Thursday, February 27, 2014

Iberian Whites

By Liza B. Zimmerman


These high-acid whites just don’t get enough respect

The Portuguese wine game has long been ruled by the red varietals. They, at least, have the distinction of going into high-end Port blends. However many of the indigenous whites have a long-respected history and convey intense local flavors.

Perhaps the best known is Alvarinho, which generally makes the country’s most distinguished whites. The Trás-os-Montes region, in the far north of the country, is so close to Spain that you can drive across the bridge to shop, is home of some of the best. It is green, rainy and lush beyond belief. I wish I had spent more time there.

In the Douro there are more than a handful of fantastic producers making high-acid and food-friendly wines that will pair divinely with much of New York’s spice-laden cuisine. Quinta do Crasto has long been one of the best and most innovative producers, making both high-end, and entry-level, whites and reds. Their property and many others this gorgeous region are well worth a visit and are only a short flight or train ride—when it comes—outside of Lisbon. The region is also full of great dining destinations, such as DOC Restaurant, which has outdoor decks right on the Douro.

The Alentejo region, among others is also producing great regional wine. Let’s not forget the amazing Madeiras this country also producers that are so supple and caramel-infused dessert friendly.

While Spain’s historic white wine production has generally come from simple, local grapes such as Airén, which is the country’s most widely planted white grape varietal; it has been producing some divine and unique white whites for some time. Albariño, generally in the lead for distinguished whites, is grown on the cool, grassy slopes in the north of the country. It is pretty much a guaranteed go-to wine with any kind of seafood or paella. As someone who has lived in San Francisco for almost a decade I would also venture to say it pairs brilliantly with spicy ethnic food (such as Indian or Chinese: where there are delicate layers of spice).

Another classic Northern Spanish region is Rueda, which focuses on Verdejo, Viura, Sauvignon Blanc, all of which tend to be classically cool climate and high acidity. I will be moderating a seminar and panel on how these wines pair with non-Mediterranean foods in April in San Francisco, so if you will be out this way and are curious please let me know. This first one will focus on how these wines work with the spices in Southern Indian cuisines at Dosa and hopefully others will follow-up on their pairings with spicy Thai and Chinese dishes.

These whites have the lean and mean acidity to pair with a huge range of foods, particularly those that are spice- and seafood-focused. They might even have the courage to wake up your winter palate in New York and inspire you to take a bottle or two to a restaurant. Reach out to me if you would like some suggestions on great BYOB places in New York, as I specialized in bringing my own great bottles when I lived there for many years and still adore doing so when I am back home with my family. 

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

Liza Zimmerman has been writing and consulting about wine and food for two decades. She is principal of the San Francisco-based Liza the Wine Chick wine writing, education and consulting firm. She has worked on staff and freelance at national magazines such as Wine Enthusiast, The Magazine of La Cucina Italiana, Wine Spectator, Where SF and the Examiner. She currently contributes to Cheers, Wine Business Monthly and the Examiner, among others.

Zimmerman focuses on demystifying wine and transforming it into a tool for business and networking for companies all over the country. Past clients include Genentech, Roche and IBM.

She has visited all the world’s major wine regions and is one of select few in the U.S. to hold the Diploma of Wine & Spirits (D.W.S.), the three-year precursor to the Master of Wine.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Cocktails with Casa Noble Tequila

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer

Ah, Casa Noble Tequila… How do I count the ways to enjoy your richly textured sips of smoky, agave goodness?   Will I enjoy you with fresh citrus juices? Or will I enjoy you with a sprinkling of sea salt and a puree of roasted tomatoes?  Who decides what will be in my glass?

Well certainly powers beyond my control decide this…

Casa Noble is lush, potent and inviting.  Take a sip, roll it on your tongue, and suck in the aromatics like you taste fine wine.  Roll it around in your glass. Smell the craftsmanship that only Casa Noble can provide. Relax and sip.Sure it’s fun to mix with Casa Noble.  There are millions of combinations for this highly expressive spirit!

