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Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

New Napa Winery Has All-Star Cast

Posted: November 29, 2006  By James Laube

Ovid (pronounced Ah-vid ) is a spectacular new winery in Napa Valley's Pritchard Hill area, on a steep winding road that I’ve come to refer to as the Rodeo Drive of Napa. This area, in the eastern hills overlooking Oakville, is home to several showcase estates, including Bryant Family, Chappellet, David Arthur, Colgin, Versant and, further up the road, Cloud View, yet another start-up.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Chefs Feel the Pressure

Posted: November 29, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

Do people expect more from restaurants? Several leading San Francisco chefs said so. They were speaking in a roundtable discussion this week to flog a new Web site featuring their opinions about dining in the Bay area.

Blogs  :  On Tour with Steven Page

A Grand Slam at Alinea

Posted: November 29, 2006  By Steven Page

My God, Chicago, how do you do it? So many fantastic restaurants, how do you get to them all? It’s not like my gall bladder could handle Charlie Trotter’s one night, and Alinea the next. I think the only solution would be to move to the Windy City, or at least make monthly visits just to sample the amazing, cutting-edge cuisine.

Blogs  :  Bruce Sanderson Decanted

The Best-Laid Plans

Posted: November 29, 2006  By Bruce Sanderson

My plan was to work my way through some great beef and Malbec in Buenos Aires. I even had a cheat sheet of all the t op-scoring Malbecs we published in 2006. It began accordingly, with two steaks and two Malbecs within 24 hours.

Blogs  :  Claudine Pépin

On Dining Out (Part 3)

Posted: November 29, 2006  By Claudine Pépin

I‘m still thinking about going out for dinner, and the things that can challenge and unnerve a person. Last time I wrote about waiters and specials. This time, I’d like to talk about wine and tipping.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Quince to Upgrade Its Cellar

Posted: November 28, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

What goes with plin ? That will be one of Christie Dufault's key assignments now that she has taken the reins as sommelier at Quince. Plin are tiny ravioli, one of the culinary stars on Piedmont, where they drink Barbera or Dolcetto.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

When Will the Wine Glut Disappear?

Posted: November 28, 2006  By James Laube

Yesterday a reporter for U.S. News & World Report called to discuss the global wine glut. It was the kind of interview where you can spend hours answering a seemingly endless stream of questions. Reporters are like that.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

1997 Italian Dinner Following the Battle of the Cults

Posted: November 28, 2006  By James Suckling

Following the awesome cult wine tasting last Saturday, the group of tasters met up a few hours later at Cibreo for a fantastic dinner. I supplied most of the wines, which were all 1997s in magnum. The Fonterutoli Siepi was there as I mentioned yesterday, but I also brought Castello dei Rampolla Sammarco , Tenimenti Luigi d’Alessandro Syrah Podere il Bosco, Giacomo Conterno Barolo Monfortino Riserva and Tenuta di Trinoro Palazzi.

Blogs  :  Brian Loring: Ramblings from Pinot Prison

She Said YES!

Posted: November 27, 2006  By Brian Loring

There are some striking differences between my current life as a winery owner and my previous life as a writer of military software. Aside from the obvious (better beverage selection), there’s a connection with the “end user” that was missing in my previous career.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Writing Laws for What We Eat

Posted: November 27, 2006  By James Molesworth

If I wanted a politician to legislate what I eat, I wouldn't live in the United States. The suddenly trendy concept of banning foie gras seems to be gaining steam—now a New York City councilman is considering introducing a bill to ban the delicacy.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Florence Tasting: Cults Versus Cults or California Versus Tuscany

Posted: November 27, 2006  By James Suckling

It was an amazing tasting to say the least. I was invited to a tasting last weekend of California cult wines versus Tuscan cult wines at Cibreo restaurant in Florence, Italy. The American wines came from the cellar of Swiss collector Silvio Denz, who also owns Bordeaux’s Château Faugères in St.

Blogs  :  Bruce Sanderson Decanted

Argentina’s Wine Boom

Posted: November 25, 2006  By Bruce Sanderson

My first visit to Argentina was in 1997. I spent 4 days in the Mendoza area, visiting wineries and tasting. My impression then was that this country was a sleeping giant with great potential. The established wineries were expanding, yet Mendoza and the country as a whole lacked basic infrastructure.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Chances to Taste Older Wines

Posted: November 24, 2006  By James Laube

Since I get many queries about tasting older wines, a couple of items that were brought to my attention this week are worth mentioning and passing along. Beaulieu Vineyard is hosting a tasting of its library wines on Dec.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Thanksgiving Dinner

Posted: November 23, 2006  By James Suckling

I just finished my Thanksgiving dinner with 25 producers of Brunello di Montalcino. We had dinner at the restaurant near my house and we drank all of their 1997 Brunellos. There was not a bad wine in the group.

Blogs  :  Bruce Sanderson Decanted

Big Plates, Bigger Steaks

Posted: November 23, 2006  By Bruce Sanderson

You know a place is serious about its steaks when they are larger than the oversize plates. Just a little over 12 hours after La Brigada, I was tucking in to a Cabaña Las Lilas club steak. That’s a rib eye on the bone.

Blogs  :  On Tour with Steven Page

A Canadian's Way to Celebrate American Thanksgiving

Posted: November 22, 2006  By Steven Page

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We Canadians are so thankful that we just can’t wait until November, so we celebrate our holiday in October. But, I’m on tour in the U.S., and have found lots to be thankful for down here, not least of which is the fact that Thanksgiving weekend is when most of the Willamette Valley’s wineries open their doors to the public.

Blogs  :  Claudine Pépin

On Dining Out (Part 2)

Posted: November 22, 2006  By Claudine Pépin

  My father likes to quote a sign that his old friend, the late Joe Baum , had hanging in his restaurant kitchens. It read simply, "THERE IS NO VICTORY OVER THE CUSTOMER!"   The customer may "always be right"—but only until he's very wrong, like the drunken, ill-tempered, waitress-badgering fool I invited to kindly leave and not return to the restaurant in Portland where I was working as a floor manager.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Fresh Oil and Global Brunellos

Posted: November 22, 2006  By James Suckling

I'm back in Tuscany. It started as a cold and wet day, but the sun has finally broken through the clouds. The forest below my house is brilliant shades of yellow, orange and brown. The air is fresh and clean.

Blogs  :  Brian Loring: Ramblings from Pinot Prison

Pressing Into Action

Posted: November 21, 2006  By Brian Loring

This year we decided to buy a bigger wine press. Mostly because we’d increased production to the point where we just couldn’t get enough grapes pressed in a day using our old press, and partly because I didn’t want to hear “I think we're gonna need a bigger press” (to paraphrase a line from Jaws ) another time.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

That's Right, Women Are Smarter

Posted: November 21, 2006  By James Laube

Kevin Vogt’s assertion that women are better tasters than men certainly has merit. I've tasted with most of the women he mentions, and hundreds of other professionals, and more often than not there's agreement about which wines are the best and which wines lack merit or taste or are flawed.

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