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Brown Hotel on #Go Israel Tour

“Interesting!” I thought, seeing a DJ spinning tunes as I walked into the Brown Urban Hotel in Tel Aviv. Like its name, it’s color is brown, and there is a certain mellow quality to the place and energetic young people who work here. Of course, another thing I immediately love about this hotel beyond the […]



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2014 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir

So the new vintages of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir are in … just in time for the holidays. The 2014 Marlborough Sauvignon blanc bursts with notes of tropical melon, pineapple, and passion fruit – a crowd pleaser appropriate to serve as an aperitif as well as with first courses … some may […]



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Bordeaux Under One Roof

Fabulous tasting today at Bordeaux Under One Roof tasting, with a private Master Class led by patrick Cappiello who’s been a sommelier and wine director at several top NYC restaurants, and now is the wine director at Pearl and Ash. The event was designed to show the diversity of the region, with a dry white, […]



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Fall Releases from Hourglass in the Napa Valley

  A really fun “live” tasting last night, where journalists on both coasts tasted the fall release from Hourglass during the same one hour period. The wines tasted were extremely high end, and the event was fun and interactive. This post describes the wines in a more structured way. The HG III follows the classical […]



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Meeting Ernesto Catena & Matias Ciciani of Bodegas Don Miguel Gascon

  “You look exactly like your picture!” I say to Ernesto Catena, President of  Bodegas Escorihuerla Gascon in Mendoza. I am sitting in a very elegant, yet very busy restaurant, trying to taste Ernesto’s incredible Malbec wines through the color and noise swirling around us. Just minutes before, I had been studying the winery and […]



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Gloria Ferrer Sparkling Wine For the Holidays

  So now that the holidays are upon us, what wine should you serve to family and friends? Everyone loves sparklers for the holidays … they just seem to spell the word “celebration” in a major way. One favorite “go to” sparkler and trusted brand is Gloria Ferrer from Sonoma, a New World offspring of […]



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Exclusive Port Tasting with Rui Falcao

It’s not everyday … or for that matter, every lifetime … that one can try a Ramos Pinto Vintage 1924 Port.  Or for that matter, a Kopke Colheita 1937 Port. In any event, Rui Falcao was brilliant today as he led journalists through the superstars of the Douro, wines that few people have the opportunity to […]



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Exploring the Vibrant wines of Zuani

What a fabulous tutored tasting and lunch today with Antonio and Caterina Zanon, scions of a century old winemaking family located in North East Italy. … a fascinating story too, as this is a relatively new (2001) venture for the family, created by the mother of Antonio and Caterina, Patrizia Felluga, who bought existing vineyards […]



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Tasting Notes Week of November 4, 2014

Bodegas Bilbainas Zaco 2012 DOC Rioja Did you know that Rioja Alta is the best region for Tempranillo in Rioja? The soils are chalky clay and there is a strong Atlantic climate influence that helps maturation with this rich, intense, cherry and violet scented wine with additional flavors of black licorice and cherry. The winemaking […]



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100 years of Freixenet

An incredible evening last night, as it is almost 100 years to the day when the Ferrer family (founders pictured above) first created the now world famous sparkling wine made in the traditional méthode champenoise technique, just like as done in Champagne, France. It was a wonderful evening, mainly because the Ferrer family members were there […]



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Discovering Morellino Di Scansano DOCG

  What a fabulous experience to have the opportunity to compare and contrast the wines of eight different producers from the region of Morellino Di Scansano DOCG, a region in Tuscany by the sea with a warm Mediterranean climate. The region has vastly different growing conditions in terms of soil and climate than other important […]



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Chilean Wine Master Class with Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein

I can’t tell you how much I was looking forward to attending the Chilean Wine 4.0 Master Class with Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein, even though I was flying to London just after it ended at 3:30, and had to bring all my luggage. Yet this Master Class was absolutely brilliant – excellent organization and fabulous […]



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Savennieres & Loire Valley Wines comes to NYC

Very interesting evening with Evelyne de Pontbriand of Domaine du Closel and Rouge Tomate Master Sommelier Sommelier Pascaline Lepeltier, a table of very fortunate journalists set out to discover the quality and diversity of wines from Savennieres in the Loire Valley. Located 9 miles south-west of Angers and 196 miles south-west of Paris, Savennieres is […]



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50 Great Portuguese Wines by Joshua Greene

    Joshua Green, editor-in-chief of Wine & Spirits, spent months in Portugal selecting the 50 best wines. During a brilliantly orchestrated seminar October 22, 2014, charismatic MS Evan Goldsmith gave a wonderful overview of the characteristics of Portugal’s native grapes, and selected four top samples for us to try. If you have not tried […]



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Review Week of October 23: Wines of Anderra

Chilean wines these days are all the rage … I just received some interesting and delicious wines from Anderra, with vineyards in the Maule, Maipo, and Rapel valley of Chile. The Carmenere 2012, a late ripening varietal, is juicy and round with black currant and blackberry aromas, as well as strawberry and cherry notes and […]



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Dinner with Piper-Heidsieck Chef de Caves Regis Camus

  What a fantastic, unbelievable opportunity to experience a vertical tasting of Piper-Heidsieck RARE champagne, each glass individually paired with cuisine. This was all in honor of  Chef de Caves Régis Camus’ 20th anniversary with the House. M. Camus was at the table to discuss the weather of each vintage, and how it affected the wine. […]



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NYC Ritz-Carlton Central Park Phenomenal Femmes Dinner with Lynn Penner Ash

Fabulous four course dinner last night at the gorgeous Ritz-Carlton Central Park with Lynn Penner-Ash, owner/winemaker and co-founder of Penner-Ash Cellers.  You probably know the name – the winery is famous for their Pinot Noir, yet last night was the opportunity to taste some of the other wines as well (Riesling, Viognier) and learn more […]



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Meeting Christopher Silva of St. Francis Winery & Vineyards

Christopher Silva, CEO of St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, actually grew up in Sonoma County and as a boy, bagged groceries for St. Francis winery founder Joe Martin. That relationship came in handy decades later when Silva, then a lawyer, was offered a job by Joe Martin, as the founder wanted to take life a […]



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Master Class: Wines of Macedonia

Fabulous  Master Class led by Robin Kelley O’Connor, CSW, CWE and Hristo Zisovski, Beverage Director, Altamarea Restaurant Group today. Grapevines have been grown here for more than 4000 years, and the ancient Macedonians even had a god of wine called Dionysus.  In his honor, Macedonians hosted special festivals known as bacchanalians. White wines produced by […]



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Wine Tasting Notes Week of October 13, 2014

  Malbec is one of the hottest varieties around the world right now, yet there is “Malbec” and there is “Malbec.” The difference is not just the country (think Cahors, France vs. Mendoza, Argentina) yet also the type of wood and length of aging as well as the quality of the grapes themselves. Rutini Trumpeter […]