mitch frank

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Collecting  :  Collecting News

Jury Awards Bill Koch $12 Million in Counterfeit Wine Lawsuit

Court finds that collector Eric Greenberg defrauded Florida billionaire at wine auction

Posted: April 12, 2013  By Peter Hellman, Mitch Frank

News & Features  :  News

Franco Biondi Santi, Legendary Figure of Brunello di Montalcino, Dead at 91

The patriarch of the Tuscan estate many credit with creating Brunello was an outspoken champion of the wine

Posted: April 8, 2013  By Mitch Frank, Bruce Sanderson

March 31, 2013 Issue  :  People

A Big Easy Charity Remembers Sandy’s Victims

Posted: March 31, 2013  By Mitch Frank

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

Does the Counterfeits Crusader Deserve Our Thanks?

Bill Koch has spent eight years and millions of dollars picking fights over wine

Posted: March 28, 2013  By Mitch Frank

The picture is still hanging in my office: Bill Koch, the energy executive who has made fighting sales of counterfeit rare wines a personal obsession, stares menacingly at me, wearing a cowboy hat, a bandana and a sheriff's star. The shot was taken when Wine Spectator photographed Koch for our Dec. 15, 2009, cover story, "The Crusade Against Counterfeits." The outfit was Koch's idea: In addition to wine, he collects Old West memorabilia.

In the end, we opted for a shot of Koch in a suit, holding a magnum of Château Pétrus 1921. Koch says he bought that bottle at a 2005 Zachys auction of 17,000 bottles of wine from the cellar of California tech entrepreneur Eric Greenberg. Koch alleges that Greenberg bought it from Royal Wine Merchants, and Royal sourced it from German wine broker Hardy Rodenstock. Koch believes it’s a fake.

That magnum, and all those players, are back in the headlines this week, as a jury of six men and two women hear Koch v. Greenberg in a Manhattan federal court. Koch has been suing Greenberg for six years over 24 bottles he bought for almost $350,000 at that auction, wines he says are counterfeit. (Contributor Peter Hellman, who has doggedly pursued this topic, has written an excellent summary of the case.)

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

Mixed Case: Mr. President, What's For Dinner?

Hunt for great wines and legendary winemakers, and you'll always find good food

Posted: March 12, 2013  By Mitch Frank

One thing I have learned in life—if you travel and can't find good food, good wine and good company, you might as well have stayed home.

In September 2000, I was a young political reporter at Time magazine, living a dream-I was covering a presidential race. For two weeks, I traveled with then-Governor George W. Bush as he crisscrossed the country, campaigning for the White House. Halfway through my stint, the campaign plane headed to Austin. Bush was taking the weekend off, so the press corps had two days free in the Texas capital.

During the flight, Bush wandered back to chat-off the record. The governor was not known for taking questions from reporters, but he did like to chat. When he got to my row, what did I ask the next President of the United States? "Governor, I've never been to Austin. Where can I find good barbecue?"

News & Features  :  Travel Tips

Travel Tip: Rioja Hotels

Where to stay in northeast Spain's wine country

Posted: March 11, 2013  By Mitch Frank

Jan. 31 - Feb. 28, 2013 Issue  :  News

In Memoriam: David Taub, Tireless Promoter of Quality Wines and Frank Prial, A Pioneering Voice for Wine

Posted: February 28, 2013  By Mitch Frank, Thomas Matthews

Jan. 31 - Feb. 28, 2013 Issue  :  Features

The Year in Wine: 2012 in Review

After boom then bust, the wine industry is growing steadily again. Where can you find the best values?

Posted: February 28, 2013  By Mitch Frank

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

Will You Pay More for Wine in 2013?

Grapes are becoming more expensive, and wineries are feeling the pinch

Posted: February 7, 2013  By Mitch Frank

At the end of 2008, my California colleague Tim Fish and I made a bet. So far, neither of us has won. Tim was working with me on a cover story on how the wine industry was confronting the darkest days of the Great Recession, when average Americans were watching the value of their biggest assets—their homes—evaporate.

Despite their woes, consumers never abandoned wine. Since the early 1990s, wine has become an increasing presence in Americans' lives, and they were not willing to suddenly part with what they saw as a pretty affordable luxury. But they did cut back on what they were willing to spend—a $9 bottle became very attractive, and a special-occasion wine meant $25 instead of $40. Wineries responded. They did not cut prices too obviously, but they made less of their more expensive wines (like Russian River single-vineyard Pinot Noir) and shifted that juice into more affordable wines (cheaper Sonoma County Pinot).

Are you coming for the game? Good. (If not, pay attention, because you should visit soon.) It's not hyperbole to say that New Orleans is one of the greatest cities on the planet in which to celebrate. If you enjoy good food, wine, beer, cocktails and music, it is hard to go wrong. Here are some tips for making the best of a trip down here. This isn't a comprehensive list of the best places to eat and drink. It's a handy cheat sheet for anyone coming to watch the 49ers and the Ravens, or just coming to enjoy our insanity.

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

How to Win a Wine and Food Championship at the Super Bowl

New Orleans offers myriad food and drink options for anyone coming to the big game; here's my cheat sheet

Posted: January 24, 2013  By Mitch Frank

New Orleans is a little insane right now. Maybe that sounds silly describing a city where it's not odd to witness a brass band marching past your front porch, with your neighbors dancing behind it. But New Orleans is a little more insane than usual right now. This year, wedged tightly in the middle of the Carnival parades that start Friday, the NFL has brought the Super Bowl to town.

Are you coming for the game? Good. (If not, pay attention, because you should visit soon.) It's not hyperbole to say that New Orleans is one of the greatest cities on the planet in which to celebrate. If you enjoy good food, wine, beer, cocktails and music, it is hard to go wrong. Here are some tips for making the best of a trip down here. This isn't a comprehensive list of the best places to eat and drink. It's a handy cheat sheet for anyone coming to watch the 49ers and the Ravens, or just coming to enjoy our insanity.

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