Discover white wines from Germany this Summer


Are you tired of the same old same old when it comes to your summer wine choices? Time to try something new! Let’s discover 3 refreshing white wines from Germany and some fun facts you probably didn’t know!

First up: RIESLING

Riesling is a classic, but so so misunderstood. Did you know somms all over the world go crazy about German Rieslings? There’s so many reasons to love it! The most important thing you should know is that Riesling can be sweet, but also DRY! So many people think that Riesling is only sweet (which is also very delicious). If you like a dry style Riesling, look for the word Trocken on the label. This means dry. The Germans are very serious about their wine and give us tons of information of the label, but it definitely takes some schooling to understand it! Another term commonly used is labeling the level of ripeness of the grapes picked at harvest. The longer the grapes stay on the vines, the sweeter they get. Here are the terms in order from driest to sweetest:







Keep in mind that the winemaker might ferment to different levels, so a Kabinett level Riesling grapes could still be vinified to a slightly sweet wine, and a Spätlese Riesling grapes could still be vinified to a fully dry Riesling (in that case, it would be labeled Spätlese Trocken). It can be know confusing if you don’t know the terms, right!? A lot of German producers are starting to indicate the style on labels in English or even put a sweetness scale on the label which makes it a lot easier for us! Another term that is super important to know is the GG (Grosses Gewächs). This essentially means Grand Cru. These grapes are coming from the best vineyard sites and undergo strict quality assessment.

When it comes to food pairing with Riesling it’s quite unique! Depending on the style you’re drinking, German Riesling can pair perfectly with a wide variety of cuisine, partly due to the iconic high acidity. I like to pair Riesling with Asian cuisine, spicy foods and sushi! Due to the generally lower alcohol on German Rieslings, it pairs perfectly with spicier foods. Alcohol tends to make spicy foods burn more!

I really enjoyed this “Bone Dry” Riesling which you can currently find on www.Wine.com for $24.99.

Von Buhl Bone Dry Riesling 2020, Pfalz

Use promo code GERMANY10 for 10% off your purchase of 6 bottles of German wine or more.

This Riesling is very refreshing with notes of lemon, lime zest, white peach, and white florals. It had high acidity-meaning it makes your mouth water a lot. Perfect for a hot summer day!

Second white wine from Germany to be sipping on this summer is:


Pinot Blanc is such an underrated grape IMO! I don’t hear a lot of people talking about Pinot Blanc which is a shame! It just screams summer!!! This one is full of refreshing citrus and apple flavors. Balanced with a beautiful minerality and high acidity.

This wine pairs perfectly with all those summer cheeses like havarti, mozzarella, and feta. Can someone say Caprese salad!? Or watermelon and feta salad with PINOT BLANC!? Um yes please!

Fun fact: the Germans may call Pinot Blanc “Weissburgunder” so be on the look lookout for that! It’s just the German name for the grape. Another fun fact: Germany has the highest number of plantings of the grape in the world!

You can find this one on www.Wine.com for $24.99 as well.

Weingut Wagner Stempel Estate Pinot Blanc 2020, Rheinhessen

And the 3rd German White Wine you should know about is:


Yes, Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are synonymous, but a German Pinot Gris and an Italian Pinot Grigio are quite different! This Pinot Gris is packed full of stone fruit flavors like peach and apricot with a ripe citrus like lemon curd. It also has beautiful floral aromas and refreshing minerality and acidity. I find German Pinot Gris to be much smoother than other regions’ as well. I’d pair this with a summer peach salsa, or some brie with apricot jam. It would also go great with seafood and pastas. I’m drooling!

Fun fact: the Germans refer to Pinot Gris as “Grauburgunder” or “Grauer Burgunder” so you might see that on the wine label.

You can find this delicious German Pinot Gris on www.Wine.com for $18.99.

Freiherr von Gleichenstein Hofgarten Grauer Burgunder Trocken 2016, Baden

Remember to use promo code GERMANY10 for 10% off your purchase of 6 bottles of German wine or more!

I hope you enjoyed diving into the key white wines of Germany with me! If you’d like to dive even deeper into the Wines of Germany, follow @germanwineusa on Instagram and be sure to follow me at @bythestem to learn all things wines, food pairings and wine travel!


