January 16, 2015
BU ZZ: Hey Marnie, I used to drink California chianti, but now there are only a couple of brands left. Are they not growing chianti grapes out west anymore? Marnie: That's a bit complicated, Buzz. On the most basic level, you're not seeing more options because California chianti isn't fashionable anymore. Buzz: Like wide ties? I had to throw a bunch out after Christmas. Marnie: There's more to it than that. Fewer American wineries label their wine as "Chianti" because Chianti isn't a grape at all - it's the name of a place in Italy, a hilly district just south of Florence in Tuscany.
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.
March 23, 2008
We could happily bob along forever on a chianti sea to Philly's endless array of Italian BYOBs. But when I come upon a wine list as well-chosen as Le Virtù's, I'm reminded that a smart sommelier can still be the best guide to a discovery. Taste this striking bottle of Ver Sacrum ($48.50), a montepulciano from San Savino in Marche, a central region not well-represented on most local wine lists. It's just one of the gems that wine director Federico Dall'Olmo has mined for a list touching 17 different Italian regions - virtually all less than $50 a bottle.
September 28, 2008 |
How I've longed for Europe. Her croissants and patisseries. Stinky Roquefort cheese. Chianti and Carlsberg. Museums, mansions and cathedrals. Yet with airfares rising as fast as the euro, she remains as elusive as the Loch Ness monster. Not to worry - Europe can be found right here in the United States. Denmark: Solvang, Calif. Windmills. Half-timbered white buildings. Abundant bakeries with names such as Mortensen's and Olsen's. Homesick Danes founded whimsical Solvang in the Santa Ynez Valley, two hours north of Los Angeles, in the early 20th century.
April 18, 1990 |
It was Charles Wine's last name that caught the eye of the owner of Gina Rosa Ristorante, but it was his voice that landed him the job as the restaurant's singing sommelier. When owner Mark Green heard Wine sing, "Chills went up and down my spine. It was a dream come true. " And he offered Wine - that's his real name - a job on the spot. Tall, with a Vandyke-styled beard, Wine cuts a dashing figure at the Voorhees Township restaurant, where his smooth, resonant bass-baritone, coupled with his knowledge of wines, has made him a popular attraction.
December 26, 1999 |
What: Cork Pops Screwless Wine Opener Manufacturer: Cork Pops Inc., San Rafael, Calif. Where: Fante's Price: $22.99 Purpose: Removes corks from wine bottles There seems to be no end to the parade of tools designed to get the cork out of a wine bottle. Some table-mounted types look like medieval torture devices. Some flimsy plastic pocket models look as if they couldn't go one-on-one with a bottle of white zinfandel. The Cork Pops opener is something else altogether.
January 19, 2000 |
Robert C. Atkins, the world-famous diet doctor, controversial author and advocate of complementary medicine, says he usually doesn't eat lunch. "I don't have time," he said, squirreled away at an inconspicuous table at Chianti's, a restaurant that specializes in northern Italian fare at 1043 2nd Ave., between 54th and 55th on Manhattan's East Side. But Atkins has made an exception on this cold, blustery Friday. It's an off day from his thrice-weekly, noon-to-1 p.m. local radio show, and Chianti's - nicely appointed with gilded-frame mirrors and green crushed-velour bench seats along the walls - is conveniently located between his Sutton Place apartment and his office.
December 19, 2007 |
Second in a five-part fictional holiday tale. The story so far: It's been a busy Christmas Eve so far at R&B Automotive repair shop, owned by Tony Renzi and Bart Brewer. But now, at long last, it's time for the shop's Christmas party. By the time Scootch the Snap-on Tool Guy made it to the holiday bash of the Yule Be Sorry Club, most of the regulars were polishing off their first Yuenglings or plastic cups of vino. "Sorry, guys," he bellowed as he blundered in, with much tugging at scarf and gloves.
July 21, 1996 |
Gracious dining? In a parking lot? Gracious, yes! The Three Tenors performed last night at Giants Stadium at the Meadowlands Sports Complex. In a building where greatest hits often are measured by broken bones and stunned quarterbacks, Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti wooed and wowed a near-capacity crowd that included former President Bush and Gov. Whitman, with selections ranging from Bernstein to Puccini. They sounded like angels, calling to their friends in the clouds.
May 10, 2012
WELCOME TO Cheap Buzz, where we eavesdrop as sommelier Marnie Old attempts to teach the joys of wine and fine spirits to Buzz, a guy with no sophistication and not much money. Here's their latest conversation: Buzz: I was reading the notes on the wine signs at the State Store and, boy, are they crazy! Marnie: You mean the tasting notes? Buzz: Yes. One wine tasted like "leather. " Another was "grassy. " The worst was the one that was "chalky. " though. Who the heck would drink a wine with chalk in it?