Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
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October 22, 2017

Author Archives

Mary Ann DeSantis

Mary Ann DeSantis is a fellow of the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers, Napa Valley, and recently received certification from the Wine & Spirits Educational Trust (WSET). An award-winning journalist, she has written for Lake & Sumter Style since 2006.
Eat and drink around the world

Eat and drink around the world

The 22nd annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is larger than ever this year with more chances to learn about food and wine pairings.   The best place to learn about wine is close to home, and Central Floridians have an extraordinary opportunity as the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is in full throttle this month. The 2017 festival is the longest ever.…
Keeping it simple

Keeping it simple

The second-largest vine grower and producer of premium wines in the U.S. is Washington state, where a new winery opens every 30 days. The full-bodied wines are an unpretentious and delicious surprise for wine lovers looking for good values. Washington state doesn’t look like wine country. After all, the vineyards around Seattle are clustered around Ponderosa pine forests and farmland. Yet, Columbia Valley—the state’s second-oldest…
Cool wine for hot days

Cool wine for hot days

Wine spritzers add a little sparkle to the ‘dog days of summer’ with refreshing flavors, less alcohol, and fewer calories. When I had my first sip of Italian red wine in 1980, I was not prepared for the mouth-puckering tannins that were different from anything I had ever tasted during my strawberry wine-drinking days at college. An Italian friend suggested adding a little S. Pellegrino…
Location, location, location

Location, location, location

Who says you have to travel to a winery to meet a winemaker and taste his wines? Dave Phinney led an interactive online tasting, proving location is relative.  Everyone knows when buying real estate that location is an important consideration. Where a wine is produced also is an important sales tool, especially when wines come from distinctive and highly prized geographical areas where the terroir…
All-American Zinfandels

All-American Zinfandels

The decidedly masculine-sounding labels may create some eye rolls, but the bold flavors of Zinfandel can’t be easily dismissed. When it comes to big, bold wines, Zinfandels rank near the top. With mouth-gripping tannins and high alcohol content, these red wines remind me of something Ernest Hemingway might have drunk. I describe Zinfandels as “manly” wines because they definitely aren’t for dainty palates. Ironically, the…
The romance of rosé 

The romance of rosé 

Summer is just a few weeks away and it’s a wonderful time to stock up on rosé wines. The refreshing wines are food-friendly and low in alcohol content. And, we should mention, they can be quite romantic for summertime picnics.   Story: Mary Ann Desantis, WSET Few places inspire passion in wine lovers like Provence, France. Sitting in sun-drenched cafes, eating aromatic Provençal cuisine, and…
Cruising beyond the port

Cruising beyond the port

Story: Mary Ann Desantis, WSET Portugal’s Douro River Valley is getting an international reputation for its distinctive red wines created in some unlikely rocky vineyards. Many people think the only wine that Portugal has to offer is port, the fortified sweet wine that is a delicious accompaniment to desserts. Up until a few years ago, finding a dry red, unfortified Portuguese wine in the United…
Patience pays off

Patience pays off

A vertical wine tasting compares different vintages (harvest years) from the same winery and grape varietal. It’s also a fun way to learn what you like and what you don’t when it comes to wines. Story: Mary Ann Desantis, WSET Organizing an affordable wine vertical tasting takes a lot of patience and sleuthing. If you collect wines, you know how hard it is to keep…
The wine world’s Big Six 

The wine world’s Big Six 

Six grape varieties comprise the “big six” in the wine-making world: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Noir. Salute continues its Big Six review this month with a look at the three red grapes that are the foundation for many of the world’s best wines.  Story: Mary Ann DeSantis, WSET I thought writing about red wine would be easy, because these three…
THE WINE WORLD’S BIG SIX

THE WINE WORLD’S BIG SIX

Start with the basics when you want to learn about wine. A good place to begin is with the six grape varieties that are the foundation for many of the world’s best wines. This is the first of two articles discussing these amazing grapes. Walk into any wine shop or supermarket and you can’t miss the Big Six—the grapes that Master Sommelier Andrea Immer Robinson…
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