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Wine Pairing Primer

ONE of the most common questions I get in my wine beginnings class pertains to food and wine pairings. To begin to understand how food and wine react differently (depending on what kinds are used), one basic piece of the puzzle needs to be understood first: wine is a condiment....
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Harvey’s Cote D’or Diary

Among the loveliest of wines, Burgundy can be understood and purchased wisely only by close contact and tasting. There is no better way – no more foolproof way – of accomplishing this than by visiting the source, all the more important now that fine Burgundies have become luxuries. So I...
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How Does A-B Do It? On Organic Beer

Those are the opening lines from the first article I wrote on organic beer, over ten years ago. How things have changed. “Organic beer” doesn’t sound funny at all any more, any more than “organic carrots” or “organic coffee” does. The Amish, well . . . we assume that hasn’t...
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Fighting Like Animals

Little penguins, yellow tails, black swans, 3 blind moose and 4 emus; are we speaking about wine or Noah’s boat of biblical fame? Nope, this is a shelf full of wine with the latest in catchy labels. Something has always annoyed me a little bit about this recent marketing trend...
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Profile: Mohamad El Zein

MOHAMAD EL ZEIN • 28 • General Manager/Beverage Director • Masa, Boston Tequila is hot. And Masa is a hot spot. Many of the South End Southwestern restaurant’s 7O+ premium tequilas, says Masa bartender Greg Neises, are requested by name. Diners in the know, and regulars are plentiful, bypass Sauza...
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The Colossus Known as Vodka

but subtle signs of a pending shakeout appear to be looming. Perhaps more expectation than signs, really, especially as vodka is still the most consumed spirit in the market and goes into nearly one out of four cocktails ordered. Overall, vodka is expected to grow by another two million cases...
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On Organic Wine

It should surprise nobody in the trade that Cambridge be the quietly self-designated hotbed of a pop in the still small niche explosion of biodynamic wines. Where but in that socio-political cauldron of Cantabrigia could such extremism grip sommeliers’ and diners’ imaginations? Violette Imports’ eclectic and discerning portfolio has played...
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Blame It On The Mojito

As tastes profiles of tequila, single malts and every other spirit have grown more complex, and prices have soared, consumers have grown more sophisticated and picky about what they drink and buy, regardless of category. Where five years ago an $8O to $1OO bottle of tequila or scotch may have...
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There In Spirit Only

One fine April evening my wife shares some great news: her sister is getting married. Wonderful! Then comes the bad news: the wedding is in six weeks, on Memorial Day. For many of us in the hospitality or retail industry, getting that weekend off is difficult enough; with that short...
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