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What To Drink Now: Wines from Italy

From the edge of the alps to the very tip of the boot heel, the wines of Italy go well beyond the jug of unnamed Chianti that rests on the checked tablecloth at your favorite neighborhood pizza joint. More than 300 different grape varieties are grown in Italy, each defining their specific place and terroir. I have tried an interesting assortment recently. Here are a few stand outs.

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What To Drink Now: California White Wines

When you think of white wines from California your mind may venture to the buttery, creamy, oaky Chardonnay selections in which the state became known for in years past. Fortunately, for the most part, that style has given way to lighter, cleaner Chardonnay with bright acidity. These wines are interesting and refined. Yes, oak is still used and wines are still put through full malolactic fermentation, but with a lighter touch, using more neutral oak to encourage slight oxidation while the wine ages, without imparting a lot of flavor. Additionally, new varieties, like Albarino, Gruner Veltliner, Viognier, and many more, continue to pop up in vineyards throughout the state. I have tried a mix of California white wines lately, here are a few that stood out.

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What To Drink Now: Domaine Carneros

Growing up in New Jersey in the days that cocktails were king and a wine cellar was unheard of, becoming a winemaker might have been a far fetched idea. However, thanks to a good father and inquisitive palate Eileen Crane learned to appreciate wine early, especially Champagne.  Eileen was in town recently and I joined her for lunch as her guest at Parigi to talk and to taste a few of her remarkable sparkling wines.

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A Look at the Newly Updated Kenichi at Victory Park

Chef Noboru Sho Mochido stepped into his role as executive chef at Kenichi four weeks ago. Sho, who’s a native of Japan and has spent time as head chef at Austin’s Uchi, and most recently Kumi Japanese Restaurant + Bar at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, is slowly adding new dishes to the menu. “I’m proud that of all the restaurants [at Victory Park] that we’ve been here the longest, but the restaurant was starting to show its age,” Josh Babb managing partner of Kenichi explained to me Tuesday afternoon.

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