Go Fish, the Napa Valley seafood restaurant that opened only last month, picked up an ace when it hired chef Victor Scargle to take over the kitchen. The chef since 2003 at Julia's Kitchen , the restaurant at Copia in Napa, Scargle starts the week after Thanksgiving.
That wine surplus that had everyone in Australia in a dither? Mother Nature has delivered an answer. A series of severe spring frosts hit several key regions in South Australia and Victoria in the past week.
Oregon has a deservedly solid reputation for Pinot Noir. It even does pretty well with Syrah in the southern and northeastern corners. But white wines? The scene gets iffier. Every year I plow through hundreds of Oregon wines, unearthing one red gem after another.
At last weekend's California Wine Experience , in our presentation of Pinot Noirs from Burgundy, New Zealand, Oregon and California, Bruce Sanderson , James Laube and I focused extensively on texture. To my mind, that's a big part of Pinot's appeal.
We have all been there. The server pours a splash of wine from the bottle you just ordered. Your job is to taste it and grant permission to pour for the table. Oh, the pressure! Be honest. You feel it too.
Australia's Peter Lehmann makes two reserve-level wines from Shiraz. The better known wine is Stonewell , which is made in limited quantities, but in most vintages I have preferred Eight Songs. Now I know why.
Normally, I roll my eyes when a restaurant wine guy walks up to my table with a mystery decanter. But Stephane Colling, the sommelier at the Modern in New York, was so non-threatening about it, I only felt I was on the spot for a second.
A plan to put a 50-room resort in Oregon's Dundee Hills, next door to Domaine Drouhin , isn't the only wine-country hotel on the drawing boards. On my recent visit to Willamette Valley, I talked with another developer who has an even more ambitious plan.
All the hoo-ha earlier this week about Michelin's San Francisco restaurant ratings focused on the announcement of the list of the 28 that earned stars. The book itself, with all 356 restaurant entries, presents a somewhat different picture.
A Napa Valley visitor wandering into Ad Hoc, the new restaurant in Yountville, would never know that it's Thomas Keller's latest venture. There is nothing about it to remind you of French Laundry , just up the street, which serves multicourse extravaganzas of endlessly inventive cuisine, or Per Se , his New York restaurant, where he does the same in lavish surroundings with killer views of Central Park.
Michelin says its new Red Guide "confirms the high level of dining in San Francisco, the Bay area and wine country." It looks to me like more of a slap in the face. I mean, no restaurants in San Francisco worthy of three stars? Only two worthy of a pair? As a San Franciscan, I have to say, this city is better than that.
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