neil's blog

Holiday Cheer with Spanish Moscatel!

Tagged: Barbadillo  •  Jerez  •  Moscatel  •  Sherry

Holiday Decadence:

All holiday feasts includes that oh so decadent dessert that makes you loosen a notch on your belt. I can't deny that I have a sweet tooth, and when these temptations are right in front of me, well ... I just have to dive in. I like the whole gamut from mince meat pie to fruit cake. Oh, lets not forget the holiday Christmas Pudding which is so revered in England! There's a lot of lore when it comes to this gooey steamed creation which incorporates nuts and dried fruits into the mix. Most often an alcohol beverage like a stout or brandy is added. A nice touch is to drizzle the top with brandy and light it. 

 

Broc Cellars: An Urban Wine Experience

Tagged: Graciano  •  Grenache  •  Mourvedre  •  rhone varietals  •  Syrah  •  urban wineries  •  West Berkeley Wineries  •  Zinfandel Blend

Chris Brockway, owner and proprietor of Broc Cellars likes the urban experience. This is ever so clear when you visit his facility in West Berkeley just north of the Fourth Street shopping corridor. His location is about a 10 minute drive from the Cal-Berkeley Campus and literally a 15 minute drive without traffic into Centre City San Francisco.

 

 

Perfect Italian Whites for Indian Summer!

Tagged: Argiolas  •  Campania  •  Donnafugata  •  Feudi di San Gregorio  •  Pinot Grigio  •  Regaleali  •  Sicily  •  Terredora

Fall indicators become apparent after the Labor Day Weekend with school back in session and the leaves on the trees about to change color. But  many parts are enjoying an Indian summer with unusually warm temperatures. On those hot days, I always recommend dry and aromatic whites from the Mediterranean. Specifically, I’m quick to mention the array of Italian White varietals for the dinner table and barbecue gatherings. Where can you find more varietal options than Italy, which holds claim to over 2,000 native varietals?

 

Spark It Up with a Global Cast of BBQ Wines!

Late spring marks Outdoor BBQ Season even though some parts of the country are waiting for the thaw! Serious BBQ deserves well thought-out wine pairings to meld with bold flavors from spicy shrimp on the barbee, to dry-rubbed pulled pork. BBQ preparations are not just about the US, though. Let’s face it, the grill is a cook’s tool of choice worldwide! The popularity of Korean BBQ or Jamaican Jerk Chicken can’t be denied. Why not think outside of the box and travel the globe when making savvy wine pairings? Be creative, but follow proven pairing tips.  

• Stick with whites and reds that display forward fruit on the palate but not cloying sweetness. Spice and a touch of sweetness go a long way in the pairing equation!

• Choose table and sparkling wines that are naturally higher in acid. Assertive flavors need cleansing acidity to provide a natural balancing act.

• Avoid high alcohol wines. Extra spice and high octane can be cumbersome! There are some exceptions, such as Californian Zinfandel, which sometimes teeters on 17% alcohol. Just make sure you’re sipping the old-vine with gobs of berry fruit!

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