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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Choose Young Wines For Feasting

November 20, 2008

Helfrich Reisling

Wine suggestions for Thanksgiving.

Think young when choosing a wine for the Thanksgiving feast. The meal’s complex variety of aromas, flavors and textures are best complimented by a fruity, youthful wine with refreshing acidity. Resist the temptation to serve an aged treasure to family and friends since the typical fare can easily overwhelm their subtle flavors and make more tannic wines such as Cabernet taste unpleasantly astringent. The half-hour rule applies; remove the white wines from the refrigerator and refrigerate the red ones 30 minutes before serving to bring out their best characteristics.

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West Coast Vineyards Produce Prime Pinot Noirs



Morgan Pinot Noir

A look at some Oregon and California Pinot Noirs.

The most recent U.S. releases of Pinot Noir are well suited for the myriad of flavors of classic holiday meals. Fruit-forward with bright, complex personalities, good balance and lasting finishes, the West Coast Pinot Noirs continue to improve due to more mature vines, better site selection and careful attention in the vineyards and during the winemaking. These wines should be served slightly chilled to bring out their finest qualities.

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Local Wineries Deserve More Respect

October 14, 2008

Black Ankle Crumbling Rock

A look at some Maryland wineries.

Many regionally produced wines are as good as their West Coast cousins, although consumers often overlook them. With wine being made in all 50 states, it is fitting that attention be paid to the accomplishments of these small wineries.

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Chile Nearly Perfect For Wine Making

October 7, 2008

Casa Silva Carmenere

A look at Chilean wines.

Chile’s 13 different wine regions benefit from the Andres Mountains in the east and the cooling ocean breezes coming inland from the west. Each district has a distinctive geology and micro-climate. The northernmost Elqui Valley, at 6,500 feet above sea level, has long hot sunny days, while the southernmost Bio Bio and Malleco valleys run the risk of frost and heavy rains. In between are wide variations in daily temperatures, maritime influences and soil conditions. Truly delightful wines result when the specific location is matched with the appropriate varietal.

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Fruity Roses, Whites and Reds End Summer On A High Note

August 20, 2008

Marques de Caceres Rose

Wine suggestions for the last days of summer.

Wines with vibrant fruit flavors and refreshingly brisk acidity are ideal choices for these last days of warmer weather. Roses are perfect examples. From Oregon, the delicious, cinnamon-scented Soter Pinot Noir Rose 2007 ($20), with strawberry and cherry flavors, is crafted with a little Pinot Gris and Chardonnay to give it a bit more body. It remains supple enough to work well with typical summer fare.

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ZAP Shows Off California’s Best Zinfandels

July 16, 2008

Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel

A look at some recently released Zinfandels.

The Zinfandel Advocates and Producers, ZAP, were recently in D.C. to showcase examples of California’s quintessential wine. Genetically identical to the Croatian grape Crljenak, and related to the Italian Primitivo, Zinfandel was brought to West Coast during the 1850s Gold Rush; by the end of the 1900s, it was the most common varietal planted in California. Prohibition led to the destruction of many of the vineyards, but the 1970s saw a renewed interest in the grape by winemakers and consumers. Zinfandel’s popularity has rebounded with new plantings and efforts to preserve any of the remaining older vines prized for their intense flavors. Zin is now the second most planted red wine varietal in California, behind only Cabernet Sauvignon.

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California Winemaker Hails From Maryland

June 18, 2008

JC Cellars Zinfandel

A look at some of Jeff Cohn’s wines.

Jeff Cohn did not expect to become a winemaker, although he started in the food industry at age 16. After earning a degree in hospitality management, the Maryland native took a series of jobs including a stint on a Caribbean cruise ship. He ‘‘learned to appreciate wine” at a friend’s wine store on the island of Martinique. Upon returning to Maryland, he worked at Sutton Place, ‘‘which also had a great wine department,” as well as at the Boordy Vineyards outside Baltimore while completing the prerequisites to study oenology at Fresno State.

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Gifts To Warm A Wine Lover’s Heart

June 5, 2008

Makers Mark

Gift suggestions for wine lovers.

If you are invited to a birthday or anniversary party for a wine enthusiast or are looking for a gift for the hosts of a dinner party you’re attending, there are many new and interesting items to make your search easy. Here are some suggestions:

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