Tag Archives: Howard Riedel

Dissecting a Wine Label- Organic, Sustainable, and Unfiltered



Episode 023- Have you ever been to a wine shop or seen the terms “Organic”, “Sustainable”, or “Unfiltered” on a wine list?

Are these real terms, important to your wine drinking experience or are simply marketing ploys designed to separate more dollars from your wallet?

Our resident wine guy, Howard Riedel will help you figure out what theses terms mean  and give you important insight for the next time you buy a bottle of wine.  Howard is a wine expert and has 30 plus year career as a marketing consultant to  the retail wine industry.  Here are some of his recommendations in this category:

Bonterra- A brand that evolved out of Fetzer’s early experiments in organic farming in the late 1980s, California’s Bonterra is considered the first mass-market organic brand.

Emiliana-   Chile already has an advantage over most wine growing areas because it wasn’t affected by the phylloxera aphid that destroyed many vineyards around the world, primarily in France, in the mid-19th century. It’s why the vines in Chile grow on their own roots instead of being grafted onto pest-resistant rootstock as most of the world does now. Chile is also one of the world leaders in organic wine growing, and Emiliana is the most prominent example. They produce several brands, and their Natura line is one of their best values.

Dashwood-  New Zealand is another country that has gotten strongly behind the organic movement, and Dashwood is one of their more affordable brands.

McManis Family Vineyards- This winery in California’s Central Valley is one of many certified by Lodi Rules Certified Green Sustainable Winegrowing.

Arrowhead Spring Vineyards- Located on the Niagara Escarpment, Arrowhead has long been a proponent of traditional farming methods. They’ve been expanding their estate vineyards and are using sustainable farming methods.


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A Sparkling Wine Guide for Celebrations of the Season or any Time of Year!



Episode 006-It is fitting and proper during the time of celebrations that champagnes, prosecco, and other  sparkling wines are offered to give toasts or merely to enjoy during a party. Howard Riedel is our wine guy and he has some very helpful recommendations for you.  You’ll learn the origins and differences between all those sparkling wines. Here are Howard’s suggestions:

High End Champagnes ($150-300)

Mid-Level Champagnes ($40-60)

California Sparkling Wines ($15-25)

Spanish Cava

Jaume Serra Cristalino

You’ll also hear about the latest of my baking and cooking adventures in the wake of my cold. You’ll remember from previous episodes that I wanted to make a molasses cookies for my wife.  Not having a recipe, I searched the online tool that I use to organize my growing cookbook library called Eat Your Books. You’ll hear an interesting story on why I ultimately chose this molasses cookie recipe from the All-American Cookie Book by Nancy Baggett.

I also mention my recipe for old school tomato sauce that was recently published in a magazine.  I will be using this for my traditional Christmas Lasagna.

Note: None of these links included above are affiliate links