Be honest with yourself: it has been a long day. You deserve a drink. But the last thing you want is more work. It can be interesting, sure. But complexity, tannins, grip, and food pairings sound horrid.
Let me whisk you to Italy. Specifically, Tuscany: land of rolling hills, Chianti, Renaissance palazzi, and rustic food. But leave the sweat, art, dust, gelato, and tourists of Firenze (aka Florence) behind. Head northeast, into the mountains, and you will find Pomino DOC: a few miles from where I use to excavate an Etruscan temple. Continue reading
A new Mourvèdre makes it into our glasses. The rare grape of Bandol and Southern France has found a small niche in warm Central California. After trying the light Croad (here) and plump Terry Hoag (read here), it is time to turn to one of the smallest AVAs with the oldest Mourvèdre: Lime Kiln Valley. Continue reading
Per chance, one of my buyers planned Christmas in the crucible of my wine career: Saratoga Springs, New York. Years ago, I left academia and started fresh there at Putnam Wine, run by British expat William. He crushed and carried me through wine’s complications, trends, and the WSET Advanced. So I sent my buyer with a few bottles from home in Oregon. He returned with, of course, English Sparkling wine.
With a newly minted one year-old daughter, my wife and I will not make it to midnight on New Year’s Eve. We find the next best fudge: sparkling wine Wednesday dinner at foodie stalwart Paley’s Place in Portland, Oregon. Continue reading
Ever try a wine and hate it? Yeah, me too. But before we blame the wine, maybe give it a second chance. Actually, give it some food.
It is freezing outside and I am in the mood for a hearty Bordeaux. Some Bordeaux need years to work, while others taste brilliant young. So, when I find a Right Bank, Merlot blend, from the ripe 2009 vintage, I consider myself safe. Doubly so, this is young Château Vignot (est 2003) with modernist Pierre Seillan at the helm, Kendall Jackson money backing it, and a website pushing words like “approachable”, “elegant”, “feminine”, “silky”, and the phrase, “meant to be enjoyed upon release”. It all seems overeager to please.
Is it? Continue reading