Five Places to Discover New Craft Beer

The craft beer movement is all the rage and has been for a number of years now. Part of what has made this particular fermented beverage renaissance is the fact that so many people have decided that they want more of a farm-to-market approach to their beer. So much emphasis is placed on knowing the places where are food comes from that it was almost inevitable that something as socially, and culturally, important as beer would follow suit. It’s also become important for many people to revisit the old ways of doing most things, and if there is one beverage that is ripe with historical significance from “the old world”, it is certainly beer.

The kicker, though, is that you actually have to know where to find craft beer in order to try it, and depending on where you live & your comfort level, you may be reticent to expand your horizons, even if it means great tasting brew. Well, rid yourself of that mindset, and get with the craft beer program!

Here are five places you can discover your next great, or perhaps your first, craft beer adventure:

1. Your Neighborhood Super-Market – It’s no surprise that most super-markets have everything you could need in life, but they are also becoming quite important in providing a number of alcohol options. Not only can you find great wine at variable price-points, you can also find great craft beer options from even local brewers.

2. Local Watering Hole – In an effort to bring in a more varied customer, local taverns & pubs have expanded their beer offerings so as to include some tremendous craft beer selections. In many cases, they will even go so far as to match their food offerings up to their beer selections so that you can get the best experience available.

3. Specialty Markets – As with most specialty stores, alcohol-related markets are now open that offer sometimes hundreds of beer selections from around the globe, thereby expanding the variable amounts of tastes from every corner of the planet. Why limit yourself to only a zip code over from your own city when you can get craft beer recipes that date back hundreds of years from Europe?

4. Mail Order – As with just about anything you can think of, you can also have fine suds sent directly to your home. Whether by an a la carte fashion or via a “beer club”, you are able to select from a wide selection of finely crafted brews and have them come to you for a relatively small fee.

5. Local Movie House – You also have local dine-in brewery movie houses that offer the best of all worlds. Not only are you able to choose from some serious, award-winning beers on tap, you can also order some gourmet eats & have it served to you while you watch the latest movies in a luxurious theater! It will forever change your movie-watching experience!

Don’t let the craft beer movement pass you by. Let yourself experience new tastes & be willing to step into unfamiliar territory. You’ll be very glad you did!

Wine Cellar Favorites

Zinfandel, also known as Primitivo,is grown in Apulia, Italy. It is a variety of black-skinned wine grape. The variety is grown in over 10 percent of California vineyards. The grape found its way to the United States in the 19th century, where it became known by variations of the name “Zinfandel”, a name which is probably of Austrian origin.

Despite its popularity in California, Zinfandel is thought to have originated in Croatia. Recent research determined that Primitivo, a grape long grown in Southern Italy to produce full-bodied and fruity red wines, is actually Zinfandel.

The grapes typically produce a robust red wine. The grape’s high sugar content can be fermented into levels of alcohol exceeding 15 percent.

Red Zinfandel wines have been criticized for being too alcoholic, although modern wine making techniques have helped make them more enjoyable.

The taste of the red wine depends on the ripeness of the grapes from which it is made. Red berry fruit flavors like raspberry predominate in wines from cooler areas, whereas blackberry, anise and pepper notes are more common in wines made in warmer areas.

Zinfandel is a classic wine of California

The red Zinfandel grape does will in warm climate regions. When fully ripe, Zinfandel grapes contain high amounts of sugar, which can be completely fermented to create a dry and fairly high-alcohol wine.

Zinfandel wine made in the traditional fashion may be unoaked and easy-drinking, or oak-aged and full bodied. Older versions can be particularly intense and rich. Expect flavors of black fruits and spice in all. The full flavors and bit of sweetness make Zinfandel a great match for grilled and barbecued meats.

Pairing Zinfandel with food!

Zinfandel wine is best when paired with anything from the meat aisle, from barbeque pork ribs, leg of lamb and more.


Beef and Lamb

Italian sausage

Spare ribs


A lighter Zinfandel wine is a nice choice for poultry and game fowl







A Full Flavored Zinfandel wine pairs best with tomato-based dishes while lighter Zinfandels make an excellent wine pairing for creamy pastas.




