Thirsty? Check out the breweries, wineries, cideries and more across the happy valley.

The Pour Man: Bogle Old Vine Zin’
Feb08

The Pour Man: Bogle Old Vine Zin’

During a recent visit to the North Carolina mountains, my wife and I were lucky enough to be part of a small dinner party with friends who make their living in the food and wine industry. It was one of those evenings, full of laughter and great stories, with a wonderful meal accompanied by terrific wines that were way beyond my pay grade. Such a gathering of experts in their fields was perhaps common for them, but for us it was rare...

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Snug ‘n’ Glug: Local restaurants and bars with cozy fireplaces
Feb08

Snug ‘n’ Glug: Local restaurants and bars with cozy fireplaces

There’s something unnatural about strolling downtown in the dead of winter wearing a spring jacket and feeling a warm breeze on your face. Still, snuggling by the fire is a thing enjoyed in spring. So, whatever the weather feels like when these words reach you, dear reader, there’s some cuddling to be done fireside. On this balmy winter evening, my sweetie and I decide to check out what is likely one of the oldest fireplaces in...

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Still Poised to Pour: Discount liquor licenses in Holyoke haven’t attracted buyers
Feb08

Still Poised to Pour: Discount liquor licenses in Holyoke haven’t attracted buyers

Most restaurants rely on liquor sales for survival, which is why the city of Holyoke acquired 13 additional all-alcohol licenses to sell on the cheap as part of an urban renewal plan. But that was over a year ago and no one’s biting yet. At least one of the former applicants — Vitek Kruta, co-owner of Gateway City Arts — blamed eligibility requirements placed on the licences, which have been on sale for $10,000 apiece since fall 2014,...

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Madame Barfly: Mixing Beer? Have Fear
Feb03

Madame Barfly: Mixing Beer? Have Fear

Naturally, I was really excited about the whole beer cocktail thing. Beer is good, and cocktails are good, so how can we go wrong, right? As it turns out, some beer cocktails are good and others are downright disgusting. The Beerhunter and I put our booze brains together to see if we could come up with any tasty beer cocktails. It’s more challenging than we’d anticipated — beer has a flavor profile that frequently doesn’t play well...

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Red, White, and Chew
Feb03

Red, White, and Chew

C’mon, live a little. Winter’s the time to cozy up and allow yourself some indulgence while the wind and snow are howling outside (okay, yeah, we’ll just have to pretend it’s a bad winter out there). So, how about some wine and chocolate? Springfield Museums hosts “Indulgence: An Evening of Wine and Chocolate” as part of their Culture and Cocktails series. To reserve tickets, visit springfieldmuseums.org or call (413) 263-6800 ext....

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The Pour Man: Wine that Celebrates ‘Crime’ and Springfield’s John Boyle O’Reilly
Jan11

The Pour Man: Wine that Celebrates ‘Crime’ and Springfield’s John Boyle O’Reilly

A wine with a good back story is one thing, but when you find a good wine with a great back story, it makes the drinking all the better. The South Eastern Australian line of wines 19 Crimes — a red blend and a Cabernet Sauvignon — are well crafted and honor the ancestors of 20 percent of the country’s population, the criminals who were transported there from Great Britain over an 80-year period. From 1788 to 1868, it didn’t take much...

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