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james laube's wine flights archive

Photo by: Greg Gorman
James Laube

November 2010

A Thanksgiving with Margaritas
A break with tradtiion leads to a cantina In Mexico
Posted: Nov 23, 2010 3:12pm ET

Thanksgiving is the most traditional of American holidays.

Most of my turkey holidays have been spent at family gatherings or with close friends. For the longest time our family had Thanksgiving at my parents' home in Anaheim, Calif. But one year in the mid-1970s we decided to break tradition and escape the routine. That meant, among other things, freeing my mom and dad from a week of preparing a feast, not to mention everyone descending upon their home for four or five days.

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Looking for the Next Saxum?
Start with its neighbors in Paso Robles
Posted: Nov 19, 2010 10:55am ET
If you're looking for the next Saxum (announced as the 2010 Wine of the Year this week), look no further than Saxum winemaker Justin Smith's neighbors in west Paso Robles, where the Rhône-style wines of California are some of the best new wines in the state. So why aren't they more popular?
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Twenty-Plus Years of Wine Spectator's Top 100
Looking back on past Wines of the Year, and how we came up with the idea for the list
Posted: Nov 15, 2010 3:00pm ET

Today we begin the countdown of our Wine Spectator Top 10 wines of 2010. That's a small slice of the Top 100, and those 100 wines are chosen from more than 15,000 reviewed in blind tastings this past year. It's not easy to pick out the best, and our list always generates a lot of attention and discussion. That's exactly why we do it.

Our Top 100 started out in 1988. We were brainstorming for ideas. I'd just read Rolling Stones' Top 100 albums of (I think) all time, and thought that would work perfectly for us covering wine.

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The Myth About Old Vines
Quality depends more on vine health than age
Posted: Nov 11, 2010 3:00pm ET

I’m often asked if I believe wines made from old vines are superior in quality to wines made from younger vines, and the answer is no. For me, it's one of the Old World vs. New World myths, with a romantic twist of nostaglia.

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Vineyards Have Changed Wine Styles
With better grapes, winemakers found they could make more expressive wines
Posted: Nov 2, 2010 3:43pm ET

If 90 percent of a wine's quality comes from the vineyard, it stands to reason that it is the vineyard that drives a wine's style.

That seems simple enough to comprehend. Yet, many people don't get it, especially those who decry riper flavors in wines, for instance. They seem to miss the point about the vineyard driving quality and style.

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