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Cork & Bottle briefs

Briefs and news of note.

Published July 26, 2006


And now's the time. Gin and tonic has helped us fight malaria, or at least the summer blah-humbugs, for a century.

One miracle drug is the quinine in the tonic, the other the juniper berries and other herbals that make gin so much more invigorating than vodka.

The choice of gin is personal. The folks at Martin Miller's like their own artisan gin, of course, but offer these ecumenical tips from a survey of G&T pros behind the bar:

For tonic, Schweppe's and Seagram's were preferred. Twice as much tonic as gin.

For a glass, use a long tall Collins with ice in cubes. For garnish, squeeze a lime and put a slice on the bubbles. Look for yellowish fruit.

For fun, try an orange or grapefruit slice or mint instead. Or go pink with a drop or two of bitters.



Lakeridge Winery in Clermont brought home precious medals from the Los Angeles County Fair and the International Easter Wine Competition. Biggest score was a gold in L.A. for Lakeridge's Southern Red, a light and easy version of homegrown Noble grapes.


Saint M riesling, Chateau Ste. Michelle/Ernst Loosen

Another product of the happy collaboration between two riesling lovers, the modern mad doctor of German vineyards, Ernst Loosen, and the Washington state winery that is one of the grape's Northwest champions. They're known for their Eroica and now this.

While a bright, crisp riesling is a pleasure year-round, it's a special treat in the wearying heat of summer. And this one, made in the Pfalz section of the Rhine, is a good one, lightly sweet and still snappy.

You'll smell a meadow of flowers and bushels of ripe peaches, and find more peaches and apples on the palate, plus a racy freshet of mountain springwater from a tony creek. Loosen has kept this drier than most but not as tart as the Alsatian varieties.

The first Saint M got a head start with the 2003 vintage; the new 2004 shows it's a good idea even without blockbuster grapes.

Crisp as seersucker or a cord suit. Serve cold with shrimp, salmon, pad thai or a beachside picnic.

AVAILABILITY: $10 to $12, in liquor stores, wine shops.

[Last modified July 25, 2006, 11:34:37]

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