Perhaps I’ll twist up the usual margarita and use some different ingredients that speak clearly of the season?  .  A mere splash transforms the Casa Noble Reposado to a thing of rare beauty. I’ve discovered a most lovely tangerine soda syrup also useful in cocktails- from Fruitations in Massachusetts that goes perfectly with Casa Noble Reposado Tequila

Six of the Buccaneers
Ingredients:
2 oz. Casa Noble Reposado
1 oz. Fruitations Tangerine Soda and Cocktail Syrup
3 oz. Seltzer Water of your choice (I used Polar this time)

Preparation:
Fill a Boston Shaker ¾ with ice
Pour over the ingredients into the shaker (except for the fizzy water and the bitters)
Cover and shake hard for 15 seconds

Pour into a rocks glass with one cube of hand cut ice – that you made the night prior!
Splash a bit of soda water on the top
Dot the top with the bitters… sip carefully.. .

But all tequila cocktails are not just spirits and fruit; sometimes they call for savory flavors.  Royal Rose, in Maine makes gorgeous simple syrup of three chilies.  This sweet and savory syrup is laced with the smoky goodness of chipotle, ancho and jalapeño chilies.  I’m taken by how marvelous a couple teaspoons taste woven into a small dose of Casa Noble Blanco Tequila.  

The Handspike 
Ingredients:
2 oz. Casa Noble Blanco
½ oz. Caledonia Spirits from Vermont, Elderberry Cordial
1 oz. Royal Rose Simple Syrup of Three Chilies
2 oz. Sparkling Water (of your choice)

Preparation:
In a cocktail mixing glass fill ¾ with ice
Add the Casa Noble Blanco and the Barr Hill Elderberry Cordial
Add the Royal Rose Three Chilies Syrup

Shake HARD for 10 seconds
Strain into a tall, narrow-Collins Glass with one HAND CUT spear of ice
Pour the sparkling water over the top
Dot with the Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters

Serve.

Casa Noble goes wonderfully with roasted tomatoes!  I love to play around with these versatile fruits.  When you roast tomatoes in the off-season, the concentrated flavors of the luscious and beguiling “love-apple” come through. 

It’s easy to do!  Here are the instructions:

Take about 2 pounds of plum tomatoes and slice them in half
Sprinkle with Kosher Salt
Sprinkle with (really good) Spanish Olive Oil

Roast them at 300 degrees for two hours until they melt
Puree then set aside to cool
The skin will be charred slightly, this adds character!

Carousing in the Swamp
Ingredients:
2 oz. Casa Noble Reposado (for extra character)
3 oz. pureed roasted tomatoes
1 oz. Tomato juice
1 oz. Celery juice
½ oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 shakes Worcester Sauce
¼ oz. horseradish… freshly grated a plus!

Preparation:
To a Boston Shaker add all the ingredients…with some ice, only about ½ full of ice, cover and roll.  DO NOT SHAKE…
Shaking a Bloody Mary is JUST NOT DONE…  so don’t do it!
Enjoy this modern take on the classic, Bloody Mary, crafted with Casa Noble Tequila.

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

Article by Warren Bobrow, a nationally published food and spirits columnist who writes for Williams-Sonoma, Foodista and the Beekman Boys.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Pairing Wine with Chinese Food

By Liza B. Zimmerman

This incredibly diverse cuisine used to be viewed in massively generic terms when I grew up on the Upper West Side of New York. In the 1970s, and the 1980s, when we saw restaurateurs hanging out their shingles serving Mandarin and Sichuan food we knew the tide had turned on generalizing about an enormous country with incredibly diverse regional traditions. Along with inheriting vegetables we couldn’t identify—but were delicious—we also saw old standards like Moo Shu Pork and Egg Foo Young become less popular.

So why should we all be so convinced that that beer is the best pairing for Chinese food? If China, like many Asian countries, had a more diverse history of beer production I might be more positive about food- and beer-paring synergies. The bulk of incredibly light beers, meant for hot-weather consumption, aren’t always the best with food. And well-chosen wines do complement this cuisine.

As with Indian food, whites will often work better than reds. Particularly off-dry whites will calm the heat in some dishes. Classics again would be Rieslings and Gewürztraminers from Germany, Alsace and even New York State. Subdued and elegant Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris also do the trick from those three regions and Oregon, as well as Northern Italy.

