May 24, 2012
Buzz: Hey, Marnie, what's the deal with all those pink wines stacked up at the wine store? The guy tried to sell me one last week. I guess no one told him pink is for girls. Marnie: Rosé wines are more popular than ever, Buzz, and not just with the ladies. Fans of sweet, light-bodied wines like white zinfandel may still skew female, but those demographics are shifting now that we're seeing more dry options in stores. Buzz: Yeah, right. I'm sure the guys are all over wines that look like they're made for a princess.
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?
May 6, 2012 |
Provençal rosé is doing the quick fade, at least when it comes to color. Popularity of the refreshing southern French pink, in fact, has never been stronger, with a 62 percent growth in U.S. imports between 2010 and 2011, according to the French customs agency Ubifrance. "It started with the yacht crowd in the Hamptons," one distributor told me, "and spread from there. " The fashion among Provence's modern rosés, however, has been to make them as pale as possible, and the best, like Château D'Esclans, manage to achieve this without sacrificing fullness of flavor.
March 1, 2012
Makes 6-8 servings 2 pounds red seedless grapes, stems removed 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 teaspoon salt Freshly ground black pepper (optional) 1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, toss the grapes with the olive oil, salt, and pepper, if using. 2. Arrange the grapes in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast until the grapes have wilted and given off much of their juices, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
February 16, 2012 |
State Store Pick of the Week Brazin "Old Vine" Zinfandel Lodi, Calif. $14.99* PLCB Item No. 3219 Vines are just like people: They may get less vigorous as they grow older, but they get better at what they do. For winemakers, "old vines" yield much smaller quantities of grapes than young ones, but the grapes are more flavorful. This complex and layered wine is loaded with brandied cherry and molten chocolate aromas. It displays some beautiful "legs" when swirled.
November 3, 2011
You may see elephants, though probably not pink ones, at the Six Flags Grape Adventure from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Eleven New Jersey vineyards will be there with close to 150 locally produced wines for tasting. There will be food, music and a craft village, too. The optional Wild Safari package includes a private tour with a stop to sample wines in the African Plains among the giraffes. (The theme park section is closed for the season.) Six Flags Great Adventure is on Route 537 West in Jackson, N.J. Online prices are $15 for the wine event, $30 for the event and safari; at the door, $18 and $38. Details at www.sixflags.com/ greatadventure.
October 30, 2011
Bargain wine and France are typically not mentioned in the same conversation, but the combination of a struggling euro and revived interest in overlooked regions have produced some seriously good buys. This 2010 vintage of Le Fruit Défendu ("the forbidden fruit") from Domaine Magellan in Languedoc is a prime $13 example of how nonclassified vin de pays can demand serious notice when the right winemaker (and the right grapes) are involved. In this case, the vintner is Bruno Lafon, of Meursault's great Domaine Comte Lafon, who has brought his Burgundy know-how for fine wine to property near Montpellier in Pays d'Oc, a region better known for country juice.
August 28, 2011
Georgian wine, produced in the South Caucasus valleys, where the 7,000-year vinous tradition is believed to be the world's oldest, was once coveted in the former Soviet Union as the finest wine that rubles could buy. But Russia doesn't get to taste much anymore, since it imposed an official embargo on Georgian wines in 2006, as tensions between the two countries rose. Their loss is our gain. The popular Georgian brand Teliani Valley has made a welcome splashdown in Pennsylvania state stores, with wines that show both a rustic edge of Caucasus terroir and enough polish to keep them accessible for Western tastes.
August 18, 2011 |
The California wine business is full of contradictions. Little wonder. On the one hand, the industry cultivates an image of wine being an almost accidental beverage, a product of a munificent nature that takes ripe fruit from sun-dappled vineyards and magically transforms it into a liquid symphony that can ennoble not only those who consume it, but also those who make it. On the other, it is a ruthless, cutthroat business, one that accounts for...
June 20, 2010
Last week's "Drink" featured a southern French version of the mourvèdre grape (Famille Lignères Las Vals) in all its earthy, lush, and deep-red glory. This week's featured wine from Cline Cellars highlights a rare West Coast mourvèdre as a rosé, and - not surprisingly - it's no California powder puff. This lively pink brew is bracingly dry in the European tradition, with no oak aging, but a steely acidity that pops with quenching tartness. There's fruit in there, too, a kiss of early strawberry, perhaps, and something more exotic, like pomegranate, and a finishing touch of pie spice, but it's all well-tuned and balanced enough to be food-friendly for a light picnic feast.