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Peat, Barley, Water: What Gives Whisky Terroir?

Paul Blow

Does whisky show terroir? Terroir, of course, is that signature on a product of the place where it was grown, based on the effects of climate, soil, water, and so on. With wine it's all about the grapes, which are traditionally the sole ingredient—every layer of intervention in the process (adding acid or yeast, too much oak) is seen as potentially obscuring terroir. But to talk about terroir with whisky is to court much more uncertainty. In fact, most experts like to deny that terroir can exist in whisky.

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The Greatest White Wines of Campania

Paul Blow

Pop quiz: Which is the greatest white grape of Campania?

Hey, it's a trick question: There are two! "Fiano and Greco are grapes of my soul," says Raffaele Troisi, the man behind Vadiaperti, one of the standout white wine producers of Italy.

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Are the World’s Greatest Wines Worth the Price?

Paul Blow

People often assume that as a wine writer I sit around drinking the finest, rarest, most expensive wines in the world. Nope. I do spend a lot of time tasting the bloated bulge of midpriced to low-end wines. So when someone invites me to a tasting featuring "some of the world's greatest wines," I'm as eager as you would be to attend and see what all the fuss is about. READ MORE

On Pairing Wine with Spicy Food

Paul Blow

Conventional wisdom has it that spicy food is no good with most California and new-world wines. It's the high level of alcohol and tannin (in reds) that's the culprit: The wine tastes bad, the food is murdered, and the eater is left with a burning tongue. READ MORE

Wine Gets Some Rock ’n’ Roll Cred

Paul Blow

The guy next to me in line for a glass of Cep rosé at last weekend's Outside Lands music festival in San Francisco had come all the way from Hawaii to see the Kings of Leon and a few other bands. But, he told me, "I can't believe I'm spending so much time in the wine tent." READ MORE

Sweet Wines and Summer Barbecue

Sweet Wines and Summer Barbecue

Not an intuitive pairing, but a strangely good one. READ MORE

Imagine Cognac Differently

Imagine Cognac Differently

No smoking jacket, no crackling fire, no snifter. READ MORE

What Wine to Drink with a Burger

What Wine to Drink with a Burger

The noble hamburger deserves better than a slumming wine. READ MORE

The World Cup Drinking Game

The World Cup Drinking Game

Each team has a drink for you. READ MORE

Session Beers Mean Easy Drinkin’

Session Beers Mean Easy Drinkin’

You can probably polish off a few while reading this column and not feel any worse for wear. READ MORE