Posted: October 4, 2006 By James Suckling
I had dinner the night before I left Cuba in a big outdoor restaurant called El Aljibe in Havana. The food is simple roasted chicken, fried pork, black beans and rice. It all comes out on the table family style and everyone digs in.
Posted: October 4, 2006 By Brian Loring
Hi, my name is Brian, and I’m a winemaker. It’s been two days since I last crushed fruit. Welcome to my blog! I was pleased that the gang at Wine Spectator asked me back--especially after reading my 2004 harvest blog.
Posted: October 3, 2006 By James Laube
My friend Nino, whose clothes supply I tapped when my luggage was delayed, is a vet, and he loves canines. Periodically he’s checked out some of the winery and street dogs we’ve met at different intervals along the way.
Posted: October 2, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
Michelin says its new Red Guide "confirms the high level of dining in San Francisco, the Bay area and wine country." It looks to me like more of a slap in the face. I mean, no restaurants in San Francisco worthy of three stars? Only two worthy of a pair? As a San Franciscan, I have to say, this city is better than that.
Posted: October 2, 2006 By James Laube
Today, as my Tuscan-Campania holiday settled into beach mode, I really relaxed and kicked back in the sand and sun. I took a leisurely boat ride with friends and swam in the brilliant blue sea off Positano and Amalfi.
Posted: October 2, 2006 By James Molesworth
Australian wines are often criticized for not partnering well with food--their up-front, fruit-driven personalities aren't considered ideal for nuanced dishes, whereas wines with more subtle flavors and brighter acidities are thought to be ideal.
Posted: October 1, 2006 By James Suckling
A couple of friends threw a birthday party for me in the coolest restaurant in Havana, La Guarida. For those who saw the Cuban movie Fresa y Chocolate , this is the restaurant where it was filmed. It is probably the best restaurant in Cuba, and it is also privately owned.
Posted: October 1, 2006 By James Laube
As you might expect, I’ve tasted dozens of great wines on my Tuscan holiday. Spent a couple of days in Brunello di Montalcino, at Altesino and Fuligni. From what the owners and winemakers say, the quality of the 2006 harvest--which is either finished or ending in many areas in Tuscany--is very high.
Posted: September 30, 2006 By James Laube
My Italian is about as good as my Spanish or French or German. I can get by--barely, at times--and have to rely on either the good English of the person I’m talking to or interviewing, or the use of a translator.
Posted: September 29, 2006 By James Suckling
I am leaving in 30 minutes for Pinar del Rio, the tobacco region of Cuba, to visit the world’s greatest tobacco grower, Alejandro Robania. The 84-year-old is to tobacco what Robert Mondavi is to California wine.
Posted: September 29, 2006 By James Laube
My Mother used to keep a sign in her office that read: “Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.” I had every good reason to lose my mind the other night as I dined with the dashing, fun-loving, cork-popping, magnum-obsessed and forever dangerous and unpredictable wine maven James Suckling.
Posted: September 28, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
Michelin releases its Red Guide to the restaurants of San Francisco and environs next week. Having just published my take on the state of S.F. dining in the current issue of Wine Spectator (Oct 15, 2006), I have more than a casual interest in seeing what the Michelin inspectors come up with.
Posted: September 28, 2006 By James Laube
I made it to Florence in pretty good shape. Not so for my luggage. It decided to stay at Heathrow, in London, while I carried on with my laptop and tote bag. My luggage took the path less traveled, which left me clothes-less in Florence, which wasn’t so bad for the first 24 hours.
Posted: September 26, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
Every time I visit fun-loving Rollin Soles at Argyle winery in Oregon, he has some interesting tastings set up for me. This time, he has a vast assortment of freshly pressed juices, barrel samples from the 2005 vintage, and a previous vintages bottled under cork and screwcap for a blind comparison.
Posted: September 26, 2006 By James Suckling
The dusty streets of Havana are a long way from the vineyards and cellars of Bordeaux, but I was thinking this morning over a café con leche about the Merlots I tasted from barrel last week while in France.
Posted: September 26, 2006 By James Molesworth
I stopped in at the Wines of Argentina trade show here in NYC yesterday. There were around 70 wineries pouring their wares, and a good crowd showed up (press and trade only). A solid buzz filled the room, and it was good to see.
Posted: September 26, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
I tasted some older wines while in Oregon last week, visiting winemakers in Willamette Valley. What strikes me, looking over my notes, is how consistently good they all were. Of course, what vintner would show a bad wine to a visiting journalist? The greatest number of bottles showed up at dinner with David Millman, general manager of Domaine Drouhin, and Tony Rynders, winemaker at Domaine Serene.
Posted: September 25, 2006 By James Molesworth
We were cleaning up from lunch on Sunday when I asked my wife, Nancy, what she had thought of the red. It was a social lunch with guests, so Nancy hadn't seen the bottle--only tasted the wine. "It was really good," she said.
Posted: September 25, 2006 By James Suckling
My buddy and colleague James Laube came to my house for dinner last night with some of his friends. They are in Tuscany for a couple of weeks to chase the Tuscan sun. Unfortunately, it was raining this morning as I poured myself into my car to drive to the Rome airport for a trip to North America.
Posted: September 25, 2006 By Harvey Steiman
For years, the Oregon winery Beaux Frères used the Belles Soeurs label for all its non-estate wines, but no more. Starting with the 2005 vintage, all of the non-estate wines will carry the Beaux Frères label with a subhead: "The Willamette Valley.
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