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best wine, kosher wine, passover, wine, wine 101, Wine and Spirits, wine celebrations, wine lover, Wine Selection, winery -

Ask a seasoned, Passover-celebrating wine drinker what kosher wines they recommend. Expect an ironic laugh and a “life’s too short to drink kosher wines” response. In fact, the kosher wine category has improved dramatically since Manischewitz became the Passover table cliche. A major contributor to kosher wine’s bad reputation is boiling, so it can be mevushal (‘cooked’), and thus handled by non-Sabbath-observing Jews while remaining kosher; not surprisingly, boiling wine, as with boiling anything, kills the complex flavors. Innovations in technology over the last decade have helped. A new process called flash détente quickly heats and cools grapes after they’re...

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Photo by Pixdeluxe A BRIEF history of my wine world introduces us. When I was young there were only two types of wine; red and white. Then around 1980 I discovered chablis, a premier cru French chardonnay, and I suddenly understood a little about what the fuss of wine was all about and why wine was prized and aged wines so venerated. Many people in their early years find a sweet style wine more approachable as an introduction to wine, but in the end, it is the slightly aged dry white and long aged reds which really deliver the pleasures...

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Is the consultant oenologist the most important person in the Bordeaux wine cellars? Maybe, maybe not, but few Bordeaux chateaux nowadays make their wines without one. One of these consultants is Stéphane Courrèges whom we met recently when he was in Paris for the day. Sometimes they are simply called “wine consultants” or even “flying winemakers”. Why do the chateaux need a consultant oenologist? There are several reasons, one obviously being the added knowledge an oenologist bring to the wine making process. (An oenologist is a university-educated specialist in wine, micro-biology, chemistry, plant science.) But another important reason, says Stéphane,...

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Why Sauvignon Blanc? Because your average piece of goat cheese is a blank slate, ready to be impressed upon. (A tart, earthy blank slate, but a blank slate nonetheless!) Sauvignon Blanc wines are the perfect chisels. Acidic, mineral-driven, and citrusy as hell, they impart all that goodness into the cream, giving it the extra herbal flavors you didn’t know it needed to have. Plus, it preps the palate for the next bite, which is a given, because who does a “one and done” with this combination? Seriously. Short on Sauv Blanc? Chenin Blanc, the Loire’s most widely grown white grape is an...

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I often think of wines in musical terms—and vice versa. And that got me wondering, can synergies with music make a wine in the glass better and add something extra to the music on the sound system? Sipping a wine that complements the music can do the same as a happy wine-and-food match. It can improve both sides of the equation. I can thank the late Burgundy vigneron Vincent Leflaive for setting me on this path. I like to tell the story of how, on my first visit to Burgundy in the 1980s, tasting through barrels of Leflaive's incomparable white Burgundies in...

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