Posted: October 12, 2006 By James Suckling
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.
Posted: October 12, 2006 By Charlie Trotter
One of my key operating mottos is, “A chef is only as good as his or her sommelier!” During the nearly two-decade history of Charlie Trotter's, I have worked very closely with four talented master sommeliers--Larry Stone, Joe Spellman, Serafin Alvarado and Jason Smith--all of whom have contributed greatly to our wine program.
Posted: October 12, 2006 By James Laube
Come this time of year--and a lot earlier for some of you--many folks start guessing about Wine Spectator 's annual Top 100 list and the Wine of the Year. Over the years, we’ve used essentially the same criteria to make our decision: The factors include a wine’s quality (as reflected in the rating), its value (based on its release price) and its availability (based on the number of cases produced, or for foreign wines, the number of cases imported).
Posted: October 12, 2006 By James Molesworth
Here's some food for thought... I met briefly with Hélène Garcin-Lévêque today. She owns Poesia , a very promising new project in Argentina. Her family also owns Clos L'Église in Pomerol, along with a few other small properties, such as Château Barde-Haut and Château Haut-Bergey.
Posted: October 12, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
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.
Posted: October 11, 2006 By James Suckling
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.
Posted: October 11, 2006 By James Laube
I’m back on home turf again, having arrived in New York over the weekend. For exercise on Sunday, before joining Tom and Sara Matthews for dinner, I walked to a few wine shops near my hotel at East 34th Street and 3rd Avenue.
Posted: October 10, 2006 By Charlie Trotter
In 2007 we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Charlie Trotter’s restaurant in Chicago, and after all this time we are still trying to "get it right." We opened in 1987, with the idea that we would place equal importance on the four tenets of a great dining experience--cuisine, service, ambience and an exquisite wine program.
Posted: October 10, 2006 By Brian Loring
In my last blog , I discussed our view of what constitutes ripe fruit, which means we don’t worry if sugars elevate past the "magic" number of 24.5 Brix. Because of that, we often have to add water to our fermentors to keep the alcohol levels in the finished wine at a reasonable level.
Posted: October 10, 2006 By James Laube
I savored many delicious meals on my trip to Italy. The food-and-wine pairings worked at every sitting. As is often the case when dining, the food is the star, and the wine is part of the supporting cast.
Posted: October 10, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
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.
Posted: October 9, 2006 By James Laube
Having spent a few days in Positano, and briefly visiting Ravello, I can say that staying in this charming coastal town, about 30 minutes from Positano, would be a definite choice for a return and extended visit.
Posted: October 9, 2006 By James Molesworth
I just heard from Michel Chapoutier , who is not prone to hyperbole, but is crowing after finishing up his harvest. Thought you might be interested to hear what he said... "We ended the harvest on Friday, Sept.
Posted: October 9, 2006 By James Suckling
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.
Posted: October 6, 2006 By Brian Loring
One of the most difficult things a winemaker has to decide is when to pick fruit. It’s not just a matter of testing sugars and pH. Do you pick early, hoping to make a more elegant, structured, long-lived wine? Do you pick later, hoping to create a bigger, bolder, fruit-forward wine? Do you pick because it’s the only day you can get a truck? Do you pick because Tuesday is your lucky day? Or do you pick when the fruit is physiologically ripe for the growing region and let the chips fall where they may? At Loring Wine Company, we use a tried and true method--we wait to see what Adam and Dianna Lee from Siduri do.
Posted: October 6, 2006 By James Suckling
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.
Posted: October 6, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
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.
Posted: October 5, 2006 By James Suckling
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.
Posted: October 5, 2006 By Brian Loring
I’m often asked how I got started in the wine business. My flippant response is “work-release program from prison." In reality, I got lucky. But I was the one who decided that it was something I wanted, and then I took the required steps once the opportunity arose.
Posted: October 4, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
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.
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