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WineSpeed | Bollinger

Weekly insights from veteran wine writer Karen MacNeil

BY Karen Macneil | Life | Nov 27, 2017
Photo by Jim Dyson/Getty

BOLLINGER | Special Cuvée Brut Champagne non-vintage

(Champagne, France) $49

There I stood in the wine shop staring at a wall of Champagnes. Each one looked as though it wanted to be picked up and taken home—like puppies waiting to be adopted. In the end, I chose this Bollinger, a wine that has stopped me in my tracks before. If it were a person, it would be a Pre-Raphaelite woman—sensual, full-bodied, with long tresses of auburn hair. But it is of course a wine, and its long creamy-nutty richness feels exactly right right now when winter is upon us. Every Champagne is said to have a style, but only the best Champagnes are utterly distinctive—like this. (12% abv)

95 points KM

Available at Gary’s Wine and Marketplace

Each Thanksgiving holiday, the president of the United States spares the life of a turkey. Which president informally began the tradition of pardoning a turkey for Thanksgiving?

A. Alexander Hamilton

B.  Harry S. Truman

C. John F. Kennedy

D. George Washington

Scroll down for the answer!

Very Schnappy

In Austria schnapps is said to be made from every fruit and berry you have heard of and every fruit and berry you haven’t. Schnapps, like eau-de-vie in France and grappa in Italy, is a clear, unaged distillate (about 40 proof) that is drunk after the meal. Often Austrian families proudly make their own schnapps from fruit they grow themselves, and it’s frequently a delicious, relatively mild liqueur. In restaurants in Austria you’ll also find hundreds of handcrafted, limited-production, very expensive versions made by individual winemakers and artisanal distillers. Plum is the most common flavor, but more intriguing perhaps are schnapps made from elderberries, quince, juniper, apricots, cherries, blueberries, blackberries and rowanberries from the mountain ash tree.

“Wine for me had always been something larger. Wine to me is passion. It’s family and friends. It’s warmth of heart and generosity of spirit. Wine is art. It’s culture. It’s the essence of civilization and the Art of Living.”

—Robert Mondavi (1913 – 2008), Harvests of Joy

Enoteca

Historically, an enoteca was a wine library; a place where bottles of wine were displayed. Today, the word enoteca is also used to indicate a wine bar where a curated collection of wines is available for tasting. The most famous enoteca in Italy is the Enoteca Italiana in Siena which was once a de Medici fortress.

Weingut Emmerich Knoll

In 2009, WineSpeed reader George Caloyannidis visited Emmerich Knoll, whose sensational grüner veltliner was the Wine to Know in last week’s WineSpeed. In this guest blog, George writes about his remarkable encounter.

By George Caloyannidis
September 2009

In the year 2000, UNESCO listed the Wachau among its World Heritage Sites next to among others, the Parthenon, the Pyramids, the Taj Mahal and Yellowstone National Park. This is the most beautiful section of the Danube River, which runs through it and can be best viewed by boat from Melk to Krems. Continue reading…

C. The tradition began with President John F. Kennedy—even though President Truman is often thought to have been the creator of the tradition, after crates of live turkeys were sent to the White House in protest of “poultry free Thursdays” (which, in 1947 post World War II, the government encouraged). Alexander Hamilton, currently off-the-charts in popularity thanks to the Broadway musical Hamilton (tickets are $1,000 each by the way), was not a president. And George Washington probably dined on too many turkeys to be in a position of pardoning them. 

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