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By Michael Dresser | May 25, 1997
Korbel Chardonnay Champagne ($15).I've never been a big fan of the products of Korbel, the giant California sparkling-wine house. Neither do I like seeing the name Champagne (which properly belongs to France) linked to the varietal name chardonnay (purely a marketing gimmick.) But all my gripes aside, this is a very good sparkling wine that far surpasses other Korbel products. It's a fruity, toasty, peachy, well-rounded bubbly with traces of residual sugar -- but not too much to negate its overall dry impression.
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By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | December 30, 2013
More people are likely to toast this New Year with a glass of French champagne, industry observers say, an optimistic economic sign as consumers look beyond cheaper sparkling wines. Sales of the bubbly beverage from the Champagne region of France have been on the upswing this year. That means brisk business for wine sellers at year's end, when the final three months can account for 40 percent of annual champagne sales. Rising sales of champagne and other luxury items can signal improving consumer attitudes, experts say, and some in the wine business are taking the increase as another indicator of economic recovery.
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By Mary Medland | December 27, 2011
Whether true or just a bit of wishful folklore, champagne was reportedly first cooked up by the French Benedictine monk Pierre Perignon (c. 1638-1715). When Dom Perignon first tasted his concoction, he is reported to have said, "Come quickly, I am drinking the stars!" These many years later, nothing says Happy New Year quite like sparkling wine. But you don't have to serve the vintage that bears Dom Perignon's name to have an experience worthy of seeing stars. It can be a daunting prospect to determine what really is great to serve at a party or give as a gift.
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By Janene Holzberg, For The Baltimore Sun | December 24, 2013
Though New Year's Eve is less than a week away, even last-minute party planners have time to add a Maryland sparkling wine to their celebrations. With seven of the state's 56 wineries producing America's version of champagne, the local wine industry has a lot to offer. "Most well-made sparkling wines have a freshness imparted by the effervescence and the bright fruit," says Kevin Atticks, executive director of the Maryland Wine Association, which is based in Timonium . And besides, "Bubblies are interesting and look so nice in the glass," he says.
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By MICHAEL DRESSER | December 21, 2005
Mumm's Napa Valley operation is one of the more successful spinoffs of a French Champagne house, and in this wine it demonstrates an uncanny ability to mimic the character of Champagne using Napa Valley fruit. This wine is yeasty, elegant, cutting and complex - at a more-than-competitive cost, given its high quality. It pops with flavors of nuts, pears, bread and vanilla, and the texture is creamy until it reaches an appropriately crisp finish. Serve with --caviar, smoked salmon, shellfish
ENTERTAINMENT
By Janene Holzberg, For The Baltimore Sun | December 24, 2013
Though New Year's Eve is less than a week away, even last-minute party planners have time to add a Maryland sparkling wine to their celebrations. With seven of the state's 56 wineries producing America's version of champagne, the local wine industry has a lot to offer. "Most well-made sparkling wines have a freshness imparted by the effervescence and the bright fruit," says Kevin Atticks, executive director of the Maryland Wine Association, which is based in Timonium . And besides, "Bubblies are interesting and look so nice in the glass," he says.
FEATURES
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,SUN WINE CRITIC | November 7, 2001
When drinking California sparkling wine, sometimes it's hard to tell whether your flute is half-empty or half-full. The wines have certainly come a long way since serious producers started using Champagne grape varieties and the painstaking methode Champenoise -- fermentation in bottle -- in the 1960s and 1970s. But while many of these wines try very hard to copy the style that made Champagne deservedly world-famous, few truly succeed. A good number come reasonably close, while many more aren't even in the ballpark.
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By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,SUN STAFF | December 27, 1995
Anybody who is ever tempted to underestimate the power of American ingenuity should consider the case of California sparking wine.Two decades ago, the suggestion that California would ever produce bubbly rivaling the quality of fine Champagne would have been seen as ludicrous.Only a handful of sparkling wine specialists existed in the state, and except for Schramsberg, none received nor deserved much respect.True, some Champagne houses were beginning to develop California operations to supplement their French production, but these ventures were regarded primarily as an attempt to capitalize on their famous names.
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By Bob Allen | July 15, 2011
Ray Brasfield, owner of Cygnus Wine Cellars in Manchester, describes the Chancellor red wine grape as an old French-American hybrid that been grown in the eastern United States since the 1960s. "It has kind of come and gone as a popular grape, although at one time it was the most widely planted red grape in France," Brasfield said. "But there really isn't much of it planted in Maryland," he added. Though Chancellor's popularity has ebbed and flowed, Brasfield hit a fresh note with it when he used it for one of his most recent vintages of sparkling wine Cygnus's Royele Rose' de Noir Brut Rose, released in December, was hand-made exclusively from first pressings of Chancellorsville grapes, grown just up the road from Manchester, at Quail Vineyard, in the rolling hills of northeasternCarroll County.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | December 30, 2013
More people are likely to toast this New Year with a glass of French champagne, industry observers say, an optimistic economic sign as consumers look beyond cheaper sparkling wines. Sales of the bubbly beverage from the Champagne region of France have been on the upswing this year. That means brisk business for wine sellers at year's end, when the final three months can account for 40 percent of annual champagne sales. Rising sales of champagne and other luxury items can signal improving consumer attitudes, experts say, and some in the wine business are taking the increase as another indicator of economic recovery.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Emma Schkloven | December 23, 2013
Nothing says New Year's Eve quite like some bubbly. But for your New Year's party, do you really want to offer just another glass of champagne (we're sorry, sparkling wine ) on a night that is ushering in the exciting and new? Well now you don't have to. We asked five area bartenders to create an original cocktail that you can re-create at your own holiday party. Each of these cocktails is made with a $20-or-less bottle of "champagne," so they won't break your party budget. The Island Bubbilini Jeff Levy, Tavern on the Hill Levy loves to add gin to cocktails because he finds the ingredient so versatile, but he knows sometimes gin scares people.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Kit Waskom Pollard, Special To The Baltimore Sun | September 5, 2012
Matthew and Joan Lallo never intended to open a restaurant in Baltimore. But considering the interesting menu and top-notch service at their Mount Washington spot, the Blue Sage Cafe & Wine Bar, Baltimore is lucky that they did. Blue Sage opened in June in the space formerly occupied by the short-lived restaurant, The Falls. Matthew, a former freelance food critic for The Baltimore Sun, and his wife, Joan, were regular lunch customers at The Falls. They were such big fans of the restaurant - and its location - that after it closed in September 2011, Matt Lallo tracked down the building's landlord and signed a lease.
