Mead is an ancient beverage that has been made far longer than either beer or wine. Owing to the different flower nectars gathered by the bees, the resulting meads boasts surprisingly intense and varied flavors, as I found when I was fortunate enough to try samples.
Heidrun recently partnered with the World Honey Exchange, a U.S.-based organization that helps honey cooperatives around the globe, particularly those in the threatened ecosystems of Patagonia, Ethiopia and Tanzania, gain access to larger markets.
Its three new limited-edition meads ($65 each) are produced from the nectar of Chilean Ulmo, Ethiopian Geteme and Tanzanian Miombo woodland flower blossoms respectively.
All of the sparkling meads are meant to be enjoyed ice cold in flutes, just like Champagne.
Launched during the pandemic, it’s the creation of Seattle’s Jessica Selander who proudly has 17 years of sobriety.
This is no cloying Martinelli’s trying to stand in for wine, as I happily found when trying a sample. Instead, this wine is a balanced blend of varietals, mostly Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, French Colombard, Chenin Blanc and other whites, Selander noted in an interview with Sip Magazine.
It even won bronze at the 2021 San Francisco International Wine Competition.
Years ago, I remember reading an article in a wine magazine that mentioned how sommeliers could always spot an industry person dining in their restaurant: The tell was that they were the ones who were likely to order the Gruner Veltliner or Malbec on the wine list.
In a world where so many people stick to Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, these two varietals definitely deserve a whole lot more love.
As someone married to a man whose nickname is Meat Boy for his carnivore leanings, Malbec has truly become a favorite in our household.
So, when I received a sample of the 2019 Secret Ingredient Malbec ($70), my husband was all too happy to fire up the smoker for a batch of beef ribs to accompany them. And it proved a perfect pairing.
Meet piquette — quite possibly your favorite new summer sip.
This traditional French drink, whose name means “little wine,” is actually made by adding water to grape pomace (the skins, seeds and stems of the grapes left over after pressing), and fermenting the residual sugars.
It makes for a light tasting, low alcohol beverage.
In June, Une Femme Wines launched two canned piquettes that I had a chance to sample.
The brand was founded by Jen Pelka, owner of the now shuttered the Riddler, a Champagne bar in New York City and San Francisco, and her brother Zach.
Its intent is to produce only Champagne and sparkling wine made by women. In fact, for every bottle sold, the company makes a donation to a charity benefiting women.
With 8 percent ABV, the piquettes come in 250ml pull-tab cans.
Three women of three different generations in Winters, CA have joined forces to create a delicious new product that celebrates not only the agrarian bounty of Sonoma County, but a time-honored French tradition.
The result is L’Apero les Trois, a line of fruit-based, lower alcohol spirits known as aperitifs, which the French have enjoyed for generations as a pre-lunch or pre-dinner libation.
They are the brainchild of Georgeanne Brennan, James Beard Award-winning cookbook author who taught cooking classes in France for years; Corinne Martinez, co-owner of Berryessa Gap Vineyards; and Nicole Salengo, Berryessa Gap’s winemaker.
As with all aperitifs, they are meant to be served chilled, sometimes with a few ice cubes in the glass, and topped off with sparkling wine or fizzy water, if you so choose.