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News & Features  :  Unfiltered

A Bitter Night for Château d'Yquem

Plus, Christina Milian lends her voice to Moscato, Italian prisoners partner with Frescobaldi, Aureole's Wine Angels get new threads, last-minute Dad's Day ideas and more

Posted: June 13, 2013  

News & Features  :  Unfiltered

Nicki Minaj Gets into the Moscato Myx

Plus, rapper E-40 starts a wine label, Champagne gets protected status in China, and more

Posted: June 6, 2013  

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

Would You Watch a Winemaker Version of The Voice?

That's one reality-TV program I would stay tuned to

Posted: May 23, 2013  By Jennifer Fiedler

A disclaimer first: Reality TV is generally not my bag. But I happened to catch some of The Voice recently, and despite not being involved in the worlds of a cappella/musical theater/pop vocals (I can't sing to save my life), I have to admit that I found it super compelling. Then I started wondering what it would look like as a wine show.

News & Features  :  Unfiltered

They're Serving Mouton in Cannes Now

Plus, a Texan happy to have wine on his boots, a Santa Barbara wine label dispute ends amicably enough, and the ups and downs of Brooklyn's Great GoogaMooga

Posted: May 23, 2013  

News & Features  :  Unfiltered

Slow Red? Foghat Cellars Takes It Easy

Plus, celebrity chef trading cards hit Brooklyn, recapping Napa's BottleRock festival, a Kendall-Jackson Undercover Boss update and more

Posted: May 16, 2013  

News & Features  :  Unfiltered

Mumm's the Sparkler for Champion Giants

Plus, a D.C. wine auction raises $1.2M for the American Heart Association, and Napa Valley is buzzing over its unprecedented BottleRock music, wine and food festival

Posted: May 9, 2013  

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Napa's Biggest Party Yet

The BottleRock music, wine and food festival will welcome 40,000 visitors a day to the city of Napa

Posted: May 6, 2013  By James Laube

Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to descend on the city of Napa (pop. 76,915) this week, but, oddly enough, that has little to do directly with wine. They're coming for BottleRock, a five-day music festival featuring more than 60 bands on three stages, headlined by the Black Keys, the Kings of Leon, Jane's Addiction, Train, Alabama Shakes and the Zac Brown Band.

It would be a big event anywhere; it's truly seismic for Napa. BottleRock promoters expect to draw 35,000 to 40,000 music lovers each day to the Napa Valley Expo, a 26-acre plot of state-owned property best known for the annual Napa Town & Country Fair in August, which might draw 40,000 people in a week. To get a grasp on the scale of BottleRock, think Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn., or Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Southern California's Indio, two big outdoor music festivals with scores of big-name acts and huge crowds.

April 30, 2013 Issue  :  People

Smooth Talker

Singer-songwriter Rob Thomas discusses wine and music

Posted: April 30, 2013  By Lizzie Munro

News & Features  :  Unfiltered

Geno Auriemma Tips Off March Madness with New Vino

Plus, a red for the King of Blues, an Eagle serves up a Peaceful Easy Feeling Cabernet, a drone spotted above Sonoma's vineyards, a Victoria vineyard pot bust, and wine country is America's best country

Posted: March 21, 2013  

News & Features  :  Unfiltered

Fire Scorches Chez Panisse

Plus, Château Palmer learns no one is safe from wine crime, Bolivia's president prescribes coca wine to the new pope and Moët & Chandon gets a questionable endorsement from Justin Timberlake on SNL

Posted: March 14, 2013  

News & Features  :  Unfiltered

The Rhône's Perrin Family Adopts Brad and Angelina

Plus, British pols take heat for their pricey wine tastes while Chinese collector Henry Tang sells part of the wine collection that derailed his own political aspirations

Posted: February 14, 2013  

News & Features  :  Unfiltered

Chinese Wine in the Voice of Russell Crowe

Plus, Burgundy and Champagne struggle for world heritage site recognition, get amped with Motörhead's new Shiraz in a box and Oregon gets a new AVA

Posted: February 7, 2013  

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Bass Man Knows His Wine

Matt Penman explores the worlds of wine and jazz

Posted: February 4, 2013  By Harvey Steiman

Matt Penman pulled the cork on a Huët Vouvray Le Haut-Lieu 2011, poured me a sip and apologizes for the glassware. "I'm sorry for the plastic cups, but they won't let us have real wineglasses here."

