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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No Whining Here: Gift Ideas To Please Wine-Lovers

December 2, 2009

Tesseron Cognac

Some holiday gift ideas for the wine-lovers on your list.

Holiday gift suggestions for wine-lovers can range from the functional to the extravagant. Glassware is always appreciated and the lightest stemware I have ever used is from the Ravenscroft Crystal “Invisibles Collection.” Nearly weightless, these hand-blown lead-free crystal glasses come in a variety of shapes to enhance the flavors found in specific varietals. The web site (www.ravenscroftcrystal.com) also contains other gift ideas such as wine accessories, decanters and glassware specific for spirits.

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Winning Wines From Maryland Well Worth Exploring

October 28, 2009

Elk Run Cabernet Franc

A look at some award-winning wines from Maryland.

Wine is now being produced in all 50 states, even in Alaska where some daring souls in Homer, Kodiak and Anchorage are using fruit and purchased grape concentrate to create them. Often starting with meager resources, as well as ample enthusiasm, winemakers located in lesser-known wine-producing areas struggle for acceptance even as the quality of their product continues to improve.

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Italian White Wines Should Not Be Ignored

September 23, 2009

St Michael-Eppan Pinot Grigio

A look at some Italian white wines.

Home to many of the world’s finest red wines, Italy also produces many excellent whites from sites all over the nation. Using some familiar grapes like Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and Sauvignon as well as indigenous varietals, Italian winemakers are crafting some true beauties. Although the producers’ names may be difficult to remember, or pronounce, it is worth searching for these enjoyable, food-friendly wines.

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Hail To The King Of California White Wines

August 26, 2009

Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay

A look at some recently released California Chardonnays.

Despite the appeal of other varietals, more than half of California’s white wine acreage remains planted to Chardonnay. Stylistically as diverse as the geography of the state itself, the recent releases offer many choices to enjoy as the hot days of summer slip into the fall. Here are some recommendations.

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The Wines Of Summer: Zin, Syrah, Malbec And More

July 22, 2009

Dry Creek zinfandel

Some summer red wine recommendations.

Red wines most suitable for summer have assertive fruit flavors integrated with pepper or spice that complement the smokiness of grilled foods. Classically Zinfandel, Syrah and Malbec are excellent choices. The complexity resulting from combining multiple varietals makes blended wines also work well with summer fare.

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An American Winemaker in Burgundy Feels the Squeeze in Economic Turndown

July 8, 2009

blair pethel

These are tough times to be a winemaker. Consumers are buying but overall sales are down, and the demand for the higher-priced wines has nearly evaporated. The larger producers are better positioned to withstand the economic downturn, but even the giant wine conglomerates are laying off employees. For smaller producers who make limited amounts of the world’s finest wines, these conditions are potentially disastrous.

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The Right Bottle Of White For A Hot Summer Day



frank

Some summer wine recommendations.

Chardonnay is not the only chilled glass of white wine to treasure in the summer heat. Many other varietals offer the invigorating crisp flavors and balanced acidity enhance warm weather meals. It is also worth exploring the shelves to find treasures and the occasional bargain from less familiar regions.

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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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