I recently spoke to Cassandra Brown, a sommelier at San Francisco’s venerable Chinese multi-unit Chinese dinning–destination Hakkasan—there is one in New York as well—and Owner of The Chocolate Grape - Sommelier consulting service. When I ate there recently she paired high-acid Champagne and primarily white Rhône varietals—mostly from California—with the shifting spice layers of the food. She notes that, “Surprisingly, many types of wine pair well with Chinese food, from wines with high acidity and high mineral content to full-bodied, fruit forward wines. Champagne, Rioja, Pinot Noir, Napa Cabernet, dry or sweet Riesling, even Australian Shiraz. Take your pick!”

When asked what really amps up the pairings with Chinese dishes, she says, “There is the textbook answer of high acid pairing with rich and ‘greasy’ dishes and sweeter wines pairing with spicy dishes. To be honest, you really have to taste your way through it. That's the fun part!” Rules are great and helpful but Cassandra brings us back to the point that everyone’s palate is also subjective.”

She also confirms that “Almost any off-dry, slightly sweet, sweet or full-on dessert sweet wine will tame the heat by coating the palate and counteracting the capsaicin [peppers].” However pairings don’t need to exclusively skew to white wines. I often enjoy spicy Syrahs, such as many of the wines from the Rhône Valley or the Sonoma Coast with these flavors. She adds that, “a nice rich, spicy red like Syrah works for me every time! I like to play around with flavors and not box myself in.” I personally have always been a fan of the intense peppery flavors of many Syrahs and how they work with spicy food. I would start in the Rhône and work my way back through the Sonoma Coast and Walla Walla for some of these finds and their ideal Chinese food pairings.

The bottom line, as with any wine adventure, is finding your own way. The key, she says, is “Learning of what you think goes with what and what you enjoy. In my opinion, wine pairing is about the experience. There is also [the idea that] similar flavors pair well, as well as contrasting elements pair well. It's infinite! Many books have been written on it, and I'm sure many more will be. My advice is that you just enjoy yourself and relax!” Those are words of advice from a true restaurateur.

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

Liza Zimmerman has been writing and consulting about wine and food for two decades. She is principal of the San Francisco-based Liza the Wine Chick wine writing, education and consulting firm. She has worked on staff and freelance at national magazines such as Wine Enthusiast, The Magazine of La Cucina Italiana, Wine Spectator, Where SF and the Examiner. She currently contributes to Cheers, Wine Business Monthly and the Examiner, among others.

Zimmerman focuses on demystifying wine and transforming it into a tool for business and networking for companies all over the country. Past clients include Genentech, Roche and IBM.

She has visited all the world’s major wine regions and is one of select few in the U.S. to hold the Diploma of Wine & Spirits (D.W.S.), the three-year precursor to the Master of Wine.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Did you forget Valentine's day? Here is how to make it up!

By Catherine L Luke

How did you celebrate Valentine’s Day last week?  Did you forget?   It’s cool.  Life can be a crazy whirlwind.  Dates of the calendar just fly right by (like in an Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole sort of swirl).  Did you kind of, sort of, purposefully forget?   Because it felt forced, and you’re a rebel, and drug store holidays can be so lame?  I get it.

Whether you need to get out of the dog house because you forgot, or because you’ve suddenly been inspired by cupid’s little arrow a week after the fact, you can still show that you’ve got the biggest heart in town.  No matter how lame a holiday can be, love is not lame.  It’s a complex and sometimes unusual thing.  It should be celebrated big and celebrated often!  N’est-ce pas?

I think that most of us can agree that the best way to do this involves some good ole fashion wining and dining.  Got to fuel the fire!  It needs no formal date, or time, or anything like that, but what I’m suggesting here is that you treat yourself and your sweetheart to Five Days of LURV!

Here, as a muse, is a sample menu of libations:
Day 1: Champagne!  Because it’s happy, and it’s sprightly, and it’s sexy.  There’s no better way to kickoff anything, particularly a big fat celebration of love.  Aubry Fils and Pol Roger are always winners for me, though there are lots of amazing small growers on the market.  Try one out!  Snack on interesting cheeses and roasted nuts.

If not Champagne, maybe a Cremant d’(insert French region here), or Franciacorta, or a high quality Cava, a Metodo Classico Erbaluce,  a sparkling Verdicchio, or a bottle of bubbles full of California sunshine.  So many possibilities- be brave and try something you’ve never heard of.  Love’s a big ‘ole risk anyway, so buckle up and take a vinous adventure together.

