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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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Hold Your Glass To Say 'cheers' .. And How!

by Subhash Arora

The mother-of-all weddings of you-know-who’s daughter in Paris last week and a photo of the newly married couple holding the glass of a DP, Krug or Cristal to raise a toast to each other made me think again of a wine topic close to my heart- how to hold a wineglass? I don’t mean to analyze how the couple is holding their champagne glasses. In fact the bride is holding it quite correctly. And as one would expect at the wedding planned so meticulously, right shape of the champagne glass, a flute has been used. (One never uses the saucer shaped glass – the bubbles, the most enjoyable part of the bubbly disappear faster). Even the level of champagne poured is correct-it should be three-fourths full or even slightly more, as one never swirls champagne for the same reason. Th...

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Madd & Doggies

by Jennifer Rosen

For Colorado wine lovers, July 1st was the best of times and the worst of times. It brought us two goodies: wine doggy-bags and in-store tastings, but they came tacked on to House Bill 1021, which lowers the drunk-driving threshold from 0.1% to 0.08%. Ever bid a sad farewell to unfinished wine in a restaurant? Or choke down more than you want because, dammit, you paid for it? Now you can cork it and take it home. The doggy-bag provision was a concession to restaurateurs, worried that the new DUI limit would scare people away from ordering bottles at all. The state doesn’t care about open containers, but some local jurisdictions do, so restaurants are being told to shove the cork deep, seal it with tape or paraffin, bag it, box it, hogtie and handcuff it, put it in your t...

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Encyclopedia Of Wine Hokum

by Jennifer Rosen

Myths about wine don’t just take on a life of their own, they collect disciples. Sommeliers, producers, drinkers and, yup, even wine writers cling to notions that simply ain’t true, not surprising in a field that changes as fast as a lunch-hour shopper at Loehmann’s. Here’s a short guide to wine misinformation and lies that just won’t die. Now go win some bets. Age: A necessity back when young wine had the softness of Brillo and the finish of Drano. Nowadays, most wine comes ready to drink and doesn’t get any better. A few can still go the distance, but they’re not for everyone. The bottle giveth complexity, but it taketh away fruit. As winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff put it, “Appreciating old wine is like making love to a very old lady. It is possible. It can e...

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Behind The Music

by Jennifer Rosen

This week, Biography looks at one of wine’s rising stars – a sensuous white grape, as renowned for her troubled background as for her seductive charm, who triumphed over misfortune and won our hearts. A meteoric rise, struggles with leaf rot, a near-miss with extinction. Exotic, enigmatic, temperamental, long shunned by the mainstream, veiled in mystery and tragedy, who is the real Viognier? Famously coy about her origins, Viognier will only allude vaguely to a childhood in ancient Greece, or was that Rome? over 2000 years ago. What’s clear is that she arrived in the Rhone Valley around 600 B.C. and that her early years were unscathed by the scars of grafting and clonal selection that traumatized so many of her peers. A gawky adolescent, her star did not rise immediately....

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