When it comes to food, I like to think of wine as the in-between alcohol beverage: start with a Scotch Whisky or Manhattan before dinner, wine with dinner, then finish the evening off with a night cap. Of these three, wine has the biggest challenge. Unlike the other two, wine has to complement the food. A Chablis with a steak is not something you want to brag about or have on your first date. But it could be a Bordeaux, Burgundy, a Zinfandel or Rioja. The pairings are endless.
When it comes to wine critics, Eric Asimov, the wine critic for The New York Times, is among the best. He says: “In the most enlightened households and cultures, wine belongs on the table as part of a meal. It’s a staple, like bread, rice, potatoes or salt, and this is the basis of how I understand wine.
"Of course, wine can be so much more. Like food, wine has a social role to play. It brings people together. It can increase happiness, amplify a sense of well-being and even comfort sadness. By evoking these simple social and emotional responses, wine can be said to have a spiritual component.” We would add a transcendental component.
One of the things that distinguishes Eric from other ...
Milas Kunis is a 30 year-old, Ukrainian-born American actress, best known for making “most beautiful actresses” lists over recent years (GQ, FHM, AskMen, Esquire, Men’s Health). She has a Bud-Light acting career with one challenging role that she played to some acclaim—the role of Lily, a rival ballet dancer to Natalie Portman in Black Swan. Yet somehow she has managed to team up with Jim Beam as a “global partner” and spokesperson for their first ever global marketing campaign, “Making History.”
I don’t get it. When I think of bourbon, I don’t think of a sexy petite babe who is supposedly “down to earth.” Rather I think of bold, big, brave, a band of brothers. Jim Beam is aiming their new campaign at the 20-somethings, especially in Australia and Germany. It has to be a sex-appeal thing, since bourbon is mostly a guys’ drink. They must know something else that I can’t even fathom, something about how this petite face and frame matches up to the boldness of any bourbon, in this case Jim Beam.
Matching a bourbon with an actress is clever and good marketing. But I would have gone with ...
Laphroaig is the world’s No. 1 Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky. This new, innovative expression brings the distinct styles of the Laphroaig portfolio together to create a new expression that stays true to the brand’s heritage with an added layer of complexity and depth brought about by marrying various maturation styles and different oaks. John Campbell, Laphroaig’s Master Distiller, says, “Laphroaig Select delivers a liquid with a unique marriage of our trademark ‘peat reek’ and a gentle sweetness, which we hope will both surprise and delight you.” That is exactly what happened when we first tasted it: transcendental, a great new taste, but distinctively a Laphroaig.
At 80 proof, Laphroaig Select is best enjoyed neat or with a splash of water to release the earthy aroma of blue peat smoke, sweet nuttiness of barley and the heathery perfume of Islay’s streams.
To learn more about this special whisky, TD interviewed John Campbell, ...
Absinthe was first used as a way to prevent French soldiers from getting malaria during the French wars in the mid 1880s. It soon became the rage all over Paris where 5:00 PM was simply referred to as l’heure verte, the green hour. Absinthe is an anise-flavored spirit derived from a variety of botanicals, including wormwood, green anise, sweet fennel and some other medical herbs. Its active ingredient is often compared to the active ingredient of marijuana that produces mostly mild hallucinogenic effects.
In 1915 the French military banned the use of absinthe all over France shortly after the start of so-called Great War (WW1). The last thing generals wanted were soldiers intoxicate on the magic ingredients of absinthe. It has been illegal to use or sell absinthe in France every since. The luckier French drinkers were those who live near the Spanish border where it has always been legal. Absinthe was one spirit where the effects were often greatly exaggerated which only added to its allure.
Probably as a result of the effort to legalize marijuana use in the United States, France is now attempting to lift the prohibition on absinthe and make it legal once more. ...
This is TD’s view of the Erechtheum’s “Porch of Maidens,” an ancient Greek temple on the north side of the Acropolis in Athens. It was built from in the early 5th Century B.C. It was dedicated to the Greek gods Athena and Posidion. The temple was named for Erichthonis, a Greek hero, an early ruler of Athens mentioned in Homer’s Iliad. His inception rivals the credibility of the birth of Jesus since he was what they call autochthonous, born of the earth, with the technical details left to the curious. His early days resulted in havoc and death for three entrusted sisters who ended up jumping off the Acropolis to their deaths. Such a Greek tragedy.
The iconic maiden columns are a welcomed substitute to the three classic phallic columns of Greece: the Iconic, the Doric, and the Corinthian. These columns serve the same function—support for the structure. One art historian, Jenny Liang, says: “The Porch of Maidens expresses a sense of stability as well as a sense of relaxed grace and effortless support.” And so it seems.
Since these are copies of the originals, TD added a bottle of Mastiha, the in-the-know drink of the Greeks today, ...
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