Labor Day approaches -- the third-biggest grilling day of the year. Seventy percent of us say we will cook outside, behind only birthdays (72 percent) and the Fourth of July (83 percent).
Men will make up three-quarters of the grillers, according to the Weber grill people. We will stand on the back porch in 90-degree temperatures, wielding the ...Read more
Americans love to visit Italy, especially Tuscany, and one of the reasons is the grape called sangiovese. Best known when made into the red wine called Chianti, it is called "the defining grape of Italy." It has been both the region's boon and its bane.
Infinitely malleable, it is so familiar to centuries of Italian growers that they have given...Read more
Recently I wrote a column titled "Ten tasty wines under $15." The column brought this email from reader Sid Kaskey: "I rarely purchase wines costing more than $12 or so. From time to time I am at a dinner where expensive wines are served. I notice I usually cannot tell the difference between the expensive stuff and the (cheaper wines). I suspect...Read more
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- On a warm, sunny Sunday morning, a hiking group gathers in the parking lot of Saratoga, Calif.'s, Sanborn County Park. Folks are decked out in hats, backpacks and hiking boots. Some carry poles, others water bottles in preparation for an 11-mile hike through the redwoods.
But whether they're seasoned hikers or newcomers to ...Read more
Years ago I liked to write columns with titles like "Ten tasty wines under $10." I usually did it after I got a few emails from unhappy readers taking me to task for writing about wines they deemed too expensive.
"I'm not going to spend $30 on a bottle of wine unless the pope is coming to dinner," one reader said.
I'm sympathetic. I've ...Read more
Italy is most famous for its red wines -- Chianti, Barolo, amarone, valpolicella, it goes on. But it also produces some pleasing white wines that are less-known but very much worth trying. They're often lean and crisp, with lots of fruit flavors and hints of minerals.
Italian whites go well with shellfish, finfish, light chicken and turkey ...Read more
What's in a name? If a wine calls itself sauvignon blanc, must it have only juice from those grapes in its bottle? It might be a surprise that the answer is "no."
In California, a wine need have only 75 percent of its juice from a grape to use its name, under federal rules. So a California chard might have up to 25 percent other grapes in it.
TBILISI, Georgia -- In the ancient wine country of eastern Georgia, Remi Kbilashvili spends three months painstakingly stacking coils of clay to create a massive red, egg-shaped vat, just as his ancestors did thousands of years ago.
The vessel, known as a qvevri, will hold 500 gallons of wine once it is fired in a wood-burning brick kiln for a ...Read more
A terrible tragedy devastates Jackson Fitzgerald's world: the murder of his wife brings him close to insanity. Accompanied by friends, he undertakes one last effort to reshape his life in a journey that brings him to Glendale Plantation.
But there he is tormented by memories and ...
It may seem a little mean to call a wine "user-friendly." But I mean it in a good way. An excellent way, in fact. I'm talking about malbec, a red wine with no hard edges, no searing acids or harsh tannins. I often compare its flavor to those chocolate-cherry bonbons in the crinkly brown wrappers.
It's a great wine to sip by itself, and its ...Read more
Sometimes it's easier to order wine simply by its number on the list. That way you won't mispronounce it. And your waiter probably doesn't know how to say it either.
But we wine wonks don't take the easy way, do we? We go for the gusto, even if we're not sure how "gusto" is pronounced.
The wine in question here is torrontes. It's possibly the ...Read more
Crisp, cool, light, lively, tart. Sounds like a pretty good wine for the sultry days of summer.
That would be sauvignon blanc.
Fans of this grape say that while it doesn't always have the opulence of chardonnay, it goes better with food for that very reason.
Chardonnay can overpower lighter foods. Sauvignon blanc is a more pleasing match for ...Read more
Good old American red zinfandel may be the finest wine to go with Fourth of July barbecues, deftly handling everything from charcoaled steaks to baby back ribs to barbecued chicken.
Zinfandel is warm and hearty, with jammy flavors of cherries, blackberries and raspberries. It's spicy, with black pepper, cloves and cinnamon. Some say it even a ...Read more
"What do women want?" is an age-old question that may never be satisfactorily answered. "What do men want," on the other hand, is easy.
On Father's Day, we want red meat and red wine. Don't buy us neckties in the middle of the summer (if ever). And you should probably wait for our birthdays for that Lamborghini you've been eying.
This week, ...Read more
You might say the midlife crisis of a Hispanic marketing and advertising executive brought a new category of wine to South Florida and a growing list of areas around the country.
"I was getting close to 50, and I was an empty-nester, and my wife and I wanted to do something more purposeful and nostalgic," says Martin Cerda, now 51.
Today, from...Read more