Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wine Chateau Free Shipping Event (today only)

Just got this by email and had to pass it along. I think it's pretty much self-explanatory. Today only at www.winechateau.com, so stock up and save!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cool It! F&W's "Light Wines for Hot Days"

For those of you who, like me, are suffering through three digit temperatures in the current heat wave, Food & Wine has published a timely article on great wines to keep things cool. It's called "Light Wines for Hot Days" and it features wine editor Ray Isle's favorites for light and refreshing wines between 10 and 12.5% ABV. His recommendations are listed below:

2008 Marques de Caceres Rioja White
2009 Nederburg Lyric
2007 Domaine des Trois Toits Muscadet Sevre et Maine
2007 Loimer Louis Gruner Veltliner
2007 Tedeschi Capitel Tenda Soave Classico
2008 La Scolca Rosa Chiara Rosato
2008 Plantagenet Riesling
2008 Brokenwood Semillon
2006 Catherine & Pierre Breton Bourgueil Nuits d'Ivresse

For detailed information and tasting notes on these wines, please see F&W's article. And though drinking wine is always a great way to cool down on hot days, it won't keep you hydrated. If you're going to be spending any time baking in these temperatures, be sure to drink plenty of water. Just a little public service announcement to keep you safe!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Meet: The Spirit

As this is an imbiber's blog, you've probably already figured out that I'm not talking about the Holy Ghost here, although I will admit that there is a bit of worshiping going on. I'm actually referring to wine site Snooth's newest endeavor, THE SPIRIT, a newsletter and website that provides liquor lovers with a regular fix in much the same way that their wine newsletter and site do.

Click here or above to sign up for the newsletter and learn in good "spirit". And mix up the drink below, today's email offering from The Spirit, to enjoy as you read. If you don't know how to properly layer a cocktail, be sure to visit their site to read the instructional article and to see the density chart that came with this drink.

The B52


1/2 oz Coffee liqueur

1/2 oz Irish cream

1/2 oz Grand Marnier


In a shot glass, layer the coffee liqueur, Irish cream, and Grand Marnier in that order.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy Fourth and Don't Forget....!

Happy 4th of July everyone! I'm disappearing for a few days, but I wanted to leave you with a little entertainment (courtesy of the District of Columbia last 4th of July). Enjoy yourselves, but be responsible: Don't Drink and Drive!

And DON'T FORGET to enter the Taddy Porter Giveaway Contest if you haven't already done so. The drawing is in a few days! (and their album is out now and definitely worth picking up :))


Thursday, July 1, 2010

What are "Futures"?

This morning, Wine Spectator's newsletter greeted me from my in-box. One article summary paragraph caught my attention:

Despite the highest prices on record, the world is clamoring for 2009 futures. All five first-growths have released their first tranche or allotment, at prices that floored even some trade veterans. Nevertheless, n├ęgociants report global sales are brisk for the highest rated vintage since 2005. U.S. retailers report that customers are buying, if ruefully. But several n├ęgociants say sales to the U.S. are more restrained than in 2005. Customers in the U.K., central Europe and Asia—particularly Hong Kong—are showing more interest.

They aren't the first to mention the 2009 futures for Bordeaux. Wine.com has been placing an insert in boxes about the vintage for many weeks now, and the wine world is abuzz about the amazing promise for 2009. Supposedly the year may be one of the best Bordeaux vintages to date. As a result, stores are crowing about their futures purchases and warning that we should be prepared to order with trigger-happy fingers once the vintage is released.

But what are futures?

Futures are essentially buying on speculation. Bordeaux is the most talked about region that follows this practice, though there are several others that follow it, including Burgundy and Rhone.

Wine journalists and wholesale buyers are invited to taste the wine in the spring following harvest, after it's been made but before it's been bottled. Merchants and brokers then set a price based on these barrel tastings. The wine still needs to age and may wind up not tasting as good as professionals speculate it will, but nevertheless, many wineries sell out without their buyers ever having tasted the finished product. Typically, the wine is bottled around two years later and then shipped to its buyers.

Wine futures are a risk, but can offer a big return for buyers. If the vintage turns out to be great, particularly if the tasters predicted the vintage to be closer to average, buyers have locked in a lower price than the market will reach. Frenzied wine collectors will drive the price exponentially, particularly for age-worthy wines. However, when that prediction states the wine to have great potential and it turns out to be average or worse, buyers will have overpaid for the wine. Demand will be low and in cases when this happens, the wine sits or has to be discounted considerably to sell.

As mentioned, the 2009 Bordeaux vintage promises to be one of their best and futures pricing relfects this, making it one of the most expensive futures market in recent memory. Are they worth it? We shall see, but Wine Spectator has provided an interesting view on who thinks so and who doesn't. If you want to read the article, find it here.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Chow Article: 6 Fruit Beers That You Can Take Seriously

And yet another reason to adore Chow. They've posted a perfect summertime MUST share article (reposted below). Try these beers if you can find them. You won't be disappointed by this list.



