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~ May 2005 Archives ~



Napa's Big Event Is This Coming Weekend

I can barely believe it, but it's time again for Napa's biggest event, the 25th Annual Auction Napa Valley, the annual glitzy wine auction which raises millions each year for charity. The whole weekend is packed in Napa with open houses and events, but the two main attractions are divided between the event that ordinary people can go to, and the event that you have to be someone to attend. FOR THE PUBLIC The first is the Auction and Barrel tasting this Friday, June 3rd, where Napa wineries pull out all the stops and offer some of their most glamorous... continue reading


2002 Chateau Ksara "Gris de Gris" Rose, Bekka Valley, Lebanon

Like in Egypt, winemaking in Lebanon has a long history, stretching back well before 1000 B.C. Lacking Egypt's well preserved historical records, Lebanon cannot be sure when winemaking began, but records elsewhere show that at least as early as the Phoenician times, Lebanon was a world famous winegrowing region. Slightly more recently the famous temple of Bacchus in the heart of the Bekka valley is a testament to the Greek worship of the wine god in about 200 BC. The Bekka Valley is the heart of Lebanon's winegrowing region. It sits at about 3000 feet above sea level between two... continue reading


Restaurant Review: Sabaya, Cairo

One doesn't take culinary holidays in Egypt. When Ruth and I decided to go there on our honeymoon we obviously had something else in mind besides eating in fancy restaurants and drinking good wine (my few Egyptian friends even warned me about the wine, and suggested that I bring my own). However, being who we are, Ruth and I decided to explore the dining scene whenever we were someplace that wasn't the middle of the desert or a little village on the Nile. With the exception of Alexandria, we visited all the major cities in Egypt and ate at the... continue reading


If You Can't Drink 'Em, Wear 'Em

France, as anyone who follows the wine business knows, is in trouble. Too many grapes, too much wine, and not enough drinkers at home and abroad, or perhaps not enough people willing to pay for French wine. Used to getting assistance from the government over all sorts of things, winegrowers are throwing tantrums and beating their chests in an effort to save their livelihood. We must be a little understanding. After all they are hobbled by the rules of an outdated and draconian appellation system and by utterly inane government policy which prevents them from advertising wines using modern technology... continue reading


2000 Staglin Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa

From the late 1800's to the first half of the twentieth century California represented a land of opportunity for many. In Northern California, this potential seems to have been realized in particular by Italian immigrants who settled North of San Francisco in great numbers, founding small towns up the coast and in the inland valleys. Drive Highway 1, Highway 12, Highway 116, and the Bohemian Highway North of the city and you'll pass old barns and homesteads, country stores, and several Italian restaurants that have been operating continuously since at least the Thirties. That these fiercely determined immigrants met with... continue reading


Buying Wine For Retirement

Leave it to the practical minded Brits to come up with this one. According to a new United Kingdom law, a portion of an individuals retirement savings can now be invested in fine wine. Not only that, but adding a case of your favorite vintage Bordeaux will come with a 40% tax savings on any gains when the wine is sold. My favorite quote from the article: "converting a case of Latour 1961, say, from a pension asset to a wine to drink may well be complicated." Investing in wine is something I've toyed with, not as a way to... continue reading


Things I Missed in May

I checked out for four weeks and I missed a lot of stuff. Rather than subject you to posts one after another that you may have no interest in, or have already seen, especially if you keep up with the world of wine, I'll compile them here for my benefit and for anyone else who may have missed these items. Shortly after I left, the 2005 James Beard Journalism Award Winners were announced. Wine related winners include: Internet writing: Jennifer Rosen for "When Corks Attack " They Do It With TCA" on Vinchotzi.com 2/8/04 Magazine Column: Lettie Teague for her... continue reading


X Winery, Napa: Current Releases

With all the romanticizing that goes on about wine (albeit with good reason) it's easy to forget that for even the most impassioned winemakers, it is a business. Far more people do it to support their families and to earn a living than those who do it for prestige or fun. Yet for all of that, most people describe their work in wine as a labor of love. There's a saying that goes something like "the best way to make a small fortune in the wine business is to start with a large one" and so it is extremely... continue reading


Supreme Court Strikes Down Direct Shipping Bans on Wine

Yes I'm late to the party but I couldn't miss the opportunity to say: WOO HOO! While I was out of the country last week, the Supreme Court finally ruled on the case regarding Michigan and New York laws banning the direct shipment of wine from out-of-state wineries, and held that these laws were unconstitutional and amounted to basically a "low level trade war" that was set up to "clearly favor" in-state businesses and tax revenues. Specifically what the court has ruled is that states may continue to regulate alcohol sales and shipping by wineries (nothing changes for retailers), but... continue reading


All About Egyptian Wine

So I just got back from my honeymoon in Egypt, and while it was far from a culinary or wine focused adventure, I did manage to sample the majority (actually nearly all) of the wines produced in Egypt today, simply because I was curious. But before I get to that, let's talk about the other ways in which I encountered wine in Egypt. Starting with five thousand year old tomb paintings of grape trellises and winemaking, four thousand year old bas relief carvings that listed the best winemakers and the best wine producing areas of Egypt, and of course wine... continue reading


Comments Have Now Been Turned Back On

Hello readers. I have returned from my honeymoon and Vinography is now active again. Comments have been re-enabled and blogging will resume tomorrow provided that I actually wake up from this massive case of jet lag.... continue reading

But Wait, There's More!

This page only has the last sixty entries in this category. If you're interested in digging farther into my archives, you'll want to use the complete list of archives to access my articles by month.

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Most Recent Entries

Napa's Big Event Is This Coming Weekend 2002 Chateau Ksara "Gris de Gris" Rose, Bekka Valley, Lebanon Restaurant Review: Sabaya, Cairo If You Can't Drink 'Em, Wear 'Em 2000 Staglin Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Buying Wine For Retirement Things I Missed in May X Winery, Napa: Current Releases Supreme Court Strikes Down Direct Shipping Bans on Wine All About Egyptian Wine

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud