Artesa: Good Things Are Happening In Carneros

We are all born with peculiar gifts, those little tics and quirks that make us who we are in that oh so special way. One of mine is being able to notice when an object in a room is not plumb, level, or square to other things nearby or the room itself. I could find […]

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Heading Back To Oregon

Several years ago, before I became immersed in the wine industry, wines from Oregon were regular guests at our evening meals. But then I began working in Napa and all of a sudden Oregon wine was nowhere to be found. Pinot gris? Willamette Valley? What are you talking about? Every once in a while I […]

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It Must Be Refreshing!

In a talk at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone a few months back, noted British wine writer, Jancis Robinson MW, explained her top criteria for any wine she encounters: “It must be refreshing!” Given that simple yet demanding yardstick, I think Robinson would have found a great deal to like about almost all […]

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Pink? Time To Think…For Yourself

Even if you tried, you could not keep up with the media frenzy going on right now around rosé. Pink is the new, well, you name it. In the wine world, it’s one of top stories. And the clamor shows no signs of stopping any time soon. I drink a lot of pink. And my […]

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Geek Of The Week — Assyrtiko

For many wine lovers, this white wine of Greece, principally from the volcanic island of Santorini, is a mainstream varietal, one they’ve been enjoying for years. That’s all well and good, but for the purpose of today’s lesson I’m not interested in those folks. It’s the rest of you who need to listen up. Summertime […]

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Let’s Go Shopping — Back To The Bargain Aisle

In the coming months I’ll again be beating the drum of “try something new!” Remember, one of the nice things about making attempts to climb out of your wine rut is that you don’t have to go broke doing so. A recent listing in one of my favorite wine mags proves this point convincingly. What […]

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2009 Clos du Mont-Olivet “Serre de Catin” Cotes du Rhone

RED 3/1/12  2009 Clos du Mont-Olivet “Serre de Catin” Cotes du Rhone (14.5% abv., $24.75, North Berkeley Imports): Nearly opaque garnet, approaching purple. Clean, intense nose, with aromas of violets, lavender and berries, hint of glycerin. Alcohol is noticeable, tannins dusty, and the earthy, herbaceous elements overtake the red fruit. Could use more time in […]

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