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.
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?
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.
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.
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 7, 2005
Look to Del. to learn how to fix State Stores I read with great interest your article on the "improvements" in the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board in recent years ("Toasting the bottom line: State Stores, now offering better wines, more hours and more sites, took in nearly $1.5 billion in the last year," June 30.) I agree that the recent changes have made some aspects of wine purchasing in Pennsylvania a little more digestible than in years past. However, overall the changes are far inferior to the quality, pricing and service that I receive from stores in Delaware.
September 20, 2004 |
I am the mother of a 17-year-old boy. Those of you in a similar situation are now wondering which one of the 1,000 issues surrounding this most humbling of experiences I am about to tackle. Drag racing with a Volvo station wagon? Cell-phone bills that resemble the gross national product? Expunged police records? Just for this moment in eternity, the issue is college admission. As I listened to friends with older kids speak of the frustrating process of college application (verb)
January 19, 2000 |
Buca di Beppo 309 Old York Road Jenkintown 215-885-6342 Think "Planet Napoli" or "The Hard Meatball Cafe" and you've got the idea of Buca di Beppo, a chain of imitation Italian restaurants whose roots go all the way back to Minneapolis. The one in Jenkintown is No. 33 and it looks as if they have their formula down pat. The gimmick goes like this: Paint the walls red, hang a few funny signs and put everybody in a good mood as they walk in the door. Divide a large space into small rooms and plaster the walls and ceilings with Italian and Italo-American artifacts.
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 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.