August 16, 2012
BUZZ: HEY, Marnie. I was at the state store the other day and saw a whole stack of "naked" wines. Does that mean the winemakers are undressed when they stomp on the grapes? Marnie : No, silly. "Naked" is a tongue-in-cheek term vintners use to describe wines that taste only of pure grapes, with no oak in their flavor. You might also see similar wines called "unwooded" or "unoaked. " Buzz : Say what? Does that mean most wines are tree-flavored? Marnie : That depends on the kind of wine.
March 15, 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: So Marnie, Saturday is St. Patrick's Day. Are you a green-beer gal? I bet you'd look great with a green tongue. Marnie: Very funny, Buzz. I prefer Irish whiskey. It's getting more popular every year, and not just in March. People are discovering it's a milder, softer style of whiskey than scotch or bourbon.
December 21, 2012
Buzz: Hey Marnie, what's the deal with all the fake wine out there? Marnie: I have no clue, Buzz. I've never heard of such a thing. Buzz: Well, they had stacks of the stuff at the store yesterday. When I asked a clerk where they kept the champagne, he showed me a shelf of hoity-toity French stuff for $40 a bottle. I said that was too pricey for me, and was going to grab a cheaper one, but he said it wasn't "real" champagne. You'd think the labels would say "artificial wine," but I couldn't even find a list of ingredients.
April 12, 2012 |
BUZZ: HEY, Marnie, my brother gave me a bottle of ice wine. I think it's from Alaska. Marnie: I doubt that, Buzz. Vines die if they freeze solid in winter. Wine grapes grow in "temperate" climates from 30 to 50 degrees in latitude. Buzz: OK, but if ice wine isn't from Alaska, I bet it comes from Chile. Chile, get it? Marnie: Good one. Funny you mention Chile — it stretches through all those latitudes and makes diverse wines as a result. Geography has a huge impact on wine style.
September 14, 2012
B UZZ: Hey, Marnie. I was in a bar last week and the guy next to me ordered some fancy rum that came in a snifter. What's up with that? I thought those were just for cognac and brandy. Marnie: There are cheap rums out there, Buzz, that are great for mixing into cocktails. But there are great rums for slow sipping, too. If it was served in a snifter, chances are that was a premium aged rum from the Caribbean or South America. Buzz: Aged rum, huh? They couldn't sell it fresh?
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?
March 29, 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: Hey, Marnie, I was watching "Frasier" reruns and they were going on about whether some expensive wines were "drinkable" or not. What kind of moron drops a bundle on wine that's not good enough to drink? Marnie: People who are into wine have their own lingo for it, just like you do for baseball.
July 19, 2012
Buzz: I was down the Shore last weekend, lying on the beach. My brother opened his beer cooler and instead of a sixpack, he had a bunch of little juice boxes — of wine. What's the world coming to? Marnie: You have to get with the times, Buzz. There has been a revolution in wine packaging in the last 10 years. Buzz: Why abandon the old-fashioned bottle and cork? Marnie: Juices used to come in glass, too, but now it's all cartons and pouches. Wine is just grape juice, so why not put it a more convenient container?
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.
July 5, 2012 |
BUZZ: It's summertime again, so everybody's drinking gin-and-tonics. Ugh. Why anybody would drink something that smells like Pine-Sol is beyond me. Makes me queasy just thinking about it. Marnie: Believe it or not, Buzz, modern gin traces its roots to a 17th-century Dutch remedy for upset stomachs, among other ailments. Alcoholic tinctures of botanical ingredients were common medicines. Juniper berries were thought to help kidney problems, gallstones and the gout, too. Buzz: So how come people still drink it?