THE DULLUM FILE Boulevard Brewery
This evening on WDAZ News @5 Greg Rixen discussed Boulevard Brewery’s limited edition “Smokestack Series” beer. Boulevard is located in Kansas City, Missouri, and is well known... Posted on 2/25/10 at 11:05 AM
This time of year, I'm looking for a rich, full-bodied red at a good price, and this Nero d'Avola from Gulfi in Sicily fills the bill. The grape is one prized in Sicily, especially in the province of Ragusa (which is home, incidentally, to the irrepressible Inspector Salvo Montalbano of writer Andrea Camilleri's detective series).
And you thought beer in college just meant keg stands and drinking games at frat parties. Charlie Bamforth truly brings the world of barley malt and hops to higher learning. He holds the title of Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences at the University of California, Davis.
Albarino isn't a grape that's much grown in California, but winemaker Louisa Sawyer fell in love with the Spanish white and planted some in the cool-climate Edna Valley vineyard she owns with husband Bob Lindquist of Qupe. The grapes are certified biodynamic.
In cocktail historian and enthusiast David Wondrich's book "Imbibe!" (2007), there's a chapter on punch, which, contrary to poorly concocted renditions at school dances and frat parties of yore, is a historical drink worth considering.
There's little ceremony to the digestif. Certainly nothing that compares to the pouring of tea, the pulling of a perfectly made espresso or even the carving of a shamrock into the thick, creamy head on a pint of Guinness.
But then again, what compares to the sheer luxury of an after-dinner drink? Poured with a flourish into delicately fluted stemware, cordial glasses or snifters, the jeweled tones say, "What's the rush?" and "Relax" and maybe even "Hey, we're just getting started here...."
Like their brethren here, sommeliers in France are making their own wines. One is Marc Besnardeau, a Paris sommelier, who married Mireille Farjon and became a vigneron. Her family estate, Domaine Les Grands Bois in Sainte-Cecile-les-Vignes, has vines that are 30 to 60 years old, which give the estate's wines a depth they wouldn't have with younger vines. Its Cotes du Rhone "Cuvee Les Trois Soeurs" is a blend of two-thirds Grenache with one third Syrah and Carignan.
You already know that stressed spelled backwards is desserts. So, it only makes sense that dessert wines come to the fore during the holiday season. What better time to kick back with a glass of something sweet?
But many people tend to skirt the dessert wine shelf, with its unfamiliar names and grape varieties.
Made from 100 percent Frappato, a grape that is often blended with Nero d'Avola, this light red from Sicily is a delight. Fresh and lively with a lovely floral fragrance, it sees no oak before being bottled. A great warm-weather wine, it would work with a seafood stew, grilled salmon or a composed salad. And because the tannins are so soft, it's also a great bottle with fresh cheeses.
You could serve guests the full spectrum of booze at your holiday party. But all of that mixing, shaking and stirring would leave you no time to overeat, smooch underneath the mistletoe or gossip about your neighbor's collection of sequined holiday sweatshirts.
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