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To Have And To Hoard

by Jennifer Rosen

If you love wine, people assume you collect it. I don’t happen to collect anything, but studies say fully one third of us do, be it Hummel figurines, Coke memorabilia or Picassos. What was once a hobby for merchants and kings is common sport now that today’s trash is so quickly tomorrow’s collectible and fortunes are made and lost on Beanie Babies. The urge to collect seems to be hard-wired. Like other biological imperatives—-eating and sex come to mind—-sometimes it goes haywire. It’s a small step from a cellar of premier cru to a house full of cats and old National Geographics. No doubt the hoarding instinct developed to store food, but your average collectible isn’t much use for surviving a long winter. It has a different sort of value, in many cases nothing ...

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Getting Your Fix

by Jennifer Rosen

Open letter to Georg Riedel, president of Riedel Glass Company of Austria: Dear Sir: Never having done a Jello shot, the other night I turned some rather nice Syrah and Chardonnay into Knox Blox. I suggest you try it. The boingy little squares showcase varietal flavors, while satisfying the urge to chew. Imagine echo-boomers fifty years hence; a bunch of creaky old snobs at their annual meeting of Most Honorable Order of Important Wine Worshippers, donning robes, pointy hats and Superman underwear, while out come magnums of…Cabernet Jello! “Excuse me, sir, but the ’02 bounced onto the floor during decanting. Shall I dust it off and serve it anyway?” Jello shots are here to stay and they deserve proper glassware. Who better to make it than the undisputed King of Cup, Ri...

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Wine, Whisky Or Beer

by Subhash Arora

A wine loving friend recently bounced off a question to me, that he is frequently bombarded with; why should one switch to wine when one is used to whisky and beer. His dilemma prompted me to pen this Article. When I formed the Delhi Wine Club three years ago, I was filled with passion and started with missionary zeal to convert as many whisky drinkers to wine as possible. It would have been more realistic goal for me to go to Mars during my lifetime! Mercifully, I changed track and set out to motivate the Gen Next to this finer form of drink while enjoying it with like minded people. Before comparison, first the basic difference between the three beverages: Based on the alcohol content, raw materials and processing style there are three general categories; beer (3.5-7%), wine ( 7-14%) an...

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Cognac's Boutique Producers

by Ron Kapon

Though brandies are made all over the world including Italy, Spain, Portugal, Peru and California, it is France that usually comes to mind when we think of brandy and cognac when we think of French brandy. Cognac is brandy at its most subtle and sophisticated. Simply sniffing its special bouquet can be a transcending experience; the mind’s dusty cupboards are swept suddenly clean. The chalky limestone soil makes the special acid grapes perfect for brandy. It’s a cliché: “All cognac is brandy, but not all brandy is cognac”. Brandy is a spirit made by distillation of fruit wines (primarily grape) with probably the most correct definition being the Dutch, brandewijn (burnt wine). Cognac is a brandy made only in Southwest France with the town of Cognac at its center. It has been giv...

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Visits With The King Of Beaujolais And The King Of The Rhone

by Ron Kapon

INTRODUCTION- I have enjoyed wine for most of my 69 years having sampled my first wine I was but three years of age (mixed with water). I have met Kings and Queens, Presidents and Prime Ministers, but nothing was as thrilling to me as my recent visit to Beaujolais, the Rhone, tasting with Georges and Franck Duboeuf and their counterpart in the Rhone Marcel and Philippe Guigal. I first met the senior Duboeuf about 15 years ago when he journeyed to New York to present his Nouveau in the fall and his Cru Beaujolais selections in the spring; a few years ago his son Franck joined him during these trips. Philippe Guigal is almost 30 years old and the last time I saw him he was 10 and my brother and I took father, mother (Bernadette) and son to dinner at Sparks Steak House in New York City. But I...

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In Praise Of White Wine

by Tony Aspler

How many bottles of red wine do you drink in a year compared to white? What is the ratio of reds to whites in your cellar? Unless you suffer red wine headaches my guess would be you drink dramatically more red than white and your cellar is overwhelmingly red. Blame The French Paradox. My mother-in-law, now in her late eighties, drinks only red wine. She was doing so long before anyone heard of The French Paradox. White wines, she says, upset her stomach. The notion that the French, who are characterised as eating copious quantities of cream, butter and foie gras, suffer significantly less heart disease than their northern neighbours because they drink red wine has been a godsend to the global wine industry. People who never raised a glass of wine in their lives began to medicate ...

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Yo Ho Ho And A Bottle Of Rum

by Ron Kapon

On May 19th 2004, 25 members of the Tasters Guild International New York Chapter gathered to sample and evaluate 20 premium rums and several other rum based products. To add to the validity of the tasting, I invited 10 bartenders and rum aficionados to a private tasting the following week. While I have listed all the rums sampled, due to the large number, I have limited my remarks to the top finishers. History- Sugar cane was introduced to the Americas by Columbus in 1493 during his second voyage and the first sugar cane spirits were produced on Barbados circa 1640. On July 8th 1661 the Governor General of Jamaica mentioned the word rum in an official document. Rum quickly made its way back to England and then to “New England” where it was used as a form of currency. Rum was a staple...

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Wine Tasting Deep In The Heart Of Texas

by Eve White

It began as a casual invitation to attend a Texas wine-tasting for a reunion, of sorts, with some old high school friends. How could I resist? So, with my 4-year old son properly ensconced at his trustworthy godparents, I set off from Los Angeles to Texas to attend the largest wine festival in the Southwest – The 18th Annual GrapeFest and People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic in Grapevine.The festival, voted one of the top 100 events in the US and Canada, spans four sweltering days from September 9 – 12, attracting over 241,000 people to charming, downtown Grapevine, Texas, extending 8 city blocks on Main Street filled with arts & crafts, rides, food, music, beer and wine, making for a great festival experience with WINE as the theme, but fun, friends and family as the focus. With ...

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El Vino Valora De España

by Jamie Foster

Usted no necesita hablar español aprender el valor de vinos españoles. During the Society of Wine Educators Conference in Sonoma last month, Master Sommelier, Sara Floyd and Billington Import's Jorge Liloy shared with the group the great value and character of Spanish wines. Tempranillo, according to Jancis Robinson's Concise Wine Companion, is Spain's answer to Cabernet Sauvignon. After spending a couple of hours tasting these wines I heartily agree. The Tempranillo, like the Cabernet, offers structure and helps Spain's reds last. It is a thick skinned grape and is found primarily in medium to full bodied blends. The complexity and depth of color in the wines presented were amazing. Once upon a time, Chilean and Argentinean wines were my personal everyday favorites; those w...

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Commentary

by Tony Aspler

It’s in your Mind, Not the Wine I don’t remember the year exactly, or the place, but the wine was indisputably Château d’Yquem 1921. It was Christmas time and I had been invited for the weekend to the home of a London friend whose parents lived in Scotland. I believe it was 1966 or ’67. The other house guest was a rising young professor from Oxford named Edward DeBono, the philosopher who came up with the theory of Lateral Thinking. My friend’s father knew I was interested in wine and he said he had something ‘rather interesting’ in the cellar. He disappeared for a few minutes and emerged with a dusty bottle of Yquem ’21, certainly the best twentieth-century vintage of the world’s most celebrated dessert wine, as legendary as the Cheval Blanc 1947. The colour was...

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