Day 2: Barolo.  Express the deep and mysterious folds of your emotions with a bottle of Barolo.  Cook up adish involving some potent (and deep and mysterious) mushrooms.  Perhaps a lamb ragout?  Don’t be afraid to get down like that.  Even better if you go for a very particular Barolo from a cru or single vineyard.  Something from an extra special place for your extra special pal.  There’s nothing more intriguing than the nebbiolo grape when aged long and beautifully.  Be sure to decant a few hours before sipping.  You’re in for layers of pleasure.  It may even reveal the poet in you.  No chance?  Memorize some Rumi.

Day 3: Absinthe  Serve it traditionally.  Wake up your senses. 
“...the young man poured the water in a very thin stream and the girl watched the absinthe cloud opalescently.  It felt warm as her fingers held the glass and then as it lost the yellow cast and began to look milky it cooled sharply and the young man let the water fall in a drop at a time.” (Hemingway, The Garden of Eden). As your sugar cube drips over the magic potion, be sure to play Yo La Tengo’s love song, Sugarcube.  This scene screams romance!

Day 4: Vouvray.  Paired with fresh oysters.  A teaming that is very simple, yet feels so fancy; delightful though kind of serious.  From “the garden of France” to your moment in time, Vouvray’s savory and luscious expression of Chenin Blanc brings joy and luxury to any day.

Day 5: Champagne!  Again!  You may as well sip it for the rest of the days of the year too.  But especially today.  Yes, today!  Everyday with your cutie pie is deserving of Champagne.  It’s true.  And it’s fun.  I’m pretty sure that one of the secrets to life...and love (and all that important stuff), is to remember to have fun.
“And frame your mind to mirth and merriment which bars a thousand harms and lengthens life” -Shakespeare
delightful though kind of serious.  From “the garden of France” to your moment in time, Vouvray’s savory and luscious expression of Chenin Blanc brings joy and luxury to any day.

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

Catherine lives in Brooklyn, and has worked in the wine industry in Napa Valley and NYC. She is certified by the WSET, as well as the school of "wine in real life".  Understanding the patchwork of little-known Italian regional wines, dishes, and customs excites her most of all. She (sometimes) muses on her blog GrapesofCath.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Not Your Usual Wines for Valentine’s Day

By Liza B. Zimmerman

Bubbles are wonderful all year long so there’s no need to just enjoy them on Valentine’s Day. However, if you do want to go the traditional route, I have some suggestions. The best values, for both sparkling wines and Champagnes, often come from the lesser-known areas and producers. One of my favorites has long been Gruet, a family-owned winery—with roots in Champagne—in New Mexico (yes, indeed they make some great wines there. I am partial to the Blancs de Noir, but also like the Blanc de Blancs. Both generally retail for less than $20 a bottle. 

If you want to go with real Champagne, Nicolas Feuillate is one of my favorites. It is one of the youngest and newest houses in Champagne. What humans have done for years by hand, riddling the Champagne bottles to rotate them gently to rotate the yeast, is being done by geropalate—big cage-like machines—to the cost benefit of the end consumer. A little romance may go out the window, but if you can enjoy beautiful Champagne for less money it is just fine in my book. Also if you want to go French, without a Champagne budget, don’t forget that many other French regions—think Alsace and the Loire—make some amazing sparkling wines. Albrecht’s crisp Cremant d’Alsace is a favorite of mine.

New Wines for the Year Ahead
Valentine’s Day might also be an excuse to clean your palate for the year ahead. May I suggest some fresh and high-acid wines? Grüner Veltliners from Austria have long been a sommelier’s favorite because they go with so many foods and particularly complement spice. Gobelsburger is one of my favorites. I think I had it almost every night for dinner when I did wine education on a cruise ship and ate in Nobu’s restaurant as often as I could. It is divine with raw fish. 

Warm, earthy wines might also be ideal to drink in front of a fireplace on, or even before, Valentine’s Day. I can’t think of a region that has more appealing dusty funk than Chinon in the Loire Valley. With bright fruit and great acidity Domaine Baudry has long been a favorite. Neighboring appellation Samur-Champigny in the Loire region may also be harder to find but is worth seeking out. 

