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Bordeaux Sauvignon Blancs

When it comes to Sauvignon Blanc, people think of New Zealand, the Loire Valley and even California. But few remember to think of Bordeaux, whose white wines are not seen in big numbers. Yet they are composed in part of Sauvignon Blanc and often have a tinge of that  bracing green, herbalness that fans of the grape love. The other part of the wine, often the majority, is made up of Semillon, a grape with a bigger, rounder body and texture than SB and less green, more  honeyed notes. The wines are not classic Sauvignon Blanc, but rather  a little bigger,

Didier Dagueneau, 52, Dies in Plane Accident

New York, September 18, 2008 --Didier Dagueneau, 52, the maverick producer of Pouilly-Fumé, died yesterday in France in a small plane accident. A perfectionist, Dagueneau was known for the purity of his wines, and his philosophy of working hard in the vineyards in order to do as little as possible in the cellar. His Pouilly Fumé Cuvée Silex and Pur Sang are known the world over. His total dedication to making authentic wines has inspired many winemakers in the Loire Valley, and his formidable passion for life extended to other areas such as art.

Branch Out With Your Sauvignon Blanc

When it comes to Sauvignon Blanc, people think of New Zealand, the Loire Valley and even California. But few remember to think of Bordeaux, whose white wines are not seen in big numbers. Yet they are composed in part of Sauvignon Blanc and often have a tinge of that bracing green herbalness that fans of the grape love. The other part of the wine, often the majority, is made up of Semillon, a grape with a bigger, rounder body and texture than SB and less-green, more-honeyed notes.

Rubicon Chefs Get Married

Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski, chefs of the just-closed Rubicon, were married yesterday at City Hall at 1:01 PM. I was lucky enough to  get to join in with the families for a brief celebratory lunch at  Zuni Cafe. Stuart and Nicole , were in high spirits not just because of the nupitals, not just because they've got a lot of free time for a while, but also because we drank some nice wine.

Slow Drink Nation

Drink Tables

They call it Slow Food, but let me tell you that some of the biggest lines are at the drinks tables. Of all the sections, though, I have to give the nod for the beer pavilion as the best of them all. Why? Not just because it's the quickest service, but because of the diversity and breadth of the selection. The beer pavilion is divided into three bars, each representing a method of beer delivery: bottle, cask, and draught (below).

Wine Report from Outside Lands

The big surprise for me after attending the Outside Lands Music festival was not that Radiohead puts on a good show, that Cake still has it or that Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings is the best act going in the US these days. What was most shocking was how thoroughly packed the wine tent was.



All these rockers--young and old--were buying wine. And thanks to Peter Eastlake of Vintage Berkeley wine shop, who organized the whole wine pavilion, they were sipping on some unusually good vino.

<i>Wine Spectator</i>'s Award of Meaninglessness

This is getting good. The wine world is abuzz with reaction.

Are Napa Valley Cabernets Getting Better?

In yesterday's New York Times, Eric Asimov wrote a thorough account of his attitudes toward Napa Valley Cabernet. He voiced a preference for a certain sort wine we'd call "old school" (he called them "balanced," "restrained," "subtle," and "nuanced").  He describes many Napa Valley Cabernets, however, as "jammy fruit bombs that overwhelm food."



 

Zuni Cafe: Through a Glass Newly?

If I tell you that the picture below was taken at Zuni (which you already should have recognized), what do you find significant about  the scene?



The answer has nothing to do with the always-sensational roast chicken or the fact that Thierry Lovato, the wine director, paired it for me with a half bottle of lovely Crozes-Hermitage from Domaine Combier, an interesting if not classic choice. No, the real shocker in the photo is the glass, which you can see is not the regular old lousy Zuni wine glass. Rather, it was a thin-rimmed, deftly shaped bowl that worked beautifully for wine in every way that Zuni's regular glass (at left in the picture below) does not.

Orson: Six Months In

 

After months of traveling and nose-to-the-grindstone work, I finally made it to Orson, only about six months after it opened. Considering that restaurant critics don't even give new joints the customary two-month lag before reviewing them anymore, my tardiness could be seen as more than genteel. Anyway, I wasn't going in to review it but to enjoy it. And, largely, that's what I did.
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