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Wine tasting tours: The one place it's OK to spit in public (and you probably should)

Recipes / All About Wine /


Sometimes spelled "ptooey," it's "the sound or act of spitting," says

Perfectly respectable American men in the 1800s did it in saloons and train stations, aiming vaguely at spittoons.

It's been popular for decades in China, even on public sidewalks, though the government now is cracking down.

Baseball players do it to ...Read more

How to plan a California wine tour

Recipes / All About Wine /

Wine fans, this should be on your bucket list.

A California wine tour. Start with the state's top-notch Napa and Sonoma counties. They're wonderlands of wine, with more than 600 wineries between them.

Stroll through vineyards. Watch grapes being picked (in season) and wine being made (when it's time). Sample a few, sometimes free, although ...Read more

Celebrate reds this Fourth of July

Recipes / All About Wine /

Monday's the Fourth of July. Independence Day. So after we celebrate the important stuff -- you know, freedom and all -- let's take the opportunity to appreciate something much less hallowed but very pleasant, very nice for us.

I'm talking about wine. Wine fans, we live in a golden age of abundant wines. Now, with hot weather here, we'll spend ...Read more

Malbec, revamped

Recipes / All About Wine /

Let's take a new look at malbec.

Argentina's most popular red grape and wine, it has trod a rocky road to achieve its current fame. More than a century ago, oddly, it was a lean and tannic grape in France, where it was called "cot" and added to Bordeaux's famous red blends for color and backbone.

Malbec's lucky break came in the late 1800s, ...Read more

The finest fare, drinks for Father's Day

Recipes / All About Wine /

I used to write a yearly column assuring readers that, while we men can't say what women want, we dads on Father's Day are easy. We want red meat and red wine.

That was then.

Now men are more sophisticated. More evolved. We can do more than etch grill marks on a steak. We're just as likely as mom to whip up a nifty Coquilles St. Jacques.

It's...Read more

Brambly red zinfandel perfect for summer grilling

Recipes / All About Wine /

If I could choose only one wine for the summer's grilling, it would be good old American red zinfandel.

It has enough tannin for a New York strip steak, but, unburdened with the astringency of a cabernet sauvignon, it also can go with a cedar-plank-grilled side of wild-caught salmon.

It has the spice to pair with cayenne-rubbed beef and the ...Read more

Fruity, smooth tempranillo perfect for easygoing summer

Recipes / All About Wine /

Mention the grape called "tempranillo" and the savvy American wine fan will smile. The word conjures up images of easy-drinking Spanish red wines, nicely priced for their quality.

The fan will picture tempranillo's most famous regions -- Rioja, a 2,000-square mile area 150 miles northeast of Madrid, and Ribera del Duero, 50 square miles ...Read more

9 wines for a Memorial Day picnic

Recipes / All About Wine /

Don't grill out on Memorial Day.

Be different. Have a picnic. A proper one, with wicker basket, checkered table cloth, real silverware, at least your second-best china and glasses made of, y'know, glass.

Find a nice park. Go to the nearest woods. To the beach. To a bluff overlooking an ocean. To a riverbank. Aboard a boat. In the back seat of ...Read more

Don't whine about 'winespeak' — create your own

Recipes / All About Wine /

In my decades of writing about wines, I've described them as smelling and tasting like vanilla, white peaches, yellow apples, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, gooseberries, boysenberries, lingonberries, mulberries, coffee, mocha, chocolate, tobacco, smoke, minerals and earth. And more.

I once taught my 8-year-old daughter to sniff any ...Read more


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