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Archive for December, 2011

Kulers Uncorked: Prosecco

By Gil Kulers, CWE, Kulers Uncorked

By Gil Kulers, CWE, Kulers Uncorked

Nino Franco, Rustico, Proseco Superiore, Valdobbiandene, Italy

Nino Franco, Rustico, Proseco Superiore, Valdobbiandene, Italy

  • $18
  • Two Thumbs Up
  • Aromas of honey comb, mango and raw almond. It had a pleasant, lightly yeasty quality with touch of bitter lemon that balanced out the sweet citrus and cantaloupe flavors.

Last year around this time, I swore I wouldn’t do another been-there-done-that column on sparkling wine. But I did one anyway, swearing never again.

I am fundamentally inclined to not talk about sparkling wine and Champagne during this season of short daylight and frozen thermometers. Bubbly is best served poolside in an ice bucket on a warm summer day, not on a cold winter’s night. And yet as the waning days of 2011 expire, people who don’t even know the location of their local wine store will blindly toddle down the Champagne aisle for a bottle or two.

So here I go again (grudgingly, mind you), with the 2011 edition of “I’m Not Writing About Sparkling Wine!”

With my new …

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Beer Town: The year in craft beer 2011

It’s been another big year for craft beer and as 2011 draws to a close, it’s time to look back on the some of the stories that had Atlanta beer lovers buzzing.

Sunday Sales — For many, this was the biggest story of the year. In April, the General Assembly finally approved legislation enabling Sunday alcohol stores sales in Georgia. Gov. Nathan Deal signed the bill and in November, the first wave of shoppers began hitting beverage stores. Sunday sales won approval in over 80 percent of cities where it was on the ballot. Sales in the City of Atlanta will begin Jan. 1, just in time for the Super Bowl.

Growler Sales — Until 2011, growlers — glass jugs filled and refilled with draft beer — couldn’t be found anywhere in Georgia. In fact, most beer geeks and beverage store owners figured growlers weren’t legal here. But early in the year, the first Georgia growler shop, the Beer Growler, opened in Athens. By April, Hop City began filling growlers in Atlanta, followed by …

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Kulers Uncorked: Books For Wine Lovers

By Gil Kulers, CWE, Kulers Uncorked

By Gil Kulers, CWE, Kulers Uncorked

Drops of God

I am always looking for ways to bond with my two daughters. For a time, Erika, the younger one, was into graphic novels, which her fuddy-duddy dad calls comic books. This was great! I love comic books, er, graphic novels. I read and enjoyed her Babymouse books, the series by Jennifer Holm.

The attractive aspect of graphic novels, for me at least, is that they are easy to digest. Complicated situations that take countless pages to describe can be boiled down to a couple panels and a snippet of dialogue. That and it’s fun to look at the artwork.

So when I was hunting around looking for books to recommend for holiday gift giving for the wine lover in your life, The Drops of God (Vertical, $14.95) by Tadashi Agi and Shu Okimoto stopped me in my tracks. The Drops of God tells the story Shizuku Kanzaki, the son of a revered wine critic. Kanzaki stands to inherit his recently deceased father’s wine collection, valued at nearly $20 million, if …

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Kulers Uncorked: Knights Valley

Next to Alexander Valley, Knights Valley may be the warmest area of Sonoma County.

Next to Alexander Valley, Knights Valley may be the warmest area of Sonoma County.

By Gil Kulers, CWE, Kulers Uncorked

By Gil Kulers, CWE, Kulers Uncorked

In winemaking, place is everything. Actually, let me rephrase that: In winemaking, marketing is everything…and place is not unimportant.

Cynical? A bit.

Totally baseless? I’m afraid not.

Matt Kramer wrote in his book Making Sense of Wine: “You can’t fake somewhereness.” I could not agree more with my fellow follically challenged colleague. There is no doubt that certain wines could never be produced anywhere else. Chalky, mineral-laden Champagne, rivetingly pure chardonnay from Chablis, brooding, leathery nebbiolos from in and around Barolo, Italy, come to mind.

These somewhere places, in general, always seem to lie on the fringes, climatically challenged locales where only the most fearless winemakers dare tread. Forbidding places, like the sheer banks of the Mosel or Douro rivers, coax maximum uniqueness from a grapevine.

But what of the remaining …

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Kulers Uncorked: Sauternes

“On any occasions when you eat cheese. The richness and saltiness of cheese marries well with the wine. In fact, I enjoy a glass of Sauternes with potato chips. Really, anything salty will work.” Bill Blatch, Sauternes aficionado

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Beer Town: Holiday gifts for beer geeks

I say it every holiday season, but it’s still true.

Shopping for the beer geeks on your list is so simple — just buy them something rare or seasonal or find out what style of beer they love and create a special mix pack.

WakenBakeSqaure-150x150How about celebrating Southern craft beer with a collection of winter and holiday brews, such as Abita Christmas Ale, Highland Cold Mountain Winter Ale, Red Brick Old Stock Ale, Sweetwater Festive Ale or Terrapin Wake-n-Bake Stout.

Belgian breweries make some of the world’s most interesting and complex holidays beers. A few to look for: Corsendonk Christmas, N’ice Chouffe, Delirium Noel, De Ranke Pere Noel, Dupont Avec Les Bon Vieux, Fantome de Noel, Scaldis Noel and St. Bernardus Christmas.

Beer glasses from a special brewery always make a fun gift. But if you want to splurge, grab a set or two of Spiegelau Beer Classics glassware. They come in lager, tulip, wheat and ale shapes and sizes in packs that retail for around $25-$75.

Compared with a generic …

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