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Friday, November 28, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 18.0° F  Overcast
The Daily

WINE

Don't bog yourself down with a big wine on Thanksgiving

For Thanksgiving, think light. The meal is big, and it's often a slog, lasting for hours. What you're looking for is something to lift you along through the green bean casserole and inevitable uncomfortable political conversations. >More
 Red wines for leaf piles

Wine is as seasonal as the food we eat. In the summer months, we consume a lot of bright, high-acid foods such as fruits and tomatoes. These are perfect for white wine with bracing acidity. As harvest brings its rich flavors and we start to eat more root vegetables and heavier sauces, we naturally turn toward robust reds. >More
 The new wave of Aussie wines

Australian wine has built a bad reputation for itself over the past couple decades. It certainly doesn't help that ginormous bladders of industrial hooch cross the Pacific to be bottled on our shores as a watery and wretched thing called Yellowtail. Even the better stuff is often bred with heavy-handed hedonism to be big, jammy explosions that a Crocodile Dundee might enjoy out of a Solo cup. >More
 Forget the naysayers -- wine and booze can blend to good effect

The 12th annual Tales of the Cocktail happened in New Orleans last week, and a number of Madison bartenders and beverage professionals made the trek to the Big Easy to attend seminars, volunteer at events, hobnob, and generally contribute to the mayhem that occurs when 40,000 alcohol industry folks descend upon a single city. >More
 How to pick wines made by the stars

Celebrities think they can do anything. Models get delusions they can sing, actors are convinced they can be politicians, and directors believe they're artists. But the worst offense might be when famous folks think they can make wine. >More
 How to pair wine with spring's fresh asparagus

Common wisdom says that asparagus is difficult to pair with wine. The same vegetal, chlorophyll-rich flavor that makes the green stalks crave-worthy in spring causes companion wines to taste metallic. A traditional way to force the pairing is to overcook the asparagus to blandness, wrap the stalks in sweet ham, slather in a hollandaise sauce, and pop the cork on a citrusy Pouilly-Fumé from the Loire or a fruity New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. >More
 Relax, it's okay to pack a rosé

April is synonymous with rosé wine season. It's when pink juice begins arriving on store shelves in the same way smelt appears at fish fries and crocuses pop in sun-drenched lawns. While it may still seem a bit cold to enjoy wine that is best suited for warm summer afternoons, rosé-heads can't help themselves; they're already pulling corks to see what the 2013 harvest is/was all about. >More
 The new Sicilians: This unique region offers more than bulk wines

Over the past few years, Sicily has been throwing off its Mafioso and bulk-wine-stained past (although it's still Italy's third largest bulk-wine-producing area after Puglia and Veneto). High-quality varietals and an artisanal approach have brought increasing attention to this island that was once best known for industrial Marsala. >More
 The best wines for Valentine's chocolate pairings

If you listened to marketing, you'd believe that red wine and chocolate go together like Romeo and Juliet. In fact, the pairing is more like Seal and Heidi Klum -- should be delicious, but doesn't quite work. The chief reason is that both red wine and chocolate are astringent: If the chocolate is at all sweet, dry red wine will taste vinegary. There are other factors working against the pairing too, like clashing tannins and serving temperatures. >More
 A perfect pair: Creamy cheese, and wine with a little bit of attitude

A great way to beat the post-holiday blues is an after-ski wine-and-cheese party. Imagine yourself in a chalet, hunkered down with a few close friends, nibbling hunks of bread and cheese accompanied by bright and lively wines fireside. >More
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