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Corkscrew

Wednesday February 18, 2009 12:04 am EST
Mmm... white wine in the winter. Might seem counter-intuitive but a crisp tongue tingle can revive a dull day. Albarino, a grape from a cold, rainy region in northwest Spain called Rias Baixas, delivers the energy. This version is similar to sauvignon blanc in texture, light-hearted with tart lime and grapefruit but toasted almond flavor washes over the palate. Easy on the wallet too. S, T .... | more...

Corkscrew

Wednesday February 18, 2009 12:04 am EST
I stand accused of being a New World oenophile. Translated from winespeak, that means I primarily write about and drink wines from the younger, less established wine regions around the globe — U.S., Australia, South America and South Africa. It is, of course, highhanded Old World enthusiasts who denigrate my choices. Intrigued as to why, I rummaged the inebriated corners of my brain to... | more...

Corkscrew

Wednesday February 11, 2009 12:04 am EST
Valentine's Day: Romance, flowers, wine, and best of all ... the world's tastiest, creamiest aphrodisiac: chocolate. I'm not talking about the leftover Halloween stash cached in the PMS/diet crash/sin drawer. I'm talking about the rich, pure, adult flavor of well-made milk, semi or bittersweet chocolate. Adult chocolate, savored nakedly without the distraction of cookies or cakes, deserves a... | more...

Corkscrew

Wednesday February 11, 2009 12:04 am EST
From an Australian and American family partnership emerges a 5-year-old tawny port infused with melted chocolate. This drink will suffice for both dessert and wine. Tastes like a liquid tootsie roll laced with dark roasted coffee and caramel. Delicious, even for non-port-lovers. SW, HS, S. $35 (750-ml). 4 1/2 stars (chicks really dig this wine). Buy online or locate the wines here. This wine is... | more...

Corkscrew

Wednesday February 4, 2009 12:04 am EST
Wine bars are sprouting up like fungi after a rain. It's as if everyone read the same glowing press release declaring an onslaught of wine consumers and feverishly birthed a business plan. Each bar owner seems to have an original idea of what the masses need in order to get more comfortable in their grape skins: cutesy, amateurish names for wine types and tastes of grossly overpriced juice spit... | more...

Corkscrew

Wednesday February 4, 2009 12:04 am EST
Monterey is a cooler climate area south of San Francisco, where grapes enjoy basking in the chilly air of Monterey Bay. It's a perfect region for growing pinot noir and chardonnay grapes, producing austere, citrus and tropical fruit flavors like in this La Crema example. Creamy texture, grilled pineapple and ripe brie round out the taste orgasm. SW, HS, S. $24. Find where to buy it here. This... | more...

Corkscrew

Wednesday January 28, 2009 12:04 am EST
An esoteric grape from a prolific producer, alicante bouchet is a throwback to Prohibition days when people clandestinely crafted wine in their bathtubs. One of the only grapes that yields actual red juice, the wine can be rich and lush when made right. This one, made from 85-year-old vines, is light-hearted but has a serious side: Blackberry, black cherry, cinnamon and vanilla with a slap of... | more...

Corkscrew

Wednesday January 28, 2009 12:04 am EST
Perhaps it's my tiny universe, but wine seems to be crossing a crucial threshold. Parties whose alcoholic lineup formerly included only beer (in kegs) and vile vodka from Idaho now mingle with white and reds. This highly anecdotal evidence is backed up with stats from the Wine Institute, a trade group based in California that reports American wine consumption rose 3.8 percent from 2006 to 2007.... | more...

Corkscrew

Wednesday January 21, 2009 12:04 am EST
Wine websites suck up hours of time. Joyfully traipsing from one click to the next, each page ticks off another five or 10 minutes. Next thing I know, it's midnight and the entire night is wasted. Well, not wasted, per se, since I did absorb tidbits along the way, but my patient pile of laundry in the closet remains undisturbed. My favorite wine sites encourage interaction — with a database or... | more...

Corkscrew

Wednesday January 14, 2009 12:04 am EST

To oak, or not to oak: that is the question
Whether 'tis nobler to let wine languish in the belly of a barrel or soak in stainless steel.
The slings and arrows of the outrageous cost of oak
And take arms against a vast forest of trees. And by opposing end them? To let the grape run free;
No more, say winemakers; and by boredom we say nay
The cream and butter of chardonnay oft shocks
Their...

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Corkscrew

Wednesday January 7, 2009 12:04 am EST
There's a method to the madness. | more...

Corkscrew

Wednesday December 31, 2008 12:04 am EST
At this moment, I'm struggling with a massive hangover, tasked with writing about my current nemesis — alcohol. My stomach gurgles, my head flounders, and I was 2 pounds lighter this morning due to dehydration. And it's a Monday. In one of those sleepless "what was I thinking" moments at 4 a.m., I rolled over, chugged a tall glass of water waiting next to the bed and attempted to... | more...

Corkscrew

Wednesday December 24, 2008 12:04 am EST
Taste the passion | more...

Corkscrew

Wednesday December 17, 2008 12:04 am EST
It doesn't have to be Champagne to be good | more...

Corkscrew

Wednesday December 10, 2008 12:04 am EST

Most wine geeks are also foodies (a term I loathe, but it's pervasive) who own a decent corkscrew, a set of sharp knives and upgraded-from-college pots. But we can never have enough gadgets or tasty ingredients to fan our foodie fire. Satisfy insatiable yearnings with these gift ideas:

Food Gifts

Bacon of the Month Club
Not vegetarian-friendly, this club sends a new shipment of artisanal...

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Corkscrew

Wednesday December 3, 2008 12:04 am EST

Holiday parties present a plethora of "impress people" possibilities. Wine knowledge delivered with confidence can bring out your "inner coolness," as well as shut down that verbose braggadocio trying to abscond with your date. Armed with a wine label, take over the scene with these urbane tidbits, both useful and trivial.

Vintage
Most wines carry a vintage date, meaning at least 95 percent of...

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Corkscrew

Wednesday November 19, 2008 12:04 am EST

As a kid, Thanksgiving was always – and remains – my favorite holiday. It's the pinnacle of gluttony, a gustatory bacchanal, an excuse to eat 20 pounds of poultry and not gain a perceived pound. And it's the perfect pretext for opening numerous bottles of wine without being labeled the family drunk.

Consider the "walking around wine" technique. Cooking duties can be tolerable if blended with a...

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Corkscrew

Wednesday November 12, 2008 12:04 am EST
Spain, the oft-ridiculed kid in the wine schoolyard, is experiencing a Cinderella moment. For centuries, embarrassingly outdated winemaking processes and crappy quality reflected its lackadaisical attention to detail – with the strong exception of cash-cow areas Rioja and Ribera del Duero – and thus made "quality Spanish wine" an oxymoron. But about 10 years ago, after watching the boom in... | more...

Corkscrew

Wednesday November 5, 2008 12:04 am EST

Dear California winemaker,

I've been kinda broke lately, and since (insert name here) has won the White House, who knows what's going to happen with my bank account? I wondered if you might be able to produce some tasty wine I can afford? Most in my price range ($10 and under) are mega-fruit bombs with no depth, or whites that wrestle in a tub of Jell-O vanilla pudding. What's a thirsty girl...

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Corkscrew

Wednesday October 29, 2008 12:04 am EDT
What's that warm feeling worth to you? | more...

Corkscrew

Wednesday October 15, 2008 12:04 am EDT
Learning a thing or two about making brew | more...

Corkscrew

Wednesday October 8, 2008 12:04 am EDT
Soldiering on through wine-tasting fatigue | more...

Corkscrew

Wednesday October 1, 2008 12:04 am EDT
Can a glass a day keep you fit as a fiddle? | more...

Corkscrew

Wednesday September 24, 2008 12:04 am EDT

I receive plenty of spirited mail deriding my use of "foul" or "salty" language, mostly from conservatives who'd like to control the world. Naturally, it stings when an e-mailed Corkscrew column bounces back from business addresses at staid corporations, but it also bemuses me.

When I lived in Europe, censorship rarely reared itself, and the words "shit" and "fuck" (actually, "merde" and...

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Corkscrew

Wednesday September 17, 2008 12:04 am EDT
Sauvignon blanc takes a leading role | more...