May 13, 2016
BUZZ: Hey Marnie, why do they bother making white wine out of cabernet sauvignon if it's a red grape? Marnie: That's not really a thing, Buzz. I've never even seen a white cabernet. Buzz: Really? There are tons of them at the State Store. They call it sauvignon blanc. Not quite as dry as the red. How do they do that? Marnie: Easily, Buzz. Sauvignon blanc is not a white wine made from red cabernet sauvignon grapes. It's a separate grape variety. Unlike cabernet sauvignon, sauvignon blanc is green-skinned, so used for making white wines only.
April 1, 2016
DEAR READERS: I couldn't let April Fools' Day go by without featuring a few of the more colorful letters that have shown up in my mail recently: A tie, some nice wine, maybe mood lighting DEAR ABBY: I'm getting ready to undergo my first prostate exam. To be honest, I'm a bit nervous. What should I expect? Also, what's the dress code for something like this? I'm thinking about wearing nice slacks and a collared shirt. The doctor has been patient and kind. He hasn't put any pressure on me. I want this to be special.
January 15, 2016
Buzz: Hey, Marnie, my brother just got back from a trip to Napa Valley. He said some wineries put other grapes in their cabernet sauvignon. Isn't that illegal? Marnie: No, Buzz, it's legal in most wine regions, as long as it's a small percentage, though in some European regions, the named grape on the bottle must be in the wine 100 percent. Buzz: Do other places require every grape to be named? Marnie: Yes. Australia requires all grapes in a wine to be named on the label, in order of volume.
April 10, 2015
BU ZZ: Hey Marnie, what's the meaning behind all the different shapes of wine bottles? Marnie: Interesting question, Buzz. The vast majority of wines come in one of four classic bottle shapes. Each one traces its roots to one of the world's most famous wine regions. Buzz: OK, give me a lesson. Marnie: Bordeaux-style bottles, which are the most common, are narrow, cylindrical and high-shouldered. Burgundy-style bottles are wider with long, sloped shoulders, and most often used for chardonnay, pinot noir and Rhone blends.
February 28, 2014
"I CAN'T remember the exact name. Mart something. It's a red wine . . . " "What part of the world is it from?" "I think it's from us?" That's all the info Rob Peters needs. After a lickety-split visual scan and a series of quick steps through the Ardmore Plaza Wine & Spirits store, he's got his hands on the exact bottle - a Cabernet Sauvignon from Louis M. Martini out of Sonoma County, Calif. - that his customer is seeking. Peters has been presented with such cryptic oenophilic conundrums for 20 years, and it's his job to field them.
May 24, 2013
BUZZ: Hey, Marnie, my brother says I mispronounce mer lot . He says it's mer low . Who cares - it's supposed to be swill either way, right? Marnie: Yes and no, Buzz. It's a French grape, so it's pronounced mer low , like Tarot cards, not mer lot as in mascot. It happens to be one of the world's finest wine grapes, though. It's a shame that people think there's something wrong with it. Buzz: Really? I haven't had a drop since I saw that movie. You know, the wine one. Marnie: (Sigh.)
April 12, 2013
BUZZ: Hey Marnie, I keep hearing about superwines from Italy. Do they have superpowers? Marnie: No, they don't. Those are likely "Supertuscans. " The term is informal, so it won't appear on labels, but it usually refers to nontraditional blended reds from Tuscany. Buzz: Blending makes wine super? Marnie: Not really. In theory, quality is what makes Supertuscans super. It helps to know the backstory, Buzz. Buzz: Does it have mystery and intrigue? Marnie: Actually, it does.
January 12, 2013 |
The Wissahickon Valley spreads out like a rumpled quilt beneath the feet of Nicholas and Athena Karabots at their Karamoor Farm in Whitemarsh Township. Nick Karabots made his considerable fortune in a variety of printing, media, and real estate businesses, and the couple are noted philanthropists, giving millions mainly to help inner-city children. But Karamoor Farm, on about 240 acres bordering Skippack Pike, has never been about producing cash crops. "I like beautiful landscapes," he said simply last week, as the sun set behind a thick stand of trees at the edge of a field that has been farmed at least since the 18th century.
August 30, 2012 |
State Store Pick of the Week Château Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley, Wash. $16.99 PLCB Item No. 8408 The huge Columbia Valley occupies south-central Washington, fitting snugly in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains. Sun-drenched and sheltered, the region is ideal for wine-growing. The conditions work well for many grapes, but Cabernet Sauvignon benefits more than most. High elevation means cool nights and a long growing season. This gives thick-skinned Cabernet grapes a chance to ripen fully and evenly, yielding a soft mouthfeel and juicy blackberry flavors.
July 19, 2012 |
Espirito Lagoalva 2011 Tejo, Portugal $7.99 Easy drinking, fruity and aromatic; dark magenta in color. Blend of Syrah and Touriga Nacional from a small region near Lisbon. O ne of the most surprising values in any category I've found this summer. Les Ligeriens Rosé d'Anjou 2011 Loire Valley, France $8.99 Another tremendous value from a classic rosé region. Pale, with a nose of berries and herbs, and a pleasant balance of acidity and just a kiss of sweet.