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This Calls For A Drink! August 25, 2016 Expert wine and beer picks for every situation from a saucy new book.Something you already know: seafood and white wine were made for each other. Something you don’t know: when social media stalking your new crush, Chablis will save you from falling too deep in an Internet wormhole. Such hilarious scenarios are the basis of a new book by Diane McMartin, a Washington, D.C.-based certified sommelier. In This Calls for a Drink: The Best Wines & Beers to Pair With Every Situation, Diane puts a wise-cracking, yet informative spin on the old rules of wine and beer pairing. We’ve bookmarked a few sticky situations that go splendidly with our glassware, so raise a glass and get sipping!…continue reading

What to Drink in Every Situation September 5, 2016 Dumped on Facebook? There’s a wine for that. Cheering for the Giants? There’s a drink for that, too, says Virginia sommelier Diane McMartin. Her first book,“This Calls for a Drink!” (Workman Publishing, $14.95) serves as both light-hearted wine and beer intro and situational drinking guide. Instead of classic food and wine pairings, McMartin considers the situation’s emotional heft. Naturally, we had questions about these unorthodox pairings…continue reading

10 Amazing Books You Should Read and Exactly What you Should Drink With Them July 28, 2016 Because what goes better with Harry Potter than a glass of sparkling wine? Barnes and Noble announced recently that it will start selling beer and wine at four new stores, according to CNN. And while this is might be the best thing to have ever happened at a Barnes and Noble, the first store to serve liquor won’t open until October. To tide you over until then, asked certified sommelier Diane McMartin which boozy drinks pair best with these 10 new releases. McMartin happens to be an authority, being that she’s the author of This Calls For a Drink!, a book about how to pair beverages with what’s happening in your life, from being dumped to getting fired. Now grab one of these books and a bottle and you’ll be ready to have a fantastic time…continue reading

Final Presidential Debate Drink Pairings October 18, 2016   If ever there was a reason to drink, it’s this election season. I wake up every day wondering if it’s all been some sort of fever dream, but no, this is all really happening, and even weirder, we’re coming up on the third and final presidential debate. While I can’t tell you what snazzy pantsuit Secretary Clinton will wear or whether The Donald will finally snap and actually physically attack her on stage, I can suggest a few beverage pairings for different topics the debate will cover. My advice is to pick the one that speaks to you the most and stick with that for the night, but feel free to grab one of everything and do a little debate beverage-pairing taste-off with your friends. So drink up, settle in, and try to remember that this is an actual election and not a reality show. Or maybe pretending that it IS a reality show will make it easier? I don’t know anymore. Where’s my rosé?…continue reading

The Books of Summer Some fun and fascinating culinary companions for reading enthusiasts. July 6, 2016 Who doesn’t love a good read during lazy days of summer spent at the beach, on the patio, by the pool or just lounging on the couch? I like to use some of my downtime to catch up on the stacks of cookbooks, food fiction, wine writing and the like that are piled around my desk. For this summer, I’ve assembled a collection of culinary- and libation-oriented publications—some new, some classics—to enjoy as the temperatures soar. My wife recently mentioned that she’d like to learn more about wine in order to become better at her restaurant job. Well, there are hundreds—probably thousands—of books to help with this. One of the more useful ones—and a not-too-technical book that’s easy to read—is This Calls for a Drink! The Best Wines & Beers to Pair with Every Situation by certified sommelier Diane McMartin. At first, I thought this would be another boring compilation of lists: what to pair with game, what to pair with pastas and, of course, what to pair with the always-tricky salad, artichoke or asparagus. But it isn’t. Both extremely useful and informative, it’s also entertaining to read…continue reading

Wines for New Moms, Because Lord Knows They Need It June 14, 2016 Sometimes the best entry into learning about wine is having a good friend to introduce you to new things, and explain flavo notes like a human being and not a Mad Libs robot spouting “minerality” and “terroir.” In This Calls for a Drink, certified sommelier Diane McMartin is that friend. She pairs wines *and* beers to all of life’s occasions, big and small, from breakups to Netflix binges and all of the jobs gained and lost along the way. In the funny excerpt below, McMartin provides a great public service and suggests wines and beers for new parents, who know that when 7:30 bedtimes hit, it’s wine time. Motherhood isn’t all ladies in tasteful high-waisted dresses with cooing Gerber babies in soft focus in a field. Why are those commercials always shot in some mythical meadow? Jesus Christ, who has time to go out to the country with a toddler, a newborn, and a full-time job?! Parents are people, too, and they need to let loose once in a while! You may not be out partying all night, but you’ll still want to incorporate some fun, and of course, delicious beverages, into your new life…continue reading

The Cantina Scene Review: ‘This Calls For A Drink’ by Diane McMartin is the Wine and Beer Guide We Needed June 10, 2016 Diane McMartin isn’t the type to pull punches when she discusses wine and beer. In her new book This Calls for a Drink, McMartin breaks down what to drink and when to drink it. Whether it’s attending a wedding or reading a dystopian novel, she’s got the situation covered. This Calls for a Drink is smart, sassy, and modern. Her voice is refreshing, much like many of the adult beverage recipes she provides. The best part is that she’s factual and funny…continue reading

Stop Drinking White Wine May 11, 2016 We’ve all happily heard about the health benefits of red wine. A recent study by the Annals of Internal Medicine found that a nightly glass can increase levels of good HDL cholesterol and help lower blood pressure, decrease blood-sugar levels and fight belly fat. But with warmer weather finally arriving, who wants to sip a hearty glass of Chianti or cabernet? If you’re looking to cut down on calories, avoid wines that are high in residual sugars. “A good way to avoid residual sugars in rosé is to look at its alcohol content,” says Diane McMartin, author of “This Calls for a Drink!” (Workman; out June 14). “If a bottle has more than 10 percent alcohol, it more likely means that the grapes spent a longer time in the fermentation process, which means there [are] less leftover sugars.”…continue reading

You can also amuse yourselves with my pieces from The Hairpin:



Test your knowledge of ridiculous-sounding wine brands @ The Toast