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Louis Villard has spent the best part of his life traipsing through the vineyards and wineries of Europe and California. Starting in his hometown of Santa Barbara he worked as a cellar rat at Rusack Vineyards. He then moved to the Languedoc region of France where he was assistant winemaker at Domaine La Sauvageonne. England then called and Villard went on to work as a sommelier for several years, culminating in a position at London's Savoy Grill for Gordon Ramsay. Somewhere n that time, he acquired a bachelor of science degree in oenology and became a certified sommelier. Now back in California, he contributes regularly to the Santa Barbara News-Press and Edible Santa Barbara. He also writes for Decanter Magazine, Imbibe and www.CataVino.net, among other wine and food magazines and websites.

Screen grabs of the Wine with Friends app.

Drinking wine is a social activity, so it's no surprise that social media-focused wine tasting apps have cropped up to connect wine lovers with

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The New California Wine, Adventures on the Wine Route and The World Atlas of Wine.

The clock is ticking for Christmas gift-buyers. But don't fear, a great new book on shifting tides among California's winemakers and updated versions of two

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Cheese trolley. Credit: Louis Villard

Charles de Gaulle famously asked, "How can you govern a country that has 246 varieties of fromage?" Not only that, one might add, but

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Wine table at Grape to Glass festival.

The Russian River Valley in Sonoma County, California, is turning 30 this year, and there's going to be a big party to celebrate. Although

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Rosé wine picnic. iStockphoto / Mark Swallow

It's summertime and in the wine world that means one thing: Rosé! With so many Rosé choices out there, picking one can be as daunting

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Apps

These app reviews will teach you to become a vegan in 21 days or to mix perfect cocktails from sight alone. There's also a

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When Wine Taste Best app

Where do chefs eat? As culinary professionals have become celebrities, their favorite haunts have attracted more attention. Want to know where Ludo Lefebvre gets

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