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Tasting Chateau Margaux 16 ways

Date: Tue, Feb 5, 2013

Paul Pontallier is a curious, open, and humble guy. All the more so since he is he managing director and winemaker at Chateau Margaux, where he has been for 30 years, crafting the sublime yet supremely expensive wines. Pontallier was in New York City last week and he brought suitcase full of treats to show [...]

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The Left Bank Bordeaux Cup, where talent overfloweth

Date: Mon, Feb 4, 2013

I had a lot of fun a couple of weeks ago observing a bunch of business school students engage in competitive drinking. No, it wasn’t on-campus–it was the US qualifying round of the Left Bank Bordeaux Cup at the French Consulate on Fifth Avenue. I post a gallery of photos below but my story is [...]

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The Super Bowl drinks score? Beer 42 – Wine 32

Date: Fri, Feb 1, 2013

It was just an aside from the podium during Danny Brager’s talk on the state of the wine industry. But the Nielsen wine guru said that wine is closing in on beer among viewers of the Super Bowl. According to their polling, 71% of viewers will have carbonated beverages (aka soda), 42% of viewers will [...]

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Events worth drinking

Date: Wed, Jan 30, 2013

Pinot noir and Riesling have more than just being (the greatest?) “noble” varieties: next month they each have worthwhile public tastings dedicated to them. First up, in SF and LA next week, is In Pursuit of Balance. Organized by Raj Parr of RN74 and Jasmine Hirsch of Hirsche Vineyards, this annual tasting showcases some of [...]

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Cheesy descriptions

Date: Tue, Jan 29, 2013

Try on this shelf-talker: “Just think of a scene in a movie where the lead actress, obviously one of the greats, turns around slowly and walks away from the camera taking your entire attention with her.” A Chambertin? A ’47 Cheval Blanc? Actually, it’s for a cheese. The Times ran a piece last week on [...]

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Winery attempts to pull wines from NRA wine club

Date: Fri, Jan 25, 2013

A wine club whose profits benefit the NRA has triggered outrage: Yalumba of South Australia has requested their wines removed from the club’s wine shop. “Philosophically, I’m not disposed towards the NRA, which runs counter to my family’s, and I would think all my employees’, positions on gun laws,” CEO Robert Hill Smith was quoted [...]

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BREAKING: Trader Joe’s raises the price of Two Buck Chuck

Date: Thu, Jan 24, 2013

Trader Joe’s is raising the price of Two Buck Chuck from $1.99 to $2.49, citing higher costs. Introduced in 2002, it’s kind of hard to believe they hadn’t raised the price already. Oh, and people are already throwing around “upchuck” as a new nickname after the price increase–or, wait, was that a tasting note? Good [...]

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NRA wine, Rudy trial, orange crush – sipped & spit

Date: Wed, Jan 23, 2013

SPIT: The NRA has a wine club?! Ack. I’m sure all the wines will be high caliber… SPIT: Rudy Kurniawan‘s attempt to have the DOJ’s evidence against his alleged wine counterfeiting was disallowed by the judge. Now the defendant must prepare to stand trial or change his not guilty plea. SPIT: Orange wines, the skin-fermented [...]

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California Cremant?

Date: Wed, Jan 16, 2013

With all the uproar over Korbel “champagne” being poured at Monday’s inauguration, it’s time to wonder aloud whether sparkling wine from California needs a term of its own. Other French bubblies are known as crémant, Spain has cava, Germany has Sekt, even England has Britagne. “Sparkling wine” is incredibly anodyne as a term. Given all [...]

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Maker of Yellow Tail slips into the red

Date: Tue, Jan 15, 2013

Usually, mega wineries are supposed to harvest economies of scale as well as grapes. But Casella, the maker of Yellow Tail, is trapped between a strong currency and a hard price point, which has led to their balance sheet spilling red ink. A WSJ story squarely blames the $31 million shortfall on the strong Australian [...]

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Vieilles vignes from Middle Earth

Date: Fri, Jan 11, 2013

Here’s a wine that I enjoyed over the holidaze: Rippon, “mature vines,” pinot noir, 2008 from Central Otago(find this wine). It’s worth mentioning first and foremost because it is a tasty, succulent pinot, surprisingly, not an in-your-face fruity pinot. Instead, it’s got an alluring earthiness and minerality, a snap of acidity, all infused with gentle [...]

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Inauguration wines: plonk and circumstance

Date: Thu, Jan 10, 2013

Which corks will pop at the lunch immediately after President Obama’s second inauguration on January 21? With Charles Schumer as the chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee planning the inauguration festivities, wine enthusiasts could anticipate that New York wines would make a showing. Indeed, two appear on the menu: the 2009 dry riesling from Tierce [...]

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Scotland to women: wine makes you look old and fat

Date: Wed, Jan 9, 2013

Health officials in Scotland have come up with a new weapon in their campaign against excessive drinking: an app that makes you look fat. And old. The app, called The Drinking Mirror, shows a projection of what the user may look like if they keep drinking at current (elevated) levels. The results are not pretty. [...]

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