Love, Your personal sommelier, Casleah


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Discovering Sannio DOP of Southern Italy

Sannio (pronounced like San-yo) is located in the Campania region of Italy. The Campania region is in the southern part of Italy. It is below Rome and just 30 miles east of Naples. It has rolling hillsides and altitude making it the perfect location for vineyards. The soil is mostly clay and limestone, but there are areas where volcanic soil can be found! Sannio is made up of 11,000 hectares (27,181.59 acres) of vineyards. And 7,900 vine growers. There are many different grape varieties that grow here, but the two most famous are Falanghina and Aglianico. I recently attended a beautiful luncheon at N10 Italian Restaurant in downtown Los Angeles with Italian Wine expert Laura Donadini (@theitalianwinegirl) to learn about Sannio wines paired with delicious Italian dishes. 

The first wine we tasted was a sparkling Falanghina from Corte Normanna. It’s a Brut style sparkling wine made in the Charmat method (tank method). Oak aging in uncommon in this region. It spends 11 months on the lees with lees stirring which add complexity and delicate bubbles. This wine is refreshing with high acidity and notes of floral, citrus and a finish with a touch of almond. The almond finish is a marker common on Falanghina. This wine was paired with a Bruschetta with sun dried tomatoes, basil and mixed vegetables on focaccia. The acidity in the tomatoes really balanced the acidity in the wine.

The second was was a still Falanghina from La Guardiense ‘Janare‘. This wine recieved the highest award from the Gambero Rosso called Tre Bicchieri. It has beautiful dusty minerality with aromatic floral notes. It’s has a stunning and unique salinity resembling capers. It has the classic bitter almond finish. What stood out to me about this wine was the mouthfeel. It had an oily texture that is very pleasant on the palate. It has medium plus intensity of aromas, a complex, refreshing acidity and a long lingering finish.  

 Wine number 3 was another still Falanghina from the opposite side of the region from Terre Stregate ‘Svelato’ . This one has 4 months on the lees giving its a cheese rind, yeasty aroma. Along with a refreshing green apple acidity. 

 These Falanghina wines are if the DOC designations. They were paired with a chopped salad consisting of  romaine lettuce, mozzarella cheese, avocado and dill herb dressing. The freaking notes of the salad brought out the citrus notes of the wines. The mozzarella brought if the lees nots as well as the creamy mouthfeel. Great pairing!! 

The tasting concluded with a beautiful complex red wine of Aglianico. This is the famous red wine of Sannio and is of DOCG designation. There are 3 biotypes of Aglianico in Sannio: Taburno, Taurasi, and Vulture. I tasted the Fattoria La Rivolta Aglianico del Taburno DOCG 2018 . It was full of black fruits and spice. It spent 1 year in neutral oak and organically farmed. Full of complexity, these wines have so much aging potential! This wine was paired with shredded braised beef in San Marzano sauce in a homemade Tagliatelle pasta. What a perfect pairing! 

I highly recommend checking out the wines from Sannio for great quality and great value! I hope you discover this up and coming region! Cheers! 

Love, Your Personal Sommelier, Casleah

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100 wines a sommelier would buy from the grocery store for less than $20!

You asked for it and you will receive!! Everyone is always looking for the highest quality wine for the cheapest price. And unfortunately it does take a little bit of wine knowledge to accomplish this goal. There are many over priced wines and many underpriced wines out there and I’m here to show you some wines that I believe to be a good value for the cost.

** Disclaimer- I always recommend to #shoplocal and #shopsmall when shopping for wine. The best plan is to go to your local wine boutique shop and ask them for recs on their selection.

But if you happen to find yourself shopping for wine in a chain market, here’s some that I think are worth the money!

