April 15, 2016
Buzz: Hey, Marnie, I keep seeing wine labels that talk about "sustainable farming. " Is this some kind of code? If normal farming isn't "sustainable," why would anyone keep doing it? Marnie: That's funny, Buzz. You're right about what sustainable means in plain English. However, regarding agricultural products, the term sustainable is used to describe practices that are more environmentally conscious than conventional farming but that do not meet the rigorous certification requirements for terms like organic or biodynamic.
April 15, 2016 |
It's just before midnight on a Thursday when they straggle into the hushed lobby of the Rittenhouse Hotel, many bleary-eyed from their restaurant shifts, each toting a bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag. Upstairs in Lacroix's private dining room, these servers and sommeliers gather around a long table, pouring their wines into decanters and arranging their spit cups. After a few stifled yawns, the group is primed for a deep dive into this week's theme: domestic reds. Led by Justin Timsit, the hotel's wine director, and his assistant sommelier, Samantha Germani, more than a dozen participants from some of the city's top restaurants - Volver, Serpico, Fork - take turns trying to identify the wines based on appearance, aroma, and taste.
April 1, 2016
Makes 4 servings 3/4 cup white wine (use something Italian) 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (infused with fresh thyme is optional) 4 eggs 4 teaspoons garum 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a roasting pan with a dish towel. Fill the roasting pan halfway with very hot water (just shy of boiling). The towel inside the pan will prevent four ramekins from sliding around. Place one ramekin in the pan to make sure the water comes up to an inch below the top of the ramekin.
April 1, 2016
DEAR READERS: I couldn't let April Fools' Day go by without featuring a few of the more colorful letters that have shown up in my mail recently: A tie, some nice wine, maybe mood lighting DEAR ABBY: I'm getting ready to undergo my first prostate exam. To be honest, I'm a bit nervous. What should I expect? Also, what's the dress code for something like this? I'm thinking about wearing nice slacks and a collared shirt. The doctor has been patient and kind. He hasn't put any pressure on me. I want this to be special.
March 11, 2016
Buzz: Hey Marnie, what does "fair trade" mean on a wine label? I've seen it on coffee and thought on wine it meant the wines were made for fairs and conventions. Marnie: No, Buzz, it's a social-justice movement that promotes sustainability and equality for the communities that produce the goods we buy, especially in the developing world. Buzz: Wow, that sounds like something started by the hippies. Marnie: Not really, Buzz. A number of organizations provide certification on ethical standards and grant the right to apply a "fair trade" seal on packaging to inform consumers.
February 26, 2016
6 to 8 servings 11/2 tablespoons olive oil 1 medium onion, diced 1 large carrot, diced 1 celery rib, diced 1/2 cup stemmed and diced shiitake mushrooms (or mushrooms of your choice) 1/2 cup diced zucchini 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, more as needed 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped Leaves from a few sprigs fresh thyme 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary, or more as needed 1 teaspoon dried oregano 3/4 cup red wine 1 cup dried green lentils 21/2 cups no-salt-added vegetable broth, or more as needed 11/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar Fresh ground pepper 11/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels 3 cups mashed potatoes 1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
February 7, 2016
Some of the world's great wine values now are coming from Portugal's rising dry wine industry, and this 2013 Vinha do Rosário red from Casa Ermalinda Freitas is a stellar example. Grown in the sandy soil vineyards of the Fernando Pó region on the Setubal Peninsula just south of Lisbon, this wine is a blend of Castelão and Touriga Nacional - two classic Portuguese port grapes - with syrah and cabernet sauvignon. It's ready to drink young, with dark ruby and blueberry fruit flavors framed by firm but velvety tannins and a soft finish of barrel vanilla, plus a hint of mocha.
January 15, 2016
Buzz: Hey, Marnie, my brother just got back from a trip to Napa Valley. He said some wineries put other grapes in their cabernet sauvignon. Isn't that illegal? Marnie: No, Buzz, it's legal in most wine regions, as long as it's a small percentage, though in some European regions, the named grape on the bottle must be in the wine 100 percent. Buzz: Do other places require every grape to be named? Marnie: Yes. Australia requires all grapes in a wine to be named on the label, in order of volume.
January 1, 2016 |
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat of Dec. 29, 2015: Reader: Could you suggest a spot for lunch where out-of-town friends can experience our exciting restaurant scene, sip good wine, talk and linger? (Walking distance or short ride from the Palomar would be ideal.) They love fresh seafood. Craig LaBan: Well, there are lots of good lunch options - including some with good wine - within walking distance of the Palomar: the Oyster House (serious local flavor, great seafood and wines to match)
December 13, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - Put down the corkscrews, wine lovers. A day after the Pennsylvania Senate approved historic legislation to let consumers buy wine in some supermarkets and restaurants, the leader of the House dashed hope of its winning the necessary support in that chamber. "It would not come close to passing the House," Speaker Mike Turzai (R., Allegheny) said Friday. "The bill needs improvement. " Turzai wouldn't spell out exactly what that improvement entailed, except to say the bill lacks any "meaningful divestiture" of the state liquor system.