Wines To ‘Steak’ A Claim With

January 29, 2009

Buccella Cabernet Sauvignon

Wines perfect to pair with a grilled rib-eye.

One of the ways we coax our son to visit us from college is to prepare his favorite meal: a grilled rib-eye steak prepared with CharCrust Hickory rub. And now that he is 21 years old, we also have to find the perfect wine to match the steak. Rather than figuring this out for myself, I solicited expert advice from the folks responsible for the wines at several of Washington, D.C.’s finest steak restaurants.

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Wines Sparkle For More Than Special Occasions

January 28, 2009

Chandon Reserve Brut

Some sparkling wine recommendations.

Resist the temptation to assign unused bottles of holiday Champagne and other sparklers to next year’s festivities and look for reasons to share them now. The balanced acidity of sparkling wines makes them food-friendly, and they come in sufficient styles, flavors and prices to fit most budgets and tastes.

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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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Wine Lovers May Appreciate More Thoughtful Holiday Gifts

December 17, 2008

George Roullet Cognac

Some wine-related gift suggestions for this holiday season.

A grape-bunch patterned tie or a Santa shaped bottle stopper may not be the best choice for the wine lovers on this year’s gift list. Here are some alternatives.

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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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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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