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Let's Twist Again

“Most people have become very comfortable with screw cap wines for themselves (especially in the $10 - $14 price range), and some people even prefer them because they are so user-friendly, Village Wine Market's Thomas LaBoone says. “But virtually everyone still refuses to give a screw cap wine as a gift because they fear it will be viewed as cheap wine.” LaBoone recommends the Saint Veran 2004 ($23) from Verget. “It is a great wine and a fun recommendation because the last place anyone expects to find a wine with a screw cap is Burgundy! It is a fresh, lean, food-friendly Chardonnay from the Maconnais region.” And longtime favorite, Hewitson Miss Harry 2004 ($20) is a blend of Grenache, Shiraz, and Mourvedre from Australia's Barossa Valley, but this vintage is its first screw cap. “Miss Harry is robust, layered, and smooth with a fine peppery spice.”

George Sarris finds that screw caps keep his wine better than corks. The caps also fit into his ongoing mission to reduce wine snobbery and expose everyone to different wines. Sarris invites you to pick any wine from the shelf at The Fish Market and open it at your table or the bar—without a corkage fee. And if you need help making that selection, chef/manager Bert Lindbergh will put a little twist on dinner, with four screw cap options. Big Fire Pinot Noir 2004 ($22) goes well with his tuna or salmon. Silky textured with ripe plum and candied fruit aromas lead to flavors of raspberries, cherries, warm cinnamon, and blackberries. Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne 2004 ($24) is an intense white with aromas of apricot and white peach, pear, pineapple, guava and mango with a nutty, mineral character. In a tall and elegant, emerald green bottle Saint M Riesling 2003 is also cork-less. This fresh, fruit forward and food friendly wine is medium dry with ripe flavors of peach and apricot and a mineral finish.

Twisting time is here. But if all this twisting and turning brings back memories of another time, you may also recall wine in a box. And Kendall-Jackson is bringing it back. Wine Block comes in three colorful, 1.5 liter boxes and feature 100 percent California grapes. Three varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay are a flavorful value at approximately $10 for per 1.5-liter box—equal to two bottles of wine. A new push-button tap replaced old pull levers—allowing the boxes to keep wine fresh for weeks. And the boxes fit nicely between the shelves in the frig, available at Publix supermarkets.

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