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james laube's wine flights archive

Photo by: Greg Gorman
James Laube

October 2007

My Top 10 Wine Gadgets
Posted: Oct 31, 2007 4:45pm ET
Aside from a corkscrew, the two wine accoutrements I use almost as frequently are a decanter, for warming up and aerating chilled wines, and a funnel, which I use to return the wine to its vessel. Which started me thinking about the essential wine gadgets every wine lover must have, and thanks to my tasting staff, here’s a list of things we use regularly and think you’ll find handy too.
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My Score From the Blind Tasting at Wine Spectator's Wine Experience
Posted: Oct 29, 2007 12:35pm ET
Depending on how you keep score, I either went four for seven or three for six or one for seven on Saturday’s editors’ blind tasting at the New York Wine Experience. I didn’t have any trouble picking out the wine I submitted to this triple-blind tasting.
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It's Easy Being Blindsided When Tasting Blind
Posted: Oct 26, 2007 12:16pm ET
I’m preparing for our senior editors’ blind tasting Saturday morning by doing nothing. That’s right, nothing. Each of us has been asked to choose a wine for this seminar, which is part of the New York Wine Experience.
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Is Two-Buck Pinot on the Horizon?
Posted: Oct 25, 2007 9:39am ET
How long before we see a Two-Buck Chuck Pinot Noir? Maybe sooner than you expect. And maybe the sooner the better. Two-Buck Chuck, formally known as Charles Shaw , is vintner Fred Franzia’s line of California varietal wines that sell for $2 a bottle in California and $3 elsewhere.
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Tasting the New Jonata Wines From Santa Barbara
Posted: Oct 24, 2007 3:32pm ET
Before he bought Screaming Eagle (along with business partner Stanley Kroenke), which placed him at the apex of the Napa Valley wine world, Charles Banks staked a claim in Santa Barbara County. Planting what amounted to be an experimental vineyard there in 2000 was, he said, “a total crapshoot.
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Tasting Continuum With Tim Mondavi
Posted: Oct 23, 2007 12:31pm ET
I had my second tasting of Tim Mondavi’s new wine Continuum last week and once again it impressed me for its elegance, finesse and complexity. Mondavi stopped by my office in Napa to taste the wine with me and talk about his new venture, and you can see him in my video clip.
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A Rare Treat From Paloma
Posted: Oct 22, 2007 12:56pm ET
One of these days someone is going to put together a tasting of all of Paloma’s wines and I hope they can find and include the 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon. Until Saturday night, I’d only had this wine twice.
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Cleavage Creek Isn't What You Might Think
Posted: Oct 19, 2007 12:47pm ET
The first time I heard of, and then saw, the Cleavage Creek label , I suspected it was the mischievous work of the frat boys from Animal House, and I decided to ignore it. In the interim, the label changed hands and I’m happy to report that there’s more to the Cleavage Creek label than, well, you know.
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A Great Grenache from Santa Barbara
Posted: Oct 17, 2007 2:44pm ET
When you taste a Grenache as delicious as the 2005 McPrice Myers, it’s easy to imagine this grape achieving great things in California and I’d put this vintner on the “worth watching” list. Myers’ passion is for Rhone-style reds and whites.
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California's 2007 Vintage Winds Down With Cool, Wet Weather
Posted: Oct 15, 2007 12:02pm ET
Friday’s steady rain made ducks, lawns and sturgeon fishermen happy, but not anxious North Coast vintners. The weekend weather turned appreciably warmer and allowed vineyard crews to swarm through the vines in what one vintner described as “panic picking” in Napa Valley.
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The Night After Babbo
Posted: Oct 12, 2007 3:03pm ET
Monday night’s Babbo Barolo Blowout seemed impossible to top … until Tuesday night rolled around and we reassembled for dinner. (My colleagues Harvey Steiman and James Suckling both wrote blogs on the subject of Monday's dinner.
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George M. Taber Tackles a Not-So-Old Question
Posted: Oct 10, 2007 5:24pm ET
No matter where you stand on the great debate over corks—love ’em, hate ’em, or still undecided— To Cork or Not to Cork: Tradition, Romance and the Battle for the Wine Bottle (Scribner, 2007, $26), by George M.
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A Wine Night Off upon Arriving in New York
Posted: Oct 8, 2007 4:59pm ET
I arrived in New York yesterday as afternoon turned to evening. It had been one of those long travel days. Up at 4 a.m., to Oakland International Airport for a 7:30 a.m. Jet Blue flight, then a 90-minute delay at the gate, with no air conditioning, which got old fast.
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When Tasting, Blind Offers Vision
Posted: Oct 4, 2007 2:57pm ET
Movie and book reviewers have it easy. They sit in the theater, or turn the pages, and report on their reactions. There’s no question about methodology, and each reviewer has the same experience of the work of art they’re evaluating.
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A Buttery Toast and a Fond Farewell to Barbara Eisele
Posted: Oct 3, 2007 12:48pm ET
I first met Milt and Barbara Eisele in the early 1980s at a hospitality lunch they hosted at their home for one of the early Napa Valley Wine Auctions. The couple lived south of Calistoga, where they tended their namesake vineyard.
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More Thoughts on Tastings and Critiques
Posted: Oct 2, 2007 2:01pm ET
Brian’s string of questions from yesterday’s blog gives me a chance to expound on a couple of points. My preference for “younger, fruitier” wines is a generalization. I do enjoy wines that are delicate, subtle and elegant.
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Sifting Though an Old Cellar
Posted: Oct 1, 2007 3:08pm ET
I visited with Barney Rhodes at his home in Rutherford on Friday. Barney will turn 87 this year and is in fair to good health. He’s an old friend and one of the great wine men of Napa Valley and beyond, a true connoisseur with an incredible cellar (actually two) who knows fine wine about as well as anyone.
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