Category: Wine Articles

Perfect Wines For Pizza

Perfect Wines For Pizza

About 10 years ago, caught up in the hedonism of the eighties, I once recommended (albeit somewhat in jest) drinking champagne with pizza. Its yeastiness and effervescence, I argued, made it (I think “it” was Veuve Cliquot) a fine accompaniment for the pie. In the “cents-ible” nineties, however, where mortgages and children’s college tuition have taken precedence over Guccis and Rolexes, that argument would probably not go over too well. If you want the bubbles, go for a good cold beer. But if you’re a wine drinker read on.

Choosing a wine for pizza can depend …

Chianti…Remembrance of Wines Past

Chianti…Remembrance of Wines Past

As a child growing up in an Italian-American family, I was forever fascinated by the straw-covered flasks of Ruffino Chianti (the only Chianti my father would drink). When it came time to go to the cellar and choose a wine for dinner, I was the first to volunteer and always returned with Chiantieven when it was not the most appropriate wine for the dinner. After all, in our home, Chianti (except perhaps for some Riserva Ducale) was only for family meals, often for Sunday dinner when the menu was pasta with my aunts red sauce and …

Chardonnay, Anyone?

Chardonnay, Anyone?

I dont like the music of Kenny G. I dont like the acting of Doris Day. I dont like the style of white-on-white shirts. Guess how I feel about chardonnay. For some reason, this best seller has never been one of my favorite wines. If I must drink a white, give me a sauvignon blanc, a riesling, or even a humble chenin blanc. They are, for me, far more interesting and serve as better accompaniments for food. But because chardonnay is such a popular wine, I thought I should dedicate at least one page to it.

Because of …

The Sensible Wines of the Loire Valley

The Sensible Wines of the Loire Valley

Gustave Flaubert, author of Madame Bovary, once wrote of the Loire valley: “The wind is mild without voluptuousness, the sun soft without ardor; the whole landscape pretty, varied in its monotony, light, gracious, but of a beauty which caresses without captivating, which charms without seducing, and which, in a word, has more common sense than grandeur and more spirit than poetry. It is France.” He might just as well have been writing of the wines from this region, which perhaps may never compete with the grandeur of Bordeaux or the seductiveness of Burgundy, …

Holiday Cheer

Holiday Cheer

Probably it’s the bubbles, but I always find it difficult to conduct a champagne tasting and then even more difficult to write about it. No matter how hard I try to be objective and disciplined while I’m tasting, I seem to lose it after just the third or forth sip. I simply can’t spit it out and go on to sample the next wine. A certain pleasure takes overand that’s it. Like the renaissance world view of a great chain of being that connected all levels of creation to God, champagne links so many pleasant memories to the …

Seconds Anyone?

Seconds Anyone?

Looking for a good yet reasonably priced Chardonnay or Cabernet is getting more and more difficult these days. It seems that the average price for these popular wines from leading producers is close to $20 to $25 a bottle. That’s pretty steep for an everyday wine or when you’re entertaining more than six. The popularity of these two varieties is one of the major reasons. The old supply/demand rule is at work. In fact, as Merlot and even Zinfandel gain in their appeal, their prices are also beginning to soar. So what do we do when we have …

What To Serve With Turkey?

What To Serve With Turkey?

AUSTERE SPLENDOR: LES VINS D’ALSACE

Although their pairing is almost oxymoronic, the words “power” and “finesse” seem to follow each other whenever anyone discusses Alsatian wines. But I can think of no other two that characterize these luscious, quaffable wines as accurately. “Power” is often used to differentiate them from German wines to which they are frequently and perhaps unfortunately, compared. They are definitely fuller bodied and dryer, making them perfect accompaniments to fish and white meats. “Finesse” suggests the aromatic charm of their floral and fruity bouquets.

Alsatian wines are labeled after the grapes …

Good Cheap Wine

Good Cheap Wine

Summer-wine, summer-wine, sum-sum-summer-wine. Thats what this feature is all about. Red wines for summer sipping, backyard barbecues, and picnics in the park. Usually at these events, we just want to relax, lay back, and enjoy ourselves and give into cravings for plain ol simple stuff. And, unless your with a Martha Stewart devotee, fancy gives way to plain and complexity succumbs to simplicity.

I know that when Im scarfing down that third burger with sweet relish and ketchup, I really dont want to take time out to pay homage to the winemaker or to think about vintages. …

Wine or Beer with Chinese Food?

Wine or Beer with Chinese Food?

Whether dining in a restaurant or doing take out, the question of what to drink with Chinese food seems to be a problem for many of us. However, the answer may depend simply on how you eat this wonderful cuisine. If you approach the table (or the carton) with a ravenous appetite and shovel in the food, you might do better with a good Chinese beer like Tsing Tao. It has a wonderful plummy flavor that goes well with the mildest of Cantonese or the spiciest of Schezuan offerings. Go ahead; scarf the food, …

The Seduction of Pinot Noir

The Seduction of Pinot Noir

No wine can seduce like Pinot Noir or Burgundy. Sure you can be overwhelmed by a rich full-bodied Cabernet or teased by a coy fruity Chardonnay or even tickled silly by an unctuous, honeyed Sauternes. But none, at least in my experience, has Pinots sensuousness: the perfumed nose of red berries and violets, the ruby red colors, the silky body, the rich tastes of raspberry, strawberry, black cherry, and vanilla. And, if youre lucky, a finish that makes you long for more.

It may be for this reason that wine makers struggle with this most …