Decanting isn’t just for the nobles on ”Downton Abbey” or pricey bottles in fancy restaurants. Like many seemingly precious wine practices (aggressive swirling, audible sniffing), decanting has a practical explanation. The primary reason to decant any wine is aeration. By pouring wine into another vessel, the juice gets exposed to oxygen rapidly.
Put down the Pinot Noir and step away from the corkscrew. There’s a new light red in town, and — I’m going to say it —it’s better. Nerello Mascalese isn’t some sommelier favorite that’s hard to pronounce and impossible to find outside of hipster wine bars. It’s the people’s grape of Mount Etna, Sicily, and […]
With wine tourism on the rise worldwide, there are more opportunities than ever to sip and swirl your vacation days away. A well-planned wine adventure can make you feel like an in-the-know VIP, tasting one-of-a-kind local wines at the best local spots. But in regions like Napa or Burgundy, $100 tasting fees and expensive souvenir bottles […]
It was dim, quiet, and cool in the subterranean cellar, a refreshing change from the blazing sun glinting off the Mosel River outside. We walked slowly through never-ending rows of tanks, our footsteps clicking along gleaming cement floors. Instead of flickering candles, fluorescent beams lit our path. Glistening metal lined the walls, and not an […]
Mysterious underground lairs are perhaps best known for housing bats and crime-fighting operations, but for wine enthusiasts, they offer more than a literal and figurative cool factor. Subterranean storage is far superior to climate-controlled warehouses and specialty refrigerators for caching bottles from harvest to consumption.
One of the perks of working in the booze business is drinking lots of wine, often in the company of the guys and gals who make it. Contrary to popular belief, that’s not always over multi-course feasts or in gorgeous locales. Sometimes it’s on a back porch, in a dive bar, or over steaming coffee […]
It might seem rude or snobbish to say, but not all grapes are created equal. It’s that simple. When it comes to wine, it’s been that black and white for the past hundred years. In short, native American grapes and hybrid American-Euro vines — varieties like Concord, Frontenac, and Vidal Blanc — are just not […]
Last Tuesday, I didn’t expect to be using a calculator at Basin and Range Winery. I expected to be using a pitchfork. After five minutes of noisy grape crushing at the winery’s downtown HQ in Reno, Nevada, everything had changed. The grapes destined for rosé were a deep purple hue — more like royal purple than […]
On the patio of a brewery founded in 1318, I discovered what Kölsch beer is all about, and it’s not fancy hops, new recipes, or top-fermenting yeast. It’s also when I realized the way we think about Kölsch in America is all wrong. O.K., so top-fermenting yeast is part of it. But this light-bodied German […]