The Curious Case of Carmenere

The ancient origins of the Carmenere grape are uncertain, and there are several theories about them.  My personal favorite is that what we now call Carmenere was known in ancient Rome as “Biturica,” and praised by such luminaries as Pliny the Elder and Columella.

Of course, evidence for this theory is inconclusive, but when I open a bottle of Carmenere, I like to think that what I’m about to drink bears at least some similarity to the wines enjoyed by Julius Caesar during his campaign in Gaul.

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World’s Drunkest Job: Wine Blogs | Wine Folly

I couldn’t have come up with a better title.  And oh what fun it would be to actually be paid to drink all the wine I do.   But alas I am not.  I guess I will just have to continue drinking it for fun.  And fun I have.

Things are really busy  behind the scenes at Shami’s Gourmet these days.  We are doing our best to add new content to our blog 5 days a week, but sometimes something crosses our desk that makes us go “We must share this”.  So now we share with you . . .the life of some of the world’s drunkest people. .. oops, my bad, wine bloggers!  Cheers.

World’s Drunkest Job: Wine Blogs | Wine Folly.


Wine Wednesday: Zinfandel and Primitivo


Wine Wednesday.  Our favorite day of the week.  And one of our favorite wines for Wine Wednesday (or any day for that matter) is Zinfandel.  No offense to those that like White Zinfandel. . . but we are talking about red.  A big, robust red wine!!!

In researching California Zinfandel (and its Italian twin cousin, Primitivo), I stumbled upon a great blog simply called ” Zinfandel and Primitivo” by The WineCollective.  I love their tag line:  “If you can’t drink at work, at least you can read about it!”  My sentiments exactly!!

Zinfandel and Primitivo | The WineCollective Blog.

The WineCollective was established in 2009 in Canada whose mission is:

There are thousands of wines available in the Canadian market from around the world on any given day. How do you choose what to try next? We were tired of rolling the dice at the liquor store. WineCollective does all the hard work for you. We try hundreds of wines each and every month, ranging from the weekday pizza wine to the exotic cellar candidate. It may sound like fun to try all that wine (which it is), but it’s serious work. We pick the best wines for our wine club members.

Instead of reinventing the wheel, we thought we would share their extremely informative history of this big and bold wine.


Cheers and Enjoy!

Wine Wednesday – A Great Article on Inexpensive Spanish Wine

Things have once again been a little crazy around here with the store, our new diet and life in general. Sadly we didn’t have time for anything original today. But as you know we are always on the lookout for tasty wine on the cheap and I came across just what I was looking for.

Wine Recommendations

Having been to Spain and being a fan of Spanish wines as well as being a fan of inexpensive yet tasty wine, I thought this would be a great chance to share with you this article by Talk-A-Vino. And after reading that Anatoli’s doctor prescribed a glass of red wine a day to lower his cholesterol . . .I knew I found a fellow wine lover after my own heart. And he has the chops to back up what he says.

With that said. . .Cheers & Enjoy!!

A Week of Ralph’s Wines

Welcome back to Wine Wednesday!  And what a week it’s been.  To tell the truth, we ended going through 10 bottles this week, but two were repeats.  The rest, as promised, are written up below. Please bear in mind that all prices quoted include a Ralph’s card discount and a 6 bottle minimum purchase discount.  Together, these are substantial, and of course, prices vary.


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What’s With Wine Wednesday?

Welcome to Wine Wednesday!

Several people have asked us why we bother to write about wine, since we don’t sell any on our site.  The answer is quite simple:  Shami’s Gourmet is not only our business, but also our passion.  For us, a gourmet meal paired with the right wine is one of life’s great pleasures – especially when shared with friends.  And a good bottle of wine on its own is not far behind.


In our travels, we always seek out local grapes and vineyards to complement the local food.  And whereas this habit has led us to taste some truly foul swill, it has also led us to discover some real hidden gems in some surprising locations.  For example, did you know that Uruguay produces some world class wines?  We didn’t before we went there, but we do now.

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Wino Wednesday – Let’s Visit Mendoza, Argentina

While we wish we were able to share an original post every day, life and work sometimes have other plans.

Things have been a bit crazy over here these past few days and sadly we got a little behind the eight-ball.  As such, we thought we would share with you a Wino Wednesday post by our good friend Sorrell Moseley-Willilams.  Between her intimate knowledge of wines, Argentina, and so many other subjects, you are guaranteed to be entertained.

Mendoza Wineries

We met Sorrell when we lived in Buenos Aires and have shared quite a few wino related experiences together (details of which are for another time).  Sorrell recently passed her sommelier exam and is an official graduate Level One Sommelier!!  Congrats to Sorrell!

Please enjoy her insightful article, “A sommelier’s guide to Mendoza’s historical wineries”.

See you tomorrow for Throwback Thursday!

In Honor of Throwback Thursday . . . and a little late for Wino Wednesday

In honor of Throwback Thursday, we thought we would share one of our adventures while traveling through Dijon, France in 2007.  We had been living in Costa Rica at this time and spent the month of October traveling through Annecy, Dijon, Grenoble and Paris.  While the trip was full of tons of amazing memories, this was an absolute standout.


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While wandering around Dijon’s Southern edge on Wednesday evening, a sign on one of the buildings caught our attention. It read: “Grand Vins de Bourgogne” (literally, “Big Wines of Burgundy”). Under the sign was an arrow directing us to the entrance.

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