91pointsPeirano 2014 The Other White (Lodi)

About the Wine Enthusiast Buying Guide

Tasting Methodology and Goals

All tastings reported in the Buying Guide are performed blind. Typically, products are tasted in peer-group flights of from 5–8 samples. Reviewers may know general information about a flight to provide context—vintage, variety or appellation—but never the producer or retail price of any given selection. When possible, products considered flawed or uncustomary are retasted.

About the Scores

Ratings reflect what our editors felt about a particular product. Beyond the rating, we encourage you to read the accompanying tasting note to learn about a product’s special characteristics.

    • 98–100
    • Classic
    • The pinnacle of quality.
    • 94–97
    • Superb
    • A great achievement.
    • 90–93
    • Excellent
    • Highly recommended.
    • 87–89
    • Very Good
    • Often good value; well recommended.
    • 83–86
    • Good
    • Suitable for everyday consumption; often good value.
    • 80–82
    • Acceptable
    • Can be employed in casual, less-critical circumstances.

Products deemed Unacceptable (receiving a rating below 80 points) are not reviewed.

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Special Designations

Editors’ Choice wines are those that offer excellent quality at a price above our Best Buy range, or a wine at any price with unique qualities that merit special attention.

Cellar Selections are wines deemed highly collectible and/or requiring time in a temperature-controlled wine cellar to reach their maximum potential. A Cellar Selection designation does not mean that a wine must be stored to be enjoyed, but that cellaring will probably result in a more enjoyable bottle. In general, an optimum time for cellaring will be indicated.

Best Buys are wines that offer a high level of quality in relation to price. There are no specific guidelines or formulae for determining Best Buys, but they are generally priced at $15 or less.

For the Trade

How to Submit Wines for Review

Wine Enthusiast Magazine tastes, rates and reviews wines, spirits and beers for publication in our Buying Guide, both in print and online. If you are interested in submitting samples for review and publication, please


Apothic Crush wine is a red blend that comes from Modesto, California, USA.

Over the years, Apothic has grown its lineup to include several different wines. I’ve had the opportunity to review most, if not all, of them.

If you’re interested in comparing the wines from Apothic, here are the reviews I’ve done:

Apothic Inferno (Aged in whiskey barrels)

Apothic Dark (Most similar to Apothic Crush)

Apothic Red (Another red blend)

Apothic White (A white wine blend)

Apothic Rose (Apothic’s foray into Rose.)

Apothic Brew (Apothic’s coffee infused red blend.)

Apothic Crush Review

I shared this wine with my friend Al, who is always a great help when it comes to wine reviews.

From the bottle:

A decadent red blend that combines red fruit flavors with notes of caramel and a velvety smooth mouthfeel.

We tasted the 2014 vintage of Apothic Crush.


In appearance, Apothic Crush is very deep purple in color. You’ll see a lighter purple meniscus on the edge.

The wine is very opaque with little to no light able to shine through.

It’s a very leggy wine. The drips took awhile to get going, but once they started it was an onslaught of heavy legs! And, they were very slow to fall.


The wine’s aroma is deep, rich and noticeable from afar when poured.

Up close, you get notes of black cherry along with hints of mocha and sweet cinnamon.

We both commented that we noticed very little alcohol in the aroma.

Apothic Crush alcohol content 14.5% by volume per the bottle.

From the aroma alone, it wouldn’t seem as though it would be that high. But, the richness of the aroma definitely masks the alcohol.


We didn’t notice any of the cinnamon from the aroma carrying through to the taste.

But, the mocha and black cherry definitely did and those were the primary flavors in this wine.

We commented that Apothic Crush is “easy drinking” and “smooth and sippable.”

Mouthfeel and Tannins

We both felt the wine’s tannins were noticeable all over the palate. For myself, I had an immediate strong tingling sensation on the tip of my tongue.

We generalized that the wine’s tannins were velvety and supple.

And, the overall mouthfeel was silky smooth.


The finish of Apothic Crush is quite long.

You may note a nice balance between the flavors and the tannins.

Overall Opinion

Overall, we both really enjoyed this smooth red wine blend.

We liked that it was silky smooth and flavorful and were appreciative of the balance this wine maintains across all its layers.

I’ve found the other Apothic reds to be very unique in flavor. And although enjoyable, I found them to NOT be a wine I would want to have over and over again.

However, I think Apothic Crush breaks that mold and IS a wine you can keep around as a “house wine.”

