With roots that trace back to the ancient Romans, Beaujolais is a bit of an enigma, often viewed as a somewhat independent region within a region. Beaujolais is technically part of Burgundy, although its climate more closely resembles the Rhone, and its wine has a unique character that differentiates it from both Burgundy and Rhone.

Continue Reading »

Sometimes called the King of Red Wine Grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon is the world’s most widely recognized and sought after red wine. Originating in France’s Bordeaux region, Cabernet Sauvignon is now grown in predominantly warm climates around the globe, from Chile to California to Australia to South Africa. Cabernet Sauvignon wines, or Cabs, are usually aged 5-10 years to reach maturation and often blended with other grapes.

Continue Reading »

Choosing the right glass for the right alcoholic beverage is similar to using the right utensil during a formal dinner. Just about any of them will get the job done, but you don’t want to get dirty looks for using the wrong one.

Most of these glasses weren’t designed to achieve a certain look. They were designed with certain heights, widths, curves and stems to help the drinker fully appreciate what’s in the glass – the aroma, the dominant and subtle flavors, the texture, and in some cases, the carbonation.

Here is a simple guide to help you serve wine, beer, liquor and cocktails in the proper glasses.

Continue Reading »

Fruit wine is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from fruit other than grapes. For historical purposes, mead, cider and perry are also excluded from the fruit wine category. Ingredients include everything from blueberry and raspberry to pineapple and dandelion.

Continue Reading »

When someone talks about small batch whiskey, they’re usually referring to bourbon or rye produced in no more than 20 barrels, sometimes significantly less, although there is no formal regulation or guideline that defines a small batch. Most small batch whiskeys are aged in oak barrels for six to nine years, while some are aged as long as 23 years.

The master blenders of small batch American whiskey are like fine artists, working to create the impeccable balance of flavor, smoothness and power. While some consider single barrel whiskey to be an act of nature, or even a fluke, small batch whiskeys are widely recognized as carefully crafted works of art.

Here are five of our favorite small batch American whiskeys.

Continue Reading »

The exodus of sparkling wine producers from the embattled Cava DO (Denominacion de Origen) in the Penedes wine zone of Spain continues. According to Spanish wine author and organic viticulture expert Pablo Chamorro, nine growers had left Cava and its somewhat tattered brand image by the end of the 2012. Add Pepe Raventos to the list.
Continue Reading »

Most people don’t realize that all beer was organic until the 19th century. In fact, historian Gregg Smith points out that organic beer-like beverages go all the way back to the ancient Mesopotamians, who would store “liquid bread” for later use. But modern organic beer didn’t debut in the United States until the mid-1990s.

The stigma traditionally associated with anything organic – beer included – has always been very average to poor taste. That’s not the case anymore. Aside from being better for your body and better for the environment, modern organic beer tastes pretty darn good, too.

There are two primary levels of certification for organic beer. “100 Percent Organic” is the highest level, brewed completely from organically produced ingredients.

“Organic” is the next level and includes most organic beers. These must be brewed from only 95 percent organically produced ingredients. The other five percent must not be available in organic form.

Continue Reading »