escape for a 7-day cruise and there are 10 adults and no children in our group. We are going to have so much fun that it would be a shame for you to miss out. Sure you don't want to join us? Just [click here] and I will send you all the particulars and information on the cruise.

Getting back to Thanksgiving, I did an article a few years back describing how nice it was for the French to produce a wine, Beaujolais Nouveau, which is released the third Thursday of November...

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Welcome To My Blog.

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John Loofs, member International Sommelier Guild, has earned both Level I and Level II Certifications. Combine this with his great love of all types of food and wine, and he is the perfect tutor and guide on your journey through the vineyards of the world. Read More

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Need a recommendation?

Check out John's past posts for insights to new wines or contact John and ask for suggestions within your favorite varietal.

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Question: Ever wonder how many grapes it takes to fill a bottle of wine?

Answer: Each bottle of wine contains the juice from 500 to 600 grapes.

Question: How many glasses of wine are typically in a regular size (750ml) wine bottle?

Answer: Typically 5-6. One 750ml bottle is approximately 25 ounces. So, your server can pour 5 x 5oz glasses or 6 x 4oz glasses. The difference going to the host for tasting prior to service.

Question: How many calories are there in a glass of dry wine?

Answer: A 5 ounce glass of dry wine contains between 100 and 125 calories.

Question: How many gallons of wine will one ton of grapes produce?

Answer: One ton of grapes will produce approximately 120 gallons of wine.

Question: How long does it take for a newly planted vine to start producing useful grapes?

Answer: New vines usually take 3 years to produce grapes that are good enough to make into wine. And 5 years to reach full production.

Question: What is the productive lifetime of a grape vine?

Answer: Usually 30 to 35 years and then the yield starts to decrease. Vines may produce quality fruit for a longer period, but at lesser yields.

Check back regularly for more questions and answers. Need an answer to your wine related question? Drop me a note with your question and I'll answer it here in Questions and Answers. And remember, the only silly question is the one never asked.

© 2017 Wine With John