August 30, 2012 |
State Store Pick of the Week Château Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley, Wash. $16.99 PLCB Item No. 8408 The huge Columbia Valley occupies south-central Washington, fitting snugly in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains. Sun-drenched and sheltered, the region is ideal for wine-growing. The conditions work well for many grapes, but Cabernet Sauvignon benefits more than most. High elevation means cool nights and a long growing season. This gives thick-skinned Cabernet grapes a chance to ripen fully and evenly, yielding a soft mouthfeel and juicy blackberry flavors.
August 30, 2012
BUZZ: HEY, Marnie, I had guests over and they gave me a bottle of wine. After they left, I saw it was from the Columbia district in Washington. Should I dump it? How good can it be from that swamp in D.C.? Marnie: Drink it, Buzz, don't waste it. It's from Washington state's Columbia Valley, a region that makes some of the best wines in the country, not the capital's District of Columbia. Buzz: I thought the only good American wines were from California. Marnie: Well, it's true that over 90 percent of premium U.S. wines are made there, but Washington and Oregon make world-class wines too. I love recommending Washington wines in particular due to their fair prices.
August 20, 2012
The smartphone revolution has come to wine shopping, too, with the spread of QR code labels that, with a quick scan, launch a multimedia extravaganza about the bottle you're holding in the store aisle. Too often, though, those labels are just portals to another form of promotional advertising. When an old-school, hand-sell retailer like Moore Brothers takes hold of the technology, though, the results - drawn from 900 original entries built by the store over 16 years - can be downright educational.
August 16, 2012
BUZZ: HEY, Marnie. I was at the state store the other day and saw a whole stack of "naked" wines. Does that mean the winemakers are undressed when they stomp on the grapes? Marnie : No, silly. "Naked" is a tongue-in-cheek term vintners use to describe wines that taste only of pure grapes, with no oak in their flavor. You might also see similar wines called "unwooded" or "unoaked. " Buzz : Say what? Does that mean most wines are tree-flavored? Marnie : That depends on the kind of wine.
August 3, 2012
Buzz: Hey, Marnie. We were out to dinner last night and I saw the funniest thing — the guy at the table next to us asked for an ice bucket for their RED wine. What a rube! Marnie: Not exactly, Buzz. I do that myself. Red wines are often served too warm, especially at this time of year. They taste much better with a little chill — brighter and less harsh. I'll ask for an ice bucket in a heartbeat if the wine's too warm. Buzz: Wait, I thought red wines were supposed to be served warm, like whiskey.
August 3, 2012 |
I have two knives my father, Joseph Arsenio Gambardello, gave me when I was starting out on my own in the late 1970s. They are Regency Cutlery High Carbon knives made in Colombia. He had his own set and I often used them when I served as his sous chef on my visits home from college. Since he used them, he felt I should also have a pair. I do not know where he discovered them, but I have an idea. He was friendly with the owners of a Chinese restaurant, now long gone, and he picked up a few tricks from them that most Italian Americans did not use in their kitchens at that time.
July 20, 2012 |
"WHAT are you, a girl? Is this Girls' Night Out?" That's what a friend, an investment banker, said on a recent evening as the waiter delivered my glass of rosé wine to the table. I considered my manly friend, from his pink tailored shirt to the insipid Coors Light he was drinking. "At this stage of my life," I said, "I'm comfortable enough in my manhood to drink pink wine. " Yeah, that's right. I'm man enough to profess my fondness for rosé wines, especially on a steamy summer evening, before dinner as the sun begins to set. Maybe while poring over the sports page, too, if you need to. Fortunately, it's a good time to try rosé wines, with quality worldwide as high as it's ever been.
July 19, 2012 |
Espirito Lagoalva 2011 Tejo, Portugal $7.99 Easy drinking, fruity and aromatic; dark magenta in color. Blend of Syrah and Touriga Nacional from a small region near Lisbon. O ne of the most surprising values in any category I've found this summer. Les Ligeriens Rosé d'Anjou 2011 Loire Valley, France $8.99 Another tremendous value from a classic rosé region. Pale, with a nose of berries and herbs, and a pleasant balance of acidity and just a kiss of sweet.
July 19, 2012
Buzz: I was down the Shore last weekend, lying on the beach. My brother opened his beer cooler and instead of a sixpack, he had a bunch of little juice boxes — of wine. What's the world coming to? Marnie: You have to get with the times, Buzz. There has been a revolution in wine packaging in the last 10 years. Buzz: Why abandon the old-fashioned bottle and cork? Marnie: Juices used to come in glass, too, but now it's all cartons and pouches. Wine is just grape juice, so why not put it a more convenient container?
July 8, 2012 |
As I drove down the winding country road in the Demone Valley of northeastern Sicily, passing through small towns and villages with old rustic farmhouses in the distance, there was a feeling of growing anticipation and excitement. Even though I had made this trip only once before almost 10 years earlier with my wife, everything looked very familiar. With Mount Etna, the active volcano known as a muntagna by the Sicilians, looming in the distance, Uncle Tony and I made our way along the last leg of our trip from Fiumafreddo to Linguaglossa.