Urban winemaking. It almost sounds like an oxymoron.
But it’s one of the best new trends in wine. Especially since it allows winemakers to work in collective or shared facilities or even in their own garages – lowering the costs and barriers to entry, and giving them the freedom to experiment with varietals sourced all over the place. And that leads to a newness and freshness that these emerging winemakers thrive on.
There are more than a dozen urban wineries in the Portland area – but there are also urban wineries in Eugene, Roseburg, and even as far South as Medford – and they’re making some fantastic wine. We’ve devoted several of our monthly selections to urban winemakers and collectives, and I always love highlighting these winemakers and letting people know how easy it can be to taste wine right in the middle of your city! (more…)
There’s nothing like treating yourself to a nice drink when you’re out on the town, whether you’re at a new restaurant or revisiting an old favorite. But too often we’re stuck choosing between beer and wine, never considering that a cocktail can also be paired with food, and not just enjoyed as a before- or after-dinner indulgence.
Luckily, using the same knowledge you have of wine and beer pairings, it’s easy to find a cocktail that can match your meal. With a little caution and a bit of risk, you may find a new favorite way to enjoy a drink with dinner. (more…)
With 4,269 breweries in the United States alone, craft beer represents a 12% share of the total beer market. As recently as 2011, craft beer only accounted for 5.7% of the market. Doubling market share in just four years demonstrates how quickly the craft beer industry has expanded and matured, and with it, so have the expectations of the beer-drinking consumer.
Patrons expect proper beer service, which includes proper beer glassware. The importance of the beer glass goes beyond aesthetics. Depending on the type of beer, the proper glass can also enhance aroma or taste. (more…)
Getting bored with IPAs and pilsner? You might want to delve into the funky, flavorful world of sour beers.
The 100-point wine rating system has become the Rosetta stone of the wine world – translating wine into quality and value terms that consumers around the world can easily understand. While the system may be helpful and certainly succeeds in driving wine sales, it does have a number of pitfalls that wine lovers need to be aware of if they hope to make smart buying decisions. (more…)
Bloody marys are my favorite. They’re the perfect excuse to drink in the morning and not prompt your family to convene an intervention. Plus, you get to snack on cured meats and pickled veggies while you do. I sought out some of the craziest, over-the-top, most Leaning Tower of Pisa-esque bloody mary garnishes out there. Then I decided to alphabetize the list because amidst all this chaos, I believe a little order is called for, don’t you? Good. Then let’s proceed. (more…)
The holiday season is upon us. That means Christmas lights, menorahs, lots of shopping, long lines to sit on Santa’s lap in the mall, and last but not least, holiday beverages.
With potential customers often out and about during this time period, fast-food restaurants and coffee shops have rolled out the seasonal drinks to lure in shoppers for quick refueling stops and possible in-store purchases. The holidays mean big business for these companies. Last year, for example, Dunkin’ Donuts got 27% of its U.S. revenue from the fourth quarter, when it sold red velvet lattes and salted caramel hot chocolates. Meanwhile, Starbucks said its holiday lineup in 2013 helped boost its revenue 12% in the three months through December. (more…)
Vegans are nuts about Dunkin’ Donuts now that the chain — which has more than 7,500 restaurants across the country — has started offering Almond Breeze‘s vanilla-flavored almond milk at most of its U.S. locations. I’m hoping it will start offering vegan chocolate donuts soon too, but hey, almond milk is a great start, especially for people who can’t start their day without a latte.
According to John Costello, Dunkin’ Brands’ president of global marketing and innovation, almond milk was introduced to Dunkin’s menu in response to growing consumer demand. The sweet, nutty beverage becomes more and more popular each year, with consumption growing at an average annual rate of 66 percent since 2010. Dunkin’ says that it chose almond milk (over soy or coconut milk) because it’s one of the country’s most popular dairy-free beverages and a good source of calcium and vitamins D, E, and A. And it tastes great, too. (more…)
Without a smooth-talking salesperson to serve as co-pilot, wandering the aisles of wine shops and supermarkets can feel like losing yourself in the Bermuda Triangle. Some wine lovers go in with a list, while others simply prefer to wing it and let wine fate determine the perfect bottle. Favorite grape varieties and familiar wine regions certainly help narrow down the search, but when everything else is equal, what really causes one bottle to win out over the other?
Art and copy has ruled the advertising world for over a century, selling us with sleek designs and compelling content. But what exactly lies behind the design of wine labels, and what, if any, are the psychological games at work? (more…)