Posted: December 20, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
In the end, choosing wine with unfamiliar food always is a crapshoot. Just when you think you have it figured out, the perfect wine doesn't work. At lunch the other day at Bong Su, the hot new Vietnamese restaurant in San Francisco, Australian exporter John Larchet brought a bottle of his new Hill of Content sparkling red wine.
Posted: December 19, 2006 By James Laube
It sounded romantic the first few times I heard it. Then, as years passed and I got older and knew better, it became a trite cliché. I'm talking about the expression "My wines are like my children," which is still often uttered by winemakers when asked to pick which of their wines is their favorite.
Posted: December 19, 2006 By James Suckling
I have a couple of thoughts after a lunch and dinner last night. Modern wines are exciting, and Italy is making great wines. I guess I am stating the obvious to many, and I write about this all the time in articles and columns.
Posted: December 19, 2006 By James Laube
I had dinner with friends the other night at a well-respected restaurant, and the evening ended up being a huge disappointment on several accounts. I'm not going to name the establishment, nor the wines that were served.
Posted: December 19, 2006 By James Molesworth
It's not easy trying to keep up with my colleague, James Suckling, and his adventures. OK, I admit it—it's impossible to keep up. But I feel like I should at least try. So, I had a little Châteauneuf-du-Pape at dinner last night, accompanied by Didier Virot's cooking at Aix in New York.
Posted: December 19, 2006 By Brian Loring
One of Kevin Vogt’s latest blogs (the one talking about reverse osmosis and spinning cones) got me thinking about the technology we use around the winery. We’re pretty low-tech around Pinot Prison.
Posted: December 18, 2006 By James Suckling
I felt like the referee at a sumo match, but the only wrestling being done was the debate over whether certain bottles were fake or not. We were drinking some of the greatest bottles (magnums) ever produced on the face of the earth during a dinner last night here in Hong Kong.
Posted: December 18, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
An importer and exporter who were in on the beginnings of the Australian wine surge in the United States visited me in San Francisco last week. By coincidence, they both stopped by on the same day, suggested the same restaurant for lunch, and made the same telling comment about the state of Australian wine here.
Posted: December 18, 2006 By Maynard James Keenan
My current day job has afforded me exposure to world-class wines I would have otherwise never experienced. I'm spoiled. There is no doubt about that. And yet these opportunities, this exposure, all come in small doses.
Posted: December 18, 2006 By James Laube
Zinfanatics, and even those who aren't, would do well to try a pair of Zins from Haywood. The label dropped off the radar of most wine lovers as production decreased due to financial problems, but Haywood's Zinfandels have always been classy, distinctive, balanced and reasonably priced.
Posted: December 17, 2006 By James Suckling
Insane is the only word I can use to describe it. I was invited to a blind tasting dinner at the restaurant Caprice to celebrate the 30th birthday of Paulo Pong, a Hong Kong wine merchant, and I really didn’t expect to have to try to “find” the wines I tasted during the outrageous dinner.
Posted: December 15, 2006 By James Laube
Navarro is one of those can't-miss wineries that somehow manages to routinely produce a wide range of elegant, balanced and diverse wines. It's long been one of my favorites, in part because of its location—western Anderson Valley.
Posted: December 15, 2006 By Marvin R. Shanken
Earlier this week, I posted a blog reminiscing about some newsmakers from 1979. I hope some of them triggered memories for you, as they did for me. In some ways, 1979 was a long time ago—a lot has happened in the world of wine since then.
Posted: December 15, 2006 By Claudine Pépin
Since this is Wine Spectator , I thought it only fair that I write least once about wine. When I was growing up, wine was consumed like food—always a part of dinner. Friends of the family would occasionally bring exceptional bottles, over which there would be so much excitement that a part of the meal might be changed or added to at the last minute to more perfectly complement the wine.
Posted: December 15, 2006 By James Molesworth
In the last month or so, I've sent a few cases of wine off to auction. If you had asked me a few years ago if I would ever sell these off— Harlan , Kistler , Dalla Valle —I would've said "never," having collected them and drunk them over nearly a decade's worth of vintages.
Posted: December 15, 2006 By James Suckling
Just got back from lunch with Henry Tang and friends. He wanted to make a great impression on Frédéric Engerer, the president of Château Latour , who is here for Paulo Pong’s birthday celebrations.
Posted: December 14, 2006 By James Laube
I've long been a fan of Hanzell. What's not to like? This Sonoma Valley winery has a rich history filled with many brilliant wines, thanks in large part to winemaker Bob Sessions , who's now retired. On several occasions, Sessions and I tasted complete verticals of the winery's Chardonnay and its Pinot Noir, and for the most part, all of the wines dating to the 1960s aged extremely well.
Posted: December 14, 2006 By James Suckling
What is it about drinking great Burgundy? When it is right, it is so right. It takes your breath away. It’s sensual pleasure in a bottle. OK. I will say it. It’s almost like great sex. I had a 100-point red Burgundy last night with Henry Tang and a dozen or so others here in Hong Kong during dinner.
Posted: December 13, 2006 By James Laube
Fans of Shafer Vineyards Cabernet should be excited about a new wine that takes this venerable winery back to its Cabernet roots. Early next year, Shafer will release a new Cabernet called One Point Five, which carries the Stags Leap District appellation.
Posted: December 13, 2006 By James Molesworth
I sat down with Nicolás Catena last week to talk about the latest things happening in Argentina and at his own Bodega Catena Zapata winery. Catena, the industry leader for Argentina, is professorial in demeanor (not surprising, since he is also an economics professor).
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