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The Prisoner 2017 Napa Valley Red Wine

Delightful was not a term I thought I’d use in describing this (yes) delightful wine.  Brooding (yes), because I had assumed from its (stellar) reputation as a “big, sexy, fruit bomb” (Robert Parker) and from the label-announced 15.2 percent alcohol that it would hold up its wine-soaked fingers and say, “Slow down, taster; small sips, […]

2019 Château Minuty M Rosé and 2019 Château Minuty Prestige Rosé

If you’re a wine drinker who considers rosé a seasonal pleasure (for me, it’s an any-season wine)…well, it’s summer, people (in the northern hemisphere), so you’d best get to it. There can’t be a better place to start than with these two wines from the renowned Château Minuty. Minuty is an estate in the world’s […]

Two Long-Lost Sisters, Four Wines: The McBride Family Collection

On the back label of each of their four wines, the McBride sisters—Robin and Andréa—tell the unusual origin story of their lives and of their winemaking. Each was raised among vineyards, but these vineyards were 7000 miles apart:  Monterey, California, and Marlborough, New Zealand. The sisters were even further from each other, in that, as […]

Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer

Bon & Viv is a leading brand in the hot new trend of spiked seltzers. At only 90 calories per 12 ounce can, with 0 grams of sugar and no barley or wheat, this alcoholic beverage appeals to the health conscious, gluten-free, low-carb and low-calorie consumer. The fresh, light flavors of Bon & Viv are […]

The Prisoner Wine Company’s Eternally Silenced and Saldo

The Prisoner Wine Company of Napa, California, was created and launched by winemaker Dave Phinney twenty years ago, with a single wine that he called The Prisoner and of which he made only 385 cases. Today, The Prisoner Wine Company (sold ten years ago by Phinney and now owned by Constellation Brands) is a widely […]

Cilio Champagne Stopper and Cilio Wine Stopper

These two almost identical wine accessories are supplied to Frieling USA by the German company Cilio-Tisch. They are called, alternately, Champagne Stopper and Wine Stopper. The German word on the neat little box is Verschluss, which may be translated as seal, fastener, clasp, and, yes, stopper. Each does all of those. The Champagne Stopper is […]

Zassenhaus hand-crank coffee grinders

Oh, what a pleasure it was to grind coffee beans for the first time in these two hand-crank, non-heat producing coffee mills from the venerable (since 1867) German company Zassenhaus. The Lima is sleek and modern and comes in a single stainless steel and acrylic model. The Brasilia is classic-kitchen traditional in design and is […]

Quarter Size Sheet Pan

Quarter size sheet pans, 23 x 30 cm (9 x 12 in) and 2.5 cm (1 in) deep, fit nicely into small ovens and can accommodate a multitude of tasks. I have four of these eminently useful pans. They are perfect for toasting nuts or breadcrumbs, or keeping a few pancakes warm. I also like […]

Aermate Wine and Spirits Aerator

Denise Landis

Wines and spirits change when they are exposed to air. Allowing a wine to “breathe” permits sulfites (added to most wines to prevent oxidation) and naturally-occurring carbon dioxide to dissipate. Tannins – chemical compounds that create a sense of roughness on the tongue – soften with exposure to air, and this allows the flavor of […]

Manfrotto Pixi Mini Tripod

Any experienced globetrotter will tell you that traveling light is the key to happiness. This can pose a challenge, though, particularly when the things you feel you can’t do without are large or bulky. For photographers, the Manfrotto Pixi Mini Tripod can provide the benefits of a larger tripod, but at a fraction of the […]

Falksalt Sea Salt

Mediterranean Falksalt Sea Salt, from Larnaca, Cyprus, is what is known as a “finishing salt.” Its large pyramid-shaped flakes have a delicate crunch that add texture as well as flavor to hors d’oeurves, seafood, meats, or side dishes. The all-natural flavors — that include rosemary, wild mushroom, chipotle, citron, wild garlic, Karl Johan Mushroom, black, […]

Salter Kitchen Scale

The thought of using a kitchen scale used to seem a bit too exacting for me, as I’m not an exacting kind of cook. But a weekend of baking classes convinced me otherwise. I learned that a cup of flour can vary by an ounce or more in weight, depending on how it’s scooped and […]