Posted: November 30, 2006 By James Suckling
I spent some time yesterday with two legends of Barolo – Bruno Giacosa and Aldo Conterno. I visited both of their wineries and tasted some of their 2004 Baroli. I have to say that I was surprised by how good their 2004s are! There has been very little talk about 2004 in general, but the wines I tasted in their cellars were dark-colored, extremely aromatic and rich in fruit and tannins.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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