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Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Putting Flinty Sauvignons To Work

Posted: August 4, 2006  By James Laube

A couple of weeks ago, during one of those July heat blasts, I went to a poolside potluck and opted to shuck a few dozen Kumamoto oysters as my contribution to the day’s spread. I made a couple of simple vinaigrettes, with lemon, vinegar, horseradish and the like, and decided not to grill the oysters due to the heat.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

You Think It's Fun Being A Wine Critic?

Posted: August 4, 2006  By James Molesworth

Most days it is - other than being a touring golf pro, there's not much else I'd rather do in life. But some days it isn't. Like today. The heat has finally broken in New York, and my mind is on the weekend.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Tuscany's Marvelous Merlot

Posted: August 4, 2006  By James Suckling

I had dinner last night with Stefano Frascolla, who is the son-in-law of the owners of Tua Rita , the Tuscan cult wine producer in Suvereto, on the coast south of Bolgheri. Stefano oversees the estate, which is one of the best in Tuscany, if not Italy.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Those Pesky Screwcaps

Posted: August 3, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

Somebody asked Vinny the other day how to open a screwcapped wine bottle when the screwcap won't loosen easily. Dr. Vinifera , the ever helpful super mouse, or whatever he is, suggested a device that functions like one of those jar-lid removers.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Get It Write From The Start

Posted: August 3, 2006  By James Laube

When you taste wines, seriously or for fun, do yourself a favor. Take notes. Written ones. This was an important lesson I learned early on in my career. Before I wrote about wine, when I simply drank it, one way my friends and I kept track of what we liked was to place the empty bottles on the hearth above the fireplace.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Finding Double Pleasure out of Napa

Posted: August 2, 2006  By James Laube

Without a doubt, one of the greatest pleasures of being a wine critic is being able to direct readers to great wines that are also great values. One of our recent office favorites is a tiny wine company called Olabisi (Nigerian for “joy multiplied”), which is based in Napa Valley.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

A Friend Indeed

Posted: August 2, 2006  By James Suckling

How’s this for a friend? Hoyt Hill Jr. of Nashville commented on my blog yesterday, on drinking great wines on ice in hot weather, writing this: “I recently handled the wine service at the wake for a close friend with a large wine collection.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

All Creatures Great and Vinous

Posted: August 2, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

I pulled the bag off an Australian Chardonnay I had just tasted and a sea horse was looking at me. This, I thought, is one critter I never thought I would see on a bottle of wine. But there it was on the bottle of Promised Land Chardonnay.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Rise of the Machines

Posted: August 1, 2006  By James Laube

When I read stories like Tim Fish’s on the possibility of labor shortages in U.S. vineyards , I wonder how long it will be before mechanical harvesting is the norm here in California. Many people thought machines would be doing much of this work by now.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Montrachet and Latour on Ice

Posted: August 1, 2006  By James Suckling

I dined last week at the osteria below my house with my buddy Thomas and two wine merchant friends from Burgundy, and I came late to what appeared to be an incredible fest of awesome wines including 1973 DRC Montrachet and 1959 Latour.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

A Rhône Marathon

Posted: July 31, 2006  By James Molesworth

Well, I just finished my last flight of Rhône wines this morning, and now I get set to write my next tasting report on the region (slated for the Nov. 15 issue). As I run the numbers, I see I tasted 626 wines in total - a big jump over the previous year, when I tasted 401.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

A Letter from Chianti Classico

Posted: July 31, 2006  By James Suckling

Marco Pallanti, the new president of the Chianti Classico Wine Consortium (Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico), wrote me this letter in Italian last week following a blog post I wrote on his region. I thought you would find the letter (translated, of course) interesting to read: Dear James, I feel honored to receive your approval for my new position, and I thank you for the extremely nice words you said about me.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

If The Tasting Room Walls Had Ears

Posted: July 28, 2006  By James Laube

When you taste thousands of wines each year, there are many painful moments, and you have to keep a sense of humor. There are days when we taste dozens of wines, but none are outstanding. And there are days when so many of the wines are so strange that it makes us wonder how anyone could possibly make a wine like that and how those wineries survive.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Our 2006 Restaurant Awards - Tell Us What You Think

Posted: July 27, 2006  By James Molesworth

I'm going to throw the floor open to questions, comments, criticisms and praise of our Restaurant Awards Program, which announced this year's winners in the current Aug. 31 issue. Just a quick run-down first though: The program presents awards based on a restaurant's wine program.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

The Big Bottles Next Door

Posted: July 27, 2006  By James Suckling

Couple nights ago, my buddy Thomas and his Korean friends hosted a dinner at the restaurant below my house for a dozen or so Italian wine producers, from Tuscany and Piedmont. It’s become an annual event with people attending like Lamberto Frescobaldi, Giacomo Neri of Casanova di Neri, Leonardo Raspini of Ornellaia, Enrico and Enrica Scavino, Luigi Scavino of Azelia, Carlo Revello…you get the idea.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Hot Not Cool For Shipping Wine

Posted: July 27, 2006  By James Laube

The heat wave finally broke in most of California on Wednesday, so I’ll give the global warming issue a rest for now. But be assured, this is a story that won’t be going away anytime soon. As some readers have pointed out, climatic changes could (and may well) have a major impact on the kinds of wines we drink in the future.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Why We Break With Brands

Posted: July 26, 2006  By James Laube

Our brand loyalty has little to do with our desire to support a favored vintner. Usually we’re driven away from our pet wines due to one of two factors (sometimes both), which have been bantered about in this space the past few days and weeks.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

D19 is A1 in Aspen

Posted: July 26, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

Before I arrived here in Aspen for my annual summer stay in Colorado, I asked everyone I knew in town what new restaurants I should try. Virtually everyone I asked said, "D19." Dena Moreno, who had pleased so many taste buds with her soulful Italian food (and white truffle fries) at Ajax Tavern, has joined up with the owners of The Wild Fig and the Popcorn Wagon to take over one of the prime corners in Aspen.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Changing With The Times

Posted: July 25, 2006  By James Laube

Maybe it’s a coincidence. Maybe not. In the past few months, I’ve heard several winery owners talk about rebalancing their businesses. They emphasize, above all, rededicating their efforts on wine quality.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Olive Oil and Barolo

Posted: July 25, 2006  By James Suckling

You have to be careful leaving open olive-oil bottles on the dinner table, especially late at night and when the olive-oil bottles look like wine bottles. Last night, my buddy Thomas and his two Korean girlfriends came for dinner.

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