January 7, 1998 |
Even now, 65 years after it was repealed, Prohibition has left odd legacies. It wasn't until Dec. 2 that Michigan law explicitly permitted people to brew their own beer and give away up to 20 gallons (previously, giving away beer, for instance at a tasting, was tantamount to sale and required a license). FYI: California permits persons over 21 to brew up to 200 gallons a year and distribute any amount at organized contests and tastings.
December 30, 2009
On the off chance that more revelers than previously announced show up on your doorstep New Year's Eve, now is the time to lay in some inexpensive sparkling wine. And if you don't use it all, there will be plenty of occasions later in the year. Barcelona loves its Cava, the sparkling wine made in Sant' Sadurni south of the city. Though you could drink wonderful, sophisticated Cavas at Barcelona wine bars, until recently, much of those imported to this country were the cheaper, very rustic bubblies -- serviceable in a pinch, but nothing you'd go out of your way to drink.
October 10, 1987 |
Champagne is usually the first beverage on the shopping list when there's a big celebration coming up--whether it's a wedding, anniversary, birthday or congratulatory party of any kind. Many hosts and hostesses have their preferences of brands and dryness, while others are just aware that they like it and it means celebration. Sally McFadden of Domaine Chandon in Yountville, Calif.
December 1, 2002 |
To choose a sparkling wine for my wedding, I agonized over which bottle of bubbly would best flatter the foods on the menu and impress my new in-laws. I chose a California sparkling wine that seemed to meet all my criteria for flavor and aroma, but the problem (if you can really call it a problem) was that in the midst of the party, with all the reveling in reunions, speeches and dancing, I never really noticed the nuances of the wine, and I suspect that few of the guests did either.
August 2, 1990 |
Wine is a great stimulus of conversation, which is why I like being told I'm wrong about a wine. The discussion nearly always leads to better understanding--for one or the other of us. The fact is, you can't be wrong about what you like. If you like sweet red wine from Macedonia, fine--enjoy. It's not my cup of tea, but I'm not going to tell you you're wrong to like it.
November 29, 1990 |
Mt. Palomar Winery in Temecula harvested a small quantity of Sangiovese grapes in September, and will make a red wine out of the grape of the Chianti region of Italy. Peter Poole, general manager of the winery in southern Riverside County, said the winery crushed 1.5 tons of the variety, yielding just more than four barrels of wine. Mt. Palomar grafted somewhat over an acre of vines to Sangiovese in 1989 and got a small crop in 1990. Very little Sangiovese is planted in California.
November 21, 1996
As mentioned previously, quality judgments in sparkling wine are almost pure preference. So, more than usual, what follows is, as the singer-songwriter Donovan so memorably put it, "one man's opinion of moonlight." The Thrill of the Deal: Roederer Estate Brut non-vintage ($17.95). Although less expensive sparklers can be founds--quite a few, in fact--Roederer makes California's consistently best non-vintage Brut (very dry). With a street price as low as $13.95, it turns into the tastiest deal.
January 16, 1994 |
In the English tradition, steak off the grill calls for claret, which at the Grill means something like 1985 Chateau Talbot, $55, a decent wine that should work with the beef. Or try 1989 Chateau Greysac, a modest but decently rich red at $20. Still, most Californians prefer something brawnier, such as domestic Cabernet Sauvignon. The Grill offers two dozen Cabernets: Best bets are 1988 Silver Oak "Bonny's Vineyard," $35, or 1989 Caymus, $35.
August 28, 1987 |
Everything's pretty peachy in the south of France right now. I found on a recent visit peaches are popping up everywhere. Peaches perfume the air in all the grocery stores, prettify the plate on which your duck is presented, peer over the edge of every fruit basket. Grab a glass of Champagne and you suddenly discover that even your glass smells of peaches. The trendy new drink showing up everywhere is Brut de Peche--a peach libation far better than Bellinis.