Pair Zinfandel with seafood stews and soups or grilled fish.



Enjoy Zinfandel with bold, hearty soups, as well as your favorite kind of pizza!

Beef Stew




Black Pepper, Basil, Thyme, Italian Parsley, Bay Leaf, Fennel


Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is a green-skinned grape variety that originates from the Bordeaux region of France. The grape most likely gets its name from the French words sauvage, meaning wild and blanc, meaning white due to its early origins in South West France. These grapes produce a crisp, dry, and refreshing white wine.

It’s long been used to make world-class wines from Bordeaux. it has become an everyday favorite thanks to wine makers of New Zealand.In North America, California is the leading producer of Sauvignon blanc.

Depending on the climate, the flavor can range from grassy to tropical. In cooler climates, the grape has a tendency to produce wines with acidity and flavors of grass with some tropical fruit and floral notes. In warmer climates, it can develop more tropical fruit notes. “Grassy” flavors in this wine are more prominent in some grape varieties than others.

This grape variety vine buds late but ripens early, which allows it to perform well in sunny climates when not exposed to high heat. In warm regions such as South Africa, Australia and California, the grape is happier in cooler climate. the grape will quickly become over-ripe and produce wines with dull flavors and flat acidity.

Sauvignon blanc was one of the first elegant wines to be bottled with a screw cap in commercial quantities. The wine is usually consumed young, as it does not particularly benefit from aging.

Wine experts have used the phrase “crisp, elegant, and fresh” as a likely description of this fine wine,

When slightly chilled,it pairs well with fish or cheese. It is also known as one of the few wines that can pair well with sushi.

The primary fruit flavors of Sauvignon Blanc are lime, green apple, passion fruit and white peach. Depending on how ripe the grapes are when the flavor will range from zesty lime to flowery peach. What makes Sauvignon Blanc unique from other white wines are its other herbaceous flavors like bell pepper, jalapeño, gooseberry and grass.

Food Pairings with Sauvignon Blanc

Wine experts have used the phrase “crisp, elegant, and fresh” as a favorable description of Sauvignon blanc. It pairs well with fish or cheese. It is known as one of the few wines that can pair well with sushi. This white wine pairs well with white meats, such as fish, shellfish, chicken and pork.

The wine pairs well with similar green herbs such as parsley, rosemary, basil, cilantro or mint.

Sauvignon Blanc with Salmon

This flavorful wine can be difficult to pair. It has a grassy and lemony flavor on its own. It’s a good pairing with fish like salmon.

The Romance of Wine

This is all about Fine Wine and what I refer to as Wine Magic. There are so many ways to enjoy Wine, and when you add Wine to specific activities, Magic happens. Calming, relaxing and stress relieved Wine Magic!

Activities To Best Enjoy Along a Glass of Fine Wine, creating Wine Magic!

A Relaxing Bath or Jacuzzi

It starts out with a relaxing thought of a very HOT bubble bath, and a Glass of Fine Wine. Maybe a dark and rich RED, or a calming (not too sweet) White. Some candles lit for ambiance and your own created space of calm. A place where you can relax, de-stress and just be you. Forget the daily stress, the work undone at the office, or maybe the hard day with the kids.

You have been waiting for this alone time. This time for you, your Fine Wine, maybe a book. Your time of Peace. Where you can just breathe… You can add more Hot Water, Pour another Glass, and just prolong the Peace.

Magic Leading to Romance:

Then there is the Wine Magic that kicks in when you are looking to create that romantic moment with your Lover. Entice them into the hot bath you made with complete intent for a romantic evening with just the two of you. Away from anything, anyone else. (No cell phones, no computers, no TV) Just the two of you, some Fine Wine, and the Magic is set to happen. You can relax, and just be the two of you together.

While Women and Baths seem more common, by all rights the Joys of a Hot Bath and a Glass of Fine Wine are not just for Women (not in this Century). One try, and almost any Man will see the calming value of some Alone Time with a Fine Wine in hand under the bubbles in a Hot Tub. Try it once, and you will know how amazing it feels. You will see why letting the significant Woman in your life enjoy a Hot Bath 2 to 3 times a week is worth doing the extra chores or take the kids out to the park to allow it to happen. She will be relaxed, and your efforts to allow her the complete peace and quiet will be worth it for you both.

