Vinous Table, Italy
Cul de Sac is Rome’s best wine bar. Authentic down to earth, hearty, mostly Roman dishes, a very good selection of charcuterie and cheeses, and a truly hard to lift, huge wine list all make a night at Cul de Sac memorable.
featured, France: Rhône & Beaujolais
The 2015 vintage in Beaujolais has attracted more attention from both consumers and the trade than any vintage in my experience. While I tasted a higher percentage of outstanding wines from 2015 than ever before, many of them aren’t exactly what I would call classic renditions of the region.
Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite, France: Champagne
Bollinger’s 2002 Vieilles Vignes Françaises remains one of the most compelling wines of this