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Posted: October 25, 2006 By James Laube
People often ask me if I ever get tired of tasting wine. Yes, there are tough days, when the wines are uninspiring and tasting seems more like work than the fun it usually is. But with my beat, California, there are almost always exciting wines in the wings, in their brown paper bags, waiting to be tasted.
Posted: October 24, 2006 By Steven Page
Early October, I'm in New York with my band, Barenaked Ladies, to do some publicity before we go on tour. It’s going to be 31 shows in 30 cities across the country in 42 days, so we’ll be busy. But at least it’s an opportunity to try some new restaurants, and return to some old favorites.
Posted: October 24, 2006 By James Suckling
I am not sure if it was realized or not, but one of the most extraordinary tastings during this year’s California Wine Experience was the small lineup of Montrachets presented by Beaune négociant Robert Drouhin of Maison Joseph Drouhin.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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