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.
Posted: May 7, 2006 By James Suckling
I read this comment today from Brett Allen about a couple that drank a bottle of 1982 Petrus with Wendy’s burgers: "Hey gang - here's one for you! This past Saturday, a guest called and asked if he could have a table to 'just drink very good wine.
Posted: May 7, 2006 By James Molesworth
What a coincidence, that with all the back and forth on tipping on wine , that I would have a so-so wine experience at dinner this week. Normally my wife and I (both of us have worked in the restaurant industry previously) always tip 20 percent on food and wine (pre-tax).
Posted: May 6, 2006 By James Suckling
LOS ANGELES – I had dinner last night at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant Chinoise on Main for a vertical tasting of Trimbach Clos Ste.-Hune and Cuvée Frederic Emile. As good as the wines were, the most impressive part of the tasting was a short conversation I had with Jean-Michel Cazes of Château Lynch-Bages.
Posted: May 6, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
Until now, I have had no objection to restaurants that tack on an automatic service charge in lieu of a tip. Usually it's 15 to 18 percent. I normally leave 20 percent for good service anyway, so it's no skin off my nose.
Posted: May 5, 2006 By James Suckling
LOS ANGELES – This is a city where many restaurants do not seem to mind if you bring your own bottle to dinner or lunch as long as it’s something serious. I have been to dozens of places with friends who pack serious bottles in leather cases to take to restaurants in La La.
Posted: May 4, 2006 By James Laube
John Wetlaufer invited me to a tasting of all the Marcassin estate wines in June. That was last June. Then nearly a year passed before we sat down to the wines. In March, out came the corks from 17 bottles, and this could only be described as one incredible tasting.
Posted: May 4, 2006 By James Molesworth
Running a winery isn’t easy, especially when quality is your goal. It’s even more difficult coming in mid-stream and trying to effect change at a winery with a lackluster history. That’s the mountain that Juan Marco, 34, is attempting to climb at Argentina’s Navarro Correas.
Posted: May 4, 2006 By Marvin R. Shanken
Thank you for all your responses to my blog on tipping for wine service. I guess it really is a "hot button" for many of you. If you ask 10 people this question, you will get 10 different answers. The breadth of your responses is across the board.
Posted: May 4, 2006 By James Suckling
NEW YORK -- Had dinner last night at Gramercy Tavern – one of my favorite restaurants in New York -- with another senior editor of the magazine, Dana Nigro, and we drank a bottle of 1999 Hartford Court Pinot Noir Marin County.
Posted: May 3, 2006 By Marvin R. Shanken
Last week, a friend of mine went out to dinner with two friends to a high-end casual restaurant in New York City. They all ordered appetizers, a main course, coffee and dessert. The food part of the bill was about $300.
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