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Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

French Sunshine in the Bottle and on the Plate in NYC

Posted: February 15, 2007  By James Suckling

I have a soft spot for Bandol, France’s coastal wine region. I had a bottle of Bandol red the other night at the excellent New York restaurant Mas, and I really was sad to see it end. It brought me back to last summer on the Cote d’Azur with some friends enjoying the sunshine, sea air, and beautiful sights – day and night.

Blogs  :  Chuck Wagner: At Home with Caymus

Taking a Stand Against Vineyard Designations

Posted: February 14, 2007  By Chuck Wagner

I am often asked why we use the more general Napa Valley appellation on our two Caymus Cabernets, instead of a more specific subregion such as Rutherford or even a single-vineyard designation. My thoughts on this subject might be considered controversial.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

When Chef and Sommelier Both Leave

Posted: February 14, 2007  By Harvey Steiman

Something is up when, in the same week, the chef and wine director of a destination restaurant both pull out of the business they helped found. In the past few days, both Debbie Zachareas, who created an exciting wine list with more than 200 offerings by the glass, and Arnold Eric Wong, the chef who invented my favorite mussel dish, announced that they were leaving San Francisco's Bacar , citing differences with the new owners.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Reflections on the 1996 Cabernet Report

Posted: February 14, 2007  By James Laube

This is a perfect time to discuss older vintages. In a recent blog , Chuck Wagner writes about a wine's moment—which can be fleeting. In my report on the 1996 Cabernets , I was disappointed by how many of the wines showed, for various reasons.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Ugh! Valentine’s Day

Posted: February 14, 2007  By James Suckling

I am in a rotten mood. Today is Valentine’s Day and I hate it. I have loathed this commercial celebration for as long as I can remember. Maybe it was because Heidi Hendrickson in the sixth grade didn’t accept my Valentine’s message.

Blogs  :  Larry Stone's Blog

James Laube Faces the Napa Valley Vintners

Posted: February 13, 2007  By Larry Stone

Last week the Napa Valley Vintners association had a general meeting where we discussed the state of Napa Valley wines. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that after our business meeting, we would be hearing from Wine Spectator 's James Laube.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Wine Bar Nights in LA and NYC

Posted: February 13, 2007  By James Suckling

I am seeing wine bars in major cities, and what I am seeing, I like. In the past few days, I have been to two cool wine bars, one in Los Angeles and one in New York City, that are hip, fun and satisfying.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

A Heavyweight Food-and-Wine Dinner

Posted: February 13, 2007  By James Laube

On Saturday night, I was invited to a dinner party here in Napa. All I was asked to bring was some wine. We'd be grilling meat, I was told, so I took a couple of huge, rich, massive, inky dark, ultraripe Cabernets in hefty supersized, barbell-weight bottles.

Blogs  :  Bruce Sanderson Decanted

To De(stem) or Not to De(stem)

Posted: February 13, 2007  By Bruce Sanderson

Sometimes I’ll be cruising along in a blind tasting of red Burgundies and a wine will throw me a curve ball. Aromatically, it is fresh and distinctive, with floral and spice notes (sandalwood comes to mind most often) along with the fruit.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Tip of the Iceberg

Posted: February 12, 2007  By Harvey Steiman

When you decide how expensive a restaurant is, do you look at the final bill, which includes tax and tip, or at the price of an entrée? Or maybe the prices on the wine list? If you said the final bill, you are in the minority.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

A Back Label That Fills in the Facts

Posted: February 12, 2007  By James Laube

Last night for dinner, I opened a bottle of 2003 Calera Pinot Noir Mills Vineyard (92 points, $45). As I poured a glass, a couple of thoughts crossed my mind. Calera used to make one of the ripest styles of Pinot Noir in California, so much so that I once described them as ultraripe bordering on jammy.

Blogs  :  Chuck Wagner: At Home with Caymus

Reminiscing Over a Wine's Moment

Posted: February 12, 2007  By Chuck Wagner

I've heard for years about a wine's "moment." It's different than a wine's peak (which is very subjective). It's also different than a wine "opening up" over a period of time due to decanting or exposure to air in the glass.

Blogs  :  Eric Ripert

My Path to Becoming a Chef

Posted: February 12, 2007  By Eric Ripert

Hello, my name is Eric Ripert, and I am the chef and owner of Le Bernardin restaurant in New York. I'm very excited to have the opportunity to write my own Wine Spectator guest blog, and look forward to sharing ideas with you throughout the next month.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Available Critters

Posted: February 9, 2007  By Harvey Steiman

Some months ago I made note of all the creatures I had encountered on Australian wine labels. I had been trawling through some low-priced wines, looking for good values, and had found in one tasting alone a blue-tongued lizard, penguins, cockatoos, pumas, sheep and yabbies.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Singing at Sona

Posted: February 9, 2007  By James Suckling

What a foggy morning in Los Angeles today, not so much from the weather but from a slightly exaggerated evening last night. I had dinner at Sona  (which is recent guest blogger David Myers ' restaurant) with L.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Wine Times: They Are a Changing

Posted: February 9, 2007  By James Laube

I wondered if my kids (now young adults) would ever embrace wine. Unlike me, they grew up in a wine culture, in Napa Valley, where wine is everywhere and everywhere we’ve traveled. While I hoped they would grow to appreciate the world’s most amazing beverage, I also harbored anxiety about what might happen if they liked it too much.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Dealing With a Problem That Nobody Wants

Posted: February 9, 2007  By James Molesworth

With the news today regarding Viña Errázuriz , a new front has been opened in the war on cellar contamination. South American wineries join California and France in having to deal with a problem that nobody wants.

Blogs  :  Bruce Sanderson Decanted

Exploring Gevrey-Chambertin at Dugat-Py

Posted: February 9, 2007  By Bruce Sanderson

Bernard Dugat is an artist whose medium is wine. Passionate, articulate and down to earth, he doesn’t rely on a lot of technique. Rather, his key to expressing the best from each terroir is old vines, moderate yields and long fermentations with whole clusters.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

A Sit Down With Frédéric Coulon

Posted: February 8, 2007  By James Molesworth

Brothers Frédéric and Daniel Coulon run the Paul Coulon & Fils estate in Châteauneuf-du-Pape (commonly referred to as Domaine de Beaurenard). I sat down with Frédéric in my office today—tempted by the vertical of the estate’s top red wine, their cuvée Boisrenard, that he brought.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Brunello’s Golden Age?

Posted: February 8, 2007  By James Suckling

Two 100-pointers for Brunello di Montalcino. The region is on a roll, both in Italy and abroad. As you know, my home is in Italy, so I spend a fair amount of time in Tuscany, and it never ceases to amaze me when I ride my bike or drive my sports car to Montalcino and gaze at the mountain of the medieval city.

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