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Posted: March 6, 2007 By James Laube
When you live in an intimate winegrowing area where everyone knows everyone else, own a high-profile wine shop and a prominent restaurant with an award-winning wine list, you might think that entering the winemaking business would be risky.
Posted: March 6, 2007 By Harvey Steiman
What's the best food and wine experience you have ever had on an airplane? Chances are it did not come out of a 747's galley. Airlines try hard to make the food good in first class, but the rest of the plane gets something that may be decent if seldom memorable.
Posted: March 6, 2007 By James Suckling
A wine exporter left an angry comment at the end of my previous blog about the mediocre quality of 2002 Brunello. Some of what he said was so inflammatory that it had to be edited by my office in New York.
Posted: March 6, 2007 By Maynard James Keenan
Now that I'm off for a bit, I'm able to participate in some of the fun activities here at the winery. We blind-tasted through all the '06 Syrahs--lots of chewy tannins this year. In the first flight, we tasted the free run and then in the second flight, we tasted the pressed wine.
Posted: March 5, 2007 By James Laube
Are the owners of Duckhorn Vineyards ready to cash out? Dan Duckhorn, CEO and board chairman of the Napa Valley Merlot and Cabernet specialist, says that’s one option the six-person board of directors will debate within the next few weeks.
Posted: March 2, 2007 By James Laube
As I finish my Santa Barbara tasting of barrel samples, my thoughts are drifting from Grenache and Syrah to an entirely different subject. I’m thinking about the Zodiac. This is not a new wine or an inflatable boat or even an attempt to link wine to astrological forecasts or biodynamic farming.
Posted: March 2, 2007 By James Molesworth
I sat down this week with José and Rafael Guilisasti of Viñedos Emiliana in Chile. Emiliana is the organically run arm of Concha y Toro , best known for producing the $5 Walnut Crest line. The Guilisasti family owns a lot of vineyards—about 3,500 acres.
Posted: March 1, 2007 By Eric Ripert
I have a confession to make: I drink red Bordeaux with everything. I am the nightmare of the sommeliers at Le Bernardin , and many times they are embarrassed for me. OK, I am exaggerating a little bit.
Posted: March 1, 2007 By Harvey Steiman
Terroir means something important in wine, but ask a dozen wine aficionados and you will almost certainly get 12 different interpretations. Everyone agrees that geography counts. Where the grapes grow affects the structure and the flavor of a wine, but things get really slippery when you try to pin down just exactly what that means to the finished wine.
Posted: March 1, 2007 By James Laube
Today and tomorrow, a delegation of Santa Barbara County wines arrives at Wine Spectator ’s Napa office for what has become an annual event. I will be doing a blind tasting of some of the wines being sold as futures through Wine Cask, a Santa Barbara retailer.
Posted: February 28, 2007 By James Laube
This has unexpectedly become sommelier-turns-winemaker week. First, we learned master sommelier Kevin Vogt is donning a vintner’s hat , and now we have two more sommeliers unveiling a new winery and some delicious new releases.
Posted: February 28, 2007 By Maynard James Keenan
I'm finally back home for a moment, and finally over that pesky flu. For some very specific reasons, it's a flu that I will never forget. It followed me from Melbourne, Australia, all the way to Nagoya, Japan, with brief stops in Adelaide (about which I will go into great detail), Perth, Osaka, Tokyo and Kawasaki.
Posted: February 28, 2007 By James Suckling
I just finished what has to be one of the worst tastings I have done for the magazine in a long time— 2002 Brunello di Montalcino. It was a shocker. Most of the wines were diluted and uninteresting. Even big names did poorly.
Posted: February 28, 2007 By James Molesworth
Yesterday, I caught up with Alejandro Hartwig, owner and winemaker of Chile’s Santa Laura winery in the Colchagua Valley, in my New York office. Hartwig is working his way back into the market after dealing with TBA contamination at his winery, which first showed up in his 2001 vintage.
Posted: February 27, 2007 By Eric Ripert
In response to a recent comment on my previous blog , I'd like to share some thoughts on the issue of restaurant reservations. At my restaurant, the reservations department is the first point of contact with our clientele.
Posted: February 26, 2007 By James Laube
Well, "bleaders," one of our former bloggers, Kevin Vogt , has joined the ranks of the Napa Valley winemaking community. So the next time you run into him as he crisscrosses the country praising the pleasures of the fermented grape, you can personally extend your congratulations.
Posted: February 26, 2007 By Harvey Steiman
Making a signature dish for 250 to 350 people challenges a chef a whole a whole lot more than cooking for a table of two or four in his or her own restaurant. Even so, several creative chefs managed to produce some spectacular food at the lunches and dinners at this year's Masters of Food & Wine.
Posted: February 26, 2007 By Marvin R. Shanken
I HATE THE VERY IDEA! This past Saturday my eyes stopped at an article in the Wall Street Journal titled "Investors Buy Wine to Drink in Profits." The subhead read, "Funds Snap Up Cases of Prime Vintages to Sell at Tidy Prices.
Posted: February 26, 2007 By James Laube
My second glass of Campbells Merchant Prince Rutherglen Brown Muscat went down as easily as the first. That in itself isn’t particularly noteworthy—until you consider that I drank my first glass from the same bottle 17 years ago.
Posted: February 26, 2007 By James Molesworth
If you're going to call critics or guidebooks on something you feel they got wrong, then you have to learn to give them credit when they get it right. I was among those who thought the Michelin guides entered the New York and San Francisco markets with a whimper, hampered by a preference for classic French cooking that limited their ability to judge the panoply of restaurants these two great cities feature with an open mind.
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