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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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SWELL BOOK AND RANDEL

“O where hae ye been, Lord Randall, my boon?O where hae ye been; so wan hae ye groon?”“I’ve been to yon vineyard; mother make my bed soon,For I’m weary o’ pinot, and fain would lie doon.” “I’ll plant the mourvèdre, and will dolcetto proon,And I’ll pick them both by the...
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Vodka

Vodka continues its dominance of the spirits category, unchecked by . . . well, by anything.  The economy has shuffled the deck a bit on what brands are growing and what price points and niches are successful at the moment.  More than ever, two things are crucial to a particular...
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Profile: AARON FRANCISCO

AARON FRANCISCO 48, General Manager, 111 Chop House, Worcester, MA Rangy, keen-eyed, impulsive, Francisco is senior beverage buyer for multiple award-winning Worcester Restaurant Group’s three destination restaurants.  These brainchildren of owners Robb and Madeleine Ahlquist are: The Sole Proprietor (since 1979), 111 Chop House (1999, where Francisco is also GM),...
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Still River’s Apple Ice Wine

Wade Holtzman must be a jinni to be able to cram the concentrated essence of 😯 apples, nearly a bushel, into one little bottle. Abetted by his wife, Margot, and son, Leif, he manages that feat 96OO times a year at the family’s Still River Winery in Harvard, Massachusetts. The...
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Chardonnay

Because there’s so much drab, unappealing Chardonnay on the market, sometimes we in the business forget what’s made the grape such a powerhouse. Sommeliers in particular seem to bear a collective grudge against our long reigning champion varietal. There are fine restaurants where aversion to Chardonnay’s magnetic appeal is so...
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Summer Beers 2010

Ah, summertime. Hot weather. Baseball games. Trips to the beach. Backyard barbecues. And thirst. What better way to quench that thirst than with an ice-cold beer? Maybe one served in a well-frosted mug. Then again, maybe not. There’s no need to pigeonhole certain beers as being just for summer. “The...
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Cruase

Earlier this year, at Vino 2O1O in New York City, I moderated a seminar that launched the American debut of Cruasé. Cruasé is a Pinot Noir Rosé sparkling wine made in Lombardy, Italy’s Oltrepò Pavese appellation. Though the Cruasé category could eventually be integrated into Oltrepò’s DOCG for Metodo Classico...
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