featured, United States: California, napa
Two thousand seventeen will mostly be remembered for the October wildfires that ravaged Northern California. However, the keys to understanding the vintage and wines are much more nuanced than just what happened over that period of about ten days during which the survival of Napa Valley and surrounding counties felt severely threatened by relentless, advancing fires and high winds.
Vinous Table, United States: California
This intimate dinner with a small group of close friends came together literally at the last minute. Getting a reservation for six on a Saturday night in LA with no notice is not exactly the easiest thing to do, but I was thrilled we were able to get in.
United Kingdom, Vinous Table
This spectacular dinner at Hedone was a fitting conclusion to an incredible week in London, a city that continues to dazzle with its vibrant food and wine scene.
featured, Italy: Piedmont, Piedmont
It’s easy to get discouraged these days with the skyrocketing prices and dwindling availability of Piedmont’s finest Barolos and Barbarescos. Fortunately, drinking top-notch wines from Piedmont’s best producers doesn’t have to cost a fortune nor does it require a ton of hunting around. The finest Dolcettos, Barberas and Langhe Nebbiolos deliver the same terroir-driven, artisan spirit of their more famous brethren, but at far more accessible prices that make them great choices for everyday drinking at the dinner table. And that is before we get to Timorasso, Freisa, Pelaverga and other varieties that complete Piedmont’s rich oenological landscape.
featured, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite, United States: California
Readers will find much to admire in David Abreu’s 2008s. In most vintages, the Abreu wines are very slow to develop, but the 2008s have largely entered an early plateau of maturity where they are quite expressive.
United States: California, Vinous Table
A San Francisco institution, Zuni Café has kept guests well fed since 1979, eons by the standards with which restaurants open and close in the United States. The cozy, two-story, rustic dining room is bustling with energy as we settle in for this mid-week lunch.
Verticals & Retrospectives, United Kingdom, featured
“There is no budget,” was the reply from 67 Pall Mall when the London private club’s management asked me to choose wines for a recent master class. Over the years I have led many tastings, but this seminar was especially memorable. Most events are organized around themes of a vintage or producer, but for this masterclass we opted for a totally new concept suggested by Vinous co-founder James Forsyth: ten wines that had a personal significance in shaping my life in wine.
featured, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite, France: Burgundy
The 1988 Montrachet was a stand out in a recent dinner that spanned 20+ vintages going all the way back to 1973. This is an especially fine example of a wine I have been fortunate to taste and drink many times over the years.
Mère nature n'a pas été particulièrement gentille avec Bordeaux en 2017. Un gel printanier dévastateur, du temps inégal pendant l'été et de la pluie juste avant la récolte ne constituent que quelques-uns des défis auxquels les vignerons ont dû faire face. Où est-ce que l’on trouve donc les points lumineux ? Ils ne sont pas tous là où vous vous attendriez...
featured, France: Bordeaux
Mother Nature was not especially kind to Bordeaux in 2017. A devastating spring frost, uneven weather during the summer and rain just before harvest were some of the challenges winemakers had to deal with. Where are the bright spots? They aren’t all where you would expect…