The Engaged Winelover

Photo courtesy of Eligible Magazine

[This article was written by Benjamin Spencer, AmericanWineWriter, and published by Eligible Magazine. Follow this link to read the full article.]

Dialogue is important. In love, as in politics, what is said can lead to war or peace. Wine certainly doesn’t fall into the category of combat, but the point is the same if you consider that we are all seeking a particular level of serenity when engaging wine. Being honest about our strengths and weaknesses when we are in that buying moment can make the difference between an assault on your palate or a triumph of gastronomy.

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The Magic of a Great Vintage

vintage.jpg
[This article was written by Benjamin Spencer, AmericanWineWriter, and published by Eligible Magazine. Follow this link to read the full article.]

Relationships are a lot like wine. There are times to grow and gather, work and wait, and most certainly there are moments of ecstasy. Once in a while all the potential possibilities converge and it seems nothing imaginable could be more magical. These are the times we remember most, the unforgettable years that act as beacons for our daily efforts and affections.

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The Corrected Coffee

Caffè CorrettoI love coffee. It’s one of my favorite daily pleasures, especially upon waking in the morning and after an afternoon nap – the rich aroma of roasted beans grinding, the dark bitter liquid frothing in the percolator. It’s mouthwatering. The only thing that ever makes it better is the correction.

The caffe corretto is generally accepted as an Italian specialty. However, fortified coffee drinks have a long international tradition that goes far beyond the colloquial “spiking” of your coffee. Through the centuries coffee drinks featuring some form of local distilled spirit have provided soldiers, sailors, farmers, and urbanites energy and courage to face war, long sea voyages, the elements, and another day at the office.

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Follow Your Nose To Pleasure

Photo Courtesy of Eligible Magazine © 2014

[This article is written by Benjamin Spencer, AmericanWineWriter, and published by Eligible Magazine. Follow this link to the full article]

There is no human sense more closely tied to seduction than our sense of smell. We can be roused by the way something looks or tastes or feels or sounds, but if that olfactory magic is not there, if what I’m smelling doesn’t somehow scintillate my frontal lobe – where aromas are perceived by the brain – I’m onto the next thing. This is as true about wine as it is a potential mate.

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Moschofilero, Football, and Friends in Nemea

20140615-073632-27392108.jpgI arrived in Greece a few hours ago. In the last few hours, I have traveled from Athens to the Peloponnese, had an incredible lunch, and a walk through a vineyard. Now I’m watching the World Cup, trying two white wines before we kick off the #NemeaWineTour2014 in the morning. Both wines are made from the Moschofilero grape … something I have never tried before.

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Greece #NemèaWineTour2014, Part One …

Wine Communicators attending #NemeaWineTour2014 (See links for each at end of article)

Wine Communicators attending #NemeaWineTour2014 (See links for each at end of article) From left to right, starting at top: Luiz Alberto, Ana Sofia de Oliveira, Karin Luize De Carvalho, Magnus Reuterdahl, Karina Aggarwal, Ted Lelekas, Benjamin Spencer, Roger Kolbu, Rita Toth, Jonas De Maere

If the ancient story of Hercules slaying the Nemean lion could serve as a metaphor for Greece’s economy, it would be to represent the struggles that wineries have faced in recent years, the cunning that they have employed to succeed, and the (perhaps impenetrable) quality of the new wines that are coming out of the Peloponnese peninsula.

In recent years, Greek wines have won a few coin tosses in international markets and competitions. Unfortunately, many wine lovers can’t make heads or tails of Greek wine.

To help simplify things for you, I will be traveling to Greece with a team of wine communicators this month, to see what’s happening on the ground in Nemea and with the autochthonous/native grape variety Agiorgitiko. Hopefully, I won’t encounter any lions but if I fall, if I die, know I lived it to the fullest

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RECIPE: Watermelon vodka granita

Granita_rossaI love granita. Since I moved to Sicily in 2012 I have been sampling as many different types and flavors as I can find. In the summertime granita can be found everywhere. We eat it morning, noon, and night. Not only does it keep you cool, it’s a delight to the senses.

The simplest recipes for granita include shaved ice and some type of flavoring – lemon juice, coffee, fresh berry juice.

According to the locals, during the winter the snows from Mount Etna were piled into caves on the mountain. The snows were formed into ice blocks and stored until summer when they could be used for the local markets to keep produce cool. It was here that granita was born – lemon was reportedly the first flavor.

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