Beer Basics

Beer isn’t considered the classiest drink, but I have to admit after a round of golf on a warm day, it is hard to beat.  You can’t go frat party crazy when doing business golf or at an event, but many times, I’ll have a beer in place of a cocktail.  It’s a great way to hydrate a little and pace yourself for the evening.  I’ll usually switch to wine for dinner, but instead of a martini or a Manhattan, a beer is an acceptable approach. 

Beer has been brewed for thousands of years, back to the Beowulf days of mead.  This beverage has lots of variations and modifications, only limited by brewmaster creativity, but I am going to hit just the top types of beer you’ll run into (and want to taste).

Continue reading “Beer Basics”

The Seven Noble Grapes

The most basic wine knowledge involves an understanding of a very limited set of what are called Noble Grapes or International Varietals.

These are the grapes that make the dominant proportion of fine wines around the world.  This is partially because these grapes are hardy enough to grow in most wine climates and they happen to make some pretty excellent juice.  Now, this set of 7 grapes is just scratching the surface of grapes used to make great wine.  We could easily add another dozen popular grapes.  Even at 20 grapes, realize that Italy alone has over 1000 indigenous grapes that are used to make wine, so it depends how far you want to extend your knowledge.   For now, it’s going to be 7 grapes.

Continue reading “The Seven Noble Grapes”

What Do You Do When the Host Hands You the Wine List?

One of the more uncomfortable situations is when you are at a dinner and the host hands you the wine list and asks you to pick.  This usually happens when you are the guest of honor, and even more complex, when in a foreign country.  This is fraught with risk.  It’s very easy to embarrass yourself or your host with an inappropriate selection.  The biggest risk is around getting a bottle at an acceptable price.

So, what do you do?

Continue reading “What Do You Do When the Host Hands You the Wine List?”