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Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

A Pinot Noir Find

Posted: May 11, 2006  By James Laube

Occasionally you hear complaints about there being too many single-vineyard wines. Lately Pinot Noir has been one of those wines under fire for this supposed excess. I have a hard time comprehending this problem , unless people are grumbling about too many overpriced single-vineyard Pinots, or single-vineyard Pinots that are good but not great.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

A Sit Down with Achával-Ferrer...

Posted: May 11, 2006  By James Molesworth

The other day I sat down with Santiago Achával, owner of Argentina’s Achával-Ferrer, to taste a few samples of his 2005s. The wines are settling in tanks and are slated for bottling in the coming weeks.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Surprises on Coi's Little Wine List

Posted: May 10, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

New, high-end restaurants with aspirations for their food usually try to put together a serious wine list. Coi, the tiny new San Francisco restaurant from outspoken chef Daniel Patterson , offers only 40 wines, at least for now.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Bling Bling on the Plate and in the Glass

Posted: May 10, 2006  By James Suckling

LOS ANGELES -- I had dinner in a hipster-sushi-bar-style (i.e. Joel Robuchon L’Atelier in Paris and in Vegas), European-Japanese-fusion restaurant in West L.A., and I was blown away. Maybe I was influenced by the incredible bottle of 1999 Marcassin Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Marcassin Vineyard, but this was a no-BS-no-flash place that is off the radar screen -- especially for a large number of people in La La who only care about the buzz of a place and not the food on the plate.

Blogs  :  Marvin R. Shanken's Blog

Las Vegas Grand Tour Finishes With Boos!

Posted: May 10, 2006  By Marvin R. Shanken

More than 2,000 wine lovers attended the Wine Spectator Grand Tour Saturday night at The Venetian Hotel Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. The event began at 7:00 p.m. Pouring wines were more than 200 of the best producers from around the world.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Cooking With Marcassin

Posted: May 10, 2006  By James Laube

If you cook much, you know how important it is to use good wine (and it’s crucial not to use bad or spoiled wine). No one would expect you to pour Montrachet into your soup, but I came close a few weeks ago.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Partner, It's Moderner

Posted: May 8, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

One of the raps against the modern style of winemaking--primarily meaning forward fruit, polished texture and maybe some prominent oak--is that it makes all wine taste alike. My colleague James Suckling touched on it in his blog, wondering whether calling a wine "international" in style has a negative connotation.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

It's Only a Phrase

Posted: May 8, 2006  By James Suckling

LAS VEGAS: Got into a cool debate with my fellow editors during a meeting in Sin City today about the phrase “international style.” I have always thought that this phrase was rather negative. It meant a wine with dark color, fruit forward, lots of perfumes, high in alcohol, big juicy tannins and a long fruity finish.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Pétrus and Burgers?

Posted: May 7, 2006  By James Suckling

I read this comment today from Brett Allen about a couple that drank a bottle of 1982 Petrus with Wendy’s burgers: "Hey gang - here's one for you! This past Saturday, a guest called and asked if he could have a table to 'just drink very good wine.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

"Tip Me. I Poured The Damn Wine!"

Posted: May 7, 2006  By James Molesworth

What a coincidence, that with all the back and forth on tipping on wine , that I would have a so-so wine experience at dinner this week. Normally my wife and I (both of us have worked in the restaurant industry previously) always tip 20 percent on food and wine (pre-tax).

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Family Goodbyes at Montrose and Pichon-Lalande

Posted: May 6, 2006  By James Suckling

LOS ANGELES – I had dinner last night at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant Chinoise on Main for a vertical tasting of Trimbach Clos Ste.-Hune and Cuvée Frederic Emile. As good as the wines were, the most impressive part of the tasting was a short conversation I had with Jean-Michel Cazes of Château Lynch-Bages.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Tax on Restaurant Service Charge? It's a Double Whammy

Posted: May 6, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

Until now, I have had no objection to restaurants that tack on an automatic service charge in lieu of a tip. Usually it's 15 to 18 percent. I normally leave 20 percent for good service anyway, so it's no skin off my nose.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Bring Your Own: Grange Hermitage

Posted: May 5, 2006  By James Suckling

LOS ANGELES – This is a city where many restaurants do not seem to mind if you bring your own bottle to dinner or lunch as long as it’s something serious. I have been to dozens of places with friends who pack serious bottles in leather cases to take to restaurants in La La.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

A Marcassin Experience

Posted: May 4, 2006  By James Laube

John Wetlaufer invited me to a tasting of all the Marcassin estate wines in June. That was last June. Then nearly a year passed before we sat down to the wines. In March, out came the corks from 17 bottles, and this could only be described as one incredible tasting.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

A Small Fish In The Big Corporate Pond...

Posted: May 4, 2006  By James Molesworth

Running a winery isn’t easy, especially when quality is your goal. It’s even more difficult coming in mid-stream and trying to effect change at a winery with a lackluster history. That’s the mountain that Juan Marco, 34, is attempting to climb at Argentina’s Navarro Correas.

Blogs  :  Marvin R. Shanken's Blog

And the Answer Is ...

Posted: May 4, 2006  By Marvin R. Shanken

Thank you for all your responses to my blog on tipping for wine service. I guess it really is a "hot button" for many of you. If you ask 10 people this question, you will get 10 different answers. The breadth of your responses is across the board.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Does Everybody Want Pinot Noir in the Big Apple?

Posted: May 4, 2006  By James Suckling

NEW YORK -- Had dinner last night at Gramercy Tavern – one of my favorite restaurants in New York -- with another senior editor of the magazine, Dana Nigro, and we drank a bottle of 1999 Hartford Court Pinot Noir Marin County.

Blogs  :  Marvin R. Shanken's Blog

A Perplexing Restaurant Question: What's the Correct Tip on Wine?

Posted: May 3, 2006  By Marvin R. Shanken

Last week, a friend of mine went out to dinner with two friends to a high-end casual restaurant in New York City. They all ordered appetizers, a main course, coffee and dessert. The food part of the bill was about $300.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Cabernet Flashbacks

Posted: May 2, 2006  By James Suckling

NEW YORK -- I had a glass of the 2000 Clos Du Val Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon on my American Airlines flight from Rome to New York, and it brought back fond memories. The wine in my glass was good quality with currant bush, mushroom and chocolate aromas.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Quilceda Creek Loses Its Grip--and That's a Good Thing

Posted: May 2, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

Although I returned from Washington a few weeks ago, I am still thinking about my visit with the Golitzin family at their Quilceda Creek winery. This has always ranked among the best Washington wines, but no winery's style has evolved quite so dramatically.

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