Q: Is the average person to whom you'd like to give a holiday gift of wine knowledgeable enough to accept a bottle with a screw-cap closure without being insulted?
I don't know the answer. Screw-cap bottle closures are well accepted in the industry, especially for wines not intended for long aging. But your intended gift-receiver may not know ...Read more
Some mini-reviews of wine books for holiday gift-giving or simply snowy-night reading in a cozy sweater in a comfortable chair before an open fire:
"The Search for Good Wine: From the Founding Fathers to the Modern Table" by John Hailman (University Press of Mississippi, 2014, $29.95): The former federal prosecutor pens 100 often-unrelated-but-...Read more
I've said it before and I'll say it again. There's nothing like a big meal to make you hungry later. So after voicing our thanks for family, freedom and country, let us all sing the praises of that other great blessing, Thanksgiving Leftovers.
The best leftover, consumed later on the day of the big feast, after you've dozed through the football...Read more
What kind of wine went with the first Thanksgiving dinner at Plymouth Colony in 1621? None. Not Blue Nun. Just none. No champagne, no chardonnay. Also no whiskey, little if any beer, historians say.
The Pilgrims expressed thanks for tough, gamey wild turkey stuffed with onions and for venison, clams, eels, mussels, Indian corn, maybe some ...Read more
Pinot noirs can be the most ethereal of wines. They also can be expensive. A single bottle of 1945 French Domaine de la Romanee-Conti sold at auction in 2011 for $123,899. Top California pinot noirs regularly top $50 a bottle.
The trick is to find a good pinot for around $20-to-$30 a bottle. So a group of Oregon pinot noir producers has set out...Read more
Most major wine countries have their own signature wine -- a wine that defines them to fans worldwide. If you mention Italy, the first thing that comes to my mind is Chianti. You say Spain, I reply Rioja. With New Zealand, the wine is sauvignon blanc.
Reasons vary. Here are some examples:
Italy's red Chianti caught the world's attention when ...Read more
The frost is on the punkin now, as the iconic American poet James Whitcomb Riley liked to say. At least it is in areas where they grow "punkins" and have frost. So it must be time for my annual "hearty red wines for cold weather" column.
It's not that we give up white wines for the season. We don't. Whites go very nicely with lighter foods, ...Read more
About this time of year wine writers send out their yearly columns on how it's time to put away the white wines and cuddle up to hearty reds for the coming cold weather.
So just to be contrary, I'm trotting out my "white wines for winter" column.
Now, I love red wines. And I drink them. All year, actually, even in August -- in my air-...Read more
You Shall Know Our Names (The Judah Halevi Journals) (Volume 1)Ezekiel Nieto Benzion
When Ezekiel Benzion's grandfather handed him the dusty journals written by Doctor Judah Halevi Nieto, he begged, "Before I die, tell me why our family protected these for two hundred years. Who were these men? And why were they revered?" The search for answers led to ...
Bordeaux is the most famous wine in the world.
Thomas Jefferson wrote enthusiastically about his five-day tour of the Bordeaux region southwest of Paris in 1787, even if he didn't always spell the wine's names correctly. When Richard Nixon entertained Congress members aboard the presidential yacht Sequoia, he was known to serve his guests a ...Read more
Here I am again inviting you to join me in expanding our wine palates. Experts say there are 10,000 grape varieties and 3,000 commercial wines in the world. So we'll have to hurry to taste them all.
Now, a mainline wine such as chardonnay is fine. Great, in fact. But it's too popular, to the point that there's a countermovement called ABC, for ...Read more
It's almost October, so you've probably broken your 2016 New Year's resolutions by now. I know I have. In fact, a University of Scranton survey found that 29 percent of people broke their vows within two weeks, 36 percent within a month and 52 percent -- a mournful majority -- were back in their bad old ways by July.
And by the time we make ...Read more