Did you hear the one about the hipster wine-o who burned his lip drinking coffee? He drank it before it was cool.
Or this one? How much does a hipster wine-o weigh? An Insta-gram.
In April, I had the pleasure of attending the Drink Local Wine conference in Baltimore. DLW promotes wines from lesser-known and undiscovered wine regions and after morning seminars, a lunch featuring Maryland wines and a media tasting, the doors were opened to the general public for a Twitter tasting of 40-plus wines from The Old Line State. (More on what a Twitter tasting is in a moment.)
As the crowd shuffled in, to my pleasant surprise I saw about 350 of the youngest faces ever at a wine event. I
Among 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 ale, with roasty
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 culinary skill. Ostensibly,
Craft 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 dairy equipment.
[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.]
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 me and a
After a cold, wet, sometimes weird winter, spring arrived this month with sparkles of sunlight and bursts of blooms. Suddenly, it looked like March might go out like a lamb. Then the cold came again, with some snow flurries trailing behind…
Whatever the weather, early spring is a time to enjoy the overlapping of darker and lighter seasonal beers. What was once a traditional time of maibock drinking has become a craft beer celebration of anything goes. That means there’s always something crisp and refreshing to sip perched at a beer garden on a clear afternoon or something hearty and boozy to savor huddled by a fire pit on a brisk night.
Here’s an early spring beer almanac to forecast your seasonal drinking schedule:
Boulevard Grainsorm Black Rye IPA — Though it’s dark in color from roasted wheat malt, this IPA with 7.7 percent alcohol by volume, or abv, is all about the rye, which shines through in all its spicy glory. Simcoe, Bravo, Amarillo and Citra hops impart plenty of
Confession time: It absolutely galls me when I’m wrong. And I’m not saying I’m never wrong, but my paradigm prefers to remain firmly where I’ve planted it. This rather pigheaded way of thinking was never more on display than the day I hesitatingly, grudgingly and uncheerfully agreed that glassware makes a difference in how we enjoy our wine.
I have always adhered to the idea that the people outside a wine glass are far more important than any liquid inside. Given the choice, I’d take a non-descript white Bordeaux in a Dixie cup with friends every time over a 1947 Cheval Blanc in fine crystal with a bunch of fools. I still feel that way.
But whining about glasses sounds so pretentious that I’m reluctant to lend any credibility to
Anyone who’s read this column knows I’m not the biggest fan of the proliferation of growler stations. In fact, I’ve called Georgia a Growler Bizzaro World.
That’s not to say I’ve ever refused anyone who comes to a gathering, slaps a fresh-from-the-tap jug of beer on the counter and says have at it. And for the record, I’m not opposed to anyone making a living selling growlers.
It’s just that I’ve always thought of growlers as something you grab as a sample or souvenir while you’re visiting a brewery or brewpub somewhere. Right now, I think I still have an empty “vacation growler” from Pisgah Brewing Co. in Black Mountain, N.C. that was once filled with Vortex II stout. A very nice beer. But I don’t know when I might get back there for a refill.
The point is, in North Carolina, like some 40 other states, growler sales have been historically connected to local businesses that brew beer.
In Georgia, and especially metro Atlanta, growler stores are a very different thing, no more
If you describe the 2009 Bordeaux vintage as “da bomb!” (which it is, by the way), then you are probably older and less hip than you’d like to admit.
If you were to say the 2009s were “fly” (which my 12-year-old daughter, Erika, assures me is the current slang for “great”), there are some Bordeaux producers and enthusiasts who would like a moment of your time.
The grand and ancient wine-producing region of Bordeaux, France, is at a bit of a crossroads. Long considered the “it” red of the wine world, if you wanted to demonstrate your wine’s quality then you measured it against a fine Bordeaux. (Think the movie “Bottle Shock.”)
One of the many signs of the vitality of American craft beer is the growing concern for quality. Beyond ingredients and brewing techniques, there’s a greater emphasis on proper storage and serving, and even the importance of glassware.
Of course, Belgian and German breweries are famous for creating elegant glasses for their beers. More recently, American breweries, including the Boston Beer Co., have created special designs, such as the Samuel Adams Boston Lager Glass, that aim to enhance sensory perception.
In the past few weeks, the big news has been a glass touted to be so well designed it makes craft beer lovers’ favorite style even more of a sniffing and sipping pleasure.
American craft brewers Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada teamed with the German glassware maker Spiegelau to create a new IPA glass they say will change the way you experience hop goodness.
It features thin, round walls to maintain proper temperature longer; a slender, bowed shape