Warm, Accessible Wine
Perhaps no one does everyday wine as well as the Italians. Would you want your grandfather drinking anything but the best at the local bar? While many every-day Sangioveses are great to have on hand, the Piedmontese’s daily table wines Dolcetto and Barbera are hard to beat for food-friendliness and warmth in a glass. Chiarlo makes some pretty astounding and well-priced Barberas and Ricossa’s Barberas are also a treat. Douro Valley blends, from Port grapes produced in the same region, are also amazing and powerful. Niepoort’s Duoro Twisted wines, both red and white, are stellar and well-priced examples of these blends. 

For those who want the big, intense reds Syrahs and Bordeaux blends are my go-to wines. Walla Walla, in Eastern Washington, is producing some astounding versions of both. Buty is a favorite producer of mine and Pepper Bridge is also great. Sonoma Coast Syrahs are intense, rich and structured, much bigger and more intense than their brethren in the Rhône or Eastern Washington. The South Africans are also making some amazing blends—De Toren Fusion V and Kanankop’s Paul Sauer Bordeaux blend are among two of the best. 

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

Liza Zimmerman has been writing and consulting about wine and food for two decades. She is principal of the San Francisco-based Liza the Wine Chick wine writing, education and consulting firm. She has worked on staff and freelance at national magazines such as Wine Enthusiast, The Magazine of La Cucina Italiana, Wine Spectator, Where SF and the Examiner. She currently contributes to Cheers, Wine Business Monthly and the Examiner, among others. 

Zimmerman focuses on demystifying wine and transforming it into a tool for business and networking for companies all over the country. Past clients include Genentech, Roche and IBM. 

She has visited all the world’s major wine regions and is one of select few in the U.S. to hold the Diploma of Wine & Spirits (D.W.S.), the three-year precursor to the Master of Wine.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Martin Miller and his Gin

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer

Martin Miller recently passed away after a battle with cancer.  He was far too young to be claimed by such a deadly disease. 

Martin for all you who don’t know was the founder of the highly individualistic gin company by the same name.  His gin set the stage for many of the micro distilled brands of gin that we see on the market today. 

Martin Miller’s gin was: "born of love, obsession and some degree of madness," according to the website and I tend to agree.  You have to be obsessed to make gin in England.  Most of the London Dry styled gin is flavorless at best, mere whispers against the more assertive “botanical” styles.   I prefer botanical gins like Martin Miller’s because the juniper takes a back seat to the citrus flavors inherent in the final mix.  They also use Icelandic glacial water to do the blending.  According to the website again, “Sparkling bright, pure and unpolluted we draw water from our own spring. This is water like no other, icy cold and alive. It emerges into daylight for the first time in maybe 800 years, rising from the depths of the Basalt Mountains that frame the skyline of this sleepy village.

So, spirit into spirit, for Icelander’s truly believe their water to be a living entity, Martin Miller’s is delicately blended with pure Icelandic spring water creating a marriage of rare softness, clarity of taste and appearance.

It is simply bottled magic.” 

The distillate is produced using juniper, coriander, angelica, and Florentine Iris- coupled with the more unusual cassia, cinnamon bark, and anise, are blended with Seville orange peel and lime.  It also uses cucumber as an ingredient, like Hendrick’s and a couple of other brands on the market.   This is a very sophisticated slurp rolling in at just over 90 proof.  I’m a HUGE fan of Martin Miller’s gin in a somewhat twisted Gin and Tonic.  For the tonic component I’m very fond of the tonic syrup from Tom.  Tom Richter is the owner of this company that makes just about the best tonic syrup I’ve ever tasted.  I also add some Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters to the usual tonic syrup and fizzy water.  I’m rather partial to Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water in Pink Grapefruit.  I think it works beautifully against the spicy elements of the tonic syrup and the haunting aromatics of Martin Miller’s Gin.

The Martin Miller’s Gin & Twisted Tonic 
Ingredients:
2 oz. martin miller’s gin
1 oz. Tomr Tonic Syrup
Grapefruit peel
4 oz. Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water (pink grapefruit)
2-3 dashes Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters
Hand cut ice (freeze Tupperware 1 gallon trays with triple boiled distilled water overnight, cut to size for each drink)

Preparation:
Rub the grapefruit peel on the inside of each Collins glass, first burning it slightly against a match to bring out the natural oils

Add the hand cut ice to the glass
Add the tonic syrup and the gin over the top of the syrup
Add the Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water
Top with the Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters and serve immediately after stirring with a long colorful straw! 

