Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New Column in the Philadelphia Daily News

At long last, it's finally here!

Keep an eye out for 'Cheap Buzz' every Thursday in the PDN food section, right next to beer guru Joe Sixpack. It's a humorous take on wine and spirits - a fictional dialog between Marnie the sommelier and her blue-collar, wise-cracking neighbor Buzz (alter-ego of PDN city editor Gar Joseph). If all goes according to plan, we launch tomorrow.

I must confess I've been avoiding blogging with about the same resolve with which I've avoided jogging - and for similar reasons. But, no more excuses. In this space, I'll be posting thoughts on wine and food, beer and spirits, bars and service and anything else that strikes my fancy.

As a ritual to instill some rigor, I hereby inaugurate my first weekly feature - the official Sauce on the Side list of 'State Store Runners Up' - wines and spirits I love but that didn't
win the title of 'State Store Pick of the Week'


French Pinot Noir
Mercurey Faiveley 2006 Burgundy, France
$14.99 Search for real-time store stock here.

Why I Love It - 2006 Burgundy for $15. and, it's good! Need I say more?

Why I Didn't Pick It - I'm trying to stick to regular items found in all stores, and this is a Chairman's Selection. Sigh.

Italian Cherry Liqueur
Luxardo 'Maraschino'
$26.99 Search for real time store stock here.

Why I Love It - Not very sweet, but incredibly intense and the secret to many fine classic cocktails, like my fave 'Hemmingway's Daiquiri'. Uncommon haunting flavor comes from the cherry stones, not just the fruit's flesh. I'm SO happy to see it's now in stores!

Why I Didn't Pick It - I can't freak out my new tabloid audience with something this obscure, no matter how delicious. Or, at least, not on day one.

Stag's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon
Sequoia Grove 2008 Napa Valley, CA
$21.99 [regularly $34.99] Search for real time store stock here.

Why I Love It - I am sad to see this item got delisted - it's been a PLCB staple for years, that has always showed that classy Stag's Leap finish for a reasonable price. However, I'll salve my grief with the absurdly fabulous CLOSEOUT price. Grab it before it's gone, people.

Why I Didn't Pick It - A little dense for summer swelter and in limited supply to boot. Farewell Sequoia Grove - I hardly knew ye.


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