Needless to say, the holiday provides us with a convenient excuse to eat, drink and be merry. At my house, that means we make some of our favorite fall/winter dishes, one of which is a recipe we've "borrowed" from Jean-Louis and Erin Chave, and which I thought I'd share here.
I've just finished off the last of my South African tastings for my upcoming report (scheduled for the April 30 issue). Running the numbers, it turns out I've reviewed over 360 South African wines since my last report—the most I've ever reviewed in a single year since I began covering the region six years ago.
With the holidays here, I thought a few wishes were in order. I've been pretty good this year, so hopefully Santa is listening right now... I wish more restaurants offered free corkage once a week. If they would just pick their slowest night of the week, and then allow anyone to bring in a bottle for no charge, my guess is they would double the covers they usually get on that night.
It's not easy trying to keep up with my colleague, James Suckling, and his adventures. OK, I admit it—it's impossible to keep up. But I feel like I should at least try. So, I had a little Châteauneuf-du-Pape at dinner last night, accompanied by Didier Virot's cooking at Aix in New York.
In the last month or so, I've sent a few cases of wine off to auction. If you had asked me a few years ago if I would ever sell these off— Harlan , Kistler , Dalla Valle —I would've said "never," having collected them and drunk them over nearly a decade's worth of vintages.
I sat down with Nicolás Catena last week to talk about the latest things happening in Argentina and at his own Bodega Catena Zapata winery. Catena, the industry leader for Argentina, is professorial in demeanor (not surprising, since he is also an economics professor).
I've created a monster. A monster palate, that is. The problem is, it's not mine—it's my wife's. When we first met, she was a wine lover—but not a discriminating one. Her wine fridge was full of mostly cookie-cutter California Chardonnay.
While Marvin has challenged restaurants to lower their wine prices on his blog , I'm curious to find out who you think has already done it. The number of restaurants with really customer-friendly wine list prices is limited.
Yesterday, I sat down with Aurelio Montes , owner and winemaker of Chile's Viña Montes. I was tempted by the opportunity to taste a complete vertical of his top two wines— Folly , a 100 percent Syrah, and Alpha M , a Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend.
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