Joyeux No√ęl! ¬°Feliz Navidad! Buon Natale! God Jul!

Dear Readers:

Holiday Greetings to all, wherever you are in the World!

Porte St. Nicolas-Beaune. ©L.M. Archer

Thanks for enjoying the tastes of affordable Burgundy, Bubbles and beyond with me in 2017 – best wishes to you and yours in the New Year!

Santé!  Salud!  Salute!  Skål!  Cheers!


Always a treat to hear from you ‚Äď please feel free to leave your comments below, or on Twitter/Instagram¬†@binnotes.

Copyrighted 2017 L.M. Archer | binNotes. All Rights Reserved.

Affordable Burgundy, Bubbles and Beyond

Happy Holidays, Dear Readers~


Still in deep deadline mode, but wanted to share a bit of ‘research’ I’ve been doing for a piece I’m working on for¬†basil + salt magazine, slated for publication in early 2018…I’ve included the producer names with the images in case you want to try these on your own at home before you read my article…so many bubbles, so little time…May your holidays be cozy, bright – and full of bubbles!



Always a treat to hear from you – please feel free to leave your comments below, or on Twitter/Instagram @binnotes.

Copyrighted 2017 L.M. Archer | binNotes. All Rights Reserved.

The Hedonistic Taster | ‚ĄĖ 23 | Graham Beck M√©thode Cap Classique | South Africa

The Hedonistic Taster¬†| ¬†‚ĄĖ¬†23 | Graham Beck M√©thode Cap Classique | South Africa

by L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne MLTastevin

‚ÄúWine should not be regarded simply as a beverage, but as an art of living, a pleasure.‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Henri Jayer

Welcome to The Hedonistic Taster,¬†a¬†binNotes | redThread‚ĄĘ¬†trade¬†sampling¬†of¬†gorgeous, small-lot artisan pours in an intimate¬†tasting format.

The title derives from the term ‚Äėhedonistic tasting,‚Äô coined by legendary¬†Burgundian vigneron¬†Henri Jayer.


Today’s Tasting:

Graham Beck Méthode Cap Classique | South Africa

This tasting marks the first in my focus on ¬†Affordable Burgundy + Beyond.¬†Here, I taste through a bit of ‘beyond’ – Pinot Noir and Chardonnay-based bubbles from South Africa.


If Champagne has a soul sister, it may be M√©thode Cap Classique. Specific to South Africa, Cap Classique employs the same ‚Äútraditional method‚ÄĚ used to make Champagne, whereby the second fermentation occurs in bottle.

A key figure behind establishing South Africa‚Äôs M√©thode Cap Classique sparkling wine is Pieter ‚ÄúBubbles‚ÄĚ Ferreira, cellarmaster at Graham Beck Wines in Robertson. Champagne-trained, South African inspired, Ferreira favors an elegant, crisp ‘house style’ that compliments the region’s diverse cuisine.

These tastings notes compliment a recent Skype interview I conducted with Pieter Ferreira hosted by Wines of South Africa. Please look for the forthcoming interview here later this summer.

Authors Note: I was delightfully surprised to meet Pieter at IPNC this past weekend, and can vouch that he is every bit as effervescent as his wines. 

Wine: Graham Beck Brut Méthode Cap Classique Sparkling Wine (51% Chardonnay, 49% Pinot Noir)

Vintage: N/V

Alcohol:  12 %

Suggested Retail:  $17



Robe:  Clear gold robe, pinpoint beading, effusive nuclei, diffuse mousse.

Nose: ¬†Beautiful¬†‘eau de boulangerie’ notes of ¬†brioche, toast, yeast.

Palate: Clean citrus, amber, toasty bouche; medium finish.

Suggested Pairings: A better question to ask is what not to pair this wine with? The perfect apéritif, amuse-bouche, seafood sidekick, or all-around scene stealer for any occasion.

Score: 94

Wine: Graham Beck Brut Rosé (55% Pinot Noir, 45% Chardonnay)

Vintage: N/V

Alcohol:  12.5%

Suggested Retail: $17



Robe: Clear coral robe, vibrant beading, diaphanous mousse.

Nose:  An intoxicating admix of salt-air, fynbos, red fruit nose.

Palate: Alluring red raspberry bouche with hints of almond and brioche, combined with a surprising, and delightful, herbaceous backnote.

