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Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Michelin's Secret Code

Posted: October 6, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

All the hoo-ha earlier this week about Michelin's San Francisco restaurant ratings focused on the announcement of the list of the 28 that earned stars. The book itself, with all 356 restaurant entries, presents a somewhat different picture.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

A Bon Vivant for a Generation

Posted: October 5, 2006  By James Suckling

I was sad to read yesterday about the death of R.W. Apple Jr. of the New York Times. Not only was Johnny, 71, one of America’s great journalists, he was a great wine and food lover and a friend. I hadn’t seen Johnny in years, but I always kept up with his whereabouts through English wine merchant Bill Baker.

Blogs  :  Brian Loring: Ramblings from Pinot Prison

Getting Started in the Biz

Posted: October 5, 2006  By Brian Loring

I’m often asked how I got started in the wine business. My flippant response is “work-release program from prison." In reality, I got lucky. But I was the one who decided that it was something I wanted, and then I took the required steps once the opportunity arose.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Keller Shows His Really Casual Side at Ad Hoc

Posted: October 4, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

A Napa Valley visitor wandering into Ad Hoc, the new restaurant in Yountville, would never know that it's Thomas Keller's latest venture. There is nothing about it to remind you of French Laundry , just up the street, which serves multicourse extravaganzas of endlessly inventive cuisine, or Per Se , his New York restaurant, where he does the same in lavish surroundings with killer views of Central Park.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Nueva Rioja en La Habana

Posted: October 4, 2006  By James Suckling

I had dinner the night before I left Cuba in a big outdoor restaurant called El Aljibe in Havana. The food is simple roasted chicken, fried pork, black beans and rice. It all comes out on the table family style and everyone digs in.

Blogs  :  Brian Loring: Ramblings from Pinot Prison

Welcome to a Winemaker's World

Posted: October 4, 2006  By Brian Loring

Hi, my name is Brian, and I’m a winemaker. It’s been two days since I last crushed fruit. Welcome to my blog! I was pleased that the gang at Wine Spectator asked me back--especially after reading my 2004 harvest blog.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Making Friends With Animals

Posted: October 3, 2006  By James Laube

My friend Nino, whose clothes supply I tapped when my luggage was delayed, is a vet, and he loves canines. Periodically he’s checked out some of the winery and street dogs we’ve met at different intervals along the way.

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.

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