Log In / Join Now

Magazine Archives

In the Nov. 30, 2010 Issue

Collectors and Cellars

FREE Wine Charts:

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

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

Cover Story

Wine Collectors of America - The urge to splurge and build a cellar continues to spread in homes across the country. We take you inside the sanctuaries of wine lovers around the United States to see the latest in design and collecting strategies

WineSpectator.com: A complete photo gallery of the cellars

Small Is Beautiful - Bespoke hideaways for 1,000 or fewer bottles
The Middle Ground - From 1,000 to 3,000 bottles, it’s the best of both worlds
Bigger Is Better - With more than 3,000 bottles, the choices are limitless
Cellaring Questions Answered - Ask Dr. Vinny—Here at Wine Spectator, we get questions from readers about all aspects of wine, from the down-and-dirty of wine production to the finer points of white-tablecloth dining. Since 2005, we’ve turned to our tireless correspondent Dr. Vinny

WineSpectator.com: Build your cellar through smart bidding. Use our online Auction Price Database to track the performance of more than 12,000 collectible wines. Check the results at the latest major sales with our Auction Highlights section, which spotlights lots that sold for above- or below-average prices.

WineSpectator.com: FREE Collecting & Auctions email newsletter: Discover a new collectible wine pick in each biweekly edition, plus receive expert tips on collecting, news alerts and auction analysis. Sign up at www.winespectator.com/newsletters.


Tasting Reports

Challenge in the Rhône - In 2008, winemakers faced their biggest hurdles since the deluges of 2002. But those who persevered have fine wines to their credit, especially in Châteauneuf-du-Pape
FREE: Rhône Valley Alphabetical Listing

WineSpectator.com: More than 920 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: Learn more about the Rhône's key appellations, with James Molesworth's video introductions to the region. He discusses Hermitage with leading vintner Michel Chapoutier, takes a field trip to Côte-Rôtie, explains how Cornas differs from its northern neighbors and shows the effects soils have in Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

Risky Business - Cairanne winemaker Marcel Richaud forgoes sulfur in the pursuit of purity
Merlot’s Perfect Timing - California Merlot producers took advantage of a near-ideal growing season in 2007 to put high quality in the bottle
FREE: California Merlot Alphabetical Listing

WineSpectator.com: More than 150 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.


A Holiday Feast - Our classic English menu centers on roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, with claret to match


Bordeaux's Favorite Rebel - Globetrotting consultant Stéphane Derenoncourt has blazed a unique trail to success



A Battle Over Wine Sales in Washington State - Two ballot initiatives to privatize state liquor sales will be voted on in the upcoming election

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


Direct Shipping Threat Gains New Life - The CARE Act received a revision and a Congressional hearing
All-Star Lineup of Chefs and an Ace Winemaker - Notable chefs joined Mets alumni for a CitiField charity tasting
Burgundy in Beaujolais - Burgundy producer Vincent Girardin bought the historic La Tour du Bief estate
Newsom Says No - San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that would have imposed a fee on alcohol sales


“Wine Is … ” Wins 2010 Wine Spectator Video Contest
Designer Alberto Alessi - Alberto Alessi plans to make world-class Chardonnay


How to Buy the Best - Simple rules for shopping


Is Chuao, Venezuela, the Best Terroir in the World? - A small village grows the world's finest cacao

Things We Like

Big Bordeaux Cache in Paris - A Paris department store has opened a vast wine emporium dedicated exclusively to Bordeaux
Umami in a Tube
Slice and Dice Like an Iron Chef - Masahara Morimoto's new line of knives

Cellars / Collections

Aging Alsace Whites - Acidity is key
Washington Auction Spotlights the State’s Finest


This Issue/Marvin R. Shanken

This Issue - Marvin R. Shanken



Savvy Shopper

Riesling, South Africa and domestic sparklers


James Laube - Lessons of the Cellar

WineSpectator.com: In his blog, James Laube argues that nostalgia for the grand old wines of yesteryear clouds the reality and looks at wineries' practice of releasing wines earlier than in the past. Join the conversation with other members.

Matt Kramer - A Natural Reaction

WineSpectator.com: Don't miss Matt Kramer's web-exclusive essays and lively online discussions. (Only members may post comments, but all visitors may read them.)

A Perfect Match

Annie Somerville’s Butternut Squash Gratin - Chef Annie Somerville, Greens Restaurant, San Francisco

The Buying Guide

The Buying Guide for this issue is available here.

TOP 100 COUNTDOWN/FREE SITE ACCESS On Nov. 15, we'll begin unveiling the Top 10 wines of 2010, followed by the complete Top 100 list. As a bonus during this two-week period, we'll be offering all visitors free trial access to our website's members-only features. Visit WineSpectator.com on Oct. 18 for more details and a full schedule of the upcoming countdown. Don't miss out on this exciting event!

NEW WORLD WINE EXPERIENCE Couldn't join us for this year's great lineup of tastings and seminars? Our full event coverage brings the world's best winemakers and chefs to you with photos, articles and videos.

BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU On Nov. 18, check out our annual tasting of these fresh, fruity and inexpensive reds. Find out which wines from the 2010 vintage are worth picking up by the case.

THANKSGIVING TIPS Find some fresh ideas for the holiday, plus advice on choosing wines for this classic meal and a list of recently rated wines our editors recommend.

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

  • Making a California Classic: In 1988, Fred Schrader was just another wine lover visiting Napa Valley for the first time. Twenty years later, he makes some of the best Cabernets in America. Meet Schrader, who talks about starting out, and winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown, who discusses their iconic wines.
  • Alsace Primer: Learn about this French region and its wines as tasting coordinator Alison Napjus talks with one of the area's top winemakers, Olivier Humbrecht.

COLLECTING & AUCTIONS Build your cellar through smart bidding. Our online tools can help you find good investments and values:

BECOME A BETTER TASTER Experts consistently recognize, identify and describe wines. How do they do it? How can you improve your tasting ability? Take our Sensory Evaluation course, and you'll see-and smell and taste-wine in a whole new way.

All Wine Spectator School courses are now included with your WineSpectator.com membership. Start your course anytime at www.winespectator.com/school.

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