Suggested Pairings:  A joyful elixir. Pairs well with life.Absolutely fave stunning rosé sparkling wine, hands down, for the price point and quality.

Score: 95

Learn more about Graham Beck Wines here.

More of The Hedonistic Taster here.


I want to hear from you! Please feel free to leave your comments below.

Psstt‚ĶAnd please do follow me on Instagram, Facebook and other social media ‚Äď you can find the icons above on the left-hand side of this site.


Copyrighted 2017 L.M. Archer | binNotes | redThread‚ĄĘ. All Rights Reserved

Wine Book Review | Terroir Champagne by Caroline Henry

Wine Book Review | Terroir Champagne by Caroline Henry

Welcome to binNotes | redThread‚ĄĘ

Inspired stories about wine and taste makers.

By L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne Master Level

Wine Book Review:

Terroir Champagne: the Luxury of Sustainable, Organic and Biodynamic Cuvées

by Caroline Henry


Like Champagne?

Want to understand more about it, but not sure where to start?

Or maybe just looking for a stocking stuffer for your favorite wine lover?

Here’s¬†one solution – ¬†the book¬†Terroir Champagne by fellow wine writer and international author Caroline Henry.

Terroir Champagne provides the key to unlocking a complex region with uncomplicated ease, a visually appealing book replete with lush photos and concise text.

A¬†certified sommelier, journalist and author, Caroline Henry possesses a keen understanding of Champagne’s unique history, varied soil types and time-intensive¬†vinification practices. A resident of Hautvillers since 2011, the author¬†also enjoys personal relationships with most of the region’s sustainable, organic and biodynamic grower-producers.

Henry showcases over eighty of these¬†mostly¬†family-owned enterprises¬†in her¬†three-part book, a book which begins with a pair of thoughtful forwards by multi-award winning Champagne writer & gastronomic reporter Michael Edwards and International Wine & Spirit Communicator of the Year 2015, International Champagne Writer of the Year 2011, and The Champagne Guide” author Tyson Stelzer.

Part I outlines the modern history of Champagne’s sustainable, organic and biodynamic movements, an explanation¬†of biodynamic preparations, and a handy breakdown of regional soil types.

Part II provides deeply personal portraits of growers by¬†region – Aube, Cote des Blancs, Montagne de Reims, and Vallee de la Marne – along with accompanying¬†menus for¬†each producer’s unique, hand-crafted cuv√©es.

Part III concludes with a short practical guide to where one can buy and enjoy terroir champagne, a list of organic and biodynamic growers, and a helpful glossary.

A must-have for any wine lover, Champagne enthusiast, or student of the vine.

You can buy the book here.¬†Now go out and celebrate what you’ve learned!

About the author. 

Read Guest Wine Writer Caroline Henry’s feature on Bioenergetic Wine in Champagne here.

Copyrighted 2016 binNotes | red thread‚ĄĘ. All Rights Reserved.

Holiday Exclusive I | Guest Wine Writer Series

Holiday Exclusive I |  Guest Wine Writer Series

Welcome to binNotes | redThread‚ĄĘ

Inspired stories about wine and taste makers.

By L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne ML

During this holiday season, I wanted to take time extend a heartfelt thanks to my¬†Guest Wine Writers Series 2016 participants for the joy you’ve brought to readers¬†here.

For those of you unfamiliar with the series, I invited some of my fellow wine writers to join me here on the first Friday of every month in 2016 to shine a light on any rare, obscure, or under-appreciated wine region for which they felt a special passion.

Each writer¬†brought their own¬†inimitable voice, style and skill to the page, capturing readers’ imaginations worldwide.

Didn’t catch the series? Here’s a recap:

‚ĄĖ 1: Village Voice columnist¬†Lauren Mowery¬† goes wild for¬†South African Wines.

‚ĄĖ 2: Travel and wine authority¬†¬†Sarah May Grunwald dishes on¬†the Women of Georgian Wine.

‚ĄĖ 3:¬†¬†Wine scientist Erika Szymanski delves into New Zealand Chardonnay.

‚ĄĖ 4:¬†Triple threat Jeff Burrows traverses the Wines of Liguria.

‚ĄĖ 5:¬†Master of Wine¬†Elizabeth Gabay schools us on the Wines of Hungary.

‚ĄĖ 6:¬†¬†Terroir Champagne author¬†Caroline Henry reveals the secret life of Champagne’s Bioenergetic Wines.

