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.
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
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
Not an intuitive pairing, but a strangely good one. READ MORE
The noble hamburger deserves better than a slumming wine. READ MORE
You can probably polish off a few while reading this column and not feel any worse for wear. READ MORE