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

Article by Warren Bobrow, a nationally published food and spirits columnist who writes for Williams-Sonoma, Foodista and the Beekman Boys.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Pairing Wine with Indian Food

By Liza B. Zimmerman

The intense, spice layers of Indian food can be challenging to pair with wine. However when you make the right choices they can really complement a range of dishes. I asked a sommelier friend in San Francisco, who has built one of the most Indian-food friendly lists in town, what some of his secrets are for these pairings. 
Todd Smith, who is not Indian, but has spent a great amount of time traveling there, has put together an extraordinary wine list at Dosa. The restaurant is an upscale, two-location Southern Indian restaurant that has really raised the bar on high-end, Indian dining and has a wonderful and spice-friendly wine list. It is a restaurant I mention and reference again and again when I talk about savvy restaurateurs who have gone out on a limb to show how beautifully the right wines can work with non-Western cuisine. 

Before answering my questions, Smith stressed the fact that his experience with Indian food and wine pairing lies primarily with the foods of Southern India. Let’s not forget how huge and diverse this country is even if many of us might think that we can indulge in all of its flavors at our local Indian restaurant. 

Smith said that, “I can't speak much to the foods of the north, as my expertise lies mainly with that of the Southern five states [Karnataka, Goa, Andra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala] and which wines/regions/grapes work with what from the wealth of dishes there.”

Some Guidelines
Was I surprised that he sent me back five or six pages of ideas on what wine works well with Indian food and why? Not in the least. So I am going to try to do my best to disseminate some of that here in approximately 800 words or less. 

While he said that a wide range of wines can be paired with Southern Indian food, certain criteria need to be met. “Given the prolific use of spices and potential heat in South Indian food, one really needs to go dish-by-dish, or within a style to find a suitable wine. 

A few solid guidelines, he recommended are to choose wines that are high in acidity, low in alcohol, with little new oak, an expressive in sense of place (think minerals!) and that are vibrant enough to stand up to the competition of spice. He adds that customers often bring in bottles of local California wine from nearby Napa from appellations that feature a very young and oaky style for their big reds, which he often doesn’t see as the best match for the food. His primarily concerns are the strong tannins in these wines, which can spar with the food at Dosa. 

White wines should have solid acid levels and be great palate cleansers, or soothers (whites with a little residual sugar or viscous texture) that help to cool the red or green chilies’ burn. This is truer of whites such as demi-sec Chenin Blancs, off-dry or sweeter style German or Austrian Rieslings that are picked later. 

For Smith, as far as dosas and uttapams—which are savory, naturally-fermented lentil and rice flour crepes and pancakes with endless fillings which are the mainstay of Tamil Nadu and Kerala—he would choose sturdier whites and lighter reds. While Dosa’s tasting menu offers wine pairings, he generally suggests whites with dosas and uttapams and pairs reds with the curry courses. However, if his guests are eating à la carte, he recommends going into a light red such as the ubiquitous Pinot Noir, but also grapes such as St. Laurent (Austria), Sangiovese (Italy), Plavac Mali (Croatia), Tempranillo (Rioja, Spain), Barbera (Italy) and grapes of the Alps such as Lagreins. 

When it comes to red wines, one of the key things is to find reds that are lower in alcohol, according to Smith. He also stresses the importance of serving reds at the correct temperature of 55 to 60 degrees, as this will calm the alcohol and potential for it to get ‘hot’ against the fiery flavors of the food. 

In the end, he advises, “Drink what you like. I was once told that a good wine is one you would buy again. It is very personal.” When you are, “on to something. Remember that moment. That is the apex of pairing: when the food improves the wine and the wine really delivers the dish.”

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

Liza Zimmerman has been writing and consulting about wine and food for two decades. She is principal of the San Francisco-based Liza the Wine Chick wine writing, education and consulting firm. She has worked on staff and freelance at national magazines such as Wine Enthusiast, The Magazine of La Cucina Italiana, Wine Spectator, Where SF and the Examiner. She currently contributes to Cheers, Wine Business Monthly and the Examiner, among others. 

Zimmerman focuses on demystifying wine and transforming it into a tool for business and networking for companies all over the country. Past clients include Genentech, Roche and IBM. 

She has visited all the world’s major wine regions and is one of select few in the U.S. to hold the Diploma of Wine & Spirits (D.W.S.), the three-year precursor to the Master of Wine.

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