6 Fruit Beers That You Can Take Seriously

Fruit beer doesn’t get much respect because most of it is awful: sweet, syrupy, artificially flavored, and tasting more like cherry soda than beer. We went digging—scouring BeerAdvocate, asking beer-geek friends and beer-store owners—and then lined up a tasting of the recommended brews. Of them, these are the six that CHOW editors thought were the best summer drinkers, in no real order. Many of them are sour styles, which is good insurance against cloying sugariness—the yeast has already taken care of the sugar. Some of these beers are available at bigger chains like BevMo!; for others, you’ll have to go to your local specialty beer store.

1. New Belgium Eric’s Ale
A self-proclaimed “sour beer for those who don’t like sour beers. And a fruit beer for those who don’t like fruit beers,” this special-edition ale from New Belgium Brewing was a hit with tasters. Part of New Belgium’s experimental line of beers, Eric’s Ale is made by mixing an aged sour beer with a higher-alcohol beer, then refermenting the blend with peach juice. The result is tangy and refreshing, making it crisp and revitalizing for warm-weather drinking, and a good sour beer for beginners. The peach presence is subtle and blends into the overall flavor, rather than smacking of a Fuzzy Navel. The only downside: The beer is 7 percent ABV (alcohol by volume) but drinks like it’s 5.

2. Cantillon Kriek
Cantillon is one of the finest lambic makers, so it’s no surprise that its cherry lambic topped our list. It pours an extremely bright red color (which looks unnatural, but it’s not) and tastes like sour cherries, with a darker, dried-cherry finish. The brewery ferments Kellery cherries in casks with lambic (wild-fermented beer). The fruit flavor really comes through and complements the tart beer. If cherries aren’t your thing, Cantillon makes an equally impressive raspberry lambic that we featured in last year’s summer beer roundup.

3. Dogfish Head Aprihop
While it’s technically a late-spring release for the Dogfish Head brewery, this IPA is spiked with summery apricots and is refreshing enough for hot weather despite a high 7 percent ABV. It’s one of our favorite fruit beers. While the apricot flavor is definitely there, hoppiness is the primary taste and aroma, which shouldn’t surprise fans of Dogfish’s other IPAs.

4. Invercargill Boysenbeery
This brew from Invercargill Brewery in New Zealand will debut in the U.S. in mid- to late summer. It’s a mild wheat beer with nearly 400 pounds of berries fermented in it for each batch of about 300 gallons. This gives it an intense red color, but it actually tastes more like a German wheat beer, not fruity or sweet. It’s dry and easy to drink.

5. Cascade Apricot Ale
We’ve featured the Oregon-based Cascade Brewing’s kriek before, and its sour apricot ale is another winner. More sour than its cherry cousin, this beer undergoes lactic fermentation for eight months, then ripe Northwest apricots are thrown into it for another three months of fermentation. The beer is very tart and refreshing, with the apricots showing up more in the aroma than in the flavor.

6. Brouwerij Fonteinen Oude Kriek
Another fine example of a kriek lambic, Fonteinen’s is funkier than Cantillon’s: a little more “horsey,” tasters noted, though they dug its complexity. That said, you definitely need to be a fan of sour-style beers for this to be your bag. One taster said, “I don’t have the taste muscles for this.” We’d say it’s the most challenging beer on the list, with a very sour, refreshing flavor and cherries showing up on the back.

Chow Article by Roxanne Webber

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Low Cal Cocktails for the Holiday

I love the July 4th weekend. Barbecues, friends, parties and, of course, fireworks - what's not to love? Except maybe the weight gain at the end of the three day fun fest. Vital Juice, the "healthy life" website, is watching out for us though, and have posted links for four great looking and festive cocktails that won't bulge the waistline. The recipes include Coconut Caipirinha (196 calories), Cherry Chiller (149 calories), The Hydrate (135 calories), Pineapple Vanilla Mojito (155 calories), and the Sangria Organica, a Rosa Mexicano rock bottom calorie concoction provided for you below. Enjoy!

Sangria Organica

Serves 3
105 calories per serving

2 oz. cucumber-infused vodka, such as organic Crop Harvest Earth vodka
3 mint leaves
¾ oz. simple syrup
3 oz. white wine, such as Bonterra Viognier organic wine
4 oz. fresh pineapple juice
½ c. mix of red apple and cucumber, diced

Muddle vodka, mint and simple syrup in the bottom of a small pitcher. Fill pitcher with ice. Add wine and pineapple juice; mix. Add apples and cucumbers and serve.