Pouring Now: Sparkling Wines


Did you know that champagne is only one form of sparkling wine? True (legally speaking) champagne comes from the Champagne region of France, but there are many different types of sparkling wines. Different countries and regions each have their own variety! Sparkling wines tend to have a lower alcohol content, and many of them are sweet, best enjoyed with dessert or a light dinner. While not comprehensive, the following is a brief overview of a few common types that can be found on U.S. shelves.

**Sparkling Wines for Summer**

Moscato. Muscat refers to a type of grape, often used for …


Pouring Now: Charles & Charles Red Blend


Type: Red Wine
Varietal/Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah
Hails From: Columbia Valley, Washington
Main Notes: Cherry, blueberry, chocolate, coffee
Goes Best With: Steak, stew, chocolate
Avg. Price: $10.99
Recipe Pairing: Brownie-Mousse au Chocolat
Occasion: Dinner with friends or family, Date night

I’ve been on a Syrah kick lately. Maybe it’s because it’s officially cold out and one of my favorite ways to warm up is with a glass (or two) of a rich red wine. And Syrahs tend to be just that—rich and loaded with flavors of blackberries, cherries, plum, and pepper. Blend a Syrah fermented in …


Pouring Now: Bila-Haut Syrah, Granache, and Carignan Blend


This wine is a gorgeous dark red color. It’s bold and each sip is bursting with berries, chocolate and spices. Despite its complexity the wine is smooth and releases a bright finish. I would definitely bring it to a fancy holiday party, and will pick up a bottle the next time I make stew. But tonight I will be drinking it with French fries. Tonight I need some greasy fries, a bottle of rich red wine, and a good girlfriend before I brave the Chicago winter in quest of some more friends and beer at the bar.


Pouring Now: Local Wine, Jacob’s Winery Chardonel


It’s nice to have bartender friends — I think that’s one of the best lessons I’ve learned in college. Now, in a town with only a handful of watering holes, that may be easier than where you’re from, but the lesson’s all the same: social drinking should always have a balance between great drinks and top-notch atmosphere. My experience at Jacob’s Vineyard, located just a couple miles south of Truman State’s campus in Kirksville, Missouri, was a perfect example of that balance.


The Best Bottles of Wine Under $7

Wine Wall

A few months back I was on a date with a sommelier and was giddy at the prospect of learning underground information about the best wines. After my date ordered a bottle, I asked why he chose it and expected a lengthy response involving the specific vineyard and the 65-year-old winemaker “Alfredo,” who had learned how to produce the wine from his grandfather when he was no more than four feet, five inches tall. But instead of telling a colorful tale about Alfredo, in an all-too-charming manner, my date smiled at me and declared, “Wine is only as good as …


How To: Host a Wine and Cheese Party


When your stomach cannot take another weekend full of cheep beer, take a break from the typical college drinking scene and throw an intimate wine and cheese party for your close friends.

Purchasing. When buying the cheese, make sure to get about 1-2 ounces of cheese per person and one bottle of wine for every 5-6 people. Buy at least three types of cheese and a bottle of wine to accompany each of the cheeses. Make sure to try the cheeses if possible before you buy them! The farmers market is a great place to buy locally made, fresh cheese….