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Michael Schiaparelli
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Gaming the Wine Biz

2 Comments · Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I just found a PC/MAC game — Winemaker Extraordinaire (Masque, $20) — that challenges players to build “a winemaking empire!” Now, it’s been frequently said that “the surest way to make a small fortune in the wine business is to start with a large fortune.” So, on its face, I didn’t figure this game would be too realistic.  

Tano Bistro (Review)

Despite a few lapses, Loveland spot a wonderful addition to suburban dining scene

2 Comments · Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Ghostly snow devils swirl around the darkness of Loveland Avenue West, but a steamy window with "Tano" scrawled across it glows with a homey, diffuse light, beckoning us out of the cold. Inside, we find a warm space filled with convivial guests for whom the holiday season is still in full swing. It will be fun to see how Tano Bistro evolves as the seasons change, but for now it's a great place to shelter from the cold.  

Sherry, Baby

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Each year as a child, I sat glued to the couch when ABC's 4:30 movies repeated its Edgar Allen Poe Week. 'Tales of Terror was among my favorites, comprised of three of Poe's shorter works, including 'The Cask of the Amontillado.' Of course, I had no idea then what Amontillado sherry was ... but today I have a real appreciation for the grownup drink.  

Winter Whites

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 16, 2009
In summertime, I prefer lighter, crisper white wines that provide relief from the heat and humidity: New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, Australian dry Rieslings, Austrian Gruner Veltliner, real (French) Chablis. We drink these wines with utter abandon — especially because they pair so well with the lighter fare served during warmer months.  

Winter's On

1 Comments · Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Where I grew up in New Jersey, there were plenty of ski areas within easy driving distance, but the quality of the trails and the length of the lift lines always left something to be desired. It might take 15 minutes to hurtle down a dangerously crowded, icy slope from the summit, and then you’d have to wait another half hour or more in the bitter, biting cold for another run.  

Start Thanksgiving Beverage Shopping Early

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Believe it or not, it's almost Thanksgiving, and once again I recommend planning ahead for your beverage purchases. Picking out the wine and beer is one task you can accomplish well before the holiday, when you might be busy with more pressing tasks like procuring the perishable side items and brining your bird.  

They're Weird and They're Wonderful

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 23, 2009
When I look at a wine list or scan the bottles behind a bar, I look for the unfamiliar — and not just unfamiliar. In fact, the weirder the better. So when I’m confronted by a list of Napa cabs and a shelf full of easily recognizable Russian vodkas, I opt instead for a seasonal beer on tap. At least I know it will disappear soon enough.  

Wine Bible

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I just finished A.J. Jacobs' 'The Year of Living Biblically,' which recounts his adventures living strictly according to every law found in both the Hebrew and Christian testaments. When his wife becomes pregnant and asks him to swear off booze with her, the biblically mandated rules concerning alcohol consumption become an issue. He decides that scripture ultimately favors imbibing but agrees to water down his wine a bit.  

Wine Is Not Better in the Skies

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 15, 2009
On a recent family trip to England I tasted a number of wines that warrant some discussion. On the Delta flight over (which was an absolute clusterfuck that arrived more than six hours late and included an unscheduled maintenance stop in Atlanta), they offered a choice of two red wines, each of which was virtually undrinkable. This was particularly surprising to me in that highly-respected wine pro Andrea Immer Robinson serves as their high-profile Sommelier, supposedly testing every wine in flight to ensure that they show well at every altitude.   

Wine Online: A Good Reason to Tweet

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I’m generally what they call a “late adopter.” I still don’t own an iPod or Blackberry or have a Facebook page. I haven’t seen Slumdog Millionaire — or (I swear) a single episode of The Sopranos. Oh, we did eventually get a Wii, but not until long after every other student in my kids’ classes had them (according to my kids, anyway).