To me, that was the biggest difference I noted with this particular blend from Apothic.

So… Recommend! Plus it’s a bit lower in price than some of the other Apothic reds out there.

Apothic Crush price $9.99.

Suggested Food Pairing

Let’s start with what NOT to pair this with. I wouldn’t pair this with a grilled steak as I don’t think it would hold up. It’s a bit too smooth for that.

I should also note that I would drink this now and not worry about letting it age.

What I would pair this with is either a Gruyere Cheese or Lump Blue Crab Cakes.

And finally, my friend thought this would go nice with a Waldorf Salad or with a dessert such as a Cherry Cobbler.


Is FitVine Wine Actually Healthy?

Photo: FitVine Wine

Fact: People are drinking more wine than ever before (there’s been a 25 percent increase in gallons consumed over the past decade). Another fact: Alcohol contains a lot of empty calories and can lead to increased weight gain, poor fitness recovery, and long-term brain deterioration. So it makes sense that our keto-obsessed, clean-eating, health-focused society would crave healthier wine options. (Even if wine does have some health benefits.)


FitVine says their wines average less than 0.09 grams of sugar per glass-which is pretty low, depending on what kind of wine you usually drink. Is that enough to make it a low-sugar wine?

First, a little wine education: The residual sugar in wine comes from the natural sugars (fructose and glucose) found in wine grapes, says Lauren Cadillac, R.D. The longer grapes are on the vine, the stronger the sugar content becomes, explains Mark R. Warren, the president of FitVine. The fermentation process-and the type of wine-affects how much sugar is in the wine too: “In some ‘dry wines,’ yeast will convert all of the sugar into alcohol during the winemaking process,” says Cadillac. “In other wines, not all of the sugar is fermented, which leaves you with a sweeter wine.”

That’s how FitVine naturally makes their wine lower in sugar: “We pick our grapes a little early, and we ferment to dry (meaning there’s no sugar left to ferment) from five to up to 15 days,” says Warren. By comparison, he says, massive wine conglomerates can bottle wine in just one to two days using additives that speed things up. (Related: Your Guide to Drinking Alcohol On the Keto Diet)

Most times, the amount of residual sugar depends on where the wine is from. “The bigger and more ­fruit-forward the wine, the more likely you have some residual sugar,” says Keith Wallace, founder of the Wine School of Philadelphia. As a rule of thumb, you can expect wines from cooler climates to have residual sugar closer to zero. For example, a pinot noir from Burgundy, France, will have only a trace amount of sugar; a Sonoma Zinfandel may have up to 3 grams per liter of residual sugar (about 0.4g per 5-ounce glass); while a sweet Moscato can have 64 grams per liter of residual sugar (about 9g per 5-ounce glass), he explains.

FYI: “According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a 5-ounce glass of red table wine usually contains around 0.9 grams of total sugar, while a glass of chardonnay contains about 1.4 grams,” explains Cadillac. So, although the difference between the above-mentioned Zinfandel and Moscato may seem huge, there’s not always a big difference in sugar levels between varietals. (Here’s more about how to buy low-carb wines and which ones to try.)


You can’t talk about sugar without talking about calories. Wines marketed as “diet” wines can be about 15 to 30 percent lower in calories than standard wine, says Cadillac. (FitVine wines have between 92 and 120 calories per glass; regular wines range between 90 and 230 calories.) “This could save about 30 calories a drink,” she explains. “So if you’re someone who consumes a lot of wine throughout the week, this can add up to a few hundred calories over time.” But if you’re just a “glass every now and then” type of drinker, 30 calories won’t really move the needle, she adds. (Related: Can You Drink Alcohol and Still Lose Weight?)

Alcohol By Volume

The reason the calories in wine add up is because of the alcohol. “You can’t escape calories, because pure ethyl alcohol has about seven calories per gram,” says Wallace. “Every gram of sugar or carbohydrate has about four calories as well. So the best way to reduce your calorie count is to consume low­-alcohol wines without any residual sugar.” (A decent pinot grigio from Italy or an albariño from Spain are great options, he adds.)

FitVine’s ABV (alcohol by volume) ranges from 13.4 percent to 13.9 percent, which is similar to other wines. But Warren says the company’s extended fermentation process naturally lowers the sugar levels without lowering the alcohol. “That was the key because we didn’t want to make a low-alcohol wine that doesn’t taste good,” he adds. (If you’re okay with reducing the alcohol content, try these low-ABV cocktails.)

