September 13, 2013
PASCAL WAGNER looked me in the eyes and assured me: "Don't be afraid. Just put it in your mouth. " I paused. My companions on this weeklong expedition to the lush vineyards of Burgundy nodded with encouragement. "Go ahead," one said. "Lick it. " "You can actually taste the terroir," said Pascal, a sommelier, cellarman and local wine expert who was tutoring us on the ins and outs of the local product. I glanced down at my hand again. It held a small, dirty stone that I'd just scavenged from the soil beneath a vine laden with tight bunches of green grapes nearly ready for harvest.
September 10, 2013 |
SPRINGFIELD Under a glorious blue sky, grape lovers tipped their glasses and sampled the offerings - red, white, dry, fruity - of 18 wineries that had come to this summer field. But the scene of this vine-inspired bliss was not France or California. Not even Upstate New York. Try Burlington County. New Jersey's got wine, and a lot of it is very good. That was the message behind the weekend's second annual Jersey Fresh Wine Festival, held at the Burlington County Fairgrounds in Springfield Township.
August 30, 2013
B uzz: Hey Marnie, how come they add such strange ingredients to wine? Marnie: I'm not sure what you mean, Buzz. By definition, wines are made with 100 percent grapes. Buzz: I was reading a bottle label at the store the other day that said the wine had gooseberries and cut grass in it. Marnie: Those weren't ingredients, Buzz. They were wine "descriptors," terms used to describe wine's sensory traits - usually smells. Since there are so few words for aromas, winemakers often compare their wines to foods and other things that have distinctive scents.
August 9, 2013
* They'll travel by minibus, not air, but however they go, you might want to tag along Sunday as Jet Wine Bar (1525 South St., 215-735-1116, jetwinebar.com) visits Blair Vineyards (known for its pinot gris and pinot noir) and Pinnacle Ridge (also notable for its pinot noir). The bus will depart for this Eastern Pennsylvania wine-country tour after an 11 a.m. champagne toast at Jet. Tix are $65; a picnic lunch is included. * Inspired by his recent trip to Thailand, Chef Alex Boonphaya, of Circles (812 N. 2nd St., 267-687-1309, circlesnorthernliberties.com)
July 26, 2013 |
THE REVAMPED Boordy Vineyards, Maryland's oldest winery, took top honors at last weekend's Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association competition, named Best of Show for its 2010 Cabernet Franc Reserve. It was the second major award for Boordy's first vintage of red wines from an extensive and expensive replanting project that began eight years ago. Boordy's 2010 Landmark Reserve, a Bordeaux-styled red blend, won the 2012 Maryland Governor's Cup. "Cab franc is a rewarding variety to work with; it seems pleased to be in our vineyards," Boordy owner Rob Deford said in an e-mail.
July 20, 2013 |
If you're looking for something to do on a summer weekend, a road trip through South Jersey's expanding wine country can lead to a surprisingly enlightening adventure. There is an increasingly broad and occasionally quite impressive selection of wines in South Jersey, from the well-known fruit wines (after all, Jersey is known for its blueberries!) to dry whites and reds that have garnered serious attention in the national press. More than a dozen of these wine growers have opened inviting tasting rooms as a way to encourage visitors to socialize and sample their products, before deciding what to buy. Three such wineries are Heritage Vineyards in Mullica Hill, Sharrott Winery in Winslow Township, and Valenzano Winery in Shamong.
July 8, 2013 |
MAIPÚ, Argentina - Ten minutes in the orchard and already my hands felt raw. How do they do this all day without gloves, I wondered, shuffling my feet for a better foothold in Argentina's sandy clay. It was Thursday, the day we'd expected to be tasting wine at the Zuccardi family's finca (ranch) and winery, in Maipú, Mendoza Province. Instead, we were clawing through a tangle of branches, trying to pick enough olives to feed Zuccardi's state-of-the-art olive oil press. It looked so easy when Torey Novak, Zuccardi's tour guide, gave a demonstration.
June 9, 2013
Bringing the fresh taste and eco-friendliness of wines on draft to Pennsylvania has been a doggedly thirsty quest for Terry Berch McNally from London Grill and William Reed of Johnny Brenda's. They recruited Reed's local state rep, Michael O'Brien, to help change state laws last summer to allow it. But nothing happens quickly in Pennsylvania when it comes to wine. Though in-state wines have been allowed on draft for some time, it took until Feb. 1 for the PLCB to finally permit out-of-state wine keg sales.
June 5, 2013 |
It is well known that the French did not invent wine - no more than the Colombians invented coffee or the Italians discovered tomatoes - but they elevated it to a high art. Now, after analyzing residue from a hunk of ancient limestone, a University of Pennsylvania scientist said Monday that he had found the earliest chemical evidence of le vin français . The 2,400-year-old stone, apparently a pressing platform with a spout fashioned on...
May 31, 2013 |
The "sour beast" was rising. When I'd first tasted it in the preliminary round of this year's Brew-vitational, the Inquirer's annual competition for local beers, my eyes almost crossed from the intense tartness of its barrel-fermented red fruit. But by the finals round, once we'd winnowed the 39 beers entered in the "new" beer category down to 10 top contenders, my taste buds had snapped to attention and tuned in to the proper frequency. And this sour ale aged in wine and whiskey barrels for a year-and-a-half with wild yeast and raspberries was suddenly an irresistible beam of bright fruit light.