French Impression: The Wines of Philip Togni

November 9, 2010

Philip Togni Vineyards

The wines of Napa’s legendary Philip Togni.

It is likely that you have never heard of Philip Togni. Yet he is responsible for some of the world’s most exquisitely flavored and beautifully structured wines since he began working in California over 50 years ago. And Togni (pronounced Tonne-yee) is still at it, working alongside his daughter Lisa at his eponymous winery located at an unmarked property near the summit of Napa’s Spring Mountain.

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The Magic Of Trimbach Wines

July 15, 2010

Trimbach Frederic Emile

A review of several of the excellent wines produced by Alsace’s Maison Trimbach.

If wine is truly poetry in a bottle, then the Trimbach family qualifies for a literature prize. Scions of a winemaking tradition that goes back 12 generations, current owners and brothers Jean and Pierre have maintained the characteristic Trimbach style of expressive, dry, food-friendly wines that often approach the profound, while grooming their children to continue the legacy. Easily among the top tier of Alsatian wines, Trimbach whites are also some of the world’s greatest, as recently recognized with Pierre’s award as one of the 10 best winemakers on Earth.

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Summer Is The Perfect Season For Sippers

June 24, 2010

Bombay Sapphire

Some summer drink suggestions including cocktails, beer and wine.

The noted philosopher Robin Williams once declared: “Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party.’ ” Sounds like an ideal excuse to try new drinks and to invigorate some old favorites.

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How Sweet It Is: Dessert Wines – Part 1

December 3, 2009

Chateau La Tour Blanche Sauternes

Part 1 of a look at dessert wines including Sauternes and Moscato d’Asti.

Americans have a notorious sweet tooth. We crave doughnuts, candy bars and nearly every conceivable flavor of ice cream. So it’s surprising we have pretty much ignored dessert wines. These sweet wines have a higher residual sugar after fermentation than “dry” wines. When integrated with other distinct flavors and appropriate acidity for balance, the best sweet wines move beyond cloying and syrupy to rich and profound. Or just simply delightful and refreshing.

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Rose Wines For Summer Sipping

June 10, 2009

Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare

Rosés are a perfect wine for summer’s warm weather.

Real wine lovers drink pink. Not the semi-sweet mass-produced “white” California travesty or the stuff from the squat oval bottle we boomers made into candle holders. The pink wines worth drinking are the Rosés made by serious winemakers for a more discerning public. Their fresh fruit flavors, refreshing acidity and reasonable prices make Rosés perfect for this summer’s warm weather.

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With Wines, Old Is New Again

February 26, 2009

Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

The pleasures of older wines.

I prefer “Chinatown” to the “The DaVinci Code,” “On The Waterfront” over “Gladiator” and will drop everything to watch “Casablanca.” Angelina Jolie certainly has her attributes but Ingrid Bergman has a vulnerable sadness. Older movies have a captivating elegance and charm that is often lacking in the more recent Hollywood blockbusters. A similar satisfaction can be found in various older wines.

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New Year’s Resolution: A Frugal Cellar

January 1, 2009

Domaine A et P de Villaine Bouseron

Suggestions for a “Frugal Cellar” from Becky Wasserman-Hone

I love wine. I love expensive wine and I love value-oriented wine.Unfortunately, the latter does not always garner the attention it deserves. But given the economic challenges facing us for at least the immediate future, my New Year’s resolution is to readjust my wine expectations.
The pursuit of trophy wines and dreams of first-growth Bordeaux must take a back seat to stocking my cellar with well-made wines at reasonable prices. There are numerous delicious, good-value wines being made, but they take a bit of effort to and, because the best examples
are often from unfamiliar producers or are created from unheralded varietals.

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Great Beer For Turkey Bowls

November 27, 2008

Stella Artois

A close look at some Belgian beers including Stella Artois, Hoegaarden and Leffe Brun.

By now the wines for the Thanksgiving feast have been carefully selected. But what does a self-respecting wine lover drink during the other activities of the day, such as watching football? Cider and eggnog are too unidimensional. Wine is all about aromas, flavors and texture. So it is no surprise that many wine drinkers also enjoy the better-made beers, particularly those produced in Europe.

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