Reducing the calories in wine makes it lighter in body and less rich tasting, says Wallace. It would also likely be higher in acidity, which affects the taste because they’re harvesting less-ripe grapes. To maintain the taste of their wines without adding sugar, FitVine optimizes the wine’s pH levels (which affects the texture and the feel inside your mouth) and supplements with grapes from other varietals to create a stronger taste, says Warren.

Should You Switch to FitVine Wine?

Putting all the talk about calories and sugars aside, you might actually feel better drinking a diet wine.

“‘Diet’ wines claim to have less sugar and fewer sulfites, which may translate to fewer headaches,” says Cadillac. FitVine says its wines have less than 35 parts per million (ppm) of sulfites, whereas an average wine sits somewhere between 75 and 150 ppm, says Warren.

“With wines that have more sulfites, people tend to get flushing or swelling,” he says. “Some people have a sulfite allergy, but that’s less than .01 percent of the population-most times, it’s the combination of sulfites, histamines, sugar, flavors, and additives that cause a reaction.” (More on that here: Do You Really Need to Worry About Sulfites In Wine?)

If you can’t have a glass without feeling it the next day, FitVine could be a better option for you. “Our wines are low in calories, low in sugar, low in histamines, low in sulfites, and have no flavor additives,” says Warren. “It’s clean-tasting wine that people can have two glasses of on a Tuesday night and still wake up at 5 a.m. on Wednesday to hit the gym before work without feeling like someone hit you with a hammer.”

The Bottom Line

Is FitVine the healthiest wine? Is it even healthier at all? “As a health care provider, I wouldn’t label any alcohol as ‘healthy,'” says Cadillac. But wine isn’t necessarily unhealthy to begin with. “There are now 20 years of scientific literature showing the healthfulness of drinking wine,” says Wallace. Studies have shown that wine (in moderation!) cuts your risk of disease, helps you chill out, can aid in digestion, could help you lose weight, and could even boost your workout performance.

So don’t look at the label “diet” or “low-calorie” as an excuse to go HAM with a bottle. (There are no regulations specifying what makes a “diet wine,” says Wallace, and wines that are marketed as a diet wine have not been reviewed by the FDA.)

“As with most ‘diet foods,’ people tend to overdo it, thinking since it’s lower in calories they can have as much as they want,” says Cadillac. “Whether you choose a diet wine or not, choose the one you enjoy most and drink it in moderation.”

Instead, remember that life-and drinking-is all about balance. And that’s exactly what FitVine is trying to promote: “A glass of wine is a release from our hectic lives,” says Warren. “That’s important because it helps people with their overall stress. We just want to help people enjoy wine without feeling the effects over the next few days.” Cheers to that!

  • By Ashley Mateo @ashleymateo

My Review of Fit Vine Wine

Well nobody could give me a personal review on Fit Vine wine, so I HAD to go buy some to see for myself. I knew that Whole Foods carried it, so hanging onto Amazon’s promise that the prices would be lower now, I found my $15 bottle of wine. Hmmm. That’s a little more than I’d normally spend on wine that I am going to drink by myself. Not like by myself, alone, in the dark…though no judgment here. I just mean for my own consumption, not for entertaining.

But this wine is promising the moon and the stars with the same ABV as regular wine so I sucked it up and spent the 15 bucks. (And side note, that’s actually a dollar cheaper than on Fit Vine’s website.)

I love red wine most, so I bought the Cabernet Sauvignon (they give wine fancy names so they can charge more.) According to the Fit Vine website, “our wines average less than 1.3g of sugar per liter or ~0.2g per 5oz glass. The Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio average approximately 90 calories and 3g of carbohydrates at 13.4% alcohol (per 5oz glass). The Cabernet and Pinot Noir average approximately 95 calories and 3.4g of carbohydrates at 13.9% alcohol.”

From some other quick research I did, it seems most red wine has about 125 calories and whites average 120. That means Fit Vine has 25% less calories. So that’s pretty awesome. And I recently read an interesting article about what is really in cheap wine. Bleck. No thank you extra additives and preservatives in my wine.

Ok guys, moment of truth. Full disclaimer, the only thing I know about wine is the price tag, how cute the label is, and that I like it. I have poured many a cheap bottles down the drain because they taste like garbage and I wonder why I don’t just buy what I know. Because that label….and the price. Girl, when will I learn? So that all said…

It’s really good! I mean, it doesn’t taste like a $200 bottle. Nor should it. It’s not full-bodied, but I like it. It tastes better than a lot of cabs that I have tried over the years. It tasted even better on day two. Maybe there really is something to that “letting wine breath” thing?

