All About Cabernet

Cabernet Sauvignon is, along with Merlot, one of the world’s most planted dark-skinned grape varieties. It’s also one of the most identifiable, with a nose that hints at green peppers and a consistent black currant flavor. The grape is a cross between the red grape Cabernet Franc and the white grape Sauvignon Blanc. Cabernet is…

Read more »

All About Tuscany

It’s time for a trip to Tuscany—not by air, but by glass. Sangiovese is the perfect complement to a big bowl of pasta comfort or a slab of pizza. Turn on some football (or soccer—hey, when in Rome…) and we’ll be in a state of contentezza. Tuscany is in west-central Italy, the heart of the…

Read more »

All About the Black and Tan

The famous Bass and Guinness drink with a not-so-splashy reputation (if poured correctly) actually shares ties to a violent date in Irish history. The original Black and Tans were British men hired to act as a police force in Ireland against the Irish Republican Army. They gained their name from the hodge-podge mix of uniforms.…

Read more »

All About Beer Styles

LAGER Bright, clear, light-bodied, effervescent, a lager is made from malt, hops, water and occasionally corn grits, cracked rice or other cereals. TRY: Sam Adams Boston Lager PILSNER It’s not a separate type of beer; “Pilsner” is a label applied to light beers made in the style of the famous Pilsner Urquell from Pilsen, Czechoslovakia.…

Read more »

How to Make a Fruit Ice Block for Punch

Give your punch a kick with an icy fruit block! Arrange fruit in the bottom of an aluminum bundt pan or ring mold. Add water just until the fruit is covered, then freeze. Dip the bundt pan or ring mold into a shallow baking pan filled with warm water to loosen the ice. Invert the…

Read more »

All About Bourbon

Jim Beam offers these “5 Things You Should Know About Whiskey and Bourbon”: 1. All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon. Tennessee whiskey? Not bourbon. Canadian whiskey? Nope. Scotch? Definitely not bourbon. You get the idea. 2. Bourbon is all-American. In 1964, under President Lyndon Johnson’s administration, Congress declared bourbon America’s Native…

Read more »

All About Irish Whiskey

It’s not made from potatoes, for starters. Irish whiskey is typically distilled from a fermented mash of malted barley, unmalted barley, corn, rye, wheat and oats. It’s dried in a kiln with a solid floor, so no smoke comes into contact with the malt, unlike Scotch whisky. And it’s traditionally distilled in three pots, vs.…

Read more »

All About Whisky

How many ways can you say whisky? For that matter, how many ways can you spell it? Scotch, Irish whiskey, Canadian whisky, rye whisky and Bourbon—all are distilled from a fermented mash of grain aged in wood. And no, we didn’t spell it wrong. The Canadians and Scottish leave out the “e”; the Irish keep…

Read more »

How to Buy German Beer

German breweries often use prefixes or adjectives with their style names to highlight a characteristic of their beer. Ungespundet means a low-effervescence beer fermented to the finish in an unpressurized fermenter. The carbon dioxide in the solution is minimal, and the beer tastes very smooth. Hell or helles means “light,” but this refers to color…

Read more »

All About Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest beers were traditionally made in the märzen style, which got its name from the last month in which the beer was brewed. Before refrigeration, March was the last month that beer could be “lagered,” or put in cold storage. It aged during the summer and was enjoyed during fall harvest. The first Oktoberfest was…

Read more »

Tailgating Tips

Somehow, a beverage just tastes better drunk while standing in a parking lot with a crowd of people decked out in sweatshirts, hats and face paint, the smell of grilled hot dogs in the air and the echoes of a marching band in the background. Get out your camp chair and then stock your cooler…

Read more »

Best Beverages for Grill Seekers

Wine o’clock is always our favorite time of day. But we switch it up during the summer in honor of all things sunny and grilled. Here’s how it’s done: Swap big, tannic reds for leaner Rhone Valley varietals such as Grenache, Mouvedre, Syrah and Carignan. They have great earthy, smoky flavors that go well with…

Read more »