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

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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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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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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Shhh! The Library keeps it classy in Easthampton
Jan04

Shhh! The Library keeps it classy in Easthampton

Cottage Street in Easthampton is a busy street on any night, and this New Year’s Eve is no different. I approach The Library’s front door and am warned by its words that I must be properly dressed to enter. Given the holiday — luckily — I’m dressed for the occasion, so I proceed. The tinted door closes behind me and all of the boisterous conversation, the crunch of boots on snow, and the whir of traffic are instantly canceled out....

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More Than Granola: With corporate chain stores selling natural foods, co-ops double down on community ties
Jan04

More Than Granola: With corporate chain stores selling natural foods, co-ops double down on community ties

Steve Alves rolls up an chair, sits down at his desk, and opens a spreadsheet of every food co-op in America. He has been compiling this list for years. As his finger flicks the scroll wheel, hundreds of rows spill upward on the monitor: co-ops in states like Idaho, South Carolina, Colorado, Georgia, Wisconsin, California, and Kentucky. The city names are as diverse as America is vast: Long Beach, Durango, Jackson, Athens, Salt Point....

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The Pour Man: Good Bubbly for $12?!
Dec28

The Pour Man: Good Bubbly for $12?!

Finding a well-crafted, dry sparkling wine in the $10 range can be difficult. There are plenty of good Italian Prosecco and Lambrusco wines in the range, and I tried a number of them this year in an effort to discover an inexpensive sparkler for the holidays, one that wouldn’t start my new year off with a boiling stomach or a splitting headache. However, I find the affordable Italian sparkling wines to be a little on the sweet side,...

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