You don’t have to take my word for it. You can go buy your very own. Then bring it over and we’ll do more taste testing together!

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Low carb wine brands are exploding with Keto growing in popularity. Even before that diet trend took off, we had fallen in love with FitVine Wine.

See, we’re the type of girls to focus on healthy living, but we also are never going to give up our wine. Part of healthy living – is enjoying your favorite things in moderation!

We even allow for it in our 80/20 diet.

So when we heard there were people out there making WINE for people passionate about healthy living — we had to talk to them. Those are our kind of people! From there, Mark Warren, their co-founder sent us a case to taste test.

(Yes, most days we really do have the best job in the world!)

We absolutely fell in love with their wines – especially the Pinot Grigio.

FitVine Wine is More Than a Low Carb Wine!!

FitVine wines contain 2.5 to 3.9g of carbs per serving and 12.4-13.9% alcohol.

Their wines also contain:

  • higher antioxidants
  • less residual sugar (average ~0.2g per 5oz glass)
  • fewer calories
  • less sulfites
  • vegan-friendly
  • no GMO’s
  • full body flavor

FitVine Wines’ Selection

Below we’ll outline this low carb wine’s nutrition.

The numbers are based on an average analysis per 5oz glass.

We also have loved FitVine’s newest varieties: Rosé, Prosecco and Syrah now too!

Our FitVine Wine Review

Before FitVine, every low carb wine we tried was pretty wimpy. It was like the brand watered it down. If we wanted a wimpy wine, we could add ice to it ourselves!

Then, we heard about FitVine’s different fermentation process through a friend. (Who also loves their reds!)

From there, we did a LIVE taste test – where no facial expressions could be hid!

Here’s how it went:

SPOILER ALERT:::: We loved FitVine!

Forget it being lower in carbs, it’s just a GOOD wine. If you took it to a party, everyone could enjoy it whether they are into healthy living or not.

Its price point is also what we typically spend on a bottle as well (Pinot Grigio was $17.99).

What Makes FitVine Different from Other Low Carb Wines?

They didn’t set out to make a low carb wine; it just happened naturally. I think that goes a long way. They weren’t trying to figure out how to lower something –

They just wanted to make a clean wine active people could enjoy without guilt.

Their wines go through a different type of fermentation process and uses only high quality grapes.

As an effect, the wines have 1/2 the sugar of an average dry wine!

Other Cool Perks

They also lab tested all of the wines with the industry leading lab of the last 40 years. The lab found the wines to have and NO traces of pesticides, molds or arsenic.

FitVine Wine also has minimal sulfites, less than 35ppm compared to the average, 75ppm-150ppm (parts per million).

They did all of this without sacrificing the level of alcohol or taste.

Now I know, you’re probably saying it’s easy for us to try each type of wine with that case. Well, guess what?

FitVine Wine offers a 60-day 100% money back guarantee on any purchase.

That’s how much they know you’re going to like it.

Where do you get FitVine Wine?

You can order through their website, or several stores are carrying it now!

Some of the stores you can buy FitVine at include: Whole Foods Market, Kroger, Central Market, Fresh Marker and HannaFords. You can find out where you can buy it locally using this store locator.

What is your favorite type of wine? Do you drink low carb wines?

If you’re drinking low carb wine because you’re starting a low carb diet, you may also like our Keto Quick Start Guide for Beginners!

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Many wine aficionados speak of “the one” — a bottle so amazing, so unforgettable, it ignited a passion, and for some, a career.

Though these are often very rare, VinePair asked beverage professionals to share the most memorable bottles they’ve encountered. The result, along with our own yearning, is a list so vivid, you’ll forget it’s wine you’re reading about, and not masterpieces of fine art.

