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.
Posted: October 19, 2006 By James Suckling
I had dinner the other night in Los Angeles with some friends at a restaurant called Carlitos Gardel that specializes in Argentinean cuisine. I was impressed with the selection of Argentinean wines. I have noticed a number of restaurants, particularly in L.
Posted: October 18, 2006 By James Molesworth
On Monday, my merry band of BYOB friends descended on Triomphe for our monthly wine night. The food was excellent, with arguably one of the best racks of lamb I've ever tasted and a dynamite chicken liver crostini appetizer.
Posted: October 18, 2006 By James Laube
Most years, if you’re a farmer or winegrower or winemaker in California, you bet on the weather coming through. Most of the time the weather delivers, as in the right mix of sunshine and dryness. But this year is one of those years where the odds-makers would have handicapped this harvest as too close for comfort.
Posted: October 18, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
We have all been there. The server pours a splash of wine from the bottle you just ordered. Your job is to taste it and grant permission to pour for the table. Oh, the pressure! Be honest. You feel it too.
Posted: October 18, 2006 By James Suckling
I had dinner at my father’s the other night in San Diego. He is a keen Bordeaux lover but doesn’t buy much of the stuff because he is semi-retired and thinks it’s too expensive. He still remembers drinking Lafite and Mouton for $10 or $15 a bottle back in the 1970s, so he doesn’t like to drop hundreds of dollars on a bottle of fine wine.
Posted: October 18, 2006 By Brian Loring
When discussing winemaking, I try to be very careful about distinguishing science from religion. What do I mean by that? The fact that yeast converts sugar to alcohol and CO2 is definitely science. The fact that we prefer to use Assmanshausen yeast at our winery is religion, especially since we’ve never done trials to prove to ourselves that we really like it best.
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