Wine + Spirits

  • The World of Sauternes

    By Bill Shepard

    Sauternes is a sweet wine usually drunk with desserts, and in our weight conscious world that is the problem. Named for the region south of Bordeaux where the wine was produced and perhaps invented (some say the process was invented in Hungary), it was an indispensable favorite at the turn of the century, when nobody who could afford it counted calories. Now it is emerging once again. It deserves to be part of your wine world.

    Last Updated ( Saturday, 21 November 2009 )
  • Spirits for the Millennium

    By Bill Shepard

    To ring in the New Year, most everyone drinks champagne. But to remember any important event, savor a fine glass of cognac after your Millennium dinner. Here's a guide to some of the best.

    Last Updated ( Saturday, 21 November 2009 )
  • Tasting Bordeaux Red Wines

    By Bill Shepard

    I'll confess to a strong bias in favor of Bordeaux red wines. They are, properly aged and savored, among the finest in the world. But there are problems for many who would like to enjoy them. They have gotten very expensive. The classification system is either too complex and out of date (the standard 1855 classification) or too simplistic (number scores). Can't we make this easier, and more helpful?

    Last Updated ( Saturday, 21 November 2009 )
  • White Wines of France

    By Bill Shepard

    This begins a series of columns by Bill Shepard on appreciating wines. Developing an appreciation takes some effort, all of it pleasant. To begin, taste some mild vouvray, muscadet, riesling, and chardonnay wines.

    Last Updated ( Saturday, 21 November 2009 )
  • A Taste of Chablis

    By Bill Shepard

    Do you have painful memories of "California Chablis?" Treat yourself to the real thing! A chilled bottle or two from a good French producer will be a revelation, and, according to wine expert Bill Shepard, a pleasantly affordable one -- for the time being.

    Last Updated ( Saturday, 21 November 2009 )
  • Armagnac -- The Brandy of d'Artagnan

    By Bill Shepard

    Armagnac is the brandy of Gascony, and has been distilled since the early years of the 15th century. As such, it was surely a favorite of Charles de Batz, born in 1615 at the Chateau de Castelmore near Eauze -- better known to readers as D'Artagnan of Three Musketeers fame.

    Last Updated ( Friday, 16 October 2009 )
  • Building a Wine Cellar

    By Bill Shepard

    Do you want to start building a wine cellar on a budget? In this column, Bill Shepard suggests two strategies for cutting costs.

    Last Updated ( Saturday, 21 November 2009 )
  • Champagnes for the Millennium -- Part 2

    By Bill Shepard

    Our special Millennium series on champagnes concludes with this survey by Bill Shepard of vintage and special blend champagnes.

    Last Updated ( Friday, 16 October 2009 )
  • Champagnes for the Millennium -- Part 1

    By Bill Shepard

    New Year's Eve is an special occasion every year, a time to break out something better than what you would normally drink. But what champagne to serve for this extra-special New Year's 2000? Don't fret -- Bill Shepard has done the research for you!

    Last Updated ( Friday, 16 October 2009 )
  • Beaujolais, The Summer Wine

    By Bill Shepard

    Getting serious about Beaujolais wines is almost a contradiction in terms. The wines are so pleasant, and so drinkable, that too much analysis can get in your way.

    Last Updated ( Friday, 16 October 2009 )
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