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.
August 24, 2012 |
HERMANN, Mo. - Most of the grapes in Glenn Warnebold's vineyard in Missouri's picturesque wine country are about two-thirds their usual size. Others have been reduced to raisins by the drought that burned many crops across the Midwest this summer. Yet Warnebold figures it could be a good year with the drought concentrating the fruit's flavors and sugar, which turn to alcohol during fermentation. His red Norton and white Chardonel grapes, while small, hold the promise of standout wine from a region better known for corn and soybeans.
July 28, 2012 |
Let's just say it. The Jersey Shore has never been known for its imaginative gardens. But you can kind of understand why: It's the ocean, stupid. Still, it gets pretty boring, those endless loops of hydrangeas and hedges, evergreens and petunias, and no one's more bored than Cyrus Gordon. Yet he's dumbfounded every time someone stops to stare at his garden, which is nothing like your typical beach-town flower bed. Two weeks after 120 visitors came to see it on the Ventnor City Garden Tour, he still doesn't get why he was even included.
July 8, 2012 |
As I drove down the winding country road in the Demone Valley of northeastern Sicily, passing through small towns and villages with old rustic farmhouses in the distance, there was a feeling of growing anticipation and excitement. Even though I had made this trip only once before almost 10 years earlier with my wife, everything looked very familiar. With Mount Etna, the active volcano known as a muntagna by the Sicilians, looming in the distance, Uncle Tony and I made our way along the last leg of our trip from Fiumafreddo to Linguaglossa.
June 11, 2012 |
Tempranillo, the venerable star of Spanish reds from Rioja and Ribera del Duero, is rising steadily on the West Coast as a hopeful in the American wine industry's continual search for the next big grape. Given syrah's slow climb into the mainstream, and the nonfactors of Californian Sangiovese and malbec, "big" is an unlikely destiny for domestic tempranillo. Most New World renditions have been pretty fruity but thin and woody, with none of the earthiness and guts that give Spanish vino its swagger.
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.