To celebrate International Champagne Day on Oct. 20, stop by your local spirit store to see what they have to offer. You might be surprised by what you find.
Just kidding of course, I'm really a middle class wine drinker — somewhere above the $15 price point, and around or below the $30 bottle. Occasionally I will be tempted by a $50 bottle of what everyone has deemed a classic, such as a bottle from the famous wineries of Chateau Montelena and Stag's Leap for their victories in the "Judgment of Paris." How on economic earth do producers get a bottle to market for $5 or under? Are these just 'lost leaders' to get the unwary into the store and perhaps purchase a bottle or two where a profit is possible?
Seasoned skiers know that the higher in elevation one goes, the potential for sunburn increases. When we are in the mountains, we wear clothing to cover our body, hats to protect our head, and anything not covered, we treat with sunscreen. Research has shown that grapes grown at higher elevations will also contain higher levels of resveratrol in their skins; that translates to a higher concentration of resveratrol when those grapes are used in making red wines.
Students enrolled in my PLSC 307 class about wine must be 21 to enroll, and taking it will not make them 'wine snobs'. They will, instead, have an appreciation of what goes into making a glass of wine drinkable as well as the history associated with it from the beginning to the present day.
Who wouldn't love to sit down to a feast of five cheeses accompanied by a selection of French wines? If such an idea has no appeal, then read no farther. For the rest of you, read on! Such an event was enjoyed recently to a capacity gathering of wine and cheese lovers at the Luna Fargo. Sommelier Jean Taylor and Luna owner Nikki Berglund, who made the cheese and other nibbles available, served up a delightful combination taste treat which all enjoyed. Everyone in attendance I talked with is hoping another such event will appear again.
Years ago, former state Rep. Bill Pietsch called me to ask some questions about the possibility of getting a grape wine industry going in North Dakota.
You can't read about wine to decide if it is something you are going to like; you have to taste the wine and evaluate it. Something everyone else may like may not be something you'd place on your preference list. Conversely, something that everyone else considers "just a wine" is something that embraces your taste buds from sip to aftertaste. Such an enjoyable experience took place when I conducted a taste test of some of the following wines: • R.Prum Essence Riesling — Mosel, Germany
Anyone who's known me for a long time, kids me about obsessing about wine's qualities these days. "What ever happened to your love of beer?" they ask. Still there, is my reply, especially when I want to slake a thirst from working outdoors in the garden. For a relaxing repast to engage in conversation, wine bumps into first place.
Thomas Jefferson loved his wine — French wine in particular. Winston Churchill also loved his French wine, especially Champagne. Comparing the drinking patterns of the two statesmen, one would think President Jefferson tended toward tea-tottering compared to the prodigious consumption of the Prime Minister. Both men had something else in common: little regard for personal financial management.
Visit a spirit shop, a mass market wine store, or a national chain restaurant and you see pretty much the same wines: Woodbridge, Franzia, Yellowtail and other familiar names, which are big hits with the average American wine connoisseur. Go into a high-end eatery and the wine list is suddenly a strange read in most instances, with names like Chateau d'Yquem, and the prices make quantum leaps from $35 to $50/bottle to as high as $220/bottle. During a visit to Calgary, Canada, we went to an upscale Italian restaurant that had