tim fish

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Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

Memorial Day Wines: Relax and Kick Back

Summer is finally here, so don’t fret over your wines for the holiday

Posted: May 22, 2013  By Tim Fish

Memorial Day is not the time to over analyze your wine. Save that for a first-growth tasting or the next natural wine seminar. Summer is finally here, so just relax and enjoy.

Two words come to mind when I think of Memorial Day wine: easy and familiar. By "easy," I mean user-friendly, a good quaff to share with friends and family that doesn't cost a lot. And "familiar" means an old favorite, a wine you can trust not to disappoint you … or your guests or host.

I can't help you with the "familiar"—to each his own—but I'll share a few of my own later. I'll start with "easy," because there is no shortage of good, tasty value wines on the market right now. Here are 13 wines to kick off summer this Memorial Day weekend.

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

Keeping It Real in Mendocino

Known for its laid-back atmosphere, this Northern California County offers an authentic wine-and-food experience

Posted: May 15, 2013  By Tim Fish

In California wine country, Mendocino County is out in left field in more ways than one. Not only is it the Golden State’s most remote and northernmost wine region, but the attitude there is different compared to places like Sonoma or Santa Barbara. Life moves at a slower pace and the mindset is more unconventional, some might even say eccentric.

It’s not quite like any wine region you’ll ever visit, which is just what we discovered while researching “A Wine and Food Tour of Mendocino” in the June 15 issue of Wine Spectator.

News & Features  :  News

Media Mogul Rupert Murdoch Buys Moraga Vineyards

News Corp CEO purchases estate and winery in Los Angeles' Bel Air area; asking price was $29.5 million

Posted: May 13, 2013  By Tim Fish

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

From Farm to Table, Except for Wine

The new hipster restaurants of Portland, Ore., are emblematic of a national phenomenon

Posted: May 8, 2013  By Tim Fish

I spent a few days in Portland, Ore., last week, and you can't deny it has a distinctive personality, a combo of the laidback vibe of the West Coast with the rusty sneer of an old East Coast port city. It's also one of the hipster capitals of America. Every generation has its young, counter-culture crowd, from the beatniks and hippies to the punks, rappers and beyond, but today's hipsters have created a lifestyle. You may have seen it parodied on The Simpsons and Portlandia on TV.

One thing that distinguishes this new generation of hipsters is its passion for serious food and wine and, in the past five years, dozens of hip restaurants and wine bars targeting that crowd have sprung up in Portland. These aren't places you just stumble upon. They're generally smallish and quirky, hidden away in one of the city's numerous neighborhoods. You have to go looking for them.

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

12 Festive Rosés from California

New reviews of pink wines perfect for summer sipping

Posted: May 6, 2013  By Tim Fish

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

Are We Losing that Wonder about Wine?

Don’t let the been-there, done-that attitude ruin the experience

Posted: May 1, 2013  By Tim Fish

The curmudgeon gene runs deep in my family, so I'm always trying to look at things through fresh eyes. I was reminded of this last week during that Wine Spectator Grand Tour tasting in San Francisco.

I ran into a group of friends at the tasting and stopped to chat. These folks love wine but have gone to few large tastings. One asked if I was having a good time. Of course, I said, with more than 200 wineries pouring, how could I not be? And yet they were clearly having an even better time, and it wasn't because they were guzzling. They were just excited to be there.

April 30, 2013 Issue  :  News

William Price Buys Gap's Crown Vineyard in Sonoma

Posted: April 30, 2013  By Tim Fish

April 30, 2013 Issue  :  Tasting Reports

Golden State Values

In California, five wine regions deliver high quality for $25 or less

Posted: April 30, 2013  By Tim Fish

News & Features  :  News

Grand Tour Is a Moveable Wine Feast, Starting in San Francisco

Wine Spectator's 12th annual tasting gathers top wines from around the globe

Posted: April 25, 2013  By Tim Fish

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

A Spanish Red Value that Puts California to Shame

When it comes to bang for the buck, Evodia Garnacha leaves the Golden State in the dust

Posted: April 24, 2013  By Tim Fish

A good $10 bottle of red is not easy to find anymore. It's funny how people get excited about a great bargain, whether 10 bucks is all they can afford or they're buying it by the case for a barbecue. California isn't a lot of help. Too many of the reds selling for $10 or less aren't worth a spit.

Why can't more wine regions—particularly California—make wines like Altovinum's Evodia Old Vines Garnacha Calatayud 2011? It has lively raspberry aromas with hints of lead pencil and grilled herb plus flavors that are lively and ripe, but balanced with minerally acidity. The suggested retail is $10, but it often sells for less. I gave it 88 points, non-blind, on the Wine Spectator 100-point scale.

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