April 17, 1988 |
When you get Craig Williams going about Delice du Semillon, the new Sauternes-style wine he makes at Joseph Phelps Vineyards, he sounds like some proud first-time fathers I know. Given the size and age of the Phelps dessert- wine brood (acclaimed auslese- and beerenauslese-style riesling, gewurztraminer and scheurebe have been made since the mid-'70s), that kind of enthusiasm surprised me. Then I learned a bit more about this potential prodigy, and it all made more sense. As Williams tells it, he and Joseph Phelps are longtime devotees of Sauternes, Bordeaux's renowned dessert wine.
April 19, 2012 |
WAY BACK in the Paleolithic era of American Wine Drinking — a time coinciding with leisure suits, fern bars and the Carter administration — sweet wines ruled. People loved their cheap Mateus and Blue Nun and Andre Cold Duck. Then, all of a sudden, everyone got all sophisticated and savvy and demonstrated this by eschewing sweet for dry. Basically, you were a moron or a rube if you liked sweet wine. Or at least that's what we were told. I know something like this happened in our home when I was growing up. As a kid, I vaguely remember a moment when my parents started opening bottles of Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay.
October 16, 1993 |
NATIONAL BOSSES' DAY CELEBRATED BEHIND BARS Think your boss is creepy as a cockroach? Slimy as a toad? Has the olfactory characteristics of a skunk? Well, this is probably too late for you, but, to celebrate National Bosses' Day - which is today - the Cincinnati Zoo has been offering beleaguered Cincinnatians a chance to tell their bosses just what beasts they really think they are. For $5, they could adopt - in their bosses' names - such creatures as striped skunks, bloodsucking assassin bugs, hissing cockroaches, bearded pigs or spiny toads.
February 9, 2000 |
Music may be the food of love, but wine is most definitely love's drink of choice. There are a lot of reasons why this is so. First, like love, wine is sweet and complex; it stirs our senses and befuddles our intellects. And when we talk about great wines or great love, we talk about maturity, richness, finesse and a long, slow finish. So a lot of sophisticated lovers will be thinking about giving and getting wine on Valentine's Day. Some of them will have sentimental favorites and a few will rely on buying something very expensive.
February 13, 2002 |
Some people say that music is the food of love. There's another crowd that says that food is unquestionably the food of love. Wherever you come down on the matter, there's no question but that wine is most definitely love's drink of choice. Love and wine go together for a lot of reasons. Wine, like love, is sweet and complicated. Both love and wine stir up our senses and befuddle our intellects. We use some of the same words to talk about great wines and great love: maturity, richness, finesse and the ever-popular long, slow finish.
April 23, 1986 |
Few repasts are as satisfying as a lovely dessert and a superb bottle of dessert wine. Yet the general public has a wrong impression of these sweet nectars. In our attempt at sophistication, we have been brainwashed with the dry-is-better theme. But every kind of wine, even the sweet ones, has its place. In fact, connoisseurs often list a honey Chateau d'Yquem as one of the world's great wines. Although dessert wines are sweet, they are usually not simplistic wines. When perfectly matched with desserts, you have a combination as elegant as champagne and caviar, or foie gras and sauternes.
November 15, 2000 |
One of the pleasures of giving a dinner party is picking out the wine to go with your carefully designed food. There's a nice feel to the whole process, as if you were plotting for the pleasure of everyone at the dinner table. Thanksgiving is different. It's hard to think about the right wine when the table is preset with stringbean-mushroom casserole (made with cream of mushroom soup from the can), sweet potatoes in various stages of sugarfication, pearl onions in cream, sausage and chestnut stuffing and that most inscrutable of birds, the huge-breasted American domestic turkey.
February 14, 2001 |
It's Valentine's Day, and perhaps you haven't found the wine that completes your romantic plans. Wine, you remember, stirs the romantic spirit. It's also widely thought to make everyone look 12 to 15 per-cent better. As you shop, look for the three S's. Substantial. These are the big wines, the major, luscious monsters that are so concentrated in their flavor that they speak of the intensity and complexity of your love. Sweet. Go for the great ones, the wines that have depth to go with their sweetness.
May 28, 2000 |
"Your lobe will be up in a few minutes, folks. " My tablemates shudder with a mixture of fear and giggles each time our waiter updates the status of our whole foie gras, roasting in the wood-fired ovens at Restaurant 821. "Your lobe is in the oven . . . " Snicker, snicker " . . . Why don't I go check on your lobe?" "By the way," a vegetarian guest asks me, "what is foie gras?" "Your lobe is almost done!" "Force-fed fattened duck liver? Oh. . . . " "Ladies and gentlemen, your lobe!"
December 10, 2000 |
It might be very hard to think of foie gras along the lines of a microwavable TV dinner. But gourmet guru Joel Assouline assures me: Just thaw this one-pound brick of fattened duck liver terrine under running water, then pop it in the microwave for a couple of minutes. And voila . . . instant liver luxury! Actually, you need to let it cool in the fridge for a day before serving. But still, microwavable foie gras? What's next: Hungry Man Tournedos Rossini? We put this terrine to the test - imported from the French company Rougie, the world's largest producer of foie gras - and tasted it against some other terrines, both fresh and canned, which until recently was the most common form of foie gras in this country.