wine

Exploring D.C.’s Wine Country

Barbara Noe Kennedy

The winery business has long been tricky in Virginia, despite the fact that colonial explorers discovered masses of grapes fostering huge hopes for a prosperous industry. Ask Mr. Renaissance Man himself, Thomas Jefferson, who first encouraged Americans to drink wine with meals back in the 1700s. For 30 years he attempted to cultivate European wine grapes on his Monticello estate, but failed to produce even a single bottle. In the 1800s, the wine gauge shifted slightly as Virginia winemakers using native grapes began garnering attention. 

Meet the Staff at Highbrow Magazine: Chief Features Writer Angelo Franco

Angelo Franco

I once wrote a letter to Junot Diaz and asked him if he could adopt me. He didn’t reply plus, it turns out, I am legally someone’s son already so that plan was meant to fail from the start. If I’m crying while riding the subway, it’s likely because I lost my MetroCard or I am rereading a Gabriel García Márquez novel. I often tell people they should learn Spanish just so they could read his works in his native tongue. 

How Millennials Reshaped the Wine Industry

Angelo Franco

As Millennials make their move out of college and into the workforce, their drinking habits also change. They opt for the sophistication often associated with wine—as well as cocktails and craft brews—over the party favors of liquor and mass-produced beers.  In addition, Millennials apparently do not need a special occasion to drink wine; rather, they find drinking wine to be a social activity as well as a relaxing one, such as when cooking or watching television.  The reverberation of this is that while Millennials are paying less for wine than their Boomers counterpart because of socioeconomic reasons.

‘Boom Varietal’ is a Pleasing Documentary Up Front, But Unspectacular in the Finish

Nancy Lackey Shaffer

Despite a promising start, the rest of this film feels very much like a PR piece for potential investors. Which perhaps isn’t surprising: directed by Sky Pinnick, the producer is Kirk Ermisch, CEO of Southern Wine Group, a Latin American wine importer. Vineyards are beautiful, Mendoza seems like a fun and vibrant city, and it is nice that so many winemakers featured are given the space to talk about wine in their own words—other than a few notes that flash on the screen, the vintners basically tell the story. 

‘Somm’ Uncorks the Agony and the Ecstasy of the Wine Expert

Nancy Lackey Shaffer

Fewer than 200 Master Sommeliers have been named since the Court of Master Sommeliers was created in the United Kingdom in 1969; the three portions (Theory, Tasting, Service) are intense, and preparation for the exam happens months—and sometimes years—ahead of time. The single-minded dedication and rigor of the test candidates is not in and of itself novel; it’s the way director Jason Wise manages to build an engaging story out of something that could easily have been as dry as an Old World Sauvignon Blanc.

Beer...The New Sophisticated Spirit

Beth Kaiserman

A hearty glass of red wine with a juicy steak or a crisp glass of white with a delicate fish are two pairings that may never go out of style. But beer has made its mark on the food scene as a fantastic beverage to pair with meals and cheese -- and even in recipes, like bread, stews, and desserts. (Guinness milk chocolate ice cream, anyone?) Over the last decade or so, America has seen a beer renaissance. 

The Return of Soave

David Perry

The Soave is now playing the wine equivalent of hardball, reinventing and revamping its stodgy image for a new era of wine consumption and wine consumers by playing up the area’s historic strengths and vintages. The Garganega of Soave produces wines with delicate flavors of pear, pineapple, and apricot that become fuller and more luscious with age. 

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