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Food & Wine

An Early Tasting

I had been at the wine tasing two hours when I called my wife to move back our 3 p.m. meeting. It was shaping up to be a long afternoon —300 wines were lined up in a Napa Valley hotel, each begging to be sipped, considered and critiqued. How could I walk out? Plus, it …

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Wine ‘Em Up

Plan ahead with a guide for comprehensive tasting. I used to say I hated tasting wine with the milling hordes. I am recanting. Decanting. Pouring myself right in and trying to tip you in with me. Why? The Pittsburgh Wine Festival, May 3-8, sprawling over acres in Heinz Field House lounges, offers opportunities few ordinary mortals would otherwise …

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Driven to Drink

We’ve been conditioned to think of beer as decision-making’s devoted contaminant, so when I tell you that beer almost single-handedly explains Scott Smith’s current whereabouts, you might think this story won’t end well. Four years ago, Smith worked for a Fortune 500 company in a consumer products job. But the longer he did this, no …

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The Pie Place

It’s a gift to be able to do one thing really well, and The Pie Place in the Norman Centre 2 in Bethel Park has that gift. The little shop is tucked in a strip mall dominated by Borders and Louis Anthony Jewelers. It’s been there for over four years, but many locals have never …

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Howard Hanna: Buy and sell with confidence.

Bet the Farm

Selected by owners Jack and Dale Duff from a small field of candidates, they have been operating the venerable Blackberry Meadows Farm all summer under a lease/purchase agreement. With heads full of “green” theory and their own, seemingly endless renewable energy, the four entrepreneurs have passed the halfway mark in the growing season and are …

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Home is Where the Hearth Is

The walk was maybe a half-mile switchback up the side of a mountain in semi-freezing drizzle, past a slate-colored pond, through a covered bridge, beyond a clearing with a few austere frame buildings, and up and up. I can tell you I’ve never been so happy in my life to see smoke from a chimney. …

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Wine tips from the Heinz-Kerry cellar

With her easy tact and predisposition to agree, she might be a diplomat or a counselor—if it weren’t for the one-liners that slip out, almost as if they’re sneaking up on her, and the highly contagious laughs that follow. She should be laughing. Diane Martz, 43, in black jeans, tennis shoes and zero makeup, is …

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Salt, Air, Time and a Pig’s Hind Leg

In a food world where cured pork products have been catapulted to sexy heights of connoisseurship by chefs like Mario Batali, Pittsburghers blithely accept, take for granted and plain underappreciate the elegant—and bargain-priced—sausage and prosciutto made here in a fourth-generation family business in the Strip. “Parma is the best kept secret in town,” says Chef …

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Creative Dinners and More

With careers, carpooling and volunteer work, making dinner can be a challenge for busy families! If Stouffer’s is “home cooking” and at tax time you can claim the pizza deliveryman as a dependant, it might be time for a change. Enter a new concept in cooking — meal preparation centers. Creative Dinners and More provides …

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