“There are two wines that will always hold a special place for me. I once tasted a 2008 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée-Conti. Tasting a wine like that is a rare opportunity. In 2017, I visited Greece and had the experience of a lifetime while dining with Argyris Gerovassiliou, the second generation of Ktima Gerovassiliou. We had an incredible meal on the estate and he shared a magnum of 1994 Estate Red with me.” — Ronald Buyukliev, Lead Sommelier, Estiatorio Milos, Las Vegas, NV

“Krug Champagne Vintage 1996. It was an ‘aha’ moment for me: ‘So this is what good Champagne tastes like!’ There is a level of depth, intensity, and exotic flavors in this wine that put it so far above the norm. The finish lingers for so long. It is the gift that keeps on giving. Just truly a spectacular wine. One of the reasons I have ‘Champagne’ tattooed on my body!” — Jan Bugher, Manager and Wine Director, Bluebeard, Indianapolis, IN

“The most memorable wine I drank was Dassai Beyond, solely because it set me back $1,000 and I felt its financial repercussions for a while after. However, the bottle that is truly tenacious in my memory is the one I first tried at the Manhattan sake bar Sakagura more than 15 years ago when I was just able to drink legally: Watari Bune Junmai Daiginjo. From Ibaraki prefecture, this sake is made from the heirloom rice varietal watari bune and is hyper-aromatic with an onslaught of honeydew and papaya on the nose. But what really seared into my memory was its texture, a graceful ebullience that draws me back to this bottle again and again, to this very day.” — Leo Le, Sake Sommelier, Uchu, New York, NY

“Hard to pick just one, but I had the pleasure of tasting an 1896 Riesling at Bassermann-Jordan in the Pfalz region of Germany. Being able to taste something that had survived so much for so long was incredible. The wine itself was alive and well, but oxidized quickly after opening, making it that much more fascinating. It was there, and gone in an instant!” — Matthew Pridgen, Wine Director, Underbelly Hospitality, Houston, TX

“The most memorable wine I’ve ever had was my first birth year wine. It was a 1987 Heitz Cellars Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. It was the first time in my life I made a deep connection from that wine to my life. I thought about what the year was like, what stage of its life cycle the vine was in when I was born, what the winemaker might have been thinking that June. It truly showed me the multifaceted and human aspect of wine.” — Ashley Broshious, Restaurant Manager and Head Sommelier, Zero Restaurant + Bar, Charleston, SC

“Believe it or not, I got my paws on a 1982 Château Latour in about 2000. I don’t think I was even 21 yet, and it was the first bottle I ever spent $100 on. It’s an auction item now, a legend, somewhere around $2,000. It was forgotten and passed over in the locked case in this liquor store, and it was a bottle you would now refer to as ‘dusty.’ It was laying down in a 45-degree display and the fill level and cork looked good, so after a few visits, I finally bought it. It’s ridiculous that I got it at that price, but it went to a good home because it was appreciated. It really sang, and it was perfect in every way. I have had other perfect wines and spirits since then, but none were as memorable. That said, the Laphroaig 25-year Cask Strength from a few years back comes close.” — Jeremy Allen, Certified Sommelier and General Manager, MiniBar Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA

“It was a Roberto Henríquez, ‘Rivera del Notro Blanco.’ The wine is Moscatel, Corinto, and Semillon from Chile. I respond very strongly to very aromatic wines. As soon as I took a smell out of the glass, I had a strong feeling of nostalgia from my childhood. It instantly took me back to growing up in Bogotá, Colombia and going to the market to get produce for lunch every day. As soon as you step into any produce market there, you are inundated with the smell of tropical fruit skins, followed by the scent of the herbs that are stored toward the back of the market. This wine reflected those smells, and on the palate those notes come through as well while being paired with fresh acidity and the presence of light tannins from the skin contact.” — Eileen Chiang, Beverage Director/Assistant General Manager, Wayan, New York, NY

“A Château La Calisse Provence Rosé — I previously worked for winemaker Claude Thibaut of Charlottesville, Va., and one of my favorite wine memories was drinking this beautiful wine with him in his backyard as we grilled shrimp with the late-afternoon sun shining through the trees onto his patio.” — Matthew Emborski, Sommelier, Hilton Norfolk The Main, Norfolk, VA

“1947 Huet Vouvray ‘Le Haut Lieu’ was a definite light bulb moment for me in my wine journey. The incredible balance of fruit, sugar, and acid in a near-70-year-old white wine blew my mind and kick-started my deep love (bordering on obsession) of Chenin Blanc.” — Andrew Pattison, Wine Director, Sushi Note, Sherman Oaks, CA

“My first sip of Amarone, and I was an instant fan. I can recall my reaction after that glass, ‘Wine can be like this?!’ At the time, Amarone was a bit out of vogue and considered the older generation’s drink. The rich, viscous, robust bomb of dried fruits was right up my alley and has always been one of my favorites for special occasions or for movie night on a cold rainy evening.” — Mohammad Rahman, Wine and Spirits Director, Kata Robata, Houston, TX

Drank all the milk vine

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