Spanish wine makes a comeback

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 10 September 2015 08:13

Let’s start this column with a little wine history — perhaps a review for experienced oenophiles, but something new for those just now becoming friends of the grape.

Honey honey, how you thrill us

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 27 August 2015 07:39

It’s succulent and sweet, dripping golden from the spoon. Its viscosity causes it to move in slow motion and its natural colors sparkle in the sun. It both brightens the palate and strengthens the body.

Give rieslings another chance for summer sipping

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 13 August 2015 09:57

Many wine lovers who grew up in Wisconsin cut their teeth on German riesling. Its bright fruit flavor made it easy to appreciate, and just as easy to abandon as those wine lovers’ palates became more sophisticated.

Is gomasio the next great seasoning?

Written by J.M. Hirsch,
AP food editor
Thursday, 16 July 2015 13:26

It's impossible to say this without sounding stupid (or as though I'm practicing Klingon), but gomasio is going to be the next za'atar.

Seriously. During the past few years, top chefs in the United States have been on a serious bender for far-flung seasoning blends. Which is why za'atar (which seemingly can be spelled a dozen or more ways) has become a darling of the restaurant scene. The Middle Eastern blend of sesame seeds, sumac and what-have-you is regularly sprinkled on all manner of dips, grilled meats and roasted vegetables.

Got fresh tomatoes? A recipe for Summer's End Tomato Tart

Written by SARA MOULTON,
Associated Press
Monday, 31 August 2015 08:11

If you’re like me, you believe that a fresh, ripe tomato is one of the best things about summer. And this tart is an ode to the tomato in season — and a lesson about how to make the most of it.

Let’s start with how to choose the best tomatoes. First, pick up your candidate, smell the stem and confirm that it smells strongly like a tomato. Next, figure out if it is juicy by hefting it. You want a heavy tomato; if it’s heavy, it’s juicy.

Central Wis. breweries have winning beers on tap

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 27 August 2015 07:35

Many of O’So’s beers are more extreme offerings.
— Photo: O’so Brewing Co.

Beer is central to many Wisconsinites, but many of them don’t think of central Wisconsin as a hub for it. That’s a misconception worth changing. The heart of our state features a variety of breweries new and old, some highly acclaimed and others little known outside their communities. 

Sprecher celebrates 30 years of beers, root and otherwise

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Thursday, 13 August 2015 08:57

Sprecher Brewing Company is best known for its wide variety of sodas, but founder Randy Sprecher says the company’s alcoholic brews are growing increasingly popular.
—Photo: Sprecher Brewing Company

Say “Sprecher,” and you think “root beer.” In its 30-year history, it’s for that tasty soda that the Wisconsin brewery has become best known. Yet as it approaches this milestone, founder Randy Sprecher says his company’s growing bigger than ever — and it won’t be all about the root beer for long. 

Packing the perfect summertime picnic basket

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Saturday, 18 July 2015 07:20

Summer’s warm weather always brings out our inner love for an outdoor gourmet experience and we search for ample opportunities to dine al fresco. In addition to the right location and the right partner, of course, the secret is packing the perfect picnic basket.

Not Your Father's Root Beer keeps La Crosse brewery hoppin'

Written by Mike Tighe,
La Crosse Tribune
Friday, 28 August 2015 20:45

Workers at City Brewery in La Crosse are toasting the success of a root beer on steroids because it is ensuring their jobs during a season when lager production often lags.

Umami-enhanced pasta packs in flavor

Written by Melissa D’Arabian,
Associated Press writer
Thursday, 13 August 2015 10:00

If you’ve been out to eat at any trendy restaurant during the past five years or have watched any food competition show, you probably have heard of umami. Umami is the pleasant savory flavor resulting from the interaction of certain amino acids with receptors on the human tongue. (It’s a wonder we don’t get into this level of detail on TV, no?)

Traveling the Lake Michigan beer trail

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 30 July 2015 10:53

Sheboygan’s 3 Sheeps Brewing company is run by Grant Pauly, a third-generation brewer who cultivates some truly unique beers.
— PHOTO: Courtesy

There was a time in the early 20th century when just about every little Wisconsin town could be counted on for two things: a church and a bar. But now, the rapid rise of craft brewing means that in many towns, the third constant is a brewery.

Wisconsin farmers turning fields into temporary pizza parties

Written by Steve Karnowski,
Associated Press writer
Thursday, 16 July 2015 11:08

As the farm-to-table movement connects more consumers with local farmers, some farms in Wisconsin and Minnesota are shortening the distance between the plow and the plate. They’re inviting customers over for pizza.