Conventional wisdom says that Australia does great at Shiraz and pretty well at Cabernet. But Merlot? Pinot Noir? Not on the radar. Especially, you might think, at the low end. So explain this. I am blind-tasting through a lot of low- to mid-priced reds as I prepare my next Australia red wine report, which Wine Spectator will publish in the fall.
If San Francisco's chefs and restaurateurs look pale these days, blame it on the Michelin Man. Or men. The restaurant inspectors have been visiting the city's eateries recently for the Michelin Guide's first book on San Francisco, due out in October.
As the winemaker for Penfolds , Peter Gago is responsible for some of the iconic wines of Australia, including Grange and Bin 707. Who knew he had a jones for Gewürztraminer and Sangiovese? On a recent visit to San Francisco, over lunch at Ame, he poured a few wines that are, well, out of Penfolds' mainstream.
Some years ago I shocked a room full of Pinot Noir nuts by plunking an ice cube in my glass of red Burgundy. It was one of the first International Pinot Noir Celebrations in Oregon, and Willamette Valley was experiencing one of its inevitable, if not too common, heat waves.
Barossa Shiraz. Does it mean "goo monster" to you? That's the caricature of Australia's signature red wine, or at least the wine type that many wine aficionados think of first when someone says "Aussie red.
James Molesworth pressed a hot button in his blog when he asked how his readers felt about screwcaps. The responses are running strongly in favor of screwcaps, but a few misapprehensions are also popping up.
Sometimes I get a little silly in the middle of a tasting, not from the alcohol (I don't know about you, but I'm spitting) but probably from trying to concentrate too hard. So I take the bag off a wine, and the label is "Five Geese.
A few months ago, Oregon winemaker Harry Peterson-Nedry called with an idea that went right to my heart. A charity auction he was involved in wanted to offer a weekend in San Francisco that would include two performances at the San Francisco Opera and dinner at Jardinière.
When super chef Thomas Keller announced he was opening a casual family restaurant in July down the street from his much-venerated French Laundry in Napa Valley, he said it was only temporary, until he unveiled a more permanent restaurant next year.
The other day my friend Tom and I were talking about all the raw fish appetizers we've been seeing on menus lately. He mused, "What's the difference between crudo and sashimi?" I thought about it for a few seconds.
Ste. Michelle Wine Estates' surprise purchase of Erath Vineyards looks like a good deal all the way around. The Washington-based buyer has a long history of pursuing quality, especially in its marquee labels.
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