October 17, 2011

Hollywood and Vine
Cinematographer Michael Seresin, makes movies like Angela's Ashes and Midnight Express and, at his New Zealand Seresin Estate, a first-rate Sauvignon Blanc.

Beer Garden
The recently published Homebrewer's Garden gives beer lovers with green thumbs some timely advice on growing hops and malting barley (Storey Books; $14.95).

Pastis Perfect
California distiller Domaine Charbay offers France's Pernod credible competition with its crisp and fresh anise-flavored Pastis. Served over ice, it's an ideal summer drink ($35 for a 375-ml bottle; 800-634-7845).

Buzz
Has any grape grown in America been given more misleading modifiers than Riesling? There was Wente's Grey Riesling and Ficklin's Emerald Riesling; there are even a few White Rieslings. But most common--until now--has been Johannisberg Riesling (named after a great German wine estate). The U.S. government has outlawed this Teutonic homage, though the deadline for new labels is still a few years away.

Drinking in Babylone
Christofle's latest line of crystal, "Babylone," features a multitude of facets and cuts, which lend both drama and dimension to the stemware ($62 per glass; 800-799-6886).

News
Proof that outsize is far from outré in the world of wine: four 18-liter bottles of Colgin Cabernet sell for a record $112,500 at a Christie's auction;Chicago chef-restaurateur Charlie Trotter, adds a special "big bottle" room to his cellar--one that holds more than 400 vinous behemoths.

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