Jacuzzi and Wine?

An awesome idea if you ask me. Outdoors, under the Moon, the Sun, or as the Sun Sets. A Glass of Fine Wine, and time for enjoying the Fresh Air, the Bubbles, and Massaging of the Jets on your Back. Reflect on your day, your week, your life. And think about the future.

Make any Meal into an “Event”

It starts with an Elegant Wine. Then you pair it with the perfect foods, and turn the Meal into an “Event”. From food pairings such as fruit, cheeses, chocolate to the more complete Dish to accompany the Rich Wine. Wine Magic will be happening with each taste, sip, and repeated Joy with each Bite, each swallow.

Many of us do not know enough about the many different wines and different varieties of wines. More so, we have not experienced enough of these different wines to know what pairs best with them, other than trial and error. Or maybe you have been fortunate enough to go with a suggested Wine and Food pairing at a Fancy Restaurant, or with a Wine knowledgeable friend.

Ever tried the taste sensations with that perfect Fine Wine and Grapes, Soft White Cheese, Blue Cheese Assortment, or Gouda Cheese? The tastes alter in degrees of pleasantries with various Wines and Wine Varieties. Add in some melon wrapped in Proscuitto Ham, and the right Fine Wine. Sometimes the simple accompaniments can make for an “Event”.

A great French Dip becomes “Spectacular” with the right wine. Take that Super Meaty Sub from your favorite Deli and create a true “Event”. Something simple, becomes exquisite. Looking for an easy, yet memorable “Event” with your Loved One? This is quite the treat, and creates a “Take Out Sensation of Tastes”. All from the addition of Fine Wine.

The options are almost endless. Start with a Fine Wine, and add the Food. BOOM! Just like that, your “Event” is ready to happen.
Women and Wine – Perfect Combination!

When women get together with friends it’s usually a creation of laughs, inside jokes and usually some sort of trouble. Add the perfect pairing of Delicious Wine, some Glasses, and the Party is ready to go. From the first pour to the last, everything becomes fun.

Surrounding your Girlfriends with Fine Food, Fine Wine and Great Company (You Know Best). Women know how to enjoy themselves. They can relax, together in a cozy environment, either dressed to the “9’s” or in their pajamas. Enjoying make-up tips and techniques, to enjoying a Romance Film Marathon. All made even better with the addition of Fine Wine to round out the time spent together.

From Clubbing, to a night out on the Town. A bottle of Wine (or three) shared with the girlfriends is sure to create some great times for all. Get ready to bury the stresses and worries, and enjoy your companions, support group, and besties.

Grab a Glass (or Bottle) and enjoy the Wine Magic as you dance the night away, relaxed and worry-free.

How about those romantic dinners, or classical music in the park outings? Ever go up the Canyon to enjoy a campfire, some dark chocolate, and oh… some really good Merlot? If you haven’t I highly recommend it.

Wine is known as the elixir of life. It has been around for Centuries, a literal gift from the Gods. Used to celebrate and reflect on ones life, life achievements and special occasions. Something that makes each moment remarkable… Fine Wine.

Wines From Bordeaux, France

Wineries all over the world aspire to making wines in a Bordeaux style

What is Bordeaux wine?

Bordeaux (“Bore-doe”) refers to a wine from Bordeaux, France. Over 90% of Bordeaux wines are red wines made with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec

Bordeaux is one of France’s most important wine-producing regions. The Dutch drained the marshes of the Medoc in the 17th century. The climate is as humid as it was when the land was covered in marshes instead of vineyards, leading to a variety of problems, such as rot and mildew

Red Bordeaux Primary Flavors: Black Currant, Plum, Graphite, Cedar, Violet.

Bordeaux reds are medium to full bodied with bold aromas of black currant and plums. Depending on the region where the Bordeaux wine is from, fruit flavors range from more tart fruit to sweeter ripe fruit.

As with the reds, white Bordeaux wines are usually blends of Sémillion and a smaller proportion of Sauvignon blanc. Other permitted grape varieties are Sauvignon gris, Ugni blanc, Colombard, Merlot blanc, Ondenc and Mauzac.

