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A GOOD, FAMILIAR CREATURE

About 25 years ago I was going through something of an epiphany regarding wine’s influences upon health. At the time there were two committed camps in the US. A sizable number insisted that anything containing alcohol was intrinsically evil, prohibitionists denying that any good could ever come from drinking, however...
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BALLARD CANYON SYRAH

If Ballard Canyon in California’s Santa Barbara County is as unknown to most wine professionals as it had been to me prior to a recent trip to the region, my prediction is that it will soon be “discovered”. The pending AVA is a source of superb Syrah. Not that Rhône...
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PINOT NOIR IS HAPPENING IN MONTEREY

Few indeed are sources of world-class Pinot Noir. Let us count them. The gold standard resides in the Côte d’Or and, to a lesser degree, the Côte Chalonnaise. I’ve drunk two or three exemplars in the Alto Adige, Italy’s most northerly reaches. Over here, we have Oregon’s Willamette Valley and...
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CIGAR CITY BREWING’S JOEY REDNER

In a small industrial park near downtown Tampa, a buzz continues to grow louder, emanating from the stainless steel tanks of a tiny Florida brewery. The hype about Cigar City Brewing started long before it even brewed its first batch. Run by a beer columnist for a local Tampa newspaper,...
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THE YEAR IN BEER REVIEW

If you read the end of the year reports for any major beer producer, the song remains the same: 2OO9 was a challenging and complicated year in the beer industry, stemming from a depressed economic environment, tightening credit markets and continuing cost pressures.  Overall, beer sales in the United States...
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KEGLETS/KEGS

I’m a big fan of draft beer in the summer. The advantages are clear: less handling, usually less expensive, more environmentally friendly, and as lots of folks will tell you, it’s usually how brewers meant the beer to be poured. I like having draft at all our family gatherings: it...
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PROFILE: BREW MASTER WILL MEYERS

Alongside a swinging door to the kitchen, sacks of malt are stacked up on pallets. Collectively, the piles could easily serve as a retaining wall, of sorts, if it weren’t for one thing: bag by bag, the heap will quickly be depleted within the week, leaving an empty space where...
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SICILIAN WINE PRODUCERS

In the spring of 2O1O, I attended four events, Sicilia en Primeur and Le Contrade dell’Etna, both in Sicily, and Vinitaly and VinoVinoVino 2O1O, both in the Veneto. During these visits, I came to understand some of the current issues challenging Sicilian wine producers. These are the likely emergence of...
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