Carl Doumani sounded excited. He'd found a few bottles of one of his long lost favorite Petite Sirahs, the 1974 vintage from his Stag's Leap Winery days, and wanted to share it. Contrarian Carl has always marched to his own beat.
Spring arrived in much of California this past week, and now it's up to its usual mood swings. It was very hot (85 F degrees), dry and windy on Friday, warm again on Saturday and a bit cooler and breezier on Sunday.
Paloma’s Jim Richards has been battling cancer for more than a year. It’s his second go-round with this silent, deadly killer, and this bout has been tougher. But Richards, 77, is one tough guy. The deck may be stacked against him now, but he’s fighting back.
Wineries in California are dealing with the recession in the same way most of us are: tightening their belts. Many have cut staff and salaries. A few winemakers I’ve talked to gave their staffs raises to keep morale high, but cut their own salary.
We sometimes forget how important color and temperature are in assessing wines. Years ago I participated in a blind-tasting competition in which all of the wines – a mix of reds and whites from Europe and California -- were all served at room temperature and poured into black glasses.
Bill Price is a popular guy these days. He’s a shrewd businessman who knows wine and has access to capital. While he sees turbulent times ahead for wine, he also likes the opportunities of today’s wine market.
I wish I’d taken up fly-fishing years ago. By now I would have logged enough hours on rivers, lakes and streams to be proficient, maybe even an expert. I’m often asked how much time it takes to develop expertise about wine.
South Korean businessman Hi Sang Lee’s fascination with Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon—and the difficulty of buying it and other great wines in his home country—led him to start a wine-import firm.
France is considering raising its drinking age. Should we consider lowering ours? A bill under consideration would raise the legal drinking age in France from 16 to 18 for wine and beer, according to published reports.
Carmen Policy thought competition was tough in the NFL. Now he’s competing on a rigorous new playing field—making wine in Napa Valley. The former San Francisco 49ers president presided over that team's rise to greatness—starting in 1977, building five championship teams from 1981 through 1995 (he proudly displays his Super Bowl rings in his home office in Yountville)—and the team's unraveling, when then-owner Eddie DeBartolo lost control of the team.
You can’t please all the people all the time. For example, when it comes to judging wines, some people think I give out too many high scores, while others consider me stingy because I have so rarely given out 100-point ratings.
When Robert Mondavi was in his heyday, he often held court in the Vineyard Room of his Oakville winery. From the 1970s through the 1990s, the Vineyard Room served as a hospitality center for dignitaries and a venue where great chefs showcased their culinary skills paired with Mondavi wines.
Wine has plenty of overnight sensations, with wineries that hit a grand slam, or at least a homer, with their first at bat. Then there’s Antica, short for Antinori of California , a case study on how difficult the road to success in wine can be.
One measure of how the wine market is going can be gauged at the front door of Wine Spectator’s Napa office. That’s where new release wines arrive for possible review. Lately that traffic volume has been heavy.
Warren Buffett and John Bogle are two of my favorite financial gurus. The two are opposites in many ways. Buffett is a shrewd investor (I don’t own any of his Berkshire Hathaway shares) and more a risk-taker than Bogle, the founder and former CEO of Vanguard (where I do have some investments).
They're often ridiculed as bean counters, number crunchers, slick salesmen, case movers, hypesters, purveyors of propaganda or _________. (You fill in the blank. I’m looking forward to your descriptions …) But now is the time for the minds in sales and marketing (S&M) to have their turn at fixing or salvaging the wine market.
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