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Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

A New Cabernet Gem From Shafer

Posted: December 13, 2006  By James Laube

Fans of Shafer Vineyards Cabernet should be excited about a new wine that takes this venerable winery back to its Cabernet roots. Early next year, Shafer will release a new Cabernet called One Point Five, which carries the Stags Leap District appellation.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

A Sit Down With Nicolás Catena

Posted: December 13, 2006  By James Molesworth

I sat down with Nicolás Catena last week to talk about the latest things happening in Argentina and at his own Bodega Catena Zapata winery. Catena, the industry leader for Argentina, is professorial in demeanor (not surprising, since he is also an economics professor).

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Secret Tastings, Great Wines and Vinous Politicians

Posted: December 13, 2006  By James Suckling

I just arrived in Hong Kong. I am visiting before Christmas for what should be a major blowout in rare and fine wines. Among the events I have planned with friends are those from wine merchant and mega-collector Paulo Pong.

Blogs  :  Bruce Sanderson Decanted

Hung Out to Dry

Posted: December 12, 2006  By Bruce Sanderson

On the surface, the classification of vineyards in Germany is a good idea. Based on the Burgundian model, the German system designates top sites that historically have been the source of great wines, calling them “first-growths.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Wine Is a Moving Target

Posted: December 12, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

You taste a wine. You love it. You buy a few more bottles, pop one open a few weeks later, and... where has the magic gone? Or, conversely, you taste a wine. You're not impressed. A friend serves it a few weeks later, and.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Keen on Grenache

Posted: December 12, 2006  By James Laube

New exciting wines continue to come from Santa Barbara County, and Mikael Sigouin's (pronounced See-gway ) new label, Kaena (pronounced Ca-en-ah ), is showing off what should be one of California's new wine success stories—Grenache.

Blogs  :  Claudine Pépin

Being on Television With My Father

Posted: December 12, 2006  By Claudine Pépin

Lots of people have asked me what it was like to do the shows with "the Dad." Well, I would tell them, it was like being at home, but someone else does the dishes, and I get in trouble in front of a few million people instead of just my mom.

Blogs  :  Marvin R. Shanken's Blog

What's New in Wine

Posted: December 11, 2006  By Marvin R. Shanken

Coca-Cola buys Monterey Vineyard Bottle of Wine Sells for $28,000 President serves California wines to the Chinese Premier And the foremost consulting enologist in Bordeaux says, “Winemaking is the work of an artist.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

A Santa Barbara Winery Calls Foul

Posted: December 11, 2006  By James Laube

He might be a hero to fans of Two-Buck Chuck, but there's a reason Fred Franzia has a bad boy reputation in wine circles—he knows how to stir things up. For years, Napa Valley vintners battled the feisty owner of Bronco Wine Co.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

The Real Monster Palate in My House

Posted: December 11, 2006  By James Molesworth

I've created a monster. A monster palate, that is. The problem is, it's not mine—it's my wife's. When we first met, she was a wine lover—but not a discriminating one. Her wine fridge was full of mostly cookie-cutter California Chardonnay.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Do Wineries Cheat to Win Accolades?

Posted: December 8, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

It's a question that dogs all of us who review and rate wines for a living. Are the wines we taste the same ones you can buy? After all, how easy would it be for an unscrupulous winery to keep a small lot of extra-specially good stuff to bottle up and submit to reviewers and wine competitions? Plenty easy, as a recent scandal in New Zealand proves.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Survival with Great Rhône Wines

Posted: December 8, 2006  By James Suckling

I survived my 2004 Bordeaux tasting. I never caught the cold. I tasted perfectly. The only thing that went bad was my stomach. Zantac didn't work. Neither did Rennie. But I tasted about 350 reds from 2004 and a couple dozen Sauternes, and I was pleased.

Blogs  :  On Tour with Steven Page

A Willamette Thanksgiving, Part 3

Posted: December 8, 2006  By Steven Page

After leaving Lemelson, I drove around, lost, wasting a precious hour, cursing Google Maps for creating a road over the Dundee Hills that apparently doesn’t exist. I did see some beautiful countryside along the way, and cranked the Walkmen’s shockingly faithful rerecording of Harry Nilsson and John Lennon’s Pussycats album, eventually making it to the oasis that is Domaine Serene.

Blogs  :  Claudine Pépin

Eating at Home (Part 2)

Posted: December 8, 2006  By Claudine Pépin

I grew up in a home that was often filled with people, especially at dinnertime. My parents' friends always brought food and wine to our house, and we did the same when we visited their homes. I love having guests in my home, and I am lucky to have friends who like to bring wine and home-cooked food to share.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

A Case of a Super Sample

Posted: December 8, 2006  By James Laube

This week, I've received a couple of e-mails about Wither Hills, a New Zealand winery at the center of a controversy. Wither Hills was accused of creating a special bottling of its Sauvignon Blanc to enhance its chances in wine competitions.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Big Plans for an Old Horse

Posted: December 7, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

What does a restaurant do when the fast-growing wine world has rendered its once-glorious wine cellar less of a big deal than it used to be? It could give up, figuring it's not worth it to stay in the game.

Blogs  :  On Tour with Steven Page

A Willamette Thanksgiving, Part 2

Posted: December 7, 2006  By Steven Page

One of the highlights at the Penner-Ash Thanksgiving dinner was a smoked turkey brought by Kurt Johnson, national sales manager for Beaux Frères winery. So, early the next morning, I set out for this small winery with the cult-like following.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Who Gets Your Vote for the Best-Priced Wine List?

Posted: December 7, 2006  By James Molesworth

While Marvin has challenged restaurants to lower their wine prices on his blog , I'm curious to find out who you think has already done it. The number of restaurants with really customer-friendly wine list prices is limited.

Blogs  :  On Tour with Steven Page

A Willamette Thanksgiving, Part 1

Posted: December 6, 2006  By Steven Page

Thanksgiving weekend is one of two times each year when the Willamette Valley’s wineries throw open their doors for wine lovers to come explore, taste, and buy some of Oregon’s finest wines. This year, our band was fortunate enough to have a couple of days off in Portland, and I was able to experience the Thanksgiving winery madness.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

An Exciting Discovery From Paso Robles

Posted: December 6, 2006  By James Laube

When you can say that a winery makes a lot of great wine at terrific prices, well, that’s a magical thing. This week I discovered such a winery—Four Vines, founded in 1996. In the words of one of its owners, "This is one of the largest wineries in Paso Robles you’ve never heard of.

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