This week, I'll be taking my turn at "Ask the Editors." Today and tomorrow (May 30-31: This post is now closed to questions ), you can ask me questions on any area I cover for Wine Spectator. This can include any of my tasting beats—Australia, New Zealand, Oregon and Washington, food and wine pairing, restaurants, or any other topics covered in my recent articles.
Thomas Keller's newest restaurant, scheduled to open in July, is going to feature home cooking. At least for now. Keller expects to revamp the whole thing next spring. In March, when the chef-owner of America's most-lauded restaurant bought another space a few blocks away from his original, no one could quite figure out what he was going to do with it.
For years, Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc was the gold standard for New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. It's still good, but, for the past couple of vintages, a different wine has jumped out at me from my blind tastings as the most dramatic, most complete and harmonious of them all.
Ambrogio Folonari and his son Giovanni are the newest figures from outside the state to make wine in Washington as part of a group of joint ventures with Allen Shoup's new Long Shadows operation. Their first wine, a Sangiovese-based red, was made in 2005 and could be released next year.
If you read the Australian press, an enormous sword hangs over its wine industry. From this side of the Pacific Ocean, it looks as if the country delivers wines at all points on the price spectrum that over-deliver on quality.
New, high-end restaurants with aspirations for their food usually try to put together a serious wine list. Coi, the tiny new San Francisco restaurant from outspoken chef Daniel Patterson , offers only 40 wines, at least for now.
One of the raps against the modern style of winemaking--primarily meaning forward fruit, polished texture and maybe some prominent oak--is that it makes all wine taste alike. My colleague James Suckling touched on it in his blog, wondering whether calling a wine "international" in style has a negative connotation.
Until now, I have had no objection to restaurants that tack on an automatic service charge in lieu of a tip. Usually it's 15 to 18 percent. I normally leave 20 percent for good service anyway, so it's no skin off my nose.
Although I returned from Washington a few weeks ago, I am still thinking about my visit with the Golitzin family at their Quilceda Creek winery. This has always ranked among the best Washington wines, but no winery's style has evolved quite so dramatically.
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