Welcome to our new weekly roundup, Distilled—a look at booze news from the Globe and beyond.
The Thing About Ina Garten
Or one of them, anyway, is that she doesn’t take herself too seriously. The Times checks in with the Contessa; “I find cooking hard,” she says. Her special stress relief method, released back in April, will be a highlight of the pandemic forever.
“Celebrating Bright Wines in a Dim Year”
That’s the just-right, wistful headline for Wine Spectator’s sampling piece on this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau. How often does one get “charming” and “gumdrop” in tasting notes?
And Speaking of Gamay
Here’s Renee Wilmeth’s terrific Essentials piece on Beaujolais, with recommendations; the entertaining Punch’s take on the new, pricey generation; and a new newsletter from the always-spot-on natural wine expert Aaron Ayscough.
Which Leads Us Logically To
The inevitable once-a-year roundups of What to Drink at Thanksgiving. The answer, we think, is Champagne, followed by more Champagne. But Asimov in the Times has other great ideas, as ever, and so does Ellen Bhang in the Boston Globe.
The Restaurant Situation Could Not Be More Bewildering
That’s our view anyway. We recently celebrated a birthday with a surprise dinner at Gramercy Tavern; looks like we managed that just in time, as Danny Meyer suspended onsite operations at all his places this past Friday.
Wine Spectator checked in with Rachel Lowe of Chicago’s Spiaggia, and our old pal Adam Sweders of the Dineamic Group there. They’re worried.
Looks like City Winery is going to try instant testing for a fee; that might work, while we can still eat inside. I saw Randy Newman play the City Winery in Chicago a couple of years ago, and The English Beat, and the surcharge woulda been worth it.
If You’re Feeling Flush
The private cellar of the late California pioneer Joseph Phelps is to be auctioned December 18-19, by the superb Hart Davis Hart house. Among other crazy treasures, there’s some homebrew in the mix—an 18-bottle Insignia vertical, and a case of the 1976—and some rare 1970s gems from around the neighborhood.
And Finally, a Drink
Bon Appetit offers up a recipe for an Applejack Sour, just right this time of year. The directions say to pour it into a rocks glass; the photo shows it strained into a coupe. Do that. Cheers.