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Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Getting a Read on Readers

Posted: October 24, 2006  By James Laube

One of the things I enjoy most about the Wine Experience is the chance to meet readers, old and new, and talk about what I’m (or we’re) doing right or wrong, or how we might improve. In the span of nearly four days, I ran into dozens of readers, producers, restaurateurs and retailers at the walk-around tastings, dinners, restaurants, lunches and seminars—even in the coffee line at the Starbucks kiosk at the Marriott.

Blogs  :  All Events Access: At the Wine Experience

More Favorite Moments: The Four Chefs

Posted: October 23, 2006  By All Access

When Mario Batali, Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse and Charlie Trotter get together for their annual Wine Experience food-and-wine pairing seminar, you can count on them trading plenty of barbs with each other and executive editor Thomas Matthews, all in the spirit of friendly competition.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Texture Rules

Posted: October 23, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

At last weekend's California Wine Experience , in our presentation of Pinot Noirs from Burgundy, New Zealand, Oregon and California, Bruce Sanderson , James Laube and I focused extensively on texture. To my mind, that's a big part of Pinot's appeal.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Thoughts on the California Cab Tasting

Posted: October 23, 2006  By James Suckling

I am writing this while I wait for a connection from Madrid to Pisa. I am jetlagged already. But I was thinking about this past weekend's California Wine Experience, and I think one of the most interesting tastings was the Napa Valley Cabernet Tasting, moderated by James Laube, our lead taster in California.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

There's One in Every Crowd

Posted: October 23, 2006  By James Laube

Late Saturday night, a few minutes before it turned into Sunday morning, my bubble finally burst. Up until that moment I thought that perhaps I had succeeded. My intent in showcasing 10 great Napa Valley Cabernets on Friday had been to show the diversity of styles and different expressions of terroir and style within the valley.

Blogs  :  Brian Loring: Ramblings from Pinot Prison

Late-Night Wackiness at Prison Pinot

Posted: October 23, 2006  By Brian Loring

We were pressing must and filling barrels like crazed weasels the past week, before I headed out to pour at the California Wine Experience. Long days and longer nights have made us all a bit wacky. One night, Kimberly came to the conclusion that François Frères barrels are just too damn hard to stack.

Blogs  :  Kevin Vogt: From the Floor

A Lesson in Great Pairings

Posted: October 23, 2006  By Kevin Vogt

What makes a food-and-wine pairing great? My thought is that if I have to explain the pairing to you, then I failed. It doesn’t matter how great I think a match is if you don’t “get it.” In essence, the most important factor when choosing wines for a meal is knowing something about the palates of the people for whom you are doing the pairing.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Random Thoughts From the Wine Experience

Posted: October 23, 2006  By James Molesworth

John Alban's 'bling' at the Top 10 tasting... The simple elegance of Robert Drouhin , and his '92 Montrachet (Wow!)... Can we ever get enough of the '01 Yquem ? Seeing 1,000 people turned on to Spanish wines like never before.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

A Class Act

Posted: October 22, 2006  By James Laube

I found myself moved and inspired by many of the speakers at the California Wine Experience. This is a great time for wine, and there are many dedicated vintners who have devoted their lives to wine, grapegrowing, their businesses and, for many of us, wine education.

Blogs  :  All Events Access: At the Wine Experience

Favorite Moments from the Tastings

Posted: October 22, 2006  By All Access

Yeah, sure, this event is all about the great wines. And we could do a whole blog post waxing rhapsodic about any number of wines, like the 2001 Yquem. (Confession: We didn't spit it. So what--neither does Pierre Lurton , who runs the estate.

Blogs  :  All Events Access: At the Wine Experience

Behind the Scenes with the Sommeliers

Posted: October 21, 2006  By All Access

What do the Wine Experience sommeliers do when they sneak away for an hour or so? They're certainly not relaxing with a glass of wine. We were taking a break ourselves, and spotted sommelier Richard Betts from Little Nell in Aspen drinking a nice, tall, cold pint of beer at Hog Island Oysters, at the back of the Ferry Terminal.

Blogs  :  All Events Access: At the Wine Experience

Wine Tasting with the Governator

Posted: October 20, 2006  By All Access

During the Grand Tastings, it takes a lot to distract Wine Experience attendees from their single-minded focus on sampling as many great wines as possible in a few short hours. But the unexpected appearance of the Terminator can certainly do it.

Blogs  :  All Events Access: At the Wine Experience

The Wine Warriors

Posted: October 20, 2006  By All Access

Every year at the Wine Experience, a devoted band of wine groupies awakens at an ungodly hour--no matter how much wine they had the night before, or how late they were out having dinner--just to be the first few in line to enter the tastings and claim the choice seats.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Too Much Excellent Wine and Not Enough Time

Posted: October 20, 2006  By James Suckling

This blog and the Grand Tasting at the California Wine Experience have a lot in common. I don’t have enough time for both of them! Last night was fantastic, with so many outstanding wines to taste, but I just didn’t have time to try all of them.

Blogs  :  All Events Access: At the Wine Experience

Kicking Off the California Wine Experience

Posted: October 19, 2006  By All Access

We knew this year's California Wine Experience was going to get off to a good start before we even got to San Francisco. While we were boarding our plane from Newark, amid a bunch of people carrying wine-country guides and maps, we saw a woman in line sporting body art of grape bunches down her right shoulder.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Creating Vintage Charts

Posted: October 19, 2006  By James Laube

Jesse Calderon has a great question about how I arrive at vintage chart ratings. I'm sure my colleagues will be glad to share their thoughts on this subject as well, since we all have our own ways of analyzing vintage quality.

Blogs  :  Kevin Vogt: From the Floor

Tasting Perfection

Posted: October 19, 2006  By Kevin Vogt

What makes wine insanely great? Think back to the single greatest wine you have ever tasted. Surely you remember that experience like it was yesterday. Can you instantly recall everything about that moment? If you answered yes to the above question, you have it.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

I Don’t Cry for Argentina

Posted: October 19, 2006  By James Suckling

I had dinner the other night in Los Angeles with some friends at a restaurant called Carlitos Gardel that specializes in Argentinean cuisine. I was impressed with the selection of Argentinean wines. I have noticed a number of restaurants, particularly in L.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

My Monthly Tasting Group: October 2006

Posted: October 18, 2006  By James Molesworth

On Monday, my merry band of BYOB friends descended on Triomphe for our monthly wine night. The food was excellent, with arguably one of the best racks of lamb I've ever tasted and a dynamite chicken liver crostini appetizer.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Some Rotten Luck in California

Posted: October 18, 2006  By James Laube

Most years, if you’re a farmer or winegrower or winemaker in California, you bet on the weather coming through. Most of the time the weather delivers, as in the right mix of sunshine and dryness. But this year is one of those years where the odds-makers would have handicapped this harvest as too close for comfort.

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