ENTERTAINMENT
By John Houser III, Special to The Baltimore Sun | August 28, 2012
For those of us who grew up in Baltimore, cantaloupe brings back memories of the a-rabs walking down the street with their horse-drawn carts bellowing in that wonderful sing-song cadence to come out for fruit. Going out with my mother to buy fruit (and to water and pet the horse) was always a treat, especially knowing that we'd come home with a cantaloupe. My mother liked it plain with a little salt "to bring out the sweetness," and it was my introduction to the beautiful interplay between sweet and savory.
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By Donna Ellis | May 2, 2012
Your family may be the stay-at-home-on-the-holidays type. If that's the case, you might think breakfast in bed is just the thing to honor Mom on her day. But this year, why not ask her opinion? It's entirely possible that the female parental unit in your house would prefer dinner on the deck over breakfast in bed. Even if she has to fix some of that dinner herself. For that purpose, we provide inspiration by way of a "simple" summery menu for eight that may very well fit better into Mom's fantasy agenda for celebrating her wonderfulness than your own ideas.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | February 13, 2012
Howard County restaurateurs want to let patrons take home beer in growlers. Now, one hopes to offer the same option to the wine-sipping set. Pouring cabernet from a tap into a bottle might seem a bit odd, but draft wine, as it's called, is gaining popularity around the country. And wine connoisseurs could have a chance to enjoy favorite seasonals or small-batch finds in the same way beer drinkers can — in a refillable container to take home. "Wine on tap is a new concept. It's quite popular.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Medland | December 27, 2011
Whether true or just a bit of wishful folklore, champagne was reportedly first cooked up by the French Benedictine monk Pierre Perignon (c. 1638-1715). When Dom Perignon first tasted his concoction, he is reported to have said, "Come quickly, I am drinking the stars!" These many years later, nothing says Happy New Year quite like sparkling wine. But you don't have to serve the vintage that bears Dom Perignon's name to have an experience worthy of seeing stars. It can be a daunting prospect to determine what really is great to serve at a party or give as a gift.
FEATURES
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,SUN WINE CRITIC | December 1, 1999
Many people have decreed that the new millennium does not begin until Jan. 1, 2001. The killjoys.They don't have to worry about opening a once-in-a-lifetime bottle of luxury champagne this New Year's. It's just another Jan. 1, fit for a decent splash of bubbly but not a burst of extravagance.Fortunately, wine enthusiasts no longer have to depend on the increasingly costly wines of Champagne for fine sparkling wine. Since their awkward beginnings in the 1970s and early 1980s, American producers have made tremendous strides in producing wines using the traditional methods and grapes of Champagne.
FEATURES
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,SUN WINE CRITIC | December 21, 1997
It really is a pity to have to ring in the new year in an economical fashion, but sometimes it's necessary.On New Year's Eve two years from now, when we ring in 2000, let's damn the cost, throw caution to the winds and drain bottles of the finest vintage Champagne. (The empties will be useful for "reasoning" with the killjoys who natter that we're celebrating the millennium a year too early.)But the year at hand is merely 1998 -- another 12 months of credit-card bills, mortgage payments, car loans and all the other annoyances that stand between us and total self-indulgence.
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By Lisa Aireythewinekey@aol.com | December 8, 2011
This Christmas, don't give your wine lover the standard issue 750ml. Give him or her another type of mind-expanding experience: books. There are wine books that are didactic in nature and books that read like novels and books that are novels that incorporate wine, food, culture and a spicy intrigue. Then, there are those books that upset conventional belief and challenge the status quo. Here are my picks for each category: "A History of the World in Six Glasses" by Tom Standage, $25 (didactic)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Richard Gorelick and The Baltimore Sun | November 1, 2011
Wine flows freely on Tuesdays. The Dogwood in Hampden, Corks in Federal Hill, Cinghiale in Harbor East and b in Bolton Hill all run good wine specials. Gertrude's in Homewood has its long-running Tuesday with Gertie's special, too. Find Tuesday night special here . Vino Rosina in Harbor East has launched a new Tuesday night special that they're calling Two-Some Tuesdays . The offer is a $45 three-course menu in the dining room The first course is a choice of three salads, the main course is either sous vide half chicken or tofu parmesan and dessert is a choice of molten chocolate cake or sous vide fruit.
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