featured, Italy: North
There’s much more to the wines of Emilia-Romagna than just Lambrusco. The region offers myriad wine grapes and styles that deserve to be better known. Mostly gentle pricing provides a strong incentive to get to know these underrated wines even better.
My latest dinner at Le Calandre was one of my two best meals of 2017. Precise cooking, masterful technical ability, concentrated flavors, professional but not stuffy service and an outstanding wine list all combine for a memorable dining experience.
featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, Italy: North
Only a few places in the world make truly exceptional Pinot Biancos. Italy’s Alto Adige is one of them. The Nals-Margreid coop is especially adept at turning out great Pinot Biancos. This vertical of the flagship Pinot Bianco Sirmian once again showed how beautiful and expressive the wines can be.
France: Burgundy, Vinous Table
Jean-Michel Lorain’s is the sort of restaurant nobody does better in the world than France. A bucolic setting, refined food and service and a great wine list make for dining nirvana.
Vinous Table, Italy
Cul de Sac is Rome’s best wine bar. Authentic down to earth, hearty, mostly Roman dishes, a very good selection of charcuterie and cheeses, and a truly hard to lift, huge wine list all make a night at Cul de Sac memorable.
featured, Verticals & Retrospectives
For my money, Miani proprietor Enzo Pontoni makes Italy’s greatest white wines. None of Pontoni’s other wines showcase his amazing talent more than the Ribolla Gialla. Concentrated and complex yet also crystalline, Pontoni’s Ribolla is light years ahead of everyone else’s.
D’Brendelstub offers a nice mix of tradition and twenty-first century flair, with modernist lighting and open kitchen, but also a spit-roast and mostly old Alsatian reliables on the menu (choucroute, tarte flambée, kugelhof, and foie gras.)
featured, France: Bordeaux
Patrick Maroteaux, the highly admired owner of Château Branaire–Ducru, and one of the truly great men of French wine, died on November 19, at just 67. Our thoughts and prayers at VINOUS are with his lovely wife Evelyne and his children Sophie, Anne-Laure, Pierre-Henry and François-Xavier.
Canada, Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite
Sperling’s 2009 Riesling Old Vines is a lovely Okanagan Riesling that is aging gracefully. What I like most about the 2009 is its remarkable balance, and how young it still is.
We all have favorite restaurants in the world. Tan Dinh is certainly one of mine. A laid-back, casual atmosphere, friendly service, great Vietnamese food and one of the fifteen or twenty best French wine lists in the world make Tan Dinh an essential destination in Paris.