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Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Michelin Slaps San Francisco Around

Posted: October 2, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

Michelin says its new Red Guide "confirms the high level of dining in San Francisco, the Bay area and wine country." It looks to me like more of a slap in the face. I mean, no restaurants in San Francisco worthy of three stars? Only two worthy of a pair? As a San Franciscan, I have to say, this city is better than that.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

A Day at the Beach

Posted: October 2, 2006  By James Laube

Today, as my Tuscan-Campania holiday settled into beach mode, I really relaxed and kicked back in the sand and sun. I took a leisurely boat ride with friends and swam in the brilliant blue sea off Positano and Amalfi.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Aussie Wine With Food? Actually, Yes...

Posted: October 2, 2006  By James Molesworth

Australian wines are often criticized for not partnering well with food--their up-front, fruit-driven personalities aren't considered ideal for nuanced dishes, whereas wines with more subtle flavors and brighter acidities are thought to be ideal.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Mouton y Chocolate

Posted: October 1, 2006  By James Suckling

A couple of friends threw a birthday party for me in the coolest restaurant in Havana, La Guarida. For those who saw the Cuban movie Fresa y Chocolate , this is the restaurant where it was filmed. It is probably the best restaurant in Cuba, and it is also privately owned.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Roaming Through Brunello

Posted: October 1, 2006  By James Laube

As you might expect, I’ve tasted dozens of great wines on my Tuscan holiday. Spent a couple of days in Brunello di Montalcino, at Altesino and Fuligni. From what the owners and winemakers say, the quality of the 2006 harvest--which is either finished or ending in many areas in Tuscany--is very high.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Language Barriers

Posted: September 30, 2006  By James Laube

My Italian is about as good as my Spanish or French or German. I can get by--barely, at times--and have to rely on either the good English of the person I’m talking to or interviewing, or the use of a translator.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Red Wine in the Middle of Nowhere

Posted: September 29, 2006  By James Suckling

I am leaving in 30 minutes for Pinar del Rio, the tobacco region of Cuba, to visit the world’s greatest tobacco grower, Alejandro Robania. The 84-year-old is to tobacco what Robert Mondavi is to California wine.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Working on a Book Title

Posted: September 29, 2006  By James Laube

My Mother used to keep a sign in her office that read: “Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.” I had every good reason to lose my mind the other night as I dined with the dashing, fun-loving, cork-popping, magnum-obsessed and forever dangerous and unpredictable wine maven James Suckling.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

The Michelin Betting Line

Posted: September 28, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

Michelin releases its Red Guide to the restaurants of San Francisco and environs next week. Having just published my take on the state of S.F. dining in the current issue of Wine Spectator (Oct 15, 2006), I have more than a casual interest in seeing what the Michelin inspectors come up with.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

The Bare Essentials

Posted: September 28, 2006  By James Laube

I made it to Florence in pretty good shape. Not so for my luggage. It decided to stay at Heathrow, in London, while I carried on with my laptop and tote bag. My luggage took the path less traveled, which left me clothes-less in Florence, which wasn’t so bad for the first 24 hours.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Surprises Tasting at Argyle

Posted: September 26, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

Every time I visit fun-loving Rollin Soles at Argyle winery in Oregon, he has some interesting tastings set up for me. This time, he has a vast assortment of freshly pressed juices, barrel samples from the 2005 vintage, and a previous vintages bottled under cork and screwcap for a blind comparison.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

2005 Merlot Madness in Bordeaux

Posted: September 26, 2006  By James Suckling

The dusty streets of Havana are a long way from the vineyards and cellars of Bordeaux, but I was thinking this morning over a café con leche about the Merlots I tasted from barrel last week while in France.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Argentina Creates a Buzz

Posted: September 26, 2006  By James Molesworth

I stopped in at the Wines of Argentina trade show here in NYC yesterday. There were around 70 wineries pouring their wares, and a good crowd showed up (press and trade only). A solid buzz filled the room, and it was good to see.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Oregon, With Some Age

Posted: September 26, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

I tasted some older wines while in Oregon last week, visiting winemakers in Willamette Valley. What strikes me, looking over my notes, is how consistently good they all were. Of course, what vintner would show a bad wine to a visiting journalist? The greatest number of bottles showed up at dinner with David Millman, general manager of Domaine Drouhin, and Tony Rynders, winemaker at Domaine Serene.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

What a Wine's Color Means. And What It Doesn't ...

Posted: September 25, 2006  By James Molesworth

We were cleaning up from lunch on Sunday when I asked my wife, Nancy, what she had thought of the red. It was a social lunch with guests, so Nancy hadn't seen the bottle--only tasted the wine. "It was really good," she said.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Guess Who Came to Dinner?

Posted: September 25, 2006  By James Suckling

My buddy and colleague James Laube came to my house for dinner last night with some of his friends. They are in Tuscany for a couple of weeks to chase the Tuscan sun. Unfortunately, it was raining this morning as I poured myself into my car to drive to the Rome airport for a trip to North America.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Goodbye, Belles Soeurs

Posted: September 25, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

For years, the Oregon winery Beaux Frères used the Belles Soeurs label for all its non-estate wines, but no more. Starting with the 2005 vintage, all of the non-estate wines will carry the Beaux Frères label with a subhead: "The Willamette Valley.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Pétrus Unplugged and the Bordeaux Machine

Posted: September 22, 2006  By James Suckling

I never thought I would be dancing shirtless at Château Pétrus. Mykonos or St. Tropez, yes..but Pétrus? I went to the harvesters’ party last night at the famous Pomerol estate, and the 50 pickers, along with the owners, were rocking.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Domaine Serene Changes the Oregon Landscape

Posted: September 21, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

Domaine Serene shattered a big price barrier when it released an ultra-premium Oregon PInot Noir, Monogram 2002, at $200 a bottle earlier this year. Next up is a white wine from Pinot Noir, made to sell for $60.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

A Tuscan Wine Escape

Posted: September 21, 2006  By James Laube

I’m headed off to Tuscany and points beyond for a fortnight. I could make up something about needing a vacation, or change of scenery, or new blogging material. But the truth is I’m going to catch up with my old friend and colleague, James Suckling, and help him drain of some of the oversize bottles of Barolo and Brunello that are clogging his cellar.

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