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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Archive for April, 2013

Beer Town: Black IPA, yes or no?

blackcannonsmallAmong the many wonderful things about craft beer, one of the most wonderful is the variety of beer being brewed all over the world, from ancient and traditional styles to wild experiments and flights of fancy.

Unless you’re one of the few remaining unreconstructed wine snobs, who pout and sniff and say, “I just don’t like beer,” it’s not much of a challenge to find a style that will suit your palate. Beyond that, there are beers for every season, occasion, cuisine and dish.

But, I will admit, among all that diversity and seemingly endless choices, there are still beer styles I don’t embrace with open arms. Give me malty, hoppy, crispy or refreshing any day. Sour, I need to consider a bit more carefully. Same with smoky. I want to be wooed, not assaulted by those strong aromas and flavors. And I want them to come dancing with some good balance.

And then there’s Black IPA — or Cascadian Dark Ale, as the West Coasters like to call it. In essence, it’s a dark …

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Kulers Uncorked: Dante’s Down The Hatch

Gil Kulers, CWE

Gil Kulers, CWE

N.V. Landskroon Sauvignon Blanc, Western Cape, South Africa

N.V. Landskroon Sauvignon Blanc, Western Cape, South Africa

  • $31
  • Two Thumbs Up
  • Appealing aromas of white flowers, pine forest and fresh linen. Dry and crisp, it offers flavors of tart citrus, mandarin orange with subtle notes of bell pepper, raw almonds and a chalk-like minerality.

If there is a common complaint among readers of these columns, it goes something like this: “Gregg, we can never find the wines you write about.”

First of all, it’s Gil. And second, “never” is pretty definitive. Never ever?

To further alienate readers (both of them), I’ll say this about the column you are now reading: You will never be able to find today’s featured wine save for one place. And in a few short months, that place likely will be gone.

Dante’s Down the Hatch seems like a relic amidst today’s uber-hip, chef-as-star restaurants. Places that hail organic produce like it’s something new or use obscure ingredients and techniques as a substitute for …

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Beer Town: Craft Beer Beginnings

DogwoodCraft beer is everywhere nowadays. Surely, the number of new craft breweries coming on-line around metro Atlanta is one of the phenomenon’s most visible signs. But in the midst of the current boom, it’s easy to forget that the modern American craft brewing movement goes back only to the mid-1970s.

Craft brewing didn’t get going in North Georgia until the mid-’90s. And many of the breweries and brewpubs didn’t survive the nationwide craft brewing shakeout of the late-’90s, though the remaining companies, including Atlanta’s Sweetwater, rode out the bust to become far more successful.

Looking back on Atlanta’s craft beer beginnings, with help from the smart folks who offer opinions and insights on the Atlanta Beer Talk list (atlantabeer.com), it’s amazing to behold bright-and-shiny new breweries like Monday Night and Three Taverns.

Atlanta’s first microbrewery, Marthasville Brewing Co., founded by publican Michael Gerard in 1994, was cobbled together from old …

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Kulers Uncorked: Gobelsburger Riesling

Gil Kulers, CWE

Gil Kulers, CWE

2011 Schloss Gobelsburg, Gobelsburger, Riesling, Kamptal, Austria

2011 Schloss Gobelsburg, Gobelsburger, Riesling, Kamptal, Austria

  • $20
  • Golden Thumb Award
  • A study in contrasts with delicate floral notes supported by powerful aromas of tree fruit, apricot and lime zest. This dry riesling is full-bodied with flavors of tart citrus fruit, fleshy peach, mango and stony minerals with an eternal and peppery finish.

[In solidarity with government agencies facing severe challenges during budgetary sequestration, Gil will squeeze two columns in the space of one this week and indiscriminately cut the ending of the second column by 10 percent.]

Column 1

If you haven’t already discovered the Austrian wunderkind grüner veltliner, now’s the time. Yes, this white wine has a scary umlaut that poses some pronunciation challenges (GROON-ner FELT-lih-ner). But you’re not going to let a couple Germanic words stand in the way of the world’s greatest food wine, are you?

Something approaching a comedy sketch was routinely launched by …

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