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Grilling Up a Thirst

Memorial Day officially kicks off the grilling season. I'm thirsty already.

Allow me to explain. As the grillmeister at my humble abode, I am well-acquainted with the rigors of cooking over hot coals. The proper way to grill, I have learned over the years, is to place a grilling tool in one hand and a glass of wine in the other. For perfect ...Read more

Winery to Watch: Limerick Lane

It would be a stretch to call Limerick Lane an up-and-coming winery. Its original vineyard was planted in 1910, and newer plantings in the 1970s established it as a star in the emerging California wine industry. In short, it is a historic California winery with a sterling reputation.

Nevertheless, it is a winery to watch. When brothers ...Read more

Picnic Time

As the days grow longer and temperatures climb, picnic season is upon us. And as every devoted wine enthusiast knows, no picnic basket should go out the door without a nice bottle of wine tucked inside.

The perfect picnic wine for me is easy to drink, refreshing, food-friendly and not too expensive. All of that can be accomplished with a ...Read more

Ordering a Wine First

I'm what I call a reverse diner. While most everyone else sizes up a restaurant menu upon being seated, I ask for the wine list first. Once I've decided which wine is calling my name, I take a peek at the menu and build a meal around the wine.

This is especially useful when visiting a restaurant with exceptional wine offerings. I'm there for ...Read more

Bordeaux 2017: The Sweet Spot

BORDEAUX, France -- The annual En Primeurs event in Bordeaux, which previews the most recent vintage of Bordeaux wine for trade and the press, often proves a chore, as everyone muscles through hundreds of young, tannic wines in an attempt to assess their quality and potential.

It may come as a surprise to some, but tasting barrel samples is ...Read more

Bordeaux 2017: Weathering the Storm

BORDEAUX, France -- Although Bordeaux produces the world's most expensive and arguably most sought-after wines, the journey from bud break to harvest is often fraught with peril for the region's vineyards. The 2017 vintage was fairly typical, a roller coaster ride starting with an early spring, followed by a devastating frost, followed by cool...Read more

ZD Cab Shines in San Diego

For the better part of four decades, ZD Wines, situated along the Silverado Trail in the heart of the Napa Valley, has been a beacon for California chardonnay. The rich, creamy ZD style captures, for many wine enthusiasts, the essence of California's sun-kissed chardonnay vineyards.

Almost quietly, ZD has been building toward the same sort of...Read more

Postcard From France: The Overlooked

BEAUNE, France -- The biennial Les Grands Jours de Bourgogne this year took a look at the recently released 2016 and 2015 vintages, with a handful of wines from the 2017 vintage thrown in for fun.

There is intense interest in the 2016 vintage in particular, because poor weather in the spring of that year brought down yields in many of the ...Read more

For Value, Think Chablis

CHABLIS, France -- France would be the last place most wine enthusiasts would look for great value in wine. The staggering cost of many of the most familiar estates in Bordeaux casts a mighty shadow over the entire French wine business.

The problem with that narrative? It's simply not true. Here in the northernmost village of Burgundy, where ...Read more

Postcard From Paris: Chez Papa

PARIS -- Stopping in Paris for a few days on my way to the wine regions of France has become a ritual. There's usually a trip to Willi's Wine Bar on the Right Bank. Willi's has always served exceptional wine, but the cuisine was somewhat rustic. It has recently upped its game in the kitchen, for which I am grateful.

Joel Robuchon's l'Atelier,...Read more

The Other Face of Napa Cabernet

There is little question that cabernet sauvignon is the Napa Valley's money grape. As a stand-alone grape, it produces some of the most expensive and sought-after red wines in America. And, as a blending agent, it is the backbone of most of the Napa Valley's most coveted and traditional Bordeaux-style red blends.

This is Napa's strength.

But...Read more

What's in Your Glass?

It would seem that the pleasure you might expect from a glass of wine has everything to do with the wine in the glass and nothing to do with anything else. Yet everything isn't what it seems when it comes to a glass of wine. The temperature can have a profound influence on flavor, for example. How long the bottle has been open is another ...Read more

 
 

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