Here’s what to know about serving this wine:

Best served just slightly below room temperature (around 65 °F / 18 °C).

It’s always a great idea to decant red Bordeaux wines.

Store Bordeaux and all your red wines below 65 °F / 18 °C.

A decent vintage and solid producer (around $25+) will easily age for 15 years.

Pairing Food with Bordeaux Wine


Black Pepper Steak, Roast Pork, Filet Mignon, Beef Brisket, Buffalo Burgers, Chicken Liver, Pot Roast, Venison, Duck, Goose, Dark Meat Turkey


Basque Cheeses, Swiss Cheese, White Cheddar, Provolone, Pepper Jack


Black Pepper, White Pepper, Oregano, Rosemary, Mustard Seed, Cumin, Coriander Seed


Roast Potatoes, Lentils, Mushrooms, Onion, Green Onion, Green Bean Casserole, Chestnut

Climate and geography

The major reason for the success of wine making in the Bordeaux region is an excellent environment for growing vines.

In Bordeaux the concept of terroir plays a role in wine production with the top estates aiming to make terroir driven wines that reflect the place they are from, often from grapes collected from a single vineyard. Remember that the right bank is dominated by Merlot and the left bank is dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon.

Buying Bordeaux

Buying Bordeaux can be an intimidating experience. French wine labels steer clear of grapes and focus on geography.

Bordeaux has ruled the world of wine for three centuries and it will continue to influence consumer trends and the future of wines for years to come.

Chablis Wine

The Chablis region is the northernmost wine district of the Burgundy region in France. The cool climate of this region produces wines with more acidity and flavors less fruity than Chardonnay wines grown in warmer climates. These wines often sometimes described as steely. To make a true Chablis is required to use Chardonnay grapes only.

Chablis wine has typically much less oak influence.. Most basic Chablis are matured in stainless steel tanks.

Chablis is an historic wine-producing town in northern-central France. It produces light, dry white wines known for their minerality and crisp acidity.

Chablis wines are made in a style rather different from those produced elsewhere in Burgundy. They are drier and fresher, rather than more weighty and richly flavored. Chablis is usually entirely free of any oak influence. Very few Chablis producers use oak barrels in their wine making and the exceptions are restricted to the higher-quality wines, whose extra complexity and depth mean that the wines are not overpowered by oak flavors.

All Chablis is made 100% from the Chardonnay grape. Some wine experts, believe that the wine from Chablis is one of the “purest” expressions of the variety of Chardonnay, because of the simple style of wine making favored in this region. Chablis wines are characterized by their greenish-yellow color and clarity. The green apple-like acidity is a trademark of the wines and can be noticeable in the bouquet. The acidity can mellow with age and Chablis are some of the longest living examples of Chardonnay. Some examples of Chablis can have an earthy “wet stone” flavor that intensifies as it ages, before mellowing into delicate honeyed notes. Like most white Burgundies.

Drinking and Pairing Chablis with Food

As far as what it works well with, it is the crispness of the wine that really determines the pairings.

The Chablis, being a leaner wine works well with most seafood; such as shell fish, lighter fish as well as any fish with a rich sauce. Chicken, Pork, and Turkey is also a nice pairing with the Chablis. A cream sauce will work well with this wine as the acidity is not overpowering.

Rich, spicey foods will not pair well with this wine, as well as fatty foods or highly flavored foods will also drown out this wine.

Scandinavian cuisine
Foods cooked via Broil
Served Cold dishes
Oysters on the half shell
Court bouillon-poached Halibut
Fried Calamari

Wines Worthy of Your Wine Cellar

Chardonnay Wine is the most popular wine in the world today. Wine lovers in Australia, Netherlands, New Zealand, United States, Denmark and Belgium are enjoying this very versatile wine.

Chardonnay is made from the green-skinned grape variety used in the production of white wine, originating in eastern France, but is now grown wherever wine is produced from every part of the world.
Chardonnay has a wide-range reputation for ease of cultivation and ability to adapt to different conditions.

Harvesting time is crucial to wine making, with the grape rapidly losing acidity as soon as it ripens. Some hazards include the risk of damage from springtime frost, as Chardonnay is an early-budding vine.

