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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.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Blazing Saddles

Posted: July 24, 2006  By James Laube

Ok, so a heat wave or two does not necessarily constitute global warning (or whatever you want to call it). Still, after eight days (or nine, or 10, or whatever) of scorching heat in California and much of the country, with no let-up in sight, it was easy to buy into the argument that indeed planet Earth is getting hotter.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Flat Champagne in Tuscany

Posted: July 23, 2006  By James Suckling

Talk about “brutta figura” -- making a bad impression, as Italians say. I was at a birthday party last night in Castiligone della Pescaia for a very pretty friend of mine. About 20 of us came for her 39th -- again.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Where Is Cascadia?

Posted: July 21, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

Envious at the commercial success of Cajun, Creole, Tex-Mex and Southwestern cuisines, the folks in one part of our country are testing the waters for a new one. It's called Cascadian Cuisine. OK, I'll give you a few minutes to figure out where that might be.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Free Market Pricing

Posted: July 21, 2006  By James Laube

With its new $500-a-bottle cost, Screaming Eagle Cabernet becomes the undisputed price leader in California. The move to raise the price for Screaming Eagle from $300 to $500 has, of course, infuriated many long-time mailing list customers.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

A Sit Down With South African Vintner Bruce Jack...

Posted: July 21, 2006  By James Molesworth

I sat down with Bruce Jack the other day, to get caught up on things in South Africa. Jack, 36, is the owner and winemaker at Flagstone winery, and he’s what I consider a typical South African vintner: quality oriented, producing a moderate volume (about 70,000 cases a year) and focusing on Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc (the Cape’s best grapes, along with Chenin Blanc).

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

When Labels Don't Matter

Posted: July 19, 2006  By James Laube

Hardly a week passes without us learning about a new celebrity wine connection or convert. I don’t suppose it much matters what one’s calling in life has to do with a fondness for wine. It is fascinating to see how wine works its way into both the mainstream and niches of our society.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

I Just Got Excited About Côtes du Rhône. Really, I Did...

Posted: July 19, 2006  By James Molesworth

I just got excited over a flight of Côtes du Rhône, not exactly the wines I normally get fired up over. Sure, there are plenty of good ones, and even the occasional outstanding one. They’re great with bistro fare or when you want to knock something back without paying big bucks or having to think too much about it.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

What Makes a Classic Wine?

Posted: July 19, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

It's always nice to hear from readers who discover a terrific wine because I recommended it. Recently, a blog reader exclaimed over Two Hands Shiraz Barossa Valley Bella's Garden 2004, a $50 wine that I had rated 95 points.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Hope for Chianti Classico?

Posted: July 19, 2006  By James Suckling

A couple of days ago Marco Pallanti was named the new president of the Chianti Classico Wine Consortium (Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico), which boasts that it represents 96 percent of the bottled wine of the region.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Oregon Vintners Fight Plans for Luxury Hotel in Dundee Hills

Posted: July 18, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

Earlier this month, the Yamhill County Commission approved an application for a hilltop hotel in the Dundee Hills next door to Domaine Drouhin. It would be Willamette Valley's first luxury hotel, something the wine region has long needed.

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