Tag Archives: wine

Baptist wireless

An edited version of this item, from my Beerman column, appears in the current Weekly Surge, a free newspaper distributed in the Myrtle Beach area:

I was staying at a Baptist conference center the night before my PBR article was due.

I’m always racking up the frequent-guest points at Baptist conference centers, and cashing them in for sweet tea and potato salad.

I was there because my wife had gone the center’s accompanying girls’ camp during her growing-up years, and now my daughters are carrying on the tradition.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s a great camp, and the conference center’s room were cleaner than most hotel rooms. I guess working for cranky tourists is a little less motivating than working for the Almighty.

Anyway, I had to do a little PBR-related research to do, so I went online. The Google search returned the results, and I clicked.

Suddenly, a note popped up on the screen: the site was banned, for it fell within the “Alcohol/Tobacco Category.”

I knew I couldn’t bring any alcohol or tobacco – I was really proud of myself for not smuggling any in – but I couldn’t even read about it?

Wouldn’t it count as opposition research?

That’s why I’m an Episcopalian. Our little-known motto is, “The Protestants Who Drink.” Our Jesus turned water into wine, not Welch’s Grape Juice.

Thanksgiving wine: some inexpensive suggestions

I have the responsibility of selecting the wine for my family’s Thanksgiving feast in Raleigh, N.C.

Although I’ve been writing a regular column about beer for two and a half years now, I’ve made some notes along the way about wine pairings for Thanksgiving, which might be the most difficult pairing challenge of them all.

Last year, I was moderately successful by offering both a chardonnay and a riesling before and during dinner.

To make those choices, I had flipped through Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast, and I had searched the Internet for pairing suggestions. As an addition help, the local grocery store had cards on the shelves with Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast ratings — I just had to make sure that the year on the card was the same as the year on the available bottles.

This year, I decided to add a zinfandel to the mix, only because I know some in my family will always prefer red. Truth be told, no one will care about the type of wines with this meal as much as I will!

Except for the riesling, for which I have a personal affection, I tried to stick to the affordable end of the available wines.

So here are the selections:

Hogue Columbia Valley Riesling 2007 (received an 87 from Wine Spectator); retails around $11 per bottle

King Fish California Chardonnay 2006; retails around $6 per bottle

Barefoot Zinfandel from Lodi, California (no date); retails around $7 per bottle

Earlier this year, I wrote a cover story for a local weekly about beer-and-food pairings, but I still decided not to spend the money on better beers for pairing purposes. Most of my family will drink wine with the meal.

Recently, I have gained a new appreciation and respect for big domestic brewers, and it just so happens that a new beer by Bud and an long-standing beer by Michelob have become personal favorites. Here’s what the Thanksgiving beer cooler looks like:

Budweiser American Ale: This new beer from Bud is an all-malt ale with Pacific Cascade hops.

Michelob Lager: A traditional, all-malt lager with European hops.

Woodchuck Amber Cider: This crisp, refreshing alternative to wine and beer works well with holiday feasts; plus you can still count on a little lift. It’s 5 percent.

Aquinas Wines: A good wine for a great man, St. Thomas Aquinas

I recently discovered Aquinas Wines from Napa Valley. The label on the back of the bottles says: “Named for St. Thomas Aquinas {a·kwine·əs}, a revolutionary scholar who used the laws of science to support his belief in the existence of the Almighty.”


Wine, of course, is perfect evidence of God. Another Roman Catholic philosopher, Blaise Pascal, once wrote, “If you do not drink any wine, you will never find the truth.” But then he added, “If you drink too much wine, you will also never find the truth.”


-Colin Foote Burch

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