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exploring wine with tim fish archive

Photo by: David Yellen
Tim Fish

October 2012

10 California Merlots for $20 or Less
The 2009 vintage offers both quality and value
Posted: Oct 24, 2012 3:50pm ET

California Merlot falls into three basic categories: the easygoing values, the expensive Cabernet-wannabes and that big void in the middle that’s a stylistic roll of the dice. For my annual Merlot report, I tasted nearly 200 wines, and I give the lowdown in the Nov. 30, 2012, issue of Wine Spectator.

Since the high-tech proletariat seems to throw around the most weight on the Internet, I thought I’d focus today on Merlots that cost between $10 and $20. In years past, that has not always been easy, but the 2009 vintage is so good that even the value Merlots are tasty. (A few early-release 2010s show promise as well.)

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An Unprecedented Peek Inside Kendall-Jackson
Looking at the past, present and future of the empire Jess Jackson built
Posted: Oct 17, 2012 11:00am ET

Jess Jackson was a force of nature. Anyone who knew him could tell you that. A big guy, he had shoulders like a fireplace mantel and a bold swath of white hair in his later years. He was charming and had a big heart, but at times could be mercurial and stubbornly private. He was driven and unashamedly competitive. He was also a self-made billionaire who started from scratch—less than scratch, really.

That's how I describe Jackson in "The House That Jess Jackson Built" for the Nov. 15 issue of Wine Spectator. Jackson, who created a wine empire around Kendall-Jackson wines, died in April 2011 yet his legacy looms large.

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When Did America's Restaurant Menus Get so Boring?
There's a big blurry line between innovation and done-to-death
Posted: Oct 10, 2012 11:00am ET

Oh look–Ahi tuna tartare is on the menu. And short ribs. Pizza, too! Who’d a thought?

I know my chef friends will hate me for this, but I think things are getting little monotonous on the restaurant menus of America. Certainly, there’s still innovation in the kitchens, particularly in top restaurants as well as the small bistros where young and creative chefs are keeping it real.

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Does Amazon Have What It Takes, This Time?
Web retail giant takes its third stab at wine
Posted: Oct 3, 2012 11:00am ET

I've been writing about wine and the Internet since the Dark Ages of the mid-'90s, so I felt déjà vu all over again last week when I heard that Amazon was giving wine yet another try.

Three strikes Bezos and you're out!

Jeff Bezos, of course, is CEO of Amazon, and this will be the Net giant's third attempt at wine in the past 12 years. Let's hope this venture won't be as cursed as the first two.

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