I had dinner last night with Ron Spogli, the U.S. Ambassador to Italy, and his lovely wife, Georgia, in the official residence in Rome. And as highly regarded as my fellow born-and-bred Angeleno may be as a diplomat in Italy, Spogli’s real talent may be in his pizza-making.
The great summer weather continues, which is why it feels amazing to live in Tuscany. And it’s why the wine region makes superb wines. The vines are still a little behind schedule. They suffered during the flowering due to wet and cold weather, so there was bad berry set.
I had a 1989 Ducru-Beaucaillou last week for dinner with a friend, and it wasn’t very good. I had asked her to go down to my cellar and pick out something to drink and she came up with the bottle of the 1989 Ducru.
I had this year's first outdoor dinner in my courtyard in Tuscany last Wednesday. The weather has been so cold and wet so far this summer. As one wine producer told me the other night at dinner, “If the weather doesn’t change for the better, we are going to make water and not wine in 2008.
I went through a number of interesting bottles last week during dinners with friends and family at Chateau Marmont in Hollywood. I hooked up with Maynard James Keenan a couple of times, and the guy’s enthusiasm is almost as entrancing as his rock music.
I just spent a few days in Los Angeles visiting family and friends, and when I arrived at my hotel, the Chateau Marmont , a half-case of wine was waiting for me. It was a range of wines produced by Josh Klapper, a sommelier from Sona , one of my favorite restaurants in the city, and a Wine Spectator Grand Award-winner.
My blog post from Monday, " Thoughts About Minor League Bordeaux ," seems to have struck a nerve with many of you out there. You’re right. What bugged me about that lunch at my house was that I had held those 1989 Bordeaux for all those years – those particular bottles had been shipped from my cellar in London to Tuscany when I moved permanently there in 1998 – and they seemed to be slightly over-the-hill.
A couple of weeks ago, I was having a simple lunch with a friend at my house in Tuscany and I decided to go down to my cellar and try some of the older crus bourgeois and petite château Bordeaux that I had lying around.
Wow. When it gets hot, there is nothing worse than a warm glass of red wine. It almost makes me gag. I would rather drink a cool glass of water than a tepid red. Or worse, a hot red. It’s happened to me so many times, and restaurants are probably the worst offenders.
I am not so sure what it proved, other than that California cult wines are as good, or better, than the best of Bordeaux in a given vintage. But it’s fascinating to see how, in a blind tasting, the top wines from the two different regions can be very, very hard to differentiate from one another – especially when the Bordeaux come from a hot and ultra-ripe vintage such as 2003.
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