Wine Education: January 2010 Archives

Mustard Wines: A Cautionary Tale

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With wine country's rolling hills ablaze in the signature yellow mustard blossoms we've come to look forward to every winter, I couldn't help but pen a piece on enjoying the famed condiment with wine. Trouble is, mustard and wine are the gastronomical equivalent of Paris and Nicole - sworn enemies.

Most of the time, that is.

Consult any reputable resource on wine and food pairing and you'll in all likelihood find mustard couched somewhere between vinegar and chili spice in the reference's list of the all-time trickiest foods to pair with wine. The reason is that, mustard, with its vinegary sourness and, occasionally, piquant sweetness, is fundamentally at odds with most wines' plush fruitiness and dry (read: not sweet!) character.

Fortunately, just as the notoriously fickle The Simple Life stars occasionally patch things up and put on a good friendship face for the cameras, so too can wine and mustard - in the right circumstances - carry off the appearance of a healthy partnership. Read on for the low-down on how to pair these fickle friends.

Crab Wines

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What to pair with the other white meat

by Courtney Cochran

Come mid-November each year, crustaceans become decidedly de rigueur as a dining alternative to all the rich savory fare that frequents the table this time of year.

I don't know about you, but I reach a very certain point of saturation when it comes to the likes of ubiquitous holiday meats turkey, ham and roast. Consuming them throughout the holiday season can be overwhelming to a lass like me who's accustomed to so-called California cuisine, with its emphasis on fresh veggies and lean meats.

Enter audible sigh of relief, then - at least on my part! - when crab season arrives. Every year it seems to come just in time to give respite to like-minded diners who're searching for a little levity amidst all the hearty foods so popular during the cool months.

With Respect: Wine Tales of the Decade

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robertmondavi.jpegBy Courtney Cochran

Props to Sasha Paulsen over at the Napa Valley Register for penning a spectacular piece on the top trials, travails and triumphs of the last ten years in wine. Beginning with a nod to the two economic downturns that "bookended" the decade, Paulsen explores everything from the departure of legends (RIP, Robert Mondavi) to the erection of Tuscan castles to a move towards producing wines with environmental and sustainable cues in mind.

New Year In Wine: 10 Predictions for 2010

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newyear2.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

With 2009 behind us, let's all breathe a collective sigh of relief and turn our sights - not to mention our vinous radar - on the New Year.  If you're like us, a fresh start means you're looking forward to good things like pay raises, thinner waistlines and general prosperity like we haven't seen in some time.  And while that's all good and well, we'd like to remind you that there's more - much more, in turns out - in store for you in the world of wine in the New Year.  

Read on for our predictions on what'll be hot - as well as what'll be...not...in 2010.

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