February 26, 2016
Buzz: Hey, Marnie, I've had it. Every bar in town sells this complex yuck like pumpkin-jalapeño imperial IPA, but no one sells the old-school lagers I love: Piels, Ballantine, Schmidt's! I can't even get Bud or Beck's at a lot of places these days. Marnie: I know exactly what you mean, Buzz. I love that the beer world has exploded into a rainbow of colors and flavors. But I do wish that traditional crisp, refreshing lagers and traditional beer drinkers like you were getting more respect.
May 23, 2014
BUZZ: Hey, Marnie, how come cheap wine doesn't come in cans, like beer or soda? My wife always wants to pack some for the Shore, but glass bottles aren't allowed on the beach. Marnie: You can only find a handful of canned wines in the U.S., Buzz, and they aren't necessarily "cheap. " In fact, one of the trailblazers is a sparkling wine marketed in nightclubs. I'm sure more will follow soon - cans are already popular in places like Australia that have fewer hang-ups about wine than America.
February 28, 2014
B UZZ: Hey, Marnie, I saw this TV ad with Amber Rose drinking whipped-cream vodka. How do you make vodka out of whipped cream? Marnie: That's easy, Buzz - you don't. What you're thinking of is flavored vodka, where a neutral base spirit gets dolled up with fancy flavors. Advertising can blur the lines of what's an ingredient and what's an added "flavor. " Buzz: And have you seen that "wedding cake" vodka? Is wedding cake even a flavor? Heck, my wedding cake was made out of beef jerky.
June 21, 2013
BUZZ: Hey, Marnie, what's your favorite grape? Mine is raisin. Have 'em with breakfast every morning. Marnie: Raisins aren't a type of grape, Buzz, they're dried grapes. Usually, seedless table grapes are used, since wine grapes have seeds. Buzz: OK, so what's your fave wine grape, then? Marnie: I like them all, but I have a special fondness for Riesling. Buzz: No way! That's a sweet white, right? I thought that stuff was for dabblers, not big-shot sommeliers like you. Marnie: Well, it's true that Riesling appeals to wine novices and those who haven't acquired a taste for dry wines.
March 14, 2013
B uzz: I hear wine people hate asparagus. Is that because you're scared of "spears" or don't like being "stalked"? Marnie: Funny, Buzz. I like asparagus as much as anyone. What you probably heard is that asparagus and artichokes are notoriously challenging for wine pairing. Some people call them "wine killers" because they can make wines taste funny. Buzz: I wouldn't mind a funny wine. Most are way too serious. Marnie: Not ha-ha funny, funny as in not right.
February 28, 2013
Buzz : How come wineries put so much useless information on the label? Marnie: Some label statements are required by law, Buzz, such as where the grapes were grown and who made the wine. Others help distinguish that wine from other wines. This information could be grape varieties, style terms or vineyard names. Buzz: That's what I said - useless information. All I want to know is what the wine tastes like, and that's the only thing the label doesn't tell me. Marnie: Oh, I see. I'm not sure I'd call the information "useless," but I can understand why you might find the alphabet soup on many wine labels less than useful.
February 14, 2013
Buzz: I forgot to get my wife a present for Valentine's Day. What could I pick up at the store that could save my bacon? Marnie: Wine always makes a nice gift, and there are some styles that evoke romance, like sparkling wines, sweet wines and pink wines. Buzz: Great! I don't want to spend the weekend in the doghouse, but I don't want to spend too much on a bottle, either. Marnie: No problem. Classy French Champagne and fancy dessert wines may be unavoidably pricey, but there are plenty of options that sell for less.
January 31, 2013
Buzz: It felt like 20 below the other day, and I was in line behind a lady buying white wine. Who'd want to drink cold white wine when it's freezing out? Marnie: You'd be surprised, Buzz. A lot of people simply prefer white wines over reds, and the temperature doesn't have much to do with it. We don't stop drinking juice or soda or milk in the winter, so why not enjoy our chilled wines as well? White wine consistently outsells red in the U.S., and Chardonnay is almost twice as popular as cabernet sauvignon.
January 17, 2013
Buzz: Hey Marnie, I'm going skiing this weekend and I always carry a flask. What's the best whiskey for keeping warm? Marnie: Well, anything with alcohol will make you feel warm. The higher the proof, the stronger the effect. But I wouldn't recommend shots of whiskey in freezing weather, Buzz. The warming effect of whiskey is merely an illusion, although it does explain why we crave stronger spirits like whiskey in winter and lighter beers and cocktails in hot summer weather.
January 4, 2013
Buzz: Hey, Marnie, how come young people these days drink such weird stuff? Marnie: Like what, Buzz? Buzz: I went to a holiday dinner hosted by nieces and nephews and there was no respect for tradition. The turkey came with bacon jam instead of cranberry sauce. The wine was from Argentina instead of California. Even the eggnog was made with tequila instead of brandy. Marnie: Well, there's a natural urge for each new generation to experiment and try new things. I bet you'd have liked the wine if you tried it. Argentine wines are terrific, and a Mexican spin on eggnog might be tasty too. Buzz: Why go south of the border?