Check out the new, mobile-friendly WineSpectator.com!
Posted: January 13, 2015 By Harvey Steiman
The restaurant that jump-started fine dining in Napa Valley closed Jan. 1, to be converted into an elaborate tasting room. Étoile had too much competition from the long list of great restaurants that stretch from Napa to Calistoga these days, and its operators reportedy could not reach an agreement on lease arrangements.
Posted: January 12, 2015 By Robert Camuto
Wine Spectator contributing editor Robert Camuto visits Bruno Bilancini, owner and winemaker at Château Tirecul La Gravière, where Bilancini makes delicious, highly sought dessert wines in the unappreciated Monbazillac appellation of southwest France.
Posted: January 8, 2015 By Ben O'Donnell
Kirkland Signature may be a generic house brand, but it's from one of the biggest wine retailers on the planet. Now with an all-star lineup of partners, Costco may just be bottling your favorite vineyard in that $20 Napa Cab.
Posted: January 6, 2015 By Harvey Steiman
Technology is changing how we book restaurant tables and pay for dinner. The people behind Alinea and Next in Chicago are making their innovative system, Tock, available to other restaurants. Per Se in New York and, when it reopens later this year, the French Laundry in Napa Valley are both switching to this system. Trois Mec in Los Angeles has been ticketing since it opened last year, and Coi in San Francisco has been using it as well.
It works like any event ticket. Pay in advance and show up at the appointed time. Walk out when you're finished.
Posted: January 5, 2015 By MaryAnn Worobiec
I was saddened to learn of the passing of Arthur "Jay" Fritz Jr. over the weekend. A long time ago, before my nearly 18-year-so-far (yikes!) tenure at Wine Spectator, I worked for J. Fritz Winery (now called the Fritz Underground Winery), and Jay was my boss.
Posted: December 30, 2014 By Harvey Steiman
With New Year's Eve approaching, Wine Spectator editor at large Harvey Steiman examines the range of wineglass options for Champagne.
Posted: December 29, 2014 By Kim Marcus
Wine Spectator managing editor Kim Marcus visits Weingut Prager's Toni Bodenstein, who is fiercely devoted to preserving the diversity of Austria's grapevines.
Posted: December 22, 2014 By Robert Camuto
Wine Spectator contributing editor Robert Camuto visits Teo Musso, the man who launched Italy's craft beer movement.
Posted: December 19, 2014 By Bruce Sanderson
Wine Spectator senior editor Bruce Sanderson reflects on his favorite wines of 2014.
Posted: December 18, 2014 By James Molesworth
Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth returns to Bordeaux, where he'll be tasting the 2012 vintage in bottle. He's also making château visits, and today he visited Pavie Macquin to taste a 20-vintage vertical of the St.-Emilion red.
Posted: December 18, 2014 By Harvey Steiman
Good cooks know that just splashing a bit of wine into a sauce or a dish as it cooks is no way to get the most out of it. What matters is how good the wine is, when and how much is added, and how long it's cooked.
In the recently published Relæ: A Book of Ideas (Ten Speed, $50), chef Christian Puglisi outlines his approach to using wine, honed working at El Bulli and Noma. At Relæ, his restaurant in Copenhagen, he uses wine directly from the bottle only for long-cooked dishes where wine must bathe the food, such as beef Bourguignon or Piemontese brasato. But for most dishes, especially sauces, he prefers to boil down the wine in advance and add it to taste.
Posted: December 18, 2014 By MaryAnn Worobiec
One of the conversations going around (and around) in wine circles lately has been the discussion about balance, alcohol and the imaginary line in the sand of 14 percent alcohol.
The other day I was picking a wine to bring to a friend's house for dinner. My friend is one of those "13.9 percent good, 14 percent bad" people. We've had multiple conversations about the topic, and I've even gone so far as to serve him wine in paper bags to distract him from this number--and to prove that he can, in fact, enjoy a wine at 14 percent alcohol or higher. He's unphased.
But the process of trying to find a wine we would both like made me sad that his wine world is so small, when there are a lot of great bottles I would have loved to share with him. Why do there have to be "sides" in the world of wine?
Posted: December 17, 2014 By James Molesworth
Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth returns to Bordeaux, where he'll be tasting the 2012 vintage in bottle. He's also making château visits, and today he visited Paul Goldschmidt, who has assembled a new team to raise the bar at his three Right Bank estates, Châteaus Siaurac, Le Prieuré and Vray Croix de Gaye.
Posted: December 17, 2014 By Tim Fish
The top sparkling wines from the Golden State are rich with bright California fruit, but layer it with lively acidity. Consumers will also find great value. Look for my complete American sparkling wine report next summer, but for now, here are the California bubblies that impressed me most in 2014.
Posted: December 16, 2014 By James Molesworth
With close-cropped white hair and steel-gray eyes, Thierry Valette has the wizened professor look. And at 61, the tall, wiry vigneron certainly has his share of experience. He worked a dozen vintages at Château Pavie before buying his own estate at Clos Puy Arnaud in 2000.
Posted: December 15, 2014 By Kim Marcus
Wine Spectator managing editor Kim Marcus visits Alwin and Stefanie Jurtschitsch in Austria's Kamptal, where the couple is refining the family's Rieslings and Grüner Veltliners.
Posted: December 15, 2014 By James Molesworth
Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth returns to Bordeaux, where he'll be tasting the 2012 vintage in bottle. He's also making château visits, and today Château Gombaude-Guillot in Pomerol.
Posted: December 11, 2014 By Kim Marcus
Wine Spectator managing editor Kim Marcus visits Schloss Gobelsburg in Austria's Kamptal district, and gets a lesson on geology.
Posted: December 11, 2014 By Harvey Steiman
These days a cocktail can be a lot more than a simple vodka-and-tonic (my go-to choice in years past). Bartenders—no, pardon me, mixologists—can do dazzling things Mr. Boston never heard of, using the same fresh and vibrant ingredients as successful chefs. And, I've noticed, these barkeeps aim for more or less the same balance of alcohol, acidity, sweetness and disparate flavors found in good wines.
Posted: December 11, 2014 By MaryAnn Worobiec
The other day I was out to lunch with a friend who mentioned she had tried a wine she liked. I asked her to tell me about it, but her response was to blush and say she didn't feel comfortable. "I don't get all those flavors and stuff you do," she confessed.
Part of me was devastated. We had just shared medical secrets, family concerns and stories of heartbreak with each other, but when it comes to finding cherries or spice in a Merlot, we're suddenly no longer close? So I told my friend that I'm sure she is in fact capable of finding the differences between two beverages, and that I could prove it.
Passionate about wine? Wine Spectator magazine is looking for an enthusiastic copy editor in the New York office.
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash | New! Unfiltered