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Posted: June 4, 2014 By Tim Fish
I've been thinking about California Zinfandel a lot lately, its past and the future. For the June 30 issue of Wine Spectator, I sized up the 2011s and 2012s for my annual Zin report and also revisited the 1994 and 2004 vintages in a retrospective tasting.
Posted: May 28, 2014 By Tim Fish
The Coast of California rambles 840 miles along the Pacific and somewhere about half way is the Monterey Peninsula and Big Sur. You might find a more beautiful place, but you'd have to look hard.
It wasn't just the scenery that drew me to the Monterey Coast a few weeks back. There's an active food-and-wine scene to go along with all that outdoor adventure.
Posted: May 21, 2014 By Tim Fish
Last week's heat wave in Sonoma put me in the grilling mood. It was, in part, a survival tactic, since there's no AC in our kitchen and I wilt easily. But now that Memorial Day weekend is upon us, Americans are dusting off their grills and smokers, gathering the charcoal and researching new summer recipes the family isn't sick to death of.
Summer wine drinking deserves the same level of devotion. It takes prep work to find the right combination of qualities in a warm-weather wine: a style or variety you like, refreshing, good with grilled foods and, of course, a good value doesn't hurt. The last point is key for those do a lot of entertaining in the summer.
Posted: May 19, 2014 By Tim Fish
Posted: May 14, 2014 By Tim Fish
It's a shame that so many Americans put off drinking sparkling wine until New Year's Eve. I crave it most in the summer when the days are sunny and I want something refreshing to drink. It also complements the lighter menus of summer like salads, seafood and chicken.
Here I highlight a handful of my favorite new sparkling wines: two of the top wines, two values and one superb rosé.
Posted: May 7, 2014 By Tim Fish
Things are getting busy in the vineyards of California right now. Vines are blooming in all but the coolest regions of the state. Those little flowers will turn into tiny grapes before you know it. I checked with a few winemakers and growers for the latest in the vineyards. The season is running early throughout the state, generally two weeks earlier than normal, but in some areas it's more than that. Which means that unless summer sends a weather curve ball, it will be another early harvest like 2013. Here are their reports from Napa, Sonoma, Paso Robles, Santa Barbara and more.
Posted: April 30, 2014 By Tim Fish
Nick Goldschmidt is one of the busiest winemakers I know. He's more under-the-radar than his friends Michel Rolland and Paul Hobbs, but spends five months a year on the road consulting for 26 wineries in seven countries, including Mission Hill in New Zealand, Viña Errázuriz in Chile and Don Sebastiani & Sons in California.
His Alexander and Dry Creek Valley Merlots are well-made, true to the variety and sell for $20 or less. Here are my notes on five of his recently-released 2012s.
Posted: April 24, 2014 By Tim Fish
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