Cocktail Recipes from Wine & Spirits’ Top 100 After Party
Champagne, ribolla, Volnay, Walla Walla syrah, Howell Mountain zin, Tokaji…by the end of this year’s Top 100 tasting in San Francisco, the last thing anyone needed was another glass of wine. So we headed to the nearby W Hotel, where we had reserved its modish second-floor bar for our after party.
Wine & Spirits’ new West Coast tasting coordinator, Erik Tennyson, was behind that bar. He’d been working for days on some cocktails worthy of the discerning crowd. A few spirit producers also chipped into the cause: Anchor Distilling, Charbay and Domaine Select Wine Estates donated bottles of Braulio Alpino Amaro, Hirsch Small Batch Reserve Bourbon, Hophead Vodka, Junipero Gin, Tequila Tapatio and Luxardo Aperitivo.
That . . . Continue reading →
In June of this year I was invited by the Walla Walla Wine Alliance to speak on the relative merits of Walla Walla cabernet sauvignon and Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon. The Alliance was throwing a celebration around that variety, and had invited a small number of Napa Valley cabernet producers to pour their wines and to serve, more or less, as points of comparison for these two very different regions.
That speech appears here. But in tasting the local wines that weekend, other notions started to emerge that in the end formed the basis for an article in the December issue of Wine & Spirits. I wanted to explore whether the aromas and flavors that linked Walla Walla cabernet-based wines may have been shifting, as cabernet plantings spread into the far corners of the valley.
Continue reading →
If you’re going to San Francisco…
Here’s a list of just some of the Top 100 winemakers attending the event, all of them pouring their top-rated wines in Wine & Spirits.
. . . Continue reading →
Sitting on a tatami mat, drinking matcha, freshly whisked and served in a handmade bowl, Yasuhiro Matsumoto tells the history of his family’s sake brewery. Back in 1791 when the Matsumoto Sake Brewery was founded, there were 300 sake breweries in Kyoto, out of 25,000 in Japan. Now there are 1,200 breweries in the entire country, 40 or 50 of them in Kyoto. Only three have been producing continually since the late Edo period; Matsumoto is one.
Today, sake takes only 7 percent of the market share for alcoholic beverages; beer has taken over much of its share, as well as distilled spirits.
In the early 1900s, there was a study that determined that Fushimi’s water is particularly good for sake brewing, as it’s soft and very low in iron, so many breweries moved here, including . . . Continue reading →
Eric Forget, cellarmaster for Hine Cognac, is clear about the French pronunciation of his name (for-Zhay). He came to New York in September to introduce the commemorative bottling of Hine’s 250th Anniversary Cognac. Hine specializes in vintage-dated Cognacs, aged in Jarnac, as well as Early Landed Cognacs, often from the same vintage stocks, aged in deep cellars in the UK. The spirit Forget selected for this anniversary bottling is now 60 years old: He tastes the firm’s entire stock each year to evaluate the inventory, and the 1953 vintage has consistently come out on top.
“Sixty years ago,” Forget explained, “one barrel attracted the attention of François Hine and his son, Bernard. They put this cask away in the family cellar. 1953 was a very dry year in Cognac, perhaps the driest of the . . . Continue reading →