Editor’s Note: Why is stemware shaped differently? How does a glass affect the way a wine tastes? Can your wine glass improve your drinking experience? Menuism’s Wine Expert Etty Lewensztain introduces you to the various types of stemware, when each should be used, and why. (more…)

Posted by on April 5th, 2012

Photo by J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines

Wine is intrinsically related to the celebration of Valentine’s Day. Can you imagine a romantic V-Day dinner replete with an array of IPAs, porters, and stouts? How about some shots of añejo tequila or smoky Mezcal? Not quite what you had in mind, huh?

Libations of all types are said to release endorphins, boost our happiness levels, and loosen our inhibitions, and you know what that means. But what is it about wine specifically that speaks to the romantic voice in us and can instantly put us in the mood? (more…)

Posted by on February 7th, 2012

K Vintners viognier

Photo by bscjus

Red wine, it seems, has stolen all the thunder from its poor white counterpart. You never hear people raving about white wine’s health benefits, or how they can’t wait to pop open a big, brawny bottle of sauvignon blanc. Red wine, at least in America, has become the popular choice, creating hordes of red-only devotees who wouldn’t be caught dead sipping a glass of grüner veltliner.

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Posted by on January 9th, 2012

Photo by grongar

Wine and cheese make the perfect pairing, don’t you agree? In this round of Ask the Experts, we’re featuring answers from two more of our knowledgeable experts: Annie Lehrer, our cheese guru, and Etty Lewensztain, our resident wine whiz. If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at homemade chèvre, or wondered which wines pair best with Indian flavors, you’re in luck. Want more? Read on!

Kate Steffens: Can you recommend some Los Angeles wine bars and wine shops? I am a wine novice who would like to learn more but is slightly intimidated by it all.

Etty Lewensztain: My favorite wine bars in LA are Covell in Los Feliz and Mignon in downtown. They both have very eclectic selections. My favorite wine shops are Silverlake Wine if you’re looking for a small boutique-style shop or The Winehouse in West LA if you’re looking for a warehouse-style store that has a huge selection.

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Posted by on March 21st, 2011

Photo by Michael Oh

You loved the Q&A with all of our experts, so we thought we’d make it even more interesting by having a roundtable conversation this time around. There were no rules other than keeping the focus on food and wine (not a tough prospect with this crowd!). This week we’re featuring answers from Kate Steffens, our chocolate maven, Amber Shea Ford, our resident raw foods authority, and Elena Rosemond Hoerr, our Southern food specialist. So here we have it, part 1 of Ask the Experts!

Etty Lewensztain: Besides mole, are there other great applications for chocolate in savory cooking?

Kate Steffens: I think chocolate works well with all meals! Use it sparingly to accent savory dishes from breakfast oatmeal to rice pilaf. Cocoa powder can be sprinkled onto mushroom risotto to add richness to the woodsy flavor, and while I don’t eat meat, I have heard that chocolate works well with lamb. A chunk of dark chocolate has also been a long-standing “secret” ingredient in many award-winning chilis and bbq sauces. See my post on pairing chocolate with savory foods for more ideas. (more…)

Posted by on March 14th, 2011

Etty Lewensztain

You met her in September, during her stint as a guest blogger, and you couldn’t get enough. We heard your pleas–and we’re thrilled to welcome Etty Lewensztain, owner of Plonk Wine Merchants, as our newest expert. Etty’s already given us the scoop on esoteric wine descriptors, essential wine geek terms and how to make sense of wine labels. Stick around for more wine wisdom straight from the source! We recently sat down with Etty to learn what makes her tick (OK, we also really wanted to ask her about wine!).

Describe your personal wine philosophy.

I think wine is meant to be drunk every day and shouldn’t be reserved only for special occasions. To that end, I seek out wines that are fresh (ready to be drunk now as opposed to needing time in the cellar) and that deliver great value for the money. If I’m going to drink inspiring wine every day, it needs to be affordable. (more…)

Posted by on November 8th, 2010

Photo by pedrosimoes7

Guest Post by Etty Lewensztain

Becoming proficient in the language of wine is a skill that can take years upon years of arduous learning (i.e. drinking) to hone. From the agricultural terminology winemakers use to describe the ins and outs of vineyard management, to the acronyms sommeliers sling when waxing poetic about the vinification process, “geek speak” can be incredibly overwhelming. In the interest of time, study this handy list of wine colloquialisms and soon enough you’ll be fooling even the most discerning wine snobs. (more…)

Posted by on September 29th, 2010

 

Etty Lewensztain

Guest Post by Etty Lewensztain
Etty Lewensztain is the owner of Plonk Wine Merchants, an online shop focused on small-production, artisanal and altogether great cheap wine. The food- and wine- obsessed Los Angeles native cut her teeth in the wine biz running a marketing campaign to promote Chilean wine in the United States, and is certified by the esteemed Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and the American Sommelier Association. Plonk Wine Merchants specializes in hidden gems from around the globe and every bottle in the store is priced below $30. Follow Plonk Wine Merchants on Twitter @ PlonkOnline.

Ever find yourself sitting at a chic restaurant, staring at the sommelier with puzzled eyes wondering what in God’s name he means when he tells you that the bottle of red burgundy you’re about to drop 95 bucks on is mineral-driven, fleshy and polished?

Every industry has its own brand of quirky jargon, but the wine world takes the cake for its esoteric vernacular that is virtually unfathomable to the average Joe. Want to sound like an industry insider when you go wine tasting with friends? Need some go-to wine descriptors to casually bust out next time you’re trying to impress a date at a wine bar? Read on to get the scoop on the most obscure adjectives the wine pros use when they talk shop.

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Posted by on September 22nd, 2010

Dave Jensen

Dave Jensen
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David R. Chan
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Nevin Barich

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