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In the Nov. 30, 2009 Issue

Michael Mina

Michael Mina's food is categorized as modern American cuisine, but he elevates the genre by juxtaposing unexpected but relatively simple elements. He's not afraid to introduce flavors of different cuisines on the same plate.

FREE Wine Charts:

Rhône Valley wines: A free chart offers an alphabetical list of all Rhône Valley wines reviewed for the tasting report in this issue.

California Merlot wines: A free chart offers an alphabetical list of all California Merlot wines reviewed for the tasting report in this issue.

Cover Story

Good Things Come in Trios - Drawn to the culinary world as a teenager, and happiest when he sees people enjoying his food, chef Michael Mina has built success on creative menus, fine wine and savvy partners

WineSpectator.com: BONUS VIDEOS: Pick up more pointers on wine and food pairing with chef Michael Mina and Harvey Steiman, as they try three wines with Mina's signature duck dish.

The Man in Mina’s Cellar - Wine director Rajat Parr’s distinctive lists reflect the unique personalities of the Mina Group’s 15 restaurants
Bringing Mina Home - Prepare a restaurant-caliber wine dinner in your kitchen


Tasting Reports

Rhône Valley Alphabetical Listing
The Rhône Rises Again - The 2007 vintage propels the south to greatness, while the north continues its run of success

WineSpectator.com: More than 1000 wines were reviewed for this report. A free alphabetical list is available. WineSpectator.com members can access complete reviews for all the wines tasted using the online Wine Ratings search.

WineSpectator.com: James Molesworth travels to the Rhône regularly and blogs about his vineyard visits and barrel-sample tastings to give you the inside track on the wines before they reach the market. Read about his most recent trip, from his first stops at a half-dozen Châteauneuf-du-Pape estates to his further explorations in the Northern and Southern Rhone.

The ABCs of the Southern Rhône Valley - A guide to the region’s diverse appellations
Merlot’s Mixed Message - Though quality is high overall, middle-range values are scarce among the 2005 and 2006 releases from California

WineSpectator.com: More than 165 wines were reviewed for this report. A free alphabetical list is available. WineSpectator.com members can access complete reviews for all the wines tasted using the online Wine Ratings search.

California Merlot Alphabetical Listing


Entertaining with the Pros - Nine leading sommeliers answer holiday wine-matching questions



Wine Warehouse Arson Trial Begins
Northern Hemisphere Harvest Blogs
California Wildfire Report
Betts & Scholl Wine Brand Sold

WineSpectator.com: Keep up with breaking news as well as the people, places and happenings that wine lovers are talking about.


Q&A with chef Neela Paniz
“Paso Rap” Wins 2009 Wine ­Spectator Video Contest

WineSpectator.com: Bonus Video: The rhythmic take on friendly competition among vineyards on the east and west sides of Paso Robles has won Wine Spectator's third annual video contest.

NewsMakers: A Wine Wedding

Savvy Shopper

Savvy Shopper - Distinctive Rieslings and French and Iberian reds


Bacchus broadens his range


Santa Fe in the Winter

Wine Auctions

California Syrah Cools Off at Auction

WineSpectator.com: Keep tabs on the auction market. Website members can check the latest auction highlights and track prices for more than 12,000 collectible wines in our Auction Price Database. Also available is a free calendar of upcoming auctions.

Cellars / Collections

Private Cellars - The collection of a lifetime


This Issue/Marvin R. Shanken

This Issue - Marvin R. Shanken




James Laube - Kosta Browne’s big payday

WineSpectator.com: In recent blog posts, James Laube discusses when good wines are mispriced, savors a 1961 Bordeaux and reflects on why California Syrah is still a tough sell.

Matt Kramer - A wine-related bucket list
James Suckling - Hong Kong wine auctions

Wine Talk

Wine Talk - Tennis star Amélie Mauresmo

The Buying Guide

The Buying Guide for this issue is available here.

Every year Wine Spectator editors select the 100 most exciting wines they've tasted, based on quality, value, availability and excitement. The complete package will be available exclusively in our Dec. 31, 2009, issue. Starting in mid-November, we unveil our picks online at WineSpectator.com.

WineSpectator.com Members: Get early access to the complete Top 100 list. On Monday, Nov. 16, at 10 a.m., you'll be able to view the entire list along with tasting notes. Add the wines to your Personal Wine List to track your collection or create a shopping list.

Wine Countdown, FREE to all: We'll be counting down the wines starting on Wednesday, Nov. 18, and concluding with the No. 1 wine on Friday, Nov. 20. Each wine will be accompanied by a video with a Wine Spectator senior editor explaining why it was selected. After the countdown, we'll release a printable list of the complete Top 100, with rank, name, score and price. You must be a member of WineSpectator.com to access the full tasting notes.

THANKSGIVING Find some new red and white wine recipes for the classic meal, accompanied by tips on how to fine-tune the dish to best match the wines you've chosen. Plus, get a list of recommended wines for the holidays.

BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU On Nov. 19, check out our annual tasting of these fresh, fruity and inexpensive reds. Find out which wines from the 2009 vintage are worth picking up by the case.

NEW ON WINE SPECTATOR VIDEO Tune in each week for a new video. Don't miss this recent addition:

VALUE WINES, EASY FINDS Browse our exclusive lists of the world's top value wines, top value producers and well-rated, easy-to-find wines made in large quantities. Pick your favorites and add them to your Personal Wine List to create a shopping list, or track your purchases.

2009 HARVEST BLOGS Winemakers from Bordeaux, California and Italy have been sharing their thoughts and experiences during crush. Find out the expected quality for the top varieties in key regions.

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 365,000+ ratings.