Why do we store wine? Apparently 98% of all wine consumed in America is consumed within 48 hours of it's purchase. Since stores and restaurants don't have the space, time, or money to store wine, that means that most wines are drunk very young. While there is nothing wrong with that, there is another dimension that gives some wine drinkers great pleasure: the well aged, sometimes subtle, usually unmistakable elements of a fine older bottles. Last...Continue Reading!
Been away too long. Sorry for that. Well, it appears that summer is knocking at our door, if this week's rains are any indication. It's time to start thinking about sipping summer whites, and even more interesting for those of you who are hankering for ABC (anything but chardonnay). As the mercury and humidity start to rise, it's a good time to explore refreshing, crisp whites to accompany our South Florida seafood cuisine. Our friends at the famous Spanish winery Vega Sicilia are spreading their wings....Continue Reading!
Yikes! Prices for everything are going up, and rapidly. Gasoline, food, clothing. Even houses in certain locations. NPR reports that housing near Metro Stations in Washington, DC and Atlanta are actually rising as more and more people are willing to pay more for a house so they can get out of thier cars. (Toscano and Downtown Dadeland here in Miami should soon reflect that trend)It may be just a current situation but no doubt living is...Continue Reading!
There are so many important causes in our community, in fact throughout the world. Many of my fellow wine and food aficionados support our favorite charities by donating ( and buying back) parts of our wine collections. Many charity events have been built around the theme of wine and food, and some have turned into weekend-long extravaganzas. For example, the now-famous South Beach Wine and Food Festival supports FIU. The Women's Fund of Miami has a group called the...Continue Reading!
Wine with your meal; it's meant to be. But sometimes finding one in a restaurant can be a daunting task. In the bad old days your server would drop a big old leather-bound volume on your table with your menu and leave you without a clue. Sure, you could look for the cheapest wine and think you're getting a bargain, but that would be a huge mistake. Or you could find a well-known or recognizable brand...Continue Reading!
Probably no other wine grape is so heartily praised and at the same time cursed as Pinot Noir. It has been famously dubbed "the heartbreak grape" because it is so difficult to grow, to vinify, and to find truly great examples of what may be the most wonderful wine in the world. But if you saw the 2004 movie "Sideways" you saw the sensual passion it can evoke. Pinot Noir is one of the oldest grape varieties to be...Continue Reading!
Zinfandel is a variety of red grape that was long considered "America's vine and wine". It is most commonly associated with California and is grown in almost all parts of that state. It is also grown in 14 other states from Massachusetts to Arizona. It has a long and interesting history in America, starting with a Long Island horticulturist named George Gibbs, who received several shipments of grapes from Eastern Europe between 1820 and 1829. It...Continue Reading!
By now you are aware that several of the big Champagne Houses of France branched out to California many years ago. One Cava producer from Spain did also. Roederer Estate is from the house that makes Cristal. Chandon is from the good folks at Moet Chandon, makers of Dom Perignon. Gloria Ferrer is made by the same company as Freixenet. The famous House of G.H. Mumm, makers of Mumm Cordon Rouge, established Mumm Napa. Their...Continue Reading!
Nothing seems to create an atmosphere of celebration more than the popping of a champagne cork. This fabulous drink has created its very own mystique of pleasure and partying. It is ubiquitous from South Beach clubs to professional sports locker rooms. It's used to launch ships, marriages, business start-ups and retirement parties, celebrate wins, anniversaries, and New Years. It's world wide popularity makes me wonder how much there can possibly be. Well, the good news...Continue Reading!
The French are terrific marketers. Today (11/15/2007) is the international release of Beaujolais Nouveau. Beaujolais is a part of Burgundy in France that produces very specific wines. The French government dictates what kind of grapes can be grown in each region. So when you are drinking a French wine you know what you are getting by its region, known as appellation. This system seems a little arcane, and has always been somewhat confusing to American...Continue Reading!