March 7, 2014 |
"I can teach all of freshman chemistry in 45 minutes without leaving anything out - it's one of my great achievements," says Clark Smith. Anyone who knows Smith knows he isn't bragging - not exactly. A noted winemaker, scientist, inventor, consultant, college professor, and author of the recent book Postmodern Winemaking (University of California Press), Smith, 62, is one of the most dynamic, erudite, and outspoken people I've ever met in the wine industry, not to mention a know-it-all.
February 14, 2014
BUZZ: Hey, Marnie, my mother came over this weekend and brought a bottle of "chocolate wine. " That sounded weird enough, but then she poured a glass and it looked like Yoo-hoo. Yuck! Who thinks up this stuff? Marnie: That was probably ChocoVine, Buzz. It's made with red wine, chocolate and cream, and tastes like a lighter, less boozy spin on Bailey's Irish Cream. I find it hard to discern the taste of red wine, personally, but there's no question that that stuff is hyper-popular these days.
January 30, 2014 |
JOSEPH "Uncle Joe" Ligambi threw on a woolen trench coat and left the U.S. Marshals office about 11:15 a.m. yesterday. No handcuffs. The 74-year-old reputed mob boss headed down the escalator, out of the federal courthouse and into the black Cadillac on Market Street that would whisk him away to South Philly. He sat shotgun, a big smile on his face. You'd think Ligambi's experience with the federal government had consisted of, say, waiting in line at the DMV for a couple of hours - not sitting in prison for 32 months.
January 24, 2014 |
Whenever I get the chance to travel to Northern California, there is always great wine. But San Francisco and the nearby wine country, of course, also serve up some of America's best dining - typically the kind setting trends that Philadelphians might see in a year (or two). That gap may be closing, though, based on some of the highlights from my brief eating stops in San Francisco on the way to Sonoma. The fermentation craze (kimchi-pickled everything), local ingredients, craft cocktails, artisanal coffee, and small plates we have.
January 24, 2014 |
CLOVERDALE, Calif. - Sitting down to 78 glasses of chardonnay before lunch is one of those "be careful what you wish for" moments. If you're thirsty, this isn't what you think. Given the circumstances - the opening round of my fourth year as a judge at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the world's biggest for American wine - no one here was about to dive in and get loopy. This is a sip-and-spit derby, with anonymous flights of 10 numbered glasses coming at my panel of four lab-coated cohorts in lightning rounds every 15 to 20 minutes.
January 24, 2014
WHETHER it's craft-brewery cans or longnecks of Yuengling, beer has long dominated the barroom conversation in Philadelphia, leading to one of the most sophisticated draft-tower environments in the country. Cocktails, too, have found a permanent foothold in the sipping landscape, with a small but smart roster of savvy drink-crafters earning attention for their efforts. So, where does that leave wine? Unfairly relegated to the bottom of the list, at least in terms of how often the topic leaps off the nuanced tongues of local drinkers.
January 23, 2014 |
After police raided the Malvern home of lawyer Arthur David Goldman this month, seizing almost 2,500 bottles of wine from his floor-to-ceiling wine cellar, Goldman didn't deny that he had broken the law. In fact, authorities said, Goldman admitted selling high-end wine without a license. But he said his profit was minimal: only enough to cover the cost of a bottle or two for himself in each shipment, he allegedly told an undercover agent. Goldman, 49, is not the only lawyer to make headlines in recent months for ending up in a police mug shot.
January 15, 2014 |
MALVERN A lawyer with an office on the Main Line has been charged with selling high-end wines without a liquor license, offering buyers their choice of varieties from a 97-page bottle list, according to the Chester County district attorney. Arthur David Goldman, a 49-year-old lawyer from Malvern with a solo practice in Paoli, stored wine valued at more than $150,000 in floor-to-ceiling racks in his basement and could face nearly $200,000 in fines imposed for each ounce of alcohol seized, officials said.
January 7, 2014 |
At Invisible Sentinel, a biotech company in West Philadelphia where scientists each day conduct the serious business of trying to ensure a safer food supply, this is a day for raising a celebratory glass. Wine would be the appropriate libation. The seven-year-old start-up in University City Science Center is announcing Monday a partnership that will broaden its focus beyond food - to protecting wine from what some consider a taste-spoiler. The 17-employee company is pairing with Jackson Family Wines in Sonoma County, Calif., to develop a rapid diagnostic to detect brettanomyces, a nemesis to some vintners.
January 3, 2014
BUZZ: Hey Marnie, how strong is wine compared to whiskey? Marnie: Distilled spirits like whiskey or vodka contain roughly three times as much alcohol per ounce as most wines. Buzz: Then why bother with wine if liquor is quicker? Marnie: Most people don't drink to get plastered, Buzz. Besides, many prefer the taste of wine because of its milder alcoholic strength. Alcohol content is the single most relevant factor in determining which wines will suit one's personal tastes.