Ricette tipiche e tradizionali della Polinesia

Il periodo migliore per un viaggio in Polinesia è tra maggio e novembre, prima della stagione umida e dei tifoni ed è anche il periodo migliore perché la natura è al suo massimo rigoglio e il cibo polinesiano viene preparato con materie prime sempre fresche. La cucina polinesiana è un sapiente mix di culture gastronomiche locali, francesi e cinesi (asiatiche per estensione). Le preparazioni tradizionali...

Will Success Spoil The Napa Valley?

  By Charles Olken There are those who would title an essay on the status of the Napa Valley as “Success Has Spoiled The Napa Valley”. I am not among them, but I get the point. For years now, I have preferred to take my out of town guests to Sonoma (Town or Valley or further up county) simply because one can see a more relaxed, semi-normal way of life. The Napa Valley is not normal....

Cumulus Luna Rosa Tinto 2013

I like this style of wine. It’s tasty and screams for generous pours. Buckets of cherry flavours from the Sangiovese (70%) are chased down by equal amounts of Shiraz, Mourvèdre and Merlot (10%) adding some grunt on the finish. Housed in old oak for twelve months, the fruit is fresh and expresses itself with a savoury finish. This is a classic Chianti style and priced perfectly. Match it with...

Join Me on an Amazing Reset Retreat

I consider myself very lucky that my job allows me to cross a lot of things off my bucket list as “all in a day’s work.” I’ve never been given the opportunity, though, to take two dreams off at once – until now. When I was approached by Cierra Savatgy-King, who along with Natalie Jenkins and Crystal Veness founded Reset Retreat, I didn’t have to listen much further than “Belize”...

Recipes: Dry Creek Vineyard Wine Pairings

Here at TuscanVines our love for Italian wine and fine food is well known.  We enthusiastically embrace the wine lifestyle;  the idea that life slows, bottles uncork and family relaxes at the rustic kitchen table.  Wine and food are inextricably linked with family and conversation.  Nowhere is that more true than Italy and in that spirit, we feature an extensive Recipes Page,...

In Defense of Connoisseurship: Is Populist Wine Writing Dumbing Things Down?

  By Stephen Eliot I have spent the larger part of my professional life writing and teaching about wine. Neither pursuit has been about simplifying or dumbing down what is a rich and wonderfully fascinating field of interest, but rather they have been about education and understanding both for myself and, I hope, for those who came to me with questions. I have been called a wine geek but never,...

Angullong Orange Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Angullong Orange Sauvignon Blanc 2014 There’s an extra level of quality about these ’14 Angullong whites. Almost as if winemaker Jon Reynolds has gained a new grasp of how to use the fruit.  Green straw in colour this is particularly aromatic juice – aromatic yeasts doing their stuff to give melon, guava and tropical fruit. The palate is sharp edged, but there’s a smoky...

Super Bowl Wine Pairings

Just in time for Super Bowl Sunday, check out my five food and wine pairings over at Snooth.com. Benito’s Wine Reviews

Vineyard Update: An Alternative to Weed Killers

Montalcino Report

Terroir Versus Variety—The Final Answer

  By Charles Olken A couple of learned friends, namely Randy Caparoso of the Sommelier Journal and Steve Heimoff of his eponymously named blog, have recently opined on the subject of context in wine tasting. Randy, it seems, claims to have realized that Pinot Noirs from certain areas are structured differently from his ideal model but can be perfectly good nonetheless. Friend Heimoff weighs...

Voyager Estate Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2014

Voyager Estate Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2014 There’s now a photo of founder Michael Wright on the back of this Voyager Estate bottle, along with a nice vista of the estate. Good work. This smells like classic WA SBS too. A green straw colour, the nose is full of grassy lemon Sauv aromatics that jump out of the glass. The palate starts off with grassy lemon juiciness too, slightly tart but...

The new and improved (?!) Lindemans St George Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Lindemans St George Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Like the new packaging? I put this picture out on twitter today and most of the feedback was negative. I think it’s ok, though it doesn’t actually improve anything – the label isn’t the problem. What do you think? This release is all arms and legs too. Deep red, there’s clearly warm year ripe fruit on the nose and palate,...

Sleeping with the Lions. or Stuck in our Safari Truck next to 6 Sleeping Lions

You can’t make this stuff up. To update you, we are on a safari in South Africa as a prelude to our first ever wine tour to this amazing country. Everyday we do an early morning(6am) ride and evening ride through the bush, on the quest for visions of wild game. Last night we hit the bonanza: 6 sleeping female lions. Our lights flashed but they didn’t 6 Sleeping Lions budge, evidently...

Vineyard Update: Employing Integrated Farming

Montalcino Report

The Wall Street Journal Disses Zinfandel

  By Charles Olken The other day, New York winecritic, Lettie Teague of the Wall Street Journal, wrote a column in which she smacked Zinfandel up one side of its head and down the other. Now this might be news except for two things. Ms. Teague does not drink Zinfandel, and that she got much of her information about Zin from a friend who lives in the Dry Creek Valley but who does not like Zinfandel....

Houghton Jack Mann Cabernet Sauvignon

I still remember when the 1998 Houghton Jack Mann Cabernet Sauvignon came on the market, it received rave reviews for its intensity and being so powerful. There was general surprise that a wine company focused on high volume commercial wines could produce such a wine. The advice was to put it away for 15 years. This is what I did with the two bottles I purchased. This premium wine is named after Jack...

Shaw + Smith Pinot Workshop 2015 – 10 benchmark Pinots from around the world

Shaw + Smith Pinot Workshop 2015 – 10 benchmark Pinots from around the world I'll always admire a winery that puts their wines up non-blind against the benchmarks of the world. I mean, it's one thing to upstage with the subterfuge of a wine served blind, but it takes confidence to do the same with a sighted tasting. Even more confidence is required when your winery doesn't have...

Bimbadgen Estate Shiraz 2013

I really like the style of this wine. Medium bodied, this is delicious and made me feel all comfy on the inside. Raspberries and plums with a scattering of dried savoury herbs and a lick of dusty road. This is soft and delicate juice which moves to a generous length where some cherries hover and complete a great example of what Hunter Shiraz can deliver. I’d have no hesitation buying a bottle...

Missouri Road Trip Continues into Lake of the Ozarks

My friend Jaimee and I left the Sheraton Westport Plaza Chalet in the suburbs of St. Louis and headed to Jefferson City, Missouri. We were to meet Deb Hendricks of the Lake of the Ozarks tourism board there to get our itinerary for our adventure on Fun Lake, as they accurately call the area. From Jefferson City it was only a short hour’s ride to the Country Club Hotel and Spa. We were surprised...

Piaggia Riserva

~ Carmignano ~ “The elegance of a wine is already present in the soil which nourished it”…... E. Falsini I’ve known Silvia Vanucci for years.  The first time we spoke was after my initial tasting of her single vineyard Carmignano, Il Sasso, 2008.  That wine was a revelation for me so I approached Silvia about interviewing her and her winemaker.  That...