tim fish

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News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

9 Exciting California Reds

New reviews of 2011 Zinfandels from Sonoma's Russian River and Dry Creek

Posted: November 18, 2013  By Tim Fish

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

Have You Ever Tasted a Perfect Wine?

Many wines are outstanding, but a truly 100-point wine is rare

Posted: November 13, 2013  By Tim Fish

I've tasted a lot of great wines over the years but I'm not sure I've ever tasted a perfect one. Perfection, as I see it, is a tricky business. It's like fog: You know it's there, but just try catching it.

News & Features  :  News

West Coast Wineries Are Up for Sale—Quietly

A wave of recent deals show investors see opportunities in wine, while owners see an exit strategy

Posted: November 12, 2013  By Tim Fish

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

Hearty Reds for the Fleeting Sunlight

Put away those frivolous wines of summer and drink something fit for autumn

Posted: November 6, 2013  By Tim Fish

Fall arrived in Sonoma County on Monday, or at least it finally felt like it, finally. It was something in the air, that hard to define mix of fleeting sunlight, long shadows and leaves in the breeze. Autumn comes late in Northern California and lingers only until the first serious storm blows in from the Pacific.

I'm in the mood for different wines when the weather changes. The flavors are generally richer, deeper and more multifaceted, so I look for a wine that's similar. A zesty red Rhône blend is often perfect, likewise Syrah and Zinfandel, plus red blends from Italy and Spain. Here are a few affordable picks for the fall.

News & Features  :  News & Features

It’s a Wrap: The Grand Award Banquet

Blending tradition with a youthful verve, the New York Wine Experience ends with a bang

Posted: October 30, 2013  By Tim Fish

News & Features  :  News & Features

Tasting Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 2012

A showcase of the global cream of the crop with an accent on Rhône varieties

Posted: October 29, 2013  By Tim Fish

News & Features  :  News & Features

Featured Winemakers: Frédéric Drouhin and Véronique Drouhin-Boss

Maison Joseph Drouhin shows the staying power of grand cru Burgundy—and family-run companies

Posted: October 29, 2013  By Tim Fish

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

12 California Merlots for $20 or Less

Good quality comes at a fair price if you shop wisely

Posted: October 23, 2013  By Tim Fish

Snidely debating what wine is "in" and what wine is "out" is a favorite pastime of industry insiders. First, Merlot was in, and then it was out. In and out, in and out-you get whiplash after a while. How much of that trickles down to consumers is hard to say. I'm not sure they care.

The 2010 vintage in California certainly didn't show Merlot at its best, and it's too early to call the 2011s, which are just being released. For my annual Merlot report, I tasted more than 180 wines, and I offer my take in the Nov. 30 issue. Despite the challenges of recent vintages, there is a solid selection of California Merlots on the market that sell for $20 or less. These are wines that can compete with values from Argentina, Portugal and Washington state.

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

12 Bold California Zinfandels

New reviews from the challenging 2011 vintage

Posted: October 21, 2013  By Tim Fish

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

Are You a Consumer, Collector or Absolutist?

When it comes to wine lovers, everyone has a style

Posted: October 16, 2013  By Tim Fish

I was a newspaper reporter for 20 years and one of my biggest challenges was figuring out what readers wanted to read and what I thought they needed to read. Neither is simple, although the Net makes the first easier. The number of clicks a story gets can give you an idea of what readers want to read. Deciding what they need to read is trickier. There’s a thin line between helping your readers learn more and blatant demagoguery, especially when it comes to areas in which a level of expertise is required like wine or food, or art, gardening and sports for that matter.

Figuring out what wine lovers want and need to read is sort of like agreeing on the best baseball team as the World Series approaches. We all come at it from different angles, and even after the trophy is taken home, the argument lives on.

The "World Values" story in the Oct. 15 issue of Wine Spectator makes the coin flip easy. My colleague Kim Marcus highlights 100 great value wines from around the world, grouped by region. Here are some of my favorites from the story, broken down by region, because you can find great values everywhere.

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