accessAtlanta

City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Archive for August, 2013

Beer Town: Celebrating the Belgian connection

beersbelgium

When I first started writing about beer, most of the “Great Beers of Belgium” celebrated in Michael Jackson’s groundbreaking 1991 book weren’t available in Atlanta. In fact, they weren’t common anywhere in the U.S.

Jackson was the late, great British writer who elevated beer to a status once reserved for fine wine and spirits. “Great Beers of Belgium” gave new life to brewing in Belgium and Jackson’s work inspired beer lovers on both sides of the Atlantic, people who not only explored and savored the breadth of Belgian styles, but began brewing new versions of the classics.

Ommegang, New Belgium, New Glarus, Boulevard, Allagash, and Lost Abbey are well know for creating Belgian-style beers and both New Belgium and Boulevard employ Belgian brewers.

But nowadays, most American craft breweries are making some sort of Belgian-inspired beer, from wheat and pale ale to dubbel, triple and quad styles. And takes on Belgian sour beers are arguably the hottest trend, …

Continue reading Beer Town: Celebrating the Belgian connection »

Kulers Uncorked: J Pinot Gris

Gil Kulers, CWE

Gil Kulers, CWE

2012 J Pinot Gris, California

2012 J Pinot Gris, California

  • Two Thumbs Way Up
  • $15
  • Enticing aromas of white flowers, lime zest, fresh linen and a subtle note of marzipan. Fairly rich but with equally racy acidity, it has flavors of ripe apricots, yellow plums, grilled pineapple, Rainier cherries and nectarines with a smoky, mineral, toasted almond note.

Back in the spring of 1997, I had the good fortune to work in the kitchen of Nöel Dontenville, the chef and owner of Restaurant Les Acacias. His cozy, elegant establishment, which he ran with his wife, Claire, overlooked the picturesque town of Niederbronn-les-Bain in France’s Alsace region. A contemporary of Paul Bocuse, Dontenville put me in touch with my inner Auguste Escoffier—the Elvis Presley of French cuisine.

From various styles of pâté de foie gras to coq au vin (Burgundy and Alsatian styles, of course) and everything in between, Dontenville patiently explained the techniques, ingredients and history of these famous dishes …

Continue reading Kulers Uncorked: J Pinot Gris »

Beer Town: TV or Not TV in Your Favorite Beer Bar?

brick-front

TV or not TV? That’s the chronic question that becomes acute for me this time of year.

Among my obsessions, count good beer, convivial bars, Braves baseball and Florida State football. And those things all come together in late summer and early fall.

I have great memories of watching the ’90s World Series Braves at the Euclid Avenue Yacht Club. And I’ve always loved getting together at Manuel’s to cheer the Noles with a ragtag group of FSU grads, even when our team wasn’t doing so well.

But here’s the thing. Almost any other time, I prefer a pub with no TVs, especially if what’s on is an endlessly annoying loop of cable sports and news shows.

At some of the best beer bars in Atlanta, no TV is a statement of what’s important to the owners. At others, yes TV is part of a larger context that includes a sports-loving community.

When co-owner Dave Blanchard and his partners opened Brick Store Pub in Decatur 16 years ago, a pub without a TV was a rarity.

“We …

Continue reading Beer Town: TV or Not TV in Your Favorite Beer Bar? »

Kulers Uncorked: Whispering Angel Rose

Gil Kulers, CWE

Gil Kulers, CWE

2012 Caves d’Esclans, Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence, France

2012 Caves d’Esclans, Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence, France

  • $23
  • Two Thumbs Way Up
  • Subtle aromas of fresh flowers, citrus fruit with a distinct note of fennel. Tart with lots of mineral notes, it has complex flavors of watermelon, red grapefruit, orange zest, blood orange and delicate touch of mango. It displayed peppery, spice notes as it warmed.

Mateus, Lancers and Sutter Home. Three iconic wineries that have introduced more people to wine than perhaps any other trio of wine producers in human history.

The first two, Mateus and Lancers, started exporting their simple, slightly bubbly, subtly sweet, pink wines from Portugal to the U.S. and the rest of Europe shortly after World War II. Sales records were set year upon year until the 1980s.

That’s when Napa winemaking legend Bob Trinchero of Sutter Home picked up the slack with his white zinfandel, which was everything that Mateus and Lancers were except for the bubbles. All three maintain fairly …

Continue reading Kulers Uncorked: Whispering Angel Rose »