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The Gaul: Depardieu as wine ambassador in Russia?

Date: Mon, Jan 7, 2013

Over the past month, a refugee tried to sell assets in his home country, bought a tiny house in a neighboring country, and took a passport from a third. It was none other than bon vivant Gerard Depardieu, who fled France, listed his $65 million Paris apartment, bought a house in Belgium a stone’s throw [...]

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Paul Grieco on the Next Big Thing

Date: Tue, Dec 4, 2012

When Paul Grieco uncorks, people listen. I recently sat down with him, partner and wine director at restaurant Hearth, the four Terroir wine bars and the man behind the Summer of Riesling. I asked him one question: what’s the next “it” wine? He warmed up by by clearing his throat, tipping his proverbial hat at [...]

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Destroyed: six complete vintages of Soldera

Date: Mon, Dec 3, 2012

An appalling and heinous crime in Montalcino has resulted in the destruction of six complete vintages of Soldera, the acclaimed, expensive, and already hard-to-find wine. Unknown assailants broke into the winery and opened the taps of the large oak casks. The contents of all the unbottled vintages 2007 – 2012 spilled onto the floor, lost [...]

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Jon-David Headrick reconnects with Eric Solomon

Date: Mon, Dec 3, 2012

Jon-David Headrick Selections, an importer specializing in wines from the Loire Valley and beyond, is teaming up with Eric Solomon (European Cellars), which concentrates on southern France and Spain. Headrick, 39, was the general manager at European Cellars before starting his own import firm with stylistically different wines. “Not really an acquisition but yes, European [...]

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About those Jefferson bottles…

Date: Sat, Dec 1, 2012

Thomas Jefferson is often known in wine circles as the best friend that wine enthusiasts ever had in the White House. He might even have been the sommelier-in-chief since he frequently poured wine at official functions (he abhorred whiskey, the main drink of the day) and had wine vaults built below the east colonnade for [...]

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One wine, two scores

Date: Wed, Nov 28, 2012

Wine scores cloak wine with a false sense of objectivity and precision. If they are to have any rigor, they should be replicable under various situations. Joel Peterson, the Champagne-sipping founder of Ravenswood Winery, has a telling vignette in this regard: I have made wines under two labels and I’ve had them scored in the [...]

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When tasting notes score 83 points

Date: Wed, Nov 28, 2012

Wine tasting notes, long bastions of affectations and preciousness, have come under scrutiny recently. Apparently Eric Asimov spends a chapter savaging them in his recent book. The other day, over on wineberserkers.com, Bill Klapp performed a merciless forensic analysis on a note. But then there’s this: Surely the problem with many wine writers is not [...]

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Why the 2012 Burgundy vintage has a whiff of high prices

Date: Tue, Nov 27, 2012

The Invisible Hand seems to be nudging Burgundy prices higher. Or, wait, was it Carla Bruni’s hand? The presence of the former first lady of France (I doubt they call presidential wives “first ladies,” and it’s not just because it might be premieres crus dames…) at the charity auction for the Hospices de Beaune helped [...]

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A question of etiquette: dining with abstainers

Date: Mon, Nov 26, 2012

My wife and I recently had a couple of friends over who, somewhat to our surprise, were not drinking any alcohol that evening. This can happen since a whole family might be taking antibiotics, or maybe you didn’t know the people as well as you thought. Whatever the reason, the issue of guests who abstain, [...]

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AOC Swartland?

Date: Mon, Nov 19, 2012

Callie Louw and Adi Badenhorst at Cape Wine 2012 Swartland, an area of the Western Cape where old bush vines abound while razors are apparently scarce, has taken an unusual step for a wine region in the New World: producers have promulgated a membership charter, complete with a code of winemaking. AOC Swartland, anyone? The [...]

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Obama gives Boehner a birthday Brunello

Date: Sat, Nov 17, 2012

At the White House yesterday, our political leaders met to find a way from steering the country over the fiscal cliff. Even though their positions still seem far apart, the general tone afterward was positive and one of comity (probably better than comedy, in this situation). Setting the mood early, President Obama publicly wished Speaker [...]

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New London shop stocks $15 million of wine #WineBling

Date: Fri, Nov 16, 2012

How to Spend It of the FT visits Hedonism, a new wine shop in London’s swanky Mayfair that has over $15 million in wine on the shelves. The owner–surprise!–is a Russian magnate, Evgeny Chichvarkin, now exiled from Russia and described as “hands-on proprietor” of the shop. Spread across two floors, there are 1,000 spirits (600 [...]

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Beaujolais Nouveau day – ditch the Nouveau

Date: Fri, Nov 16, 2012

What if Beaujolais Nouveau day–the third Thursday in November–turned into a celebration of Beaujolais writ large or even larger, wine? According to a report in a British wine publication, that’s what happened yesterday in parts of London. It’s a good idea. While a friend who just left Paris after living there for several years recalls [...]

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Lapierre and Coudert: two superb 2011 Beaujolais

Date: Thu, Nov 15, 2012

Beaujolais has had a string of great vintages–2009 was warm, which made for fuller wines (relatively speaking) while 2010 and 2011 have made some gorgeous, classic wines. Unfortunately, the run stopped with 2012, which was difficult. So focus on the 2011s, now on the shelves. I picked up some Lapierre Morgon 2011 before Hurricane Sandy [...]

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