We are in the green room in the new SFJAZZ Center, which bills itself as the first concert hall of its type in the United States: a freestanding performance venue with flexible seating and staging for artists of every stature, built specifically for jazz music and audiences alike. It opened recently in San Francisco on the corner of Franklin and Fell streets with a series of all-star concerts.

News & Features  :  Unfiltered

Best of Unfiltered 2012

Destruction trumped beauty in 2012, just barely, with demolished wineries drawing attention from models, actresses and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

Posted: December 27, 2012  

News & Features  :  Unfiltered

The Timberlake-Biel Wedding Cuvée

Plus, Hip-hop star Timbaland introduces a sparkling blend of wine and vodka, Adam Carolla introduces Mangria and more Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts

Posted: November 21, 2012  

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Hearing Wine, Tasting Music

Conductor crosses the lines thanks to a childhood accident

Posted: November 21, 2012  By Harvey Steiman

John Axelrod tastes music and hears food and wine. As a result, he has a particular fascination for the links between music and gastronomy. He claims to be the only conductor who also ran a wine business. In the late 1990s he ran the Robert Mondavi wine center at Disneyland in Anaheim for three years. It was Mondavi's wife, Margrit Biever, who encouraged the young Axelrod, who has studied privately with Leonard Bernstein, to "take the leap of faith," as he put it, and pursue a career in music.

Today he leads the Orchestra National des Pays de la Loire in Angers, France, the Verdi Orchestra in Milan, Italy, and guest conducts throughout Europe. We chatted via Skype recently after he led a performance in Naples of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 5. Axelrod explained that he has a form of synesthesia, a neurological condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. For Axelrod it is taste and sound, and it developed after he got mercury poisoning as a child. "The treatment created a bridge between taste and my hearing," he said.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Notes on a Compelling Riesling

A tasting retrospective on Steingarten, a limited-production Riesling from a big wine company

Posted: November 6, 2012  By Harvey Steiman

Until about 20 years ago, Riesling was Australia's go-to white wine. It never made much an impact here in the United States, where Riesling from anywhere was a tough sell, but in Australia it seemed as if everyone drank it regularly, from punters to pundits. At least until Chardonnay rode its worldwide popularity to replace Riesling in Australian wine drinkers' glasses.

The good news for those of us who appreciate the clarity, ageability and zing of a good Aussie Riesling is that the grape never went away. In fact, it has become a darling of sommeliers and retailers here in America who decry oak and high alcohol in white wines. In the same way as two other personal favorites, Spain's Albariños and Italy's Falanghinas, dry Aussie Rieslings offer piquancy and charm to meld well with seafood, which I eat as often as I can.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

To Paraphrase Duke Ellington...

Are there really only two kinds of wine?

Posted: October 24, 2012  By Harvey Steiman

Some of us believe that Duke Ellington was America's greatest composer, even though he wrote in an idiom that many people then (and now) do not consider serious enough—jazz. His being something of an outsider, both because of his race and his musical genre, probably prompted his most famous quote, that "there are only two kinds of music: good music, and the other kind."

It's a telling remark, one that resonated with me the first time I ever heard it as a music student. I like to quote it today, when the diversity of the music we can pipe through our iPod earphones covers a range even the Duke couldn't imagine.

The same could be said about our favorite beverage. We can experience a wider choice of good wines today than ever before. And we are having the same kind of arguments over how to define good wine as those we had over just what constituted good music in Duke Ellington's day, or today, for that matter.

June 15, 2012 Issue  :  People

Sketches of Spain (and Bordeaux, Burgundy and Italy)

Jazz pianist Jacky Terrasson honed his love for wine on the road in Europe

Posted: June 15, 2012  By James Molesworth

News & Features  :  Unfiltered

Cellar Angel Jenny McCarthy

Plus, an American wine importer joins France's Legion d'Honneur and the Great GoogaMooga asks (and answers) if chefs are the new rock stars

Posted: May 24, 2012  

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