Swanson Vineyards 2004 Estate Merlot

Is there any varietal more maligned these days than Merlot? It has gone from being trendy to love to being trendy to hate. Even Miles in Sideways exclaims, “No, if anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving. I am NOT drinking any ****ing Merlot!” Never mind that his avowed “dream wine,” a 1961 Cheval Blanc, is a Merlot blend. To me, nothing screams poseur more than someone declaring that they only drink certain varietals or definitively hate […]

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This blog made wine come out my nose

How can you not love a post entitled I’m in ur glassez, smelling all ur winez at a blog entitled Wine Burps? The author nails this incredibly stupid product. [read sarcastic voice] Clearly, this is why you’re not picking up all those wonderful descriptors on the back of labels. But if that isn’t enough, they’re on sale! Originally $78 each now only $54 each. [end sarcastic voice]

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Almond Cornmeal Cake with Peach and Raspberry Compote

This is a very delicious and impressive dessert, and it is not all that difficult to make. It has three parts, the cake, the fruit compote and a marcapone and creme fraiche topping. None of the three are hard to make, but when you put them together they are spectacular. Other than the cake, it is also easy to change out ingredients to put your own stamp on this dish. The cake: * 1/2 cup […]

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Swanson 2006 Pinot Grigio

As I said the other day, I was lucky enough to be invited to a lunch and tasting by Swanson Vineyards. The first wine that was served was their Swanson 2006 Pinot Grigio. Pinot Grigio is currently one of my favorite white grapes, and Swanson Vineyards is the second largest producer of it in Napa. The great thing about Pinto Grigio is that it is such a versatile grape that produces exceptionally food-friendly wines. Wine […]

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Wine Spectator, Scammers or Scammed?

The folks over at Wines & Vines have an article posted claiming that Wine Spectator’s restaurant rankings may be bogus. I am a Wine Spectator subscriber, a fan, and I have used their recommendations both to buy wine and to choose restaurants successfully. My initial response to this news was shock and I was disturbed. Working with a colleague in Italy, Goldstein said, he wanted to discover what it takes for a restaurant’s wine list […]

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Will Work for Wine

Today I had the wonderful good fortune to be invited to lunch by some folks from Swanson winery in Napa, California. Unfortunately for me, the winery is in Napa, the lunch was not. If, like me, you are a child of the 70’s the name should sound familiar to you. Yes, it is the very same folks that brought us those silver trays with semi-identifiable meat covered in delectable gravy that always escaped onto the […]

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Poached Figs with Marscapone and Banfi Rosa Regale

Banfi Rosa Regale is fairly unique sparkling wine, at least in my experience. It is sweet and low in acid, with  flavors and aromas of rose, raspberry, black cherry, strawberry and plum. The mouth feel is both creamy and sparkling, with a finish of delicious vanilla. It is also quite low in alcohol, 7%, which is nice with dessert, or even as dessert, if you have already had wine with dinner. Rosa Regale is delicious […]

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2007 Abbazia Novacella Kerner, Alto Adige

Last night my wife asked me to grab a bottle of Riesling from our wine fridge. I looked in and only one had the familiar slender shape so a pulled it out and glanced at the label for a second and opened it. After the first sip I figured that I had grabbed a really expensive bottle by mistake. It had nice crisp citrus and apricot tastes and good minerality. The finish was rich and […]

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