"Brew me a cup for a winter's night
For the wind howls loud, and the furies fight.
Spice it with love and stir it with care
And I'll toast your bright eyes, my sweetheart fair."
-- Minna Thomas Antrim
In winter we recognize nature's power over us and our need for sustenance against it -- a warm sweater, a blazing fire, a hot drink -- ...Read more
Every time I try a tasty new recipe, I ask myself what kind of wine would go with it. What would create a yin and yang, a complementary flavor sensation greater than the sum of its parts.
So I feel sad when some fastidious foodie names foods he or she says simply cannot be successfully paired with any wine.
"Says who!?" I want to retort.
Last fall I wrote a column reporting that studies show the average American had broken all of his or her New Year's resolutions before the end of summer. It's because the average resolution was something difficult -- losing weight, calling your mother, being nicer to children, dogs and politicians and such.
This year, why not make a resolution ...Read more
Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It's the final of these "inalienable rights" that we celebrate on New Year's Eve. The pursuit of happiness. There are many ways to do this. Not surprisingly, they all involve wine. Here are some:
-- The black tie bash. You've always wanted to throw a party as swell as the ones by F. Scott Fitzgerald's...Read more
You've drained a slew of bottles -- you and your good-time crew -- and if tonight were a movie, the credits would be rolling right about now. Time to sleep it off. Live to sip another day. But there's wine left in one of those bottles. What do you do with that?
You have options, but there are two rules you should follow every time: Limit the ...Read more
I have the world's best job. In 2016 I've written about nearly 500 wines, including some that are not only downright heavenly, but also have inspiring back stories.
So I'm listing here my 10 favorite wines from the waning year. Sometimes it was just because they were so delicious. Other times it was value for money. Still other times it was how...Read more
You know about red, white and pink wine. You (probably) know about green wine, and orange wine too. Now let's expand the color palette to include the black wine of Cahors.
Relax: There's no squid ink or cuttlefish in play. "Black wine" is actually red wine -- a very dark malbec.
Cahors (pronounced "kah-OR") is a small town on France's Lot ...Read more
How nice: Hanukkah begins on Christmas Eve this year. Or Christmas Eve comes on the first evening of Hanukkah. However you want to say it.
And whether we dine on braised brisket or roast beef, on corn casserole or kugel, we want some really nice wine to mark the occasion.
This is the season to pull out the stops. Well, some of them, anyway. To...Read more
If You Leave this Farm: The Dream Is DestroyedAmanda Farmer
A Memoir about courage, hope, and resilience. The story powerfully shows the internal struggle and conflict between personal desires, the crushing weight of constant submission to a father's misguided use of God-given authority, and the need to be accepted by one's ...
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