The Chardonnay grape itself is very neutral, with many of the flavors from the mineral wines of Chablis, France. Chardonnay tends to be medium to light with flavors of green plum, apple, pear and oak. In warmer locations, such as Australia and New Zealand, the flavors become more citrus, peach, and melon. Warmer locations, like California, have more fig and tropical fruit flavors such as banana and mango.

Chardonnay is an important ingredient to many sparkling wines around the world, including Champagne. Very popular in the late 1980s, but wine enthusiasts saw the grape as a negative ingredient of the global growth of wine. It remains one of the most widely planted grape varieties worldwide. Chardonnay grapes are planted in more wine regions than any other grape – including Cabernet.

With food:

Due to the wide range of styles, Chardonnay is paired with a variety of food types. It is most commonly paired with roast chicken and other white meats. Heavily oak tasting Chardonnays do not pair well with fish and seafood. Instead, those wines tend to go better with smoked fish, spicy foods and foods with garlic. Chardonnays from Washington, which have more acidity, tend to pair well with tomato-based dishes and foods with sweet onions. Older, more mellow Chardonnays are often paired with more “earthy” dishes like aged cheese and mushrooms.

Although most famous for its, dry wines, Chardonnay is used to produce a variety of wine styles. The variety is put to use in sparkling wines all over the world, such as Champagne, when it is usually paired with Pinot Noir. Canada even produces sweet Chardonnay ice wines.

Chardonnay has been the fastest-growing white variety over the last decade.

Wine Lovers

Merlot wine is first class.

Not only does it command the highest respect in the wine world, Merlot also tastes great with food.

Merlot a dark blue-colored wine grape variety, that is used as both a blending grape and for a variety of wines. The name Merlot is thought to be the French name for the blackbird.

Merlot grapes are identified by their loose bunches of large blue berries. The color has less of a blue/black hue than Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and with a thinner skin. It normally ripens up to two weeks earlier than some other grapes.. Merlot grapes tend to have a higher sugar content and lower acidity. The wine has seems to claim some of it’s best characteristics from its parent varieties-its fertility and easy ripening ability

Merlot thrives in cold soil, particularly ferrous clay. The vine tends to bud early which gives it some risk to cold frost and its thinner skin increases its susceptibility to the hazard of bunch rot. If bad weather occurs during flowering, the Merlot vine is prone to develop coulure.The vine can also be susceptible to mildew (though it has better resistance to powdery mildew than other Bordeaux varieties) and to infection by leafhopper insect varieties

Red fruits, easy tannins and a soft finish are the characteristics of Merlot wmerlotine. But there’s more to Merlot than being smooth. It’s actually a bit of a chameleon, partly because of where it’s grown.

This flexibility has helped to make it one of the world’s most planted grape varieties.

France is home to nearly two thirds of the world’s total plantings of Merlot but is grown in regions all over the world.

Cool climate Merlot wine carries flavors like tobacco and tar.

Warm climate Merlot wine is more fruit-forward. Producers use oak-treatment of up to 24 months to give their Merlot wine more structure.

A classic example of hot climate Merlot is California Merlot, such as Paso Robles and Napa Valley.

Merlot is essential to the most famous wine region in the world -Bordeaux.

Food pairing with Merlot:

Merlots pair well with grilled and charred meats. Fruitier Merlots go well with dishes like salmon, mushroom-based dishes and greens like chard and radicchio. Light-bodied Merlots can go well with shellfish like prawns or scallops. Merlot tends not to go well with strong and blue-veined cheeses that can overwhelm the fruit flavors of the wine.

Elegant Wines to Savor

Pinot Noir is a red wine grape variety. The name may also refer to wines created predominantly from Pinot Noir grapes. The name is derived from the French words for pine and black.

These grapes are grown around the world, mostly in the cooler climates, but the grape is chiefly associated with the Burgundy region of France.

It is a difficult variety to cultivate and transform into wine. The grape’s tendency to produce tightly packed clusters makes it susceptible to several hazards involving rot. At young stages, wines made from Pinot tend to have red fruit aromas of cherries, raspberries and strawberries. As the wine ages, they have the potential to develop more vegetative and “barnyard” aromas that can contribute to the different flavors of the wine.

