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Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

The Power of Pichon-Lalande

Posted: October 16, 2006  By James Suckling

I went to a vertical tasting of Château Pichon-Longueville-Lalande in London a few weeks ago. London wine merchants Farr Vintners organized the event and Gildas d’Ollone, general manager of the estate, was there.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Ad Hoc at the Last Minute

Posted: October 16, 2006  By James Laube

On Friday, a friend called and invited me to join a group headed for an impromptu dinner at Ad Hoc, Thomas Keller’s new Napa Valley restaurant in Yountville, Calif. Keller also owns notable restaurants such as French Laundry , also in Yountville, and Per Se in New York, and though Ad Hoc has only been open for a few weeks, it's already creating quite a buzz.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Still in Touch With the Land

Posted: October 16, 2006  By James Molesworth

This weekend was our annual apple-picking weekend. My oldest daughter can now scamper up the steep orchard hills easily—too easily, as she leaves me in the dust. My youngest daughter still needs to be carried sometimes, but she still managed to eat three whole apples by herself while we picked.

Blogs  :  Brian Loring: Ramblings from Pinot Prison

What’s Your Impression of Winemaking?

Posted: October 16, 2006  By Brian Loring

When I tell people that I’m a winemaker, invariably the first question I get asked is if we still stomp the grapes with our feet – like in that episode of I Love Lucy. Of course most wineries don’t process fruit that way, but it’s such a powerful image that most people probably think that’s how all wine is made.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Bordeaux’s Catch-22 in American Restaurants

Posted: October 13, 2006  By James Suckling

Why isn’t there much Bordeaux on wine lists in America? Bordeaux wine merchant Pierre Antoine Casteja asked the question when we were having dinner with another Bordeaux négociant, Pierre Lawton, and New York wine merchant Jeff Zacharia and their wives.

Blogs  :  Brian Loring: Ramblings from Pinot Prison

All Those Pesky Single-Vineyard Wines

Posted: October 12, 2006  By Brian Loring

In one of my earlier blog entries, James Molesworth asked the following questions: You're big on the single-vineyard thing. Do you do microvinifications from vineyard blocks for a few years before deciding if the vineyard is worthy of being bottled alone? Have you ever stopped bottling a vineyard separately after a few years for any qualitative reason? The answer to both questions is no.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Dueling Wine Lists

Posted: October 12, 2006  By James Suckling

The sommelier at one of New York’s newest steak houses, Porter House New York, knew right away something was up when James Laube and I arrived at the table with an editor of Cigar Aficionado , David Savona, and we asked for two wine lists.

Blogs  :  Charlie Trotter

"Backward" Food-and-Wine Pairing

Posted: October 12, 2006  By Charlie Trotter

One of my key operating mottos is, “A chef is only as good as his or her sommelier!” During the nearly two-decade history of Charlie Trotter's, I have worked very closely with four talented master sommeliers--Larry Stone, Joe Spellman, Serafin Alvarado and Jason Smith--all of whom have contributed greatly to our wine program.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Hunting for the Top Wine

Posted: October 12, 2006  By James Laube

Come this time of year--and a lot earlier for some of you--many folks start guessing about Wine Spectator 's annual Top 100 list and the Wine of the Year. Over the years, we’ve used essentially the same criteria to make our decision: The factors include a wine’s quality (as reflected in the rating), its value (based on its release price) and its availability (based on the number of cases produced, or for foreign wines, the number of cases imported).

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Bordeaux: Suddenly It's a Hard Sell

Posted: October 12, 2006  By James Molesworth

Here's some food for thought... I met briefly with Hélène Garcin-Lévêque today. She owns Poesia , a very promising new project in Argentina. Her family also owns Clos L'Église in Pomerol, along with a few other small properties, such as Château Barde-Haut and Château Haut-Bergey.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

A Happy Mystery

Posted: October 12, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

Normally, I roll my eyes when a restaurant wine guy walks up to my table with a mystery decanter. But Stephane Colling, the sommelier at the Modern in New York, was so non-threatening about it, I only felt I was on the spot for a second.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

On and Off the Wagon in New York

Posted: October 11, 2006  By James Suckling

I am in Manhattan and just got back from lunch with the senior editors of the magazine. We went to a place across the street called Blue Smoke. It’s a barbecue joint and always provides good-quality eats.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Wine Shopping in New York

Posted: October 11, 2006  By James Laube

I’m back on home turf again, having arrived in New York over the weekend. For exercise on Sunday, before joining Tom and Sara Matthews for dinner, I walked to a few wine shops near my hotel at East 34th Street and 3rd Avenue.

Blogs  :  Charlie Trotter

Getting It Right

Posted: October 10, 2006  By Charlie Trotter

In 2007 we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Charlie Trotter’s restaurant in Chicago, and after all this time we are still trying to "get it right." We opened in 1987, with the idea that we would place equal importance on the four tenets of a great dining experience--cuisine, service, ambience and an exquisite wine program.

Blogs  :  Brian Loring: Ramblings from Pinot Prison

Turning Water into Wine

Posted: October 10, 2006  By Brian Loring

In my last blog , I discussed our view of what constitutes ripe fruit, which means we don’t worry if sugars elevate past the "magic" number of 24.5 Brix. Because of that, we often have to add water to our fermentors to keep the alcohol levels in the finished wine at a reasonable level.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Meals to Remember

Posted: October 10, 2006  By James Laube

I savored many delicious meals on my trip to Italy. The food-and-wine pairings worked at every sitting. As is often the case when dining, the food is the star, and the wine is part of the supporting cast.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

The Other Resort for Willamette Valley

Posted: October 10, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

A plan to put a 50-room resort in Oregon's Dundee Hills, next door to Domaine Drouhin , isn't the only wine-country hotel on the drawing boards. On my recent visit to Willamette Valley, I talked with another developer who has an even more ambitious plan.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Relaxing in Ravello and Capri

Posted: October 9, 2006  By James Laube

Having spent a few days in Positano, and briefly visiting Ravello, I can say that staying in this charming coastal town, about 30 minutes from Positano, would be a definite choice for a return and extended visit.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

The 2006 Northern Rhône Harvest

Posted: October 9, 2006  By James Molesworth

I just heard from Michel Chapoutier , who is not prone to hyperbole, but is crowing after finishing up his harvest. Thought you might be interested to hear what he said... "We ended the harvest on Friday, Sept.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Surprised in Mexico

Posted: October 9, 2006  By James Suckling

I went to a friend’s house for dinner over the weekend in Mexico City and he invited some people over for cheese and wine. It’s funny--I haven’t done that in ages and it was great fun. I guess in Italy and other parts of Europe few people think about having just cheese for dinner, although I do enjoy mozzarella with fresh tomatoes and basil from my garden in the summer for a light supper.

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