Hannah, my loyal canine companion, is on her last legs. She recently turned 14, which in dog years, puts her in her late 90s. I grew up with dogs and pets and have had my own dogs since my college days.
Which wines are the most difficult to evaluate in their infancy -- in barrel or bottle? For me, there are several contenders. Syrah can be devilish out of barrel because of its intensity. Big, rich, hearty and loaded with a beef stew of flavors.
There’s a thread on another Web site discussing the pros and cons of blind tasting. A reader sent me a clip from that dialogue citing one comment that blind tasting is “vastly overrated.” Really? Maybe the person meant "vastly underappreciated.
Too bad Julio Gallo is no longer with us. I’d love to know his thoughts on two pressing industry issues -- closures and vintage dates. The late, great winemaker, who with his brother Ernest built E. & J.
Ridge Monte Bello 1971. It won first place at both the Napa and London tastings staged today. In second place was Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars 1973, which was the big winner the first time the comparative tasting of Cabernet-based wines from Bordeaux and California was held in Paris in 1976.
This week, the Paris Tasting (aka the Judgment of Paris), returns for a yet another curtain call. But that seminal event 30 years ago is not just being re-created, but turned into a three-ring circus with venues in Napa (at Copia), London and Sacramento.
I played a round of mystery decanter on Saturday night with a group of friends. It’s a game any wine lovers who want to test their name-that-wine skills will enjoy, whether they’re novices or geeks.
Snowden Vineyards has a lot riding on the 2005 vintage. After a run of excellent vintages from 1993 to 2001, including solid efforts in the challenging years of 1998 and 2000, this Napa Valley Cabernet specialist hit a huge pothole – two in fact.
This week is my first comprehensive look at the 2005 vintage of California Cabernet Sauvignon, which according to winemakers, should be a dandy. This year, I'll be doing a blind tasting of barrel samples from more than 60 producers, mostly from Napa Valley.
Tasting wine for a living -- or at least part of it -- sounds like a ton of fun. But it’s also a lot of work. For all those glorious days when the wines sing and dance, there are often long stretches of dull, dreary, soulless wines.
Occasionally you hear complaints about there being too many single-vineyard wines. Lately Pinot Noir has been one of those wines under fire for this supposed excess. I have a hard time comprehending this problem , unless people are grumbling about too many overpriced single-vineyard Pinots, or single-vineyard Pinots that are good but not great.
If you cook much, you know how important it is to use good wine (and it’s crucial not to use bad or spoiled wine). No one would expect you to pour Montrachet into your soup, but I came close a few weeks ago.
John Wetlaufer invited me to a tasting of all the Marcassin estate wines in June. That was last June. Then nearly a year passed before we sat down to the wines. In March, out came the corks from 17 bottles, and this could only be described as one incredible tasting.
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