Category:  Wine

Boxing Day – an excuse to keep drinking

By , December 26, 2011 in booze, holiday, Wine

So, Christmas is over. The glut of presents and Christmas dinner is now nothing more than a sad pile of wadded up wrapping paper and cleaned off turkey bones. In most parts of the world, that’s it. The day is over; the deed is done. But, in some countries, the UK and Australia most notably, celebrants have one more day to partake in holiday cheer. Although the origins are unclear, everyone who takes part in Boxing Day seem pretty sure about their desire to keep the party going. The day is almost purely secular and always has been so, so there’s no tiresome reminders to keep Christ in Boxing Day. Also, the day seems to be, above all else, about relaxing. If your idea of relaxation is to kick back on the couch to watch a game, there are plenty to choose from. Or if taking it easy for you… Read More »

Should samples be free?

By , September 30, 2011 in Beer, Wine

New Belgium in Fort Collins, Colorado announced this week that they are going to start charging for samples. They are also adding 12 and 16 oz. servings for customer’s who want a proper beer. Previously, they gave visitors to the brewery tokens, enough to sample roughly half of their beers then they cut them off. It was a little frustrating. Anyway, should breweries give away samples to legal drinkers or can they add a bit to their profit by charging for samples? (New Belgium isn’t profiting from this, by the way. They’re giving the proceeds from the samples to local charities.) I kinda see both sides here. The brewery is there to brew and sell beer, right? Would you do what you do for a living for, say, 15% longer every day without getting paid just because your boss asked for it? Probably not. I know I wouldn’t. Also, I’m… Read More »

Kiss this beer hello

By , September 29, 2011 in Beer, Wine

What overly make-uped, spectacle-reliant, near cartoonishly caricature of a band from the ’70′s now has it’s own beer and wine? If you guessed Spinal Tap, I’ll refer you to two facts: I said it was a “NEAR cartoonishly caricature” and I said ’70′s. Perhaps you have your imagination turned up to eleven, mate! If you guessed KISS, I say, right on, brother. After all, there really isn’t any other band that quite fits that description and is still around today for us to talk about, is there? So, to the booze… The wine is a California-grown Zinfandel called KISS Zin Fire. It’s described as “bold and fruity… a brazen blend of blackberry and pepper.” The beer is a traditional Pils-style called KISS Destroyer. It is described as having a “great head of foam, nice flavor, and a balanced bitterness.” Collectively, they are called “The Hottest Drinks in the World.” Okay…. Read More »

Seven Drinks I’ve Made that You Probably Have No Interest in Trying

I consider myself a novice mixologist. Of course, by “novice”, I mean “terrible”, and by “mixologist”, I mean “person to make your next drink”. This is because of my sense of adventure and complete disregard for recipes. For all the bad, hurtful things you can say about my creations, though, I’ve never made one I didn’t finish myself. So for your reading pleasure, here are seven of my worst: 1. Beer ‘n Wine – Great as a corner store. Terrible as a drink. And just in case you’re giving me the benefit of the doubt, you shouldn’t. This was no Black Velvet (A take on the Black and Tan that replaces the pale ale with champagne). We’re talking one part light beer, one part red wine, two parts grossest vom I’ve ever had. 2. Whiskey Monster – Ooh! This sounds like a fun drink, or at least creatively named! A… Read More »

Fast food ‘n’ beer

By , July 13, 2011 in Beer, whisky, Wine

Remember when you first heard of beer being sold in fast food restaurants. It was probably from some buddy who’d been told by his buddy whose sister had seen beer for sale in McDonald’s in France. Maybe you didn’t believe it because it just seemed too odd. If you’re like me, you found it curious but didn’t really care. Don’t get me wrong, I like fast food and beer as much as the next guy but there’s really only one way to do it right. You stop at the corner convenience store and grab a sixer or two of whatever beer you’re in the mood for. Then you head to the local burger joint and get two of the least healthy items they have on the menu. Then you go home, strip to your underwear, turn on whatever bad movie marathon the SyFy channel is running that afternoon and dig… Read More »

