Frank Prial and I were in an elevator together, on our way out of a wine event. This was years ago, when he was still actively writing about wine for The New York Times. Prial was cordial and a bit gruff as we chatted uncomfortably. He had the gravelly voice and the gumshoes of a beat reporter on his way to a crime scene. And he had little time for effete interactions with a wine writer.
In fact, Prial had written a back page story in the New York Times Sunday Magazine lampooning what he considered the ridiculousness of our food and wine writing (a disdain Times reporters seem to share…our having been lambasted recently for absurdly specific wine and food pairings in our tasting notes by Eric Asimov, the current Times wine . . . Continue reading →
It’s harvest time but that won’t stop some of our favorite winemakers and vignerons from personally showing up to share their wines at the Top 100—this coming Wednesday, October 17. I’m excited that so many friends will be on hand to pour their extraordinary wines.
Come and taste the best wines from our Wineries of the Year with the people who made them!
Hans Vinding Diers & Noemia Marone Cinzano (Bodega Noemia)
Alejandro Vigil (Catena Zapata)
Juan Pablo Michelini (Zorzal)
Felipe Marín (Casa Marín)
Rafael Urrejola (Undurraga)
Bruno Paillard (Bruno Paillard)
Frederic Rouzaud (Champagne Louis Roederer)
Yves Cuilleron (Les Vins de Vienne)
While compiling our special Fall 2012 issue devoted to the topic of terroir, we began to wonder why the word never comes up in the context of other foods. Odessa Piper, the former chef/owner of L’Etoile in Madison, Wisconsin as well as the wife of wine importer Terry Theise, posited that fermentation is an important part of the equation: “The distillation, and concentration that wine goes through makes it possible to taste its minerality and amplifies vintage effects,” she posits. “Cheese is a non-vinous example: The grass is distilled by the cow into milk, then concentrated through separation of the whey and evaporation. Many cheese tasters recognize the place, method and breed behind a cheese.”
Even without the concentrating effects of fermentation, she can recognize the flavor of Eliot Coleman’s carrots from . . . Continue reading →
If you swirl the wine in your glass clockwise, it will smell different than if you swirl counterclockwise. Or so claims Jacques Lardière, who would have you swirl it one way, but I can never remember which way, or why. Perhaps if I spoke French, I would understand. But even those who do speak French respect Lardière more for the energy and enthusiasm he brings to Jadot’s wines—for his practical winegrowing skills rather than for any philosophical meanderings.
Lardière talks in a language parallel to biodynamics, speaking of the life of the vine, the energy of the wine, molecular stirrings and sexual stirrings. He entertains with words that may or may not have any bearing on the 130 different wines produced at Jadot in any given vintage. His own energy . . . Continue reading →
For those who reside closer to the Atlantic than the Pacific and may be unaware of the fate that has befallen foie gras in sunny California, this may come as a surprise:
July 1st marks the official start of the state-wide ban.
The story begins about eight years ago, during the tenure of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Whether the Governator ever succumbed to the sweet, buttery decadence of foie gras au torchon in a fit of indulgence, I can’t say. Though, given his affinity for lean muscle, I have my doubts. Regardless, he signed the bill introduced by Senator John Burton and backed by four animal rights groups, allowing a grace period for California’s sole producer of the delicacy, Sonoma Foie Gras, to come up with an objectively humane way to carry out . . . Continue reading →