One of my students inquired about how wine came about being made in oak barrels. My immediate answer was, what else could be used, if you were in the Iron Age (800 to 900 B.C.)?
What is it that makes Champagne – true Champagne – so great? Is it the unique skills of the vintners? Do they have an exclusive use of just Champagne grapes? Is their climate the most unique in the world?
Have you ever been at a wedding or other momentous occasion where a "toast" is offered to the person or persons of note, and thought in the back of your mind how and why the term "toast" came about, and what it was used for?
Thinking about where summer temperatures exist at this time of year, I came up with one of my favorite countries — New Zealand. It is a magic faraway place from the rest of the world's troubles that my wife and I were going to visit when I was working in Saudi Arabia, but it never came about.
It is the "dead of winter" in North Dakota and the rest of the Upper Midwest. The arrival of spring looks a long way off at this point, and with the holiday celebrations behind us, some may feel a little "down" about this 13th day in January.
Quick, point to Macedonia on a world map. No, not Madagascar—Macedonia. There, you've found it just north of Greece, east of Albania, south of Kosovo, and west of Bulgaria.
Blind tasting of wine is interesting for many reasons — you get to taste wines that are outside your price tolerance, you get to challenge your senses of smell and taste, it's fun, you can debate your friends or tablemate as to what you think you're tasting, and one discovers what they don't know.
The wine industry is composed of highly conscientious people, especially in California, where an opportunity to give back came up, and they stepped right up to do so.
The wines of Germany and Austria have long been a fascination for me. Neither country is noted for its universal love of wine worldwide, but more for their fine beers. Wine aficionados know that they are capable of producing some world-class wines. Most of us tag these wine-growing regions with the popular white riesling and gewürztraminer wines. Both wines are grown in other wine-growing regions of the world, with the best coming from the cooler areas. Its range of colors differentiates gewürztraminer.
What cooking aromas get your appestat kicked in gear? Baking bread? Freshly baked pies? Yes, those are all great aromas to attract you to the table, but nothing gets hunger juices going faster than fresh garlic being a part of the evening meal in one form or the other.