August 29, 2014
B UZZ: Hey, Marnie, I'm glad I ran into you. We have our family reunion barbecue every Labor Day in Fairmount Park, and this year I'm supposed to bring the wine. Any suggestions? Marnie: Sure thing, Buzz. I recommend sticking to chilled, lightweight wines when the occasion involves drinking in broad daylight. This goes double for warm weather, so steer away from the heavier reds. Think white or pink, and bring a cooler. Buzz: Oh, I never leave home without a cooler.
August 23, 2014 |
The lawyer who peddled fine wines from his Main Line home made out with probation and community service. His wine might not fare as well. Police want to destroy the 2,426 bottles they seized in January from Arthur Goldman's Malvern home, the typical fate for bootleg booze. But this collection is not a typical bounty. It's far more valuable. Goldman is fighting to keep it, and wine enthusiasts say the thought of its being dumped is hard to swallow, an example of how Pennsylvania's antiquated liquor laws frustrate connoisseurs and seed a black market for alcohol unavailable in state stores.
August 22, 2014 |
About a decade ago, when Melissa Monosoff was working as a sommelier at the Four Seasons, she faced plenty of tests - some from the Court of Master Sommeliers, where she obtained the highest possible certification, and others tableside, from skeptical customers. "A lot of times I did have to prove myself," she recalled. "I'd approach people and say, 'I see you're looking at the wine list. Can I help you?' And they'd say, 'Yes. If you could get the sommelier, that'd be great.' " Since then, the city's wine landscape has evolved, and more women are assuming prestigious sommelier posts than ever before.
June 20, 2014
Buzz: Hey Marnie. Yesterday was the hottest day so far this year, which made me wonder: Why do people ice down their white wines, but not reds? Is it the only way to make them taste good? Marnie: No, Buzz, not at all. Other wine styles are routinely served cold too - sparkling wines and roses, dessert wines and even most fortified wines. The question should really be why we don't chill red wines - they are the exception to the rule. Think about it: Almost all drinks are served cold because it makes them seem more refreshing.
June 19, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - Everyone expects the cork on the bubbly to pop. But the whole bottle? In the realm of Pennsylvania's multibillion dollar liquor business, it was like a comet sighting. Suddenly, glass bottles of sparkling wine were exploding. In the stores. In the halls of the Liquor Control Board headquarters. On someone's kitchen counter. Eight incidents so far, officials say. So the LCB is issuing what may be its first warning ever to consumers about a potentially explosive shipment of wine.
June 2, 2014
The Italians love playing with colors - especially in their wines. First, they started the modern "orange wine" trend by vinting white grapes on their skins like red wines. Now comes Alter Ego, a dry "white" made by Andrea Occhipinti from Aleatico, a Muscat-scented grape usually made into a sweet red. Occhipinti ( not Sicilian superstar Arianna Occhipinti), is an academic who settled on the volcanic slopes of Lake Bolsena in Lazio (a region that includes Rome) and melds indigenous grapes with innovative techniques.
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.
May 9, 2014
BUZZ: Hey, Marnie, can grapes grow indoors? My neighbor does hydroponic tomatoes in his sunroom, so why not wine grapes? Marnie: Grapevines are more like little trees than tomato plants, Buzz. They need to put down deep roots and would require tending for decades. Besides, hydroponic grapes would make for pretty bland wine. Buzz: Why's that? Marnie: Well, hydroponic gardening uses no soil - plant roots are bathed in a nutrient solution instead. This produces decent flavor in herbs and greens, since leaves have a simple flavor structure, but grapes are more multidimensional.
April 11, 2014
ANYONE well-versed in contemporary commerce will tell you that while credit is convenient, cash is king. Unless you're in South Philadelphia, where an ancient form of currency holds even loftier influence, and goes great with a little cheese. The painstaking art of hand-making soppressata - the heavily spiced, cured pork salami closely associated with southern Italy - is not lost, but it's not exactly easy to find. That's why anyone armed with a bucket of the stuff - "super-sod" past Snyder Avenue, "soupie" in coal-mining country, a thousand colloquial variations everywhere else - might as well be strutting down the street with a wallet fatter than a hog set to slaughter.
April 7, 2014 |
A 77-year-old man is recovering after a "gruesome, violent assault" that left him in critical condition early yesterday, police said. The man who allegedly assaulted him was being sought by police last night. About 12:30 a.m., police found the victim inside an apartment on Butler Street near 7th in Hunting Park, Chief Inspector Scott Small said. He had severe injuries to his head and face, including deep cuts around his mouth and eyes. Emergency-medical personnel took him to Temple University Hospital, where he remained last night in critical but stable condition.