Not So Royal Tokaji

July 29, 2015

Review of Château Guiraud Sauternes 2001, Clear Creek Distillery Slivovitz Blue Plum Brandy and Mosby Kosher Plum Brandy Slivovitz .

Known as “the King of wines and the wine of Kings,” Tokaji may be losing some of its regal bearing.

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Fungus Among Us Produces A Distinctive Dessert Wine

March 17, 2014

Reviews of the Château Guiraud Sauternes 2001 and 2 whiskies from Maker’s Mark.

It has been said that the first person to eat a tomato was the bravest person in culinary history. We’ve heard similar comments about the first person to milk a cow and the first to consume raw fish. While we will never know the veracity of such claims, in the world of wine there is a similar “first” hero myth: the first winemaker to use grapes infected by fungus to make wine. We don’t really know when this started either, though the first clear mention of wine made from fungus infected grapes is from around 1576.

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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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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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A Night To Remember: Fine Food And Fabulous Wines

March 19, 2008

Chateau Calon-Segur

Great food and spectacular wines make for a wonderful charity dinner.

The format is simple: Invite some generous friends to a great restaurant that will include the corkage in the price of the meal. Send out the menu beforehand so everyone can select appropriate wines to bring. The guests not only pay for their meal, but also make a donation to a charity the organizer selects. The inevitable result is a nearly guilt-free evening of excellent food, wine and conversation – followed quickly by plans for the next one.

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What’s For Dessert?: Sweet Wines Growing In Popularity

December 15, 2004

Chambers Rosewood Muscat

Dessert wines are an under-appreciated treasure.

Dessert wines may well be the next American wine craze. It seems only natural that a country that has donut shops and ice cream parlors on nearly every corner will learn eventually to appreciate the wonders of a well-made “stickie.” It is a mystery why dessert wines are not more popular. They are a great way to end a meal with more flavor and fewer carbohydrates than a slice of cheesecake. Good dessert wines have a noticeable sweetness balanced by other components, and the best examples have an amazing complexity of flavors. Most are served slightly chilled from half-bottles, or splits, which can serve up to 12 guests. If you are looking for a gift for a wine-lover, a bottle of dessert wine always will be appreciated.

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