French police whine for wine

By , April 30, 2011 in Beer, Wine

It seems that the French police force, or at least the riot police, have been allowed to drink on the job. No, scratch that, I don’t want to piss off any riot cops – they have the right to drink on the job. That is until recently. Some pictures of the cops drinking from beer bottles while deployed during some recent student demonstrations were being circulated. When the Interior Ministry got a look at the pictures, the order was passed down that the cops could no longer drink while on the clock and that includes during lunch. Now the French cops are mad. They’re demanding that their drinking privileges be reinstated or they’re going to strike. Well, they’re threatening labor action. I just prefer to use the word strike over a phrase that sounds more like giving birth than fighting the man. I find this stunning. I mean, first that… Read More »

Australian beer consumption slumping

By , January 18, 2011 in Beer, Wine

There are only a few things that we can count on in life. Politicians suck, every time you get on an airplane there will be at least one screaming baby, your dog will always be glad to see you and Australians love their beer. Not so quick with that last one. It seems our faithful beer lovers from down under are letting the world down. Beer consumption in Australia has fallen to a 61 year low and wine is trending upward. That’s right, Australians may soon drink more wine per capita than they do beer. That fact is really messing up my view of the world. So, I call on my fellow Australian beer lovers. It’s time to stop this horrible trend! It’s up to you to turn the numbers around. Drink more beer! When you think you’ve had enough, have one more just for the stats. When you pop… Read More »

Romancing the Booze – Champagne and Sparkling Wine

By , February 12, 2010 in champagne, holiday, Wine

I’m a beer man. I’ll argue all day that beer is just as elegant and refined as any wine you can pull out of your cellar. But I have to admit that when an occasion like St. Valentines Day or an anniversary rolls around, I find myself eyeing the Champagnes in the wine section of my favorite beer store. And I don’t even really like Champagne; don’t get me wrong, I’ll drink a glass or four if offered but I have other drinks that I like a lot better. But there’s something about these significant days that seems to make it so we pop the cork on a bottle of bubbly, or at least wine, right? At the same time, a bottle of Champagne and a box of chocolates is so expected that it’s almost cliché. While I feel compelled to by a bottle of Champagne, I also feel a… Read More »

Cold Weather Booze – Red Wine

By , January 31, 2010 in cold weather booze, Wine

When the cold winds are blowing outside, there’s nothing like a glass of big, dry, red wine. Cabernet Sauvignon fits the bill perfectly. A well made Cab is deep and rich in flavor. It’s usually got just enough complexity without being annoying. And a good Cab goes with most of those rich comfort foods like soups, pasta dishes and breads that seem to taste even better when it’s cold outside. A lot of people are intimidated to try to pick out a wine if they are unfamiliar with them. Don’t be. There are lots and lots of wineries in the world which means that everyone is faced with dozens and dozens of choices when they are searching for wine. That there are so many also means that even the most educated wine geek doesn’t know them all. In other words, no one knows for sure that this or the other… Read More »

Cold Weather Booze – Port

By , January 22, 2010 in cold weather booze, Wine

I’m not typically a fan of fortified wines like port. Fortified doesn’t mean that vitamins have been added. Instead, the wine is fermented as usual until a particular alcohol content is reached. Then a distilled spirit – brandy in the case of port – is added. This increase in alcohol is toxic to the yeast and kills them. This leaves a drink that is sweeter than typical wine but with a much bigger alcoholic kick, usually twenty-something percent. Fortified wines also usually have a very boozy quality in the flavor. Like I said, I’m usually not a fan of port. When the weather is warm or even mild I find it too sweet, even syrupy, for my taste. I like dry drinks and savory foods. You can keep your hot chocolate and cookies; I’m just not interested. But when the weather turns frigid one of the first things I do… Read More »