I don’t like to bother people on their holiday, but I had to know what was going on with Château Pichon Longueville Lalande , following the various reports on a deal involving the property and the owners of Louis Roederer.
I spoke to Stefano Chioccioli over the weekend at home in Tuscany on the telephone. Stefano said he was exhausted from this year’s harvest in Italy. It was one of the longest in memory, lasting almost two months.
The British wine market loves screw caps. This is mostly due to the dominance of supermarket chains such as Tesco and Sainsbury, which sell masses of wine with screw caps. Most of their wine is around $5 or $6 a bottle and is consumed immediately.
I was thinking again today about the Grand Tasting during the California Wine Experience last week, and how some of the most interesting wines I tasted were Rhone blends, in particular the 2005 M5 from the Margerum Wine Company and the 2004 Esprit de Beaucastel from Tablas Creek Vineyard.
I was tasting a couple dozen 1996 Barbarescos for a coming story on the 10-year anniversary of the vintage for the magazine, and I decided to bring a half-full bottle of the 1996 Gaja Barbaresco to lunch at the restaurant below my house at Il Borro.
I am not sure if it was realized or not, but one of the most extraordinary tastings during this year’s California Wine Experience was the small lineup of Montrachets presented by Beaune négociant Robert Drouhin of Maison Joseph Drouhin.
I am writing this while I wait for a connection from Madrid to Pisa. I am jetlagged already. But I was thinking about this past weekend's California Wine Experience, and I think one of the most interesting tastings was the Napa Valley Cabernet Tasting, moderated by James Laube, our lead taster in California.
This blog and the Grand Tasting at the California Wine Experience have a lot in common. I don’t have enough time for both of them! Last night was fantastic, with so many outstanding wines to taste, but I just didn’t have time to try all of them.
I had dinner the other night in Los Angeles with some friends at a restaurant called Carlitos Gardel that specializes in Argentinean cuisine. I was impressed with the selection of Argentinean wines. I have noticed a number of restaurants, particularly in L.
I had dinner at my father’s the other night in San Diego. He is a keen Bordeaux lover but doesn’t buy much of the stuff because he is semi-retired and thinks it’s too expensive. He still remembers drinking Lafite and Mouton for $10 or $15 a bottle back in the 1970s, so he doesn’t like to drop hundreds of dollars on a bottle of fine wine.
I went to a vertical tasting of Château Pichon-Longueville-Lalande in London a few weeks ago. London wine merchants Farr Vintners organized the event and Gildas d’Ollone, general manager of the estate, was there.
Why isn’t there much Bordeaux on wine lists in America? Bordeaux wine merchant Pierre Antoine Casteja asked the question when we were having dinner with another Bordeaux négociant, Pierre Lawton, and New York wine merchant Jeff Zacharia and their wives.
The sommelier at one of New York’s newest steak houses, Porter House New York, knew right away something was up when James Laube and I arrived at the table with an editor of Cigar Aficionado , David Savona, and we asked for two wine lists.
I am in Manhattan and just got back from lunch with the senior editors of the magazine. We went to a place across the street called Blue Smoke. It’s a barbecue joint and always provides good-quality eats.
I went to a friend’s house for dinner over the weekend in Mexico City and he invited some people over for cheese and wine. It’s funny--I haven’t done that in ages and it was great fun. I guess in Italy and other parts of Europe few people think about having just cheese for dinner, although I do enjoy mozzarella with fresh tomatoes and basil from my garden in the summer for a light supper.
I went to dinner in Mexico City last night at Becco, a popular Italian restaurant with a very good wine list. Loads of interesting wines are available, from Roberto Voerzio ’s single-vineyard Barolos to Valpolicellas and Amarones from Dal Forno.
I was sad to read yesterday about the death of R.W. Apple Jr. of the New York Times. Not only was Johnny, 71, one of America’s great journalists, he was a great wine and food lover and a friend. I hadn’t seen Johnny in years, but I always kept up with his whereabouts through English wine merchant Bill Baker.
I had dinner the night before I left Cuba in a big outdoor restaurant called El Aljibe in Havana. The food is simple roasted chicken, fried pork, black beans and rice. It all comes out on the table family style and everyone digs in.
A couple of friends threw a birthday party for me in the coolest restaurant in Havana, La Guarida. For those who saw the Cuban movie Fresa y Chocolate , this is the restaurant where it was filmed. It is probably the best restaurant in Cuba, and it is also privately owned.
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