This red wine grape variety’s home is France’s Burgundy region.

The broad range of bouquets, flavors, textures and impressions that these beautiful grapes can produce sometimes confuses tasters. The wine tends to be of light to medium body with an aroma of black or red cherry, raspberry and currant and many other fine small pinot noir and black berry fruits.

The wine’s color when young is often compared to that of garnet, frequently being much lighter than that of other red wines.

The Pinot grape is also used in the production of Champagne and is planted in most of the world’s wine growing regions for use in both still and sparkling wines. It is grown for dry table wines is generally lower-yielding than many other varieties.

This wines are pale in color, translucent and their flavors are very clean. The grape itself is weak, suffering from a variety of diseases and its genetics make it highly susceptible to mutation.


FRUIT: Cranberry, Cherry, Raspberry

OTHER: vanilla, clove, licorice, mushroom, wet leaves, tobacco, cola, quality red wine.

Food Pairings For Pinot Noir.

Pinot noir is one of the most versatile red wines to match with food and a great option in a restaurant when one is eating meat and the other fish.

There are ingredients that will pair with practically any pinot noir such as duck and mushrooms and others, like salmon or tuna. This wine should be served cool or chilled:

Light, fresh pinots

Good pairings:, ham and other cold meats. Classic French dishes with light creamy sauces such as rabbit or kidneys with a mustard sauce. Goat cheese. Grilled asparagus. Spring vegetables such as peas

Food pairings: Dishes with a touch of spice, duck, grilled quail, pulled pork, seared salmon and tuna. Barbecues. Dishes that include cherries or figs.

Silky, elegant pinots

Paired With: Roast chicken, Pigeon, Rack of lamb, served pink. Rare fillet steak.. Beef Wellington. Roast pork with herbs and fennel. Chicken or turkey sausages. Dishes with wild mushrooms. Mushroom risotto. Roast or grilled lobster

Rich, full-bodied pinots

Good pairings: lamb, grilled steak, venison. Dishes like duck, roast goose. Glazed ham, Roast turkey, Brie and similar cheeses and Milder blue cheeses such as Gorgonzola.

Wines From Around The Globe

Riesling Wine

Riesling is one of the great white grapes. It produces wines that vary by region, but they share a great many traits. This wine is often highly fragrant, very delicious and food-friendly.

It is a light-skinned, aromatic grape of German origin which is the world’s finest white-wine grape variety.

Riesling originated in the Rhine region of Germany. Riesling is an aromatic grape variety with flowery, aromas, as well as high acidity. It is used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet, and sparkling white wines. Riesling wines are seldom oaked. Riesling is usually included in the “top three” white wine varieties together with Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc. The character of Riesling wines is greatly influenced by the wine’s place of origin.

In cool climates, Riesling wines tend to have apple and tree fruit tastes with noticeable levels of acidity. Another variety can develop more citrus and peach notes is grown in warmer climates. In Australia, Riesling is often noted for a lime note that tends to come from South Australia.
Riesling wines are often enjoyed when young, with a fruity wine which may have aromas of green or other apples, grapefruit, peach, gooseberry, honey, rose blossom or cut green grass, and usually a crisp taste due to the high acidity.

Riesling is the best food wine in the world The citrus Rieslings are best paired with “green” foods, such as lime, jalapeno. And it is especially tasty with spicy foods and other ethnic foods that we enjoy.


The absence of oak in these wines enables them to bring out the flavors in fine cooking, rather than smothering them with wood. Best with fish, poultry and pork.
Dry Rieslings wines brighten the flavors of the food and refresh the palate.


Delicacy and fruitiness are the high notes of a fine, off-dry Rieslings. The elegance and purity of flavor make them perfect partners for cooking that emphasizes clean, fresh ingredients.


Sweeter Rieslings, work well on their own to clean the palate between courses. They also pair well with rich, spicy Indian dishes or moderately sweet tropical dishes with fresh fruits. When Rieslings mature, dishes, such as fowl, wild boar and venison are best paired with this. Their richness goes well with strong, blue cheeses and fruit desserts When pairing with a dessert, avoid chocolate, one of the few things that Riesling does not work with.