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The Italian alternative


The Nero d’Avola varietal  By Mike Rosenberg  Photo: The Poggio Anima 2010 “Asmodeus” Nero d’Avola Quick quiz…I say “Nero.” What pops into your head? How about grapes? OK, now we’re talking … Nero d’Avola is an Italian, predominantly Sicilian, wine grape varietal. As you probably remember, most Italian wines draw their name from the location they’re […]

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Cracking open the good stuff


New Kitchen Edition By Mike Rosenberg Photo: The good stuff: Roederer Estate 2002 Brut While the thrust of this column is largely inexpensive wines, I’ll admit that I don’t live on bread alone. I have a wine cellar, although it’s not some cavernous 3,000 bottle temperature-controlled, hermetically-sealed, heavily-fortified safe room. My closet down in “Le Bistro […]

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The naked taste


A look at Naked Wines By Mike Rosenberg Photo: Da Da Da Chardonnay available online through Naked Wines Not long ago, my father-in-law sent me a voucher for $100 off a case from Naked Wines that he’d received in one publication or other. A Benjamin off a case? A name that already makes me feel like […]

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‘Mmmm … Donuts …’ – and champagne!

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A perfect pairing By Mike Rosenberg Photo: Lite-hearted donut from Busken Bakery in Cincinnati One cold February morning, I opened the ol’ inbox to find an unexpected message from Micah Paldino, public relations director for Busken, a local bakery in Cincinnati ( He had an interesting proposition for me. To wit: “We have a new 140-calorie […]

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“M” is for “Meatless”


Wine pairings for vegetarian cuisine  By Mike Rosenberg  Photo: Mango quinoa salad pairs well with malbec and carmenere Astute observers of my monthly column know that I love me some meat. Well, I love most food in general, but I’m not sure that I could ever be a vegetarian. I tried removing animals from the ol’ […]

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Cooper’s Hawk


A model of (and based on) consistency By Mike Rosenberg Photo: Wine crafted for those who are “looking for something a little different”: the wines of Cooper’s Hawk on display; photos courtesy I was invited to attend the recent grand opening of a Cooper’s Hawk Restaurant, an “upscale-casual” restaurant boasting a tasting room at each […]

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A little uneven, but not rusted


The wines of Tin Roof Cellars  By Mike Rosenberg Thanks to Tiffany and the good folks at Balzac Communications, I had the chance to do a rundown of the Tin Roof Cellars portfolio. Tin Roof – a widely-available series of wines from California – produces a slate of reds and whites all available for around $8-9. […]

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Österreichischer Rotwein


Red wines of Austria  By Mike Rosenberg Quick … “Austria” – what just popped to mind? The Hapsburg Dynasty? Any one of a list of composers longer than my arm? A certain ex-governor of Gully-fornee-uh? Probably. How about wine? “Aha!” a couple of you might say. “I thought about wine! That groovy sounding grape Grüner […]

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Livin’ the dream

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Oregon’s Libra Wines perfects the passion By Mike Rosenberg Our long, twisty road from the baggage claim at PDX to Bill Hanson’s back deck began at Oregon Wines on Broadway in downtown Portland.  One of the wines in their pinot flight was the Libra 2009 Willamette Valley Reserve. We absolutely loved it. Rich, perfectly balanced, […]

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Wine fairies and the unexpected picnic


New offerings from Robert Mondavi By Mike Rosenberg Robert Mondavi is a ubiquitous label. I’m trying to remember the last time I walked into a wine store and didn’t see at least a few selections from Mondavi. One reason we should all appreciate Mr. Mondavi – back in the 1960s, Mondavi was one of the […]

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Passion for pinot

Twelve was a fantastic time.

Wines of Oregon’s Willamette Valley By Mike Rosenberg “If God made anything better, He kept it for Himself.” -William S. Burroughs, “Junky” Oregon, specifically the Willamette (rhymes with “Dammit!”) Valley, is known best for pinot noir. The area is nestled between the low Oregon Coastal Range on the west and the tall Cascades on the […]

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Flights of fancy

Preparing for our tea service, Chinese Garden, Portland

Thirst quenching through samples around Portland By Mike Rosenberg I love doing flights of almost anything. A “flight” usually refers to a set of small samples of wine, but can be beer, whiskey, cola, orange juice, coffee…you get the idea. In general, I differentiate “doing a flight” from a “tasting” since there’s almost always a […]

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Get right back where we started from


California’s Ravenswood Winery offers quality zinfandel By Mike Rosenberg I have the good fortune to do a fair number of sample reviews in this space. After I finished my recent review of the wines from Biltmore Estates, Lisa at Folsom & Associates and I got into a discussion about grilling. She offered me the opportunity […]

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Smoky Mountain Wine


Wines of the Biltmore Estate By Mike Rosenberg “I never thought this would happen to me. I am an administrator at a small Midwestern college and I was on my way to a conference in Asheville, N.C. …” No, you’re not reading the start of my letter to Penthouse Forum. There are no scantily-clad medical […]

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L is for Loire


Appreciating Loire’s Valley Wine Region By Mike Rosenberg The Loire (pronounced luh-WAHR) Valley wine region is a long, skinny stretch of land that lies along the river of the same name in France. Some of the first evidence of winemaking in France dates to the first century A.D. in the evidence of vines planted by […]

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Beware of the Box


Keeping Your Wine Fresh By Mike Rosenberg I recently left town for a conference and when I returned, I learned the Wine Fairy had visited. A sample pack of Pepperwood Grove wines, courtesy of our friends at Balzac Communications, had appeared. You’ve undoubtedly seen Pepperwood Grove. It’s an inexpensive wine from Don Sebastiani and Sons. […]

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The St. Vincent de Paul relief mission continues


  Gateway Shelter for Women and Families on W. Apple St is ready to help 24-hours a day.  By Tim […]

Mulling the merits of Merit Grill


Wide variety compromised by some puzzling choices The Merit Grill’s Carne Asada substituted sirloin for skirt steak, but the salsa, […]

Bread Baking Demystified

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The secrets to a delicious loaf of bread are in the details The process of properly kneading bread dough includes […]

It’s happening in Troy


Jazz vocalist Vanessa Rubin Music at The Troy-Hayner Center The Troy-Hayner Cultural Center is welcoming the arrival of spring with […]

A tradition of storytelling

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Shannon McNally at Newport’s Southgate House Revival Singer-songwriter Shannon McNally By Dave Gil de Rubio Songwriting has always had a […]