It’s 5 o’clock, and you’re leaving the office in search of some post-work libations and snacks before dinner. You could go the traditional happy hour route — where you’re limited to a few drinks and small bites within a short window of time — or you could up the ante and visit a Japanese izakaya.
Search for “Champagne, bubbles and drunk,” and you’ll get headlines like “Why Bubbles Make You More Giggly.” But when we took a close look at the science supporting the urban legend, we weren’t impressed. The effect doesn’t happen to everyone, and when it does, it’s just temporary.
Here are a few things to look for if you’re trying to distinguish the age of your bottle of bubbly or the method by which it was made. And if you just want to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to preserving the bubbles, consider how you pour.
The final episode of season 6 reviews these San Francisco eateries: Izzy’s Steaks and Chops, El Huarache Loco, Helmand Palace. Leslie’s last wine tip of the season is quite dramatic: Opening Champagne Using a Saber.
If you’re purchasing a sparkling wine this holiday season, it’s easy to keep it local. After all, some of the finest American choices are produced in our own backyard. Following is a list of my top-ten local sparkling wine choices. Half of these wineries are set in Carneros, an area that covers parts of both Sonoma and Napa Valley that is perfectly suited for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grape growing (the two varietals most commonly used for sparkling wines). The other half are located in other parts of Napa and the Anderson Valleys.
It’s almost New Years Eve, and you know what that means — a lot of folks will be getting their drink on. If you have a gluten sensitivity, it doesn’t mean you need to miss the revelry. A lot of hard alcohol is naturally gluten-free, and for those not into hitting the hard stuff, there are quite a lot of companies making gluten-free beer and cider.
I’m inaugurating a wine blog today on Bay Area Bites. It’s a labor of love for me. I worked for a decade in the wine trade in the seventies and eighties, in New York City, San Francisco, and the Napa Valley. I’ve kept a toehold in the industry since then, while working as a news editor, reporter and anchor at KQED Public Radio. I still get a thrill from tasting great wine, or decent wine that’s a great value; and my cup runneth over with suggestions. People look at me strangely (“Is this nut coming on to me?”) when I make recommendations in the liquor aisle at Safeway. So this blog will provide a more acceptable outlet for my tasting notes. I’ll try to avoid numbers, and talk about how these wines behave on the lunch or dinner table, where they belong. I did a bubbly tasting not long ago; and with New Year Eve upon us, I wanted to share my thoughts, and those of my guests, on what we liked.