Posted: May 18, 2006 By James Laube
I played a round of mystery decanter on Saturday night with a group of friends. It’s a game any wine lovers who want to test their name-that-wine skills will enjoy, whether they’re novices or geeks.
Posted: May 18, 2006 By James Suckling
KUFSTEIN, AUSTRIA: The Riedel family celebrated its 250th anniversary of glassmaking last night at its factory here , joined by close to 700 other people from 30 different countries. It was a night of celebration and speeches, not to mention good food and wine.
Posted: May 17, 2006 By James Molesworth
Wine geeks and insiders know the Vouvrays of S.A. Huët well. Alas, limited distribution, combined with the under-the-radar profile of Loire Valley Chenin Blanc, means they are often overlooked by the general wine loving public.
Posted: May 16, 2006 By James Laube
Snowden Vineyards has a lot riding on the 2005 vintage. After a run of excellent vintages from 1993 to 2001, including solid efforts in the challenging years of 1998 and 2000, this Napa Valley Cabernet specialist hit a huge pothole – two in fact.
Posted: May 16, 2006 By Marvin R. Shanken
Wine Spectator Online is nearly 10 years old now, but we are constantly launching new features on the site. One of the most recent--and most successful--is our editors' blogs. This section is off to a grand start.
Posted: May 15, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
If you read the Australian press, an enormous sword hangs over its wine industry. From this side of the Pacific Ocean, it looks as if the country delivers wines at all points on the price spectrum that over-deliver on quality.
Posted: May 15, 2006 By James Suckling
PORTOFINO: Spent the weekend here watching the Zegna Regatta, a sailboat race for mostly Swan, Wally and Transpac boats. The race, sponsored by the fashion house Ermenegildo Zegna, is now in its 25th year and has become one of the cool spring events in Europe, with plenty of weekend parties in this small northern Italian village on the Ligurian coast.
Posted: May 14, 2006 By James Laube
This week is my first comprehensive look at the 2005 vintage of California Cabernet Sauvignon, which according to winemakers, should be a dandy. This year, I'll be doing a blind tasting of barrel samples from more than 60 producers, mostly from Napa Valley.
Posted: May 13, 2006 By James Suckling
FLORENCE -- Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi, the Tuscan wine giant, announced yesterday that it has spun off some of its top wine estates into a new company, Tenute di Toscana, and then sold a small part of it to foreign investors, including Russian vodka producer SPI Group (whose brands include Stolichnaya) and former Napa Valley vintner Michael Mondavi, who now runs an import company.
Posted: May 12, 2006 By James Molesworth
I recently read a story by Stephen Yafa on The San Francisco Chronicle website. The story was an interesting interview with four San Francisco-based sommeliers and their opinions on how to order wine in a restaurant.
Posted: May 12, 2006 By James Laube
Tasting wine for a living -- or at least part of it -- sounds like a ton of fun. But it’s also a lot of work. For all those glorious days when the wines sing and dance, there are often long stretches of dull, dreary, soulless wines.
Posted: May 11, 2006 By James Suckling
ROME – Arrived in Fumicino Airport this morning at about 8:30 a.m., following an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles via New York. After trying to start my car (I left the lights on over a week ago when I left!), I finally worked it out and left down the highway for home.
Posted: May 11, 2006 By James Laube
Occasionally you hear complaints about there being too many single-vineyard wines. Lately Pinot Noir has been one of those wines under fire for this supposed excess. I have a hard time comprehending this problem , unless people are grumbling about too many overpriced single-vineyard Pinots, or single-vineyard Pinots that are good but not great.
Posted: May 11, 2006 By James Molesworth
The other day I sat down with Santiago Achával, owner of Argentina’s Achával-Ferrer, to taste a few samples of his 2005s. The wines are settling in tanks and are slated for bottling in the coming weeks.
Posted: May 10, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
New, high-end restaurants with aspirations for their food usually try to put together a serious wine list. Coi, the tiny new San Francisco restaurant from outspoken chef Daniel Patterson , offers only 40 wines, at least for now.
Posted: May 10, 2006 By James Suckling
LOS ANGELES -- I had dinner in a hipster-sushi-bar-style (i.e. Joel Robuchon L’Atelier in Paris and in Vegas), European-Japanese-fusion restaurant in West L.A., and I was blown away. Maybe I was influenced by the incredible bottle of 1999 Marcassin Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Marcassin Vineyard, but this was a no-BS-no-flash place that is off the radar screen -- especially for a large number of people in La La who only care about the buzz of a place and not the food on the plate.
Posted: May 10, 2006 By Marvin R. Shanken
More than 2,000 wine lovers attended the Wine Spectator Grand Tour Saturday night at The Venetian Hotel Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. The event began at 7:00 p.m. Pouring wines were more than 200 of the best producers from around the world.
Posted: May 10, 2006 By James Laube
If you cook much, you know how important it is to use good wine (and it’s crucial not to use bad or spoiled wine). No one would expect you to pour Montrachet into your soup, but I came close a few weeks ago.
Posted: May 8, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
One of the raps against the modern style of winemaking--primarily meaning forward fruit, polished texture and maybe some prominent oak--is that it makes all wine taste alike. My colleague James Suckling touched on it in his blog, wondering whether calling a wine "international" in style has a negative connotation.
Posted: May 8, 2006 By James Suckling
LAS VEGAS: Got into a cool debate with my fellow editors during a meeting in Sin City today about the phrase “international style.” I have always thought that this phrase was rather negative. It meant a wine with dark color, fruit forward, lots of perfumes, high in alcohol, big juicy tannins and a long fruity finish.
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