‚ĄĖ 7:¬†Petite wine industry influencer Cindy Lowe-Rynning tipples on Maremma: Together, But Different, in Tuscany.

‚ĄĖ 8: ¬†Jura Wine¬†author¬†Wink Lorch offers¬†her¬†Exclusive on Jura Wine.

‚ĄĖ 9: Millennial lifestyle blogger¬†Demetra Molina urges you to move Beyond Retsina: ¬†7 Reasons You Should be Drinking Greek Wine.

‚ĄĖ 10: Award-winning writer¬†Jill Barth wings us through The Wines of¬†Baux de Provence.

In light of its success, I’ve agreed to reprise the¬†Guest Wine Writer Series in 2017, with a few modifications. Look for the 2017 series to run bi-monthly on the last Friday of the month, rather than the first Friday monthly.

In the meantime, thanks for your ongoing appreciation of inspired stories about artisan wine and taste makers.


Copyrighted 2016 binNotes | red thread‚ĄĘ. All Rights Reserved.

#Champagne Day – October 21, 2016 | WWYBD?

#Champagne Day  – October 21, 2016 | WWYBD?

Dear Readers:

An obsession lacks logic.

And yet…

I think many of you know that I’m currently studying for my Champagne Master Level through WSG. This by no means dilutes my devotion to Burgundy.

On the contrary. It only amplifies it, broadening my view through the tasting glass for a different, yet equally artful rendering of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

And while both regions proffer¬†wines of elegance, balance, and complexity, I find that Champagne¬†offers texture and¬†coloratura, in contrast to Burgundy’s supple, single note arias.

That said, one of the greatest joys learning about Champagne involves drinking it.

All the better reason to join fellow champagne lovers globally this Friday, October 21 2016 for the Seventh Annual #Champagne Day, hosted by the Comité Champagne 

It’s easy – just follow this link to¬†find a celebration near you.

Or create your own, wherever you are in the world.

Feel free to post your #ChampagneDay images on¬†Instagram ¬†@binnotes¬†if you’d like a shout out¬†on social media.

Nothing says celebration more than Champagne…what will you be drinking?

Enjoy this day, and cheers!

Copyrighted 2016 binNotes | redThread‚ĄĘ. All Rights Reserved.

On the Road Again..

On the Road Again..

Welcome to binNotes | redThread‚ĄĘ

Inspired stories about artisan wine and taste makers.

by L.M. Archer FWS, Bourgogne ML

Dear Readers:

Willamette Valley from Domaine Drouhin Oregon | Image: ©2016 L.M. Archer

No, I haven’t forgotten about you – just busy traveling in Oregon, San Francisco, and N. California…oh, and a future visit to¬†Texas Hill Country in December.

Please join me for the balance of 2016 as I amp up my redThread‚ĄĘ interviews with¬†artisan wine and taste makers – and crank up my¬†Hedonistic Tasting notes, too!

Pssst…I’ll also be winding down my Guest Writer Series for 2016…so settle in and get cozy as I¬†toss the mike the first Friday of each month through the end of the year to a bevy of¬†my favorite vibrant voices in the wine writing world¬†as they offer their unique perspectives on a few of their favorite,¬†obscure wine regions.

Oh, and if that isn’t enough, you get to glimpse my pain¬†while pursuing¬†a¬†Champagne Master Level designation through the Wine Scholar Guild…it’s a natural progression, really, for this Burgundy geek¬†– learning another expression of Pinot and¬†Chardonnay, this time with texture!

As usual, I will continue to share links to my professional features in various publications.

And if you haven’t already, you can¬†follow along with me on social media,¬†¬†and sign up for my monthly newsletter at


Social  feeds vary to fit the needs/interests of my  followers Рsome helpful hints:

Instagram: My go-to  for sharing tasting notes and live tasting/event feeds.

Twitter: Tied to Instagram; also where I share current/breaking wine world news and industry shout-outs.

Facebook: Where I share my featured articles and interviews with various affinity groups, and shout-outs to wine industry and professional writer colleagues.

LinkedIn: Where I share my professional writing and video correspondence.

Pinterest: My wine geek happy place.

Hope this helps – see you back here soon!


Copyrighted 2016 binNotes | redThread‚ĄĘ. ¬†All Rights Reserved.