October 26, 2013 |
If you think you don't like off-dry Riesling, open up a bottle of this lovely floral Riesling from a Mösel estate that goes back to 1177 and has been owned by the same family since 1804. The 2011 Mönchhof Riesling's honeyed sweetness is balanced by a racy acidity and an earthy minerality. A touch of bitterness pulls it all into focus. The more you keep drinking, the more you'll find in the glass: white peaches, honeysuckle. And this Mösel Riesling is a great value. Open a bottle to accompany a fiery chicken or beef larb . It goes with Thai or any spicy Asian cuisine too. I'd try it with lobster or grilled prawns, and with Chinese noodle dishes.
October 23, 2013 |
On Thursday, Rivera restaurant sommelier Mark Mendoza will be pouring wines from Patagonia for a special four-course dinner chef/owner John Sedlar has designed around the wines. Owned by Tuscan Piero Incisa della Rochetta (Sassacaia), Bodega Chacra makes Pinot Noir and Merlot in the Rio Negro Valley of northern Patagonia, and Sedlar and Mendoza will be pairing the night's special menu with four of their wines. The cost for the dinner and wines is $95 per person, not including tax and tip. To reserve, call the restaurant at ( 213)
October 22, 2013 |
The harvest is almost finished in Napa Valley and in terms of quantity, it's turning out to be an average year. In terms of quality, though, winemakers are pretty much ecstatic about the 2013 vintage. Bo Barrett of Chateau Montelena says it was like the good old days, “really great fruit and basically no headaches at all. If we could have ordered the weather a la carte, we couldn't have had it any better.” Often vintages come in...
October 19, 2013 |
2009 Comm. G.B. Burlotto Barolo From a Barolo house founded way back in 1850 comes this fine 2009 Barolo. No single vineyard. No special aging. And yet at a time when Barolo prices edge ever upward, it's hard to believe this classic example of straightforward Barolo comes in at less than $45. A splurge, certainly, but it's a good bottle for any Nebbiolo d'Alba drinkers who want to upgrade to a bona fide Barolo. It has all the virtues of Barolo - silken texture, taste of violets, cherries and earth, and ripe but firm tannins.
October 18, 2013 |
Wine books make you tremble in your boots? All that jargon. All those names to learn. All the erudition to wade through? Well, here's one that your inner 3-year-old should enjoy: “ The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert .” The author is Richard Betts, a master sommelier but no snob, whose Twitter feed boasts the motto “Wine is a grocery, not a luxury.” The book, which premieres this week, is just 22 pages....
October 15, 2013 |
When I was first learning about wine, British wine writer Hugh Johnson's “The World Atlas of Wine” was my bible. He's an erudite and engaging writer, pouring decades of wine knowledge into succinct paragraphs that place each country and region in context. For someone keen to learn about Burgundy or Piedmont or Sonoma County, the brilliantly detailed maps were essential to understanding why certain vineyards and appellations produce the wines that they do. For the last few editions of the revered reference work Johnson has invited another Brit, stellar wine writer Jancis Robinson, to join him in bringing the massive tome, first published in 1971, up to date.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 12, 2013 |
In the hills high above Ensenada, on the road to Ojos Negros, a dust-covered, mustachioed cowboy named Don Heriberto Aguilar has found the perfect life. A trip to Aguilar's rancho was not on my itinerary in Mexico. I was there to research a story, which will be coming soon, on more than three decades of good deeds performed in Baja California by the owners of Benning Violins in Studio City. But Tito Quiroz, a musician who started Ensenada's Academia Benning (which he named for his longtime mentors)
September 30, 2013 |
If you are trying to cut down on the amount of wine you drink, choose a narrow glass, the experts say. And in this case, the experts are researchers, not bartenders. Drinking from a wide glass or pouring the wine while you hold the glass both might get you a heavier handed pour, the researchers from Iowa State and Cornell universities said. Unlike a bottle of beer or a shot of spirits, a glass of wine is rarely an exact measure. The scientists set out to test some of the conditions that might affect the pour.
September 28, 2013 |
If you've ever wondered how you got tipsy when you only had a glass or two of wine, the answer could be in the sort of glass you used. Drinking from a wide glass is just one way that you might be getting more than you thought. Unlike a bottle of beer, or a shot of spirits, a glass of wine is rarely an exact measure except in bars or restaurants. Researchers from Iowa State and Cornell universities found there were several conditions that could cause someone to pour with a heavy hand.
September 20, 2013 |
It's officially a trend. A few days ago Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant in Santa Barbara launched its SOMM Series Wine Club for highly allocated wines. And now Michael Mina and his longtime wine director and sommelier Rajat Parr have started their own high-end wine club called - what else? - the Michael Mina Wine Club . Since Mina owns 18 restaurants across the country, the idea is to offer members bottles from the wine lists of Mina's restaurants, thereby giving members access to hard-to-find wines from small producers around the world. Who's picking, or rather, curating the wines?