Sparkling Wines:

1. Chandon brut $17

2. La Marca Prosecco $15

3. Segura Viudas Brut Cava $14

4. Mionetto Prosecco Brut $14

5. Saint Hilaire Limoux $13

6. Borrasca Cava brut $10

7. Gruet Brut $15

8. Mionetto Prosecco DOC $14


9. La Vieille Ferme $9

10. Black Girl Magic Rosé $16

11. Berne Côtes de Provence $18

12. AIX Provence $18

13. Fleurs de Prairie Provence $18

Light-Bodied Whites

24. Sea glass Sauvignon Blanc $11

25. Oyster bay Sauvignon Blanc $12

26. Cupcake Pinot Grigio DOC $9

27. Kung Fu Girl Riesling $19

28. Napa Cellars Sauvignon Blanc $18

29. The Pinot Project Pinot Grigio $15

30. Broadbent Vinho Verde $10

31. La Caña Albariño $15

32. White haven Sauvignon Blanc $20

33. Ferrari Carano Fume Blanc $13

34. Stemmari Grillo $8

35. Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc $20

36. The Seeker Sauvignon Blanc $13

37. Kysela Pere Et Fils, Ltd. Picpoul de Pinet $10 

38. Columna Albarino $18

39. J Vineyards Pinot Gris $20

40. Inama Vin Soave Classico $17

41. Hall Sauvignon Blanc $20

42. Trimbach Riesling $18

43. Dr Loosen Blue Slate Kabinett Riesling  $15 

44. Kung Estate Pinot Gris $15

45. Decoy Sauvignon Blanc $16

46. Chalk Hill Sauvignon Blanc $20

47. Lapis Luna Sauvignon Blanc $13

48. Marques de Caceres Rueda Verdejo $8

49. Marques de Riscal Rueda Verdejo $8

Full Bodied Whites

14. Bonterra Chardonnay $12

15. La Crema Chardonnay $17

16. Joseph Drouhin Macon-Villages $16

17. Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc + Viognier $15

18. E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône blanc $15

19. San Simeon Monterey Chardonnay $17

20. Famille Bougrier Vouvray Chenin Blanc $15

21. Louis Jadot Pouilly-Fuisse $20 

22. Louis Jadot Macon- Villages $13

23. Knotty Vines Chardonnay $16

Light Bodied Reds

50. La Crema Pinot Noir $20

51. Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages $16

52. George Dubeuf Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau $12

53. J Vineyards Pinot Noir $20

54. A to Z Wineworks Pinot Noir $20

55. Carmel Road Monterey Pinot Noir $16

56. Argyle Pinot Noir $20

57. Belles Grives Morgon Beaujolais $17

58. Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir $20

Medium to Full Bodied Reds

59. Marques de Caceres Rioja Crianza $16

60. Alamos Malbec $10

61. Seven Deadly Zins Zinfandel $15

62. Francis Coppola Claret $17

63. J. Lohr Cabernet Sauvignon $19

64. Sterling Cabernet Sauvignon $11

65. Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon $19

66. Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon $18

67. Benziger Cabernet Sauvignon $20

68. Bonterra Merlot $15

69. Famille Perrin Côtes du Rhône reserve $10

70. Penfolds Max’s Cabernet Sauvignon $20

71. Juggernaut Cabernet Sauvignon $20

72. Montes Classic Series Cabernet Sauvignon $10

73. Casillero del Diablo Carmenere $10

74. Beringer Bros Bourbon Barrel Aged Red Blend $13

75. Honoro Vera Garnacha $9

76. Palazzo Della Torre $18

77. Stemmari Nero d’Avola $9

78. Silk & Spice red blend $8

79. Frey Organic Cabernet Sauvignon $17

80. Catena Malbec $16

81. Cecilia Bereta Amarone Della Valpolicella $20

82. Casamatta Toscana $15

83. Nero Oro Nero d’Avola $13

84. McBride Sisters Red Blend $19

85. Upshot Red Blend $20

86. Black Stallion Cabernet Sauvignon $20

87. Lapis Luna Cabernet Sauvignon $13

88. Napa Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon $20

89. Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon $19

90. Campo Viejo Rioja Reserva $13

91. Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva $14

92. Decoy Merlot $18

Dessert Wines

93. Dow’s Fine Tawny Porto Port $14

94. Dow’s Fine Ruby Porto Port $14

95. Honey Bubbles Sparkling Moscato $15

96. Chateau St Michelle harvest select sweet Riesling $8

97. Risata Moscato d’Asti DOCG $11

98. Porto Valdouro Ruby Port $17

99. Quintas das Carbalhas 10 year tawny 375ml $19

100. Osborne Cream Sherry $14

Thanks for reading! Check out my other grocery store guide for some fun food pairings! Cheers!

Love, Casleah- your personal sommelier

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How to shop for grocery store wines-and bonus food pairings!

It can be overwhelming when you don’t know what to look for! Here are some of my favorite wines that easily available almost everywhere! I’ve also added some pairing suggestions to make dinner planning easy! Cheers!


Saver wine:

This is a classic Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand for ~$13/bottle. You can expect it to be crisp, refreshing with notes of lemon, lime and fresh cut grass.

Splurge wine:

One of my favorite producers in Napa. If you get a chance to visit the winery, I highly recommend it! This SB is from a warmer climate so you can still expect fresh citrus notes as well as tangerine and pineapple. I found this bottle for $20.


SB is a very acidic wine, meaning it makes your mouth water! It pairs very well with acidic foods such as lemon, tomato and vinegar. It is important to keep the dish light as this is a pretty light wine-I’d recommend chicken or white fish.


Saver Wine:

This beautiful organic wine is a steal for $11! This wine has notes of green apple, pear, and pineapple. It’s partially oaked so it will have notes of toasted almonds and a creamy texture while still maintaining the fresh crispness.

Splurge wine:

Another stunning Napa producer! I love every wine from Duckhorn! You can expect nice tropical notes of pineapple and star fruit. A creamy, rounded texture with notes of Creme brûlée! I found this for $30.


Since this wine is a little bit fuller bodied and richer, it does well with a little richer dishes. My favorite pairing is with Salmon. It would also do really well with a creamy sauce such as Alfredo.


I’m a big fan of this producer from the Languedoc region in France. It’s light and floral with notes of strawberry and white peach. And of course the stunning bottle! This one goes for approximately $12/ bottle!


This wine would pair perfectly with a strawberry and goat cheese salad, And light cheeses such as mozzarella, Swiss and havarti.


Saver Wine:

I love this Pinot from Monterey! Biodynamically farmed, killer price for $15. Notes of cherry, strawberry and cranberry. It’s light bodied with medium tannin (dryness on the finish).

Splurge Wine:

Stunning producer! And beautiful bright and fruit forward Pinot from the Santa Lucia Highlands. You can expect notes of cherry, cola, and vanilla. It’s silky smooth and I found it for $20.


Some of my favorite pairings with Pinot Noir include: Salmon, Pork Loin, Pizza, and Carnitas tacos.


Saver wine:

Love this Cab from Paso Robles. With notes of blackberry, plum, black cherry, vanilla, cedar and baking spices. Very well balanced with a fuller body and nice tannin structure. I found this beauty for $14.

Splurge Wine:

This classic producer makes some lovely Cabernets! You can expect notes of black berry, black plum and sage. Stunning structure with a long finish! Found this one for $30.


My favorite pairing with Cabernet is a big, juicy steak! It goes well with red meats such as ribs, beef tenderloin and bacon.


Saver Wine:

These delicious Napa made bubbles are created in the traditional champagne method so you can expect smooth bubbles with nice citrus notes and a slight yeasty note. Fun fact: this winery was established by the famed Möet and Chandon who produces the highly esteemed Dom Perignon! You can find this one for only $18/bottle!

Splurge Wine:

This is the real stuff from Champagne! This is such a crowd pleasing bottle of bubbles and you can’t go wrong with this producer. You can find this one for $30.


Champagne goes really well with fried food! Try it with fried chicken or French fries! Also a very classic pairing is with oysters.



This was the first wine I ever loved and I still love it! Beautiful Riesling from Washington. Notes of lemon, lime, white flowers, slate and petrol.


Riesling is such a foodie wine because of of its fresh acidity. But it’s special power is that it goes well with spicy food!


This is a fun one! Not only will you impress your friends when you pronounce it correctly- (bow-zhuh-lay) it’s a nice light red with notes of cherry, strawberry and sometime hints of banana or bubblegum! It is good served chilled too! Find this one for $13!


BoJo pairs really nicely with chicken, pork and fish.


There’s some really great value in Argentina Malbec! If you like rich, full bodied wines with notes of blackberry and black pepper, but yet silky and smooth, this is your wine! You can find this beauty for $20!


Malbec pairs really well with any beef dish. Pair it with something rich and heart like beef stew.

I hope you enjoyed this guide! Of course there are many more enjoyable grocery store wines! Feel free to reach out with any questions! Cheers!

Love, Cas

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