Thursday, December 9th, 2010

It is the Season to Embrace Mulled Wine!

When I first got into wine, I smelled terrible. You were never to shower beforehand: apparently your wine might taste too Zestfully clean. And you had to drink it out of special glasses. Reds were served at 56 degrees; whites at 48. You held it by the stem or the base—touching the bowl could destroy the thermodynamics, you know!

Then I saw it. The light peering into my plain white tasting room. I heard it. The music and laughter outside; the silence of no tasting notes. I slowly dug my way out of the dungeon. Outside? Grown Spanish women gravity bonging the local wine. Raw teak tables [...]


How to Choose Wine, for Vegetarians and Those Who Love Them

It was my first "fine dining" experience-somewhere between 10 and 20 courses with a bottle of wine for each. We were celebrating, thanks to the gracious manager of a boutique wine shop where I once worked. The meal was at one of my favorite restaurants in the world. I'd picked a hell of a time to be a vegetarian. I was that vegetarian, and I sat across from a cured meat expert who ate prosciutto by laying it flat on his face like a hot shave towel so the lardo could melt into his bottom lip. He didn't just eat meat, he infused it like a tab of acid [...]


Starbucks Will Make America A Great Wine Country

Close to home, in and around Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, is where Starbucks conducts its experiments. It's the home not only of their public test lab, "Olive Way," there's also the matter of those liquor licenses filed in the last year, and of the "Starbucks-inspired" 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea locations. Most media coverage still seems more concerned with the fancy new coffee machines and the slimmer-profile barista counters than the white elephant in the room: now Starbucks sells booze.

You'd never think of this elsewhere in the country, but the megatronic coffee company sells wine and beer, which feels to me about as likely as Ahab [...]


How To Face Down the Wine List and Win

The more you run, the more it's gonna chase you. And odds are you look pretty ugly when you run. So quit being afraid of wine!

Remember Franzia? Night Train? Boone's "What Exactly Grows on This" Farm? Remember the winos in your back alley? There's a reason they were called that. They drank more wine than anybody. The stuff that the guy who thought his trucker hat was a salt shaker slurped with the leftover Italian beef you gave him twice a week for lunch. Seemed like he had all the answers. So what happened to you?