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.
October 31, 1993 |
It's one thing when a waiter answers your wine question with, "Gee, I don't know" and goes to find out. It's quite another when he mutters and then tries to fake it. "What's your house Champagne?" I asked our Ivy waiter. "We have two, Veuve-Clicquot and Domaine Michel. They're French," he replied. "Domaine Michel is a California winery; it doesn't make sparkling wine." "Yes, they do. We serve it." "Domaine Michel makes Chardonnay. Is that your house Chardonnay?" "Well, yes, maybe it is."
December 29, 2004 |
Previsionistes (that's what my Paris friend Luis calls those who anticipate the future) should have a few bottles of bubbly already tucked away -- for the new year, or any other suitable occasion. Those who do not, which is quite possibly most of us, should go shopping. Now. Don't wait for New Year's Eve when wine clerks' patience is running short and stocks are depleted. Here are a few to hunt down to ring in the new year or keep on hand for that unforeseen something to celebrate.
June 14, 2012
Re "Would rail project foul the air?," June 11 Where did America go? Where is the drive to build much needed infrastructure that creates jobs? It worked after the Great Depression. Regarding California's bullet train, you can continue to look for reasons not to build it, but that's not what made this country great. Once upon a time, California would not have thought twice about moving this project forward. Now you can't swing a dead cat without hitting someone who is trying to stall it. Yes, the environment will be affected slightly while the system is built.
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.
December 22, 1991 |
It's the bubbly season. Almost half of all sparkling wine sold in the United States is sold in the final three months of the year. In a recession, however, quality sparkling wine is a luxury few can afford. The best, meaning French Champagne, is terribly expensive, in part because of the weak U.S. dollar. Can you celebrate with $6 sparkling wine instead of Champagne? The Los Angeles Times tasting panel tried to determine that by blind tasting a range of sparkling wines designated "brut."
November 27, 1988 |
WHEN IT COMES to wine making, Mendocino County's fine reputation continues to expand. John Parducci's stalwart pioneering of quality wine; the Fetzers; the newcomer, Jepson Vineyards; plus a few small wineries such as Husch, Navarro, Lazy Creek, Handley Cellars, Christine Woods and Greenwood Ridge all are contributing to the growing reputation of Mendocino County and the Anderson Valley in premier wine-making circles.
December 27, 1990 |
New Year's Eve almost always means headaches the next morning. But it is possible to imbibe without the consequences. Now that the state of California considers you legally drunk with a .08% blood alcohol level, it's prudent to consider some of the following suggestions. --Nonalcoholic Beer: The technology to make these is improving and now a number of excellent ones exist. My favorites are Firestone from Santa Barbara and Clausthaler from Germany.
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.
December 15, 1988 |
Time was, when an American President dined with a foreign head of state, the wine they toasted each other with would be Champagne from France. French Champagne is known worldwide as an exceptional beverage, not to mention good for smashing against bows of new boats, celebrating graduations or even cementing East-West agreements. But things change.