What is it About Pinot Noir?

A Two-Part Investigation By Dan Berger Given all the hyperbole and exalted language that seems to have blossomed around the most pricey Pinot Noirs over the last decade, you would think that someone would by now have attempted to do something a… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – you may … Continue reading “What is it About Pinot Noir?”

Restaurant Wine Foibles

I have my issues with restaurant wine programs (oh, do I!), starting with the two most egregious problems: high prices and terrible selection. Not to mention far too many young wines. In so many lists you could argue that young wines dominate so g… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – … Continue reading “Restaurant Wine Foibles”

An Odd Tale of Bad Wine Service

About 1990, when I was with The Los Angeles Times, I got a phone call from a woman who was bothered about an experience she had had at a Newport Beach restaurant of some renown. She and three friends had gotten together for a Friday afternoon lunc… Want to read more? If you’re already a … Continue reading “An Odd Tale of Bad Wine Service”

The Durand Saves the Day

At a local restaurant recently, I brought in a bottle of 1961 Dr. Fassi Chianti Classico (and several other old wines) from our cellar. Without asking, the waiter grabbed the bottle off the table intending to “help” by opening it with a standard w… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – … Continue reading “The Durand Saves the Day”

Bargain of the Week

2016 Pierre Sparr Riesling, Alsace, Grande Reserve ($14): Initially slightly simple and just a nice little quaff, this very dry wine actually benefits from being open for a few hours and decanting helps to open it faster. Dry Rieslings from this part… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – you may … Continue reading “Bargain of the Week”

Tasting Notes

Exceptional 2015 Pfendler Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast ($45): This dramatic red wine from a relatively new project based in the Petaluma gap has explosive “Gap” aromatics that include a trace of earth and a beautiful Burgundian component that today is… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – you may login here. If … Continue reading “Tasting Notes”

Tasting Notes

Exceptional 2015 B. Kosuge Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast ($35): The citrus and spice components in the aroma of this sensational, beautifully structured wine add measurably to its initial appeal. But after swirling in a glass for nearly an hour, what s… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – you may login here. If … Continue reading “Tasting Notes”

More on pH and Aging

The issue of pH in white wines is far more complicated mainly because so few people age their whites. Also, chilling white wines (which some people will routinely do at far too low a temperature) helps to create a crisper taste, helping lower-acid… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – you … Continue reading “More on pH and Aging”

What is Cool Climate?

By Dan Berger The phrase “cool climate,” or even “cold climate,” has no legal definition anywhere in the world, taking its rightful place alongside such meaningless terms as reserve, old vine, barrel select, and other such vague-ries. There are… Want to read more? If you’re already a subscriber, welcome back – you may login here. If you aren’t … Continue reading “What is Cool Climate?”