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Photo by: David Yellen
Harvey Steiman
Archives

October 2013

When Did Clean Become a Dirty Word?
A spin through the Wine Experience proves good wine doesn't need funk for character
Posted: Oct 29, 2013 2:05pm ET

Am I the only person dismayed at how the discourse about wine seems to have devolved into posturing about whether this particular wine is "natural" enough, or that one has enough "authenticity"?


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Oregon Pinot Noir 2011
A meditation on finesse and transparency
Posted: Oct 18, 2013 11:31am ET

The 2011 Pinot Noirs from Oregon are going to polarize wine drinkers. Vintners will tell you how much they love their 2011s. They expect that those who value deftness, lightness and delicacy will too. But if you want consistency, clearly delineated flavors and a sense of presence, you might be disappointed.


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Lessons in Opening Mature Wines
Be prepared—you never know what you might find
Posted: Oct 14, 2013 3:47pm ET

Whenever I plan to serve older bottles of wine, I always pull an extra bottle or two from the cellar, even if they aren't the same wine, to be ready in case the first disappoints. Individual wines often don't age as well as expected, or hoped. And inevitably, cork taint or maderization from some percentage of bad corks will force you to pour away some bottles.

All this is part of the fun of opening older wines you've saved for a while. And that's why, when my Welsh friend Mr. Jones finally accepted my longstanding invitation to raid my wine cellar on one of his visits to San Francisco, I opened four bottles for the four of us to drink over dinner (not counting the sparkling wine aperitif): Gaja Barbaresco 1986, Quintarelli Valpolicella 1982, Louis Latour Chambertin 2003 and Beaux Frères Pinot Noir 2002.
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A Bass With a Taste for Power
Exploring wine bar offerings with opera star Ildar Abdrazakov
Posted: Oct 1, 2013 5:01pm ET

Ildar Abdrazakov is a Russia-born bass currently singing the title role in Boito's lavish Mephistopheles at San Francisco Opera. He makes a dashing devil, all muscle and menace on the surface, his singing sonorously suave. And, as an opera lover, I could not forgo an opportunity to add him to my singer friends, most of whom I have gotten to know because of our mutual interest in each other's fields of work.

Shortly before opening night, my wife and I met him and our mutual friend for drinks and snacks at St. Vincent, a terrific wine bar about midway between our home and the opera house. We settled in and left it up to the savvy staff to pick some interesting wines for us. Partly, I wanted get a handle on Ildar's palate, especially which kinds of wines he likes.


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