Winery pets bring immeasurable benefits to local vineyards
Holding court beside a wall of whiskeys from around the world, Jennifer Wren raises a dram, or shot, of a 14-year-old Bourbon Barrel Reserve single malt Scotch. Those attending the high-end Glenfiddich tasting at The Whiskey House in downtown San Diego follow her advice to “chew” their drink — taking small sips and letting the liquor permeate their palates.
If you’ve run out of room in your wine chiller, if you have friends that enjoy trying wines as much as you do or if you just want to entertain in a new way, consider hosting a wine-tasting party. You can make it as simple or elaborate as you wish and as enjoyable for wine novices as for oenophiles.
Walk into any bar or restaurant with a decent wine list and chances are you’ll find the usual suspects: Chardonnay from California, Pinot Noir from France, Sangiovese from Italy, Shiraz from Australia and Tempranillo from Spain.
Quick, what drink goes with football? Chances are good that most San Diegans would answer, “Beer!” But maybe it’s time to kick it up.
A snaking stream of compact bubbles rises continuously upward, almost hypnotic to observe and indicative of a fine glass of sparkling wine.
When you host a party, you face three basic options for beverage service. You can make and serve cocktails yourself. You can set up a self-serve station. Or you can hire professional bartenders to do the job. The choice often depends on the formality of the event.
If your interest in wine extends to the finer points of corks and other bottle closures, how various types of soil affect the taste of wine or preventive measures that guard against protein instability and tartrates, this is your month. If you just like trying different wines and don’t care how they’re made, this is your month.
Sweep into a sushi restaurant and the bar beckons. Your seat awaits before a glass case filled with silky fish. Chances are good that you will order sake to accompany the coming selection of rolls and sashimi. And San Diego’s sushi spots will help you explore an array of aromatic, sweet to dry, complex to clean, aged to fresh sakes.
You can garnish drinks with olives, pearl onions, celery sticks, citrus peels or wedges, mint leaves and cherries. But nothing beats flower petals for pure beauty.
When someone mentions vodka, you probably think of Russia — or maybe Poland. But just as San Diego has become a hotbed of craft beer, we’ve got a burgeoning community of locally made craft spirits.
Whether sourcing passion fruit and loquats from local farms or importing vanilla beans and loose-leaf teas from around the world, San Diego brewers discover innovative ways to craft beer blends using exotic ingredients.
“Everyone said it would be too hot for whites, that we wouldn’t get the fruit quality. The more we dug into it, we couldn’t come up with a reason for that. We are closer to the coast than Temecula.”
If you have a burning science-related question, you could watch PBS — or you could go to a bar.
Mike Skubic understands the risk he’s taken with his recent launch of Old Harbor Distilling Co. He’s brewing spirits in a craft beer-obsessed town, in a transitional neighborhood where the homeless huddle in the doorways of his warehouse, at a time when many state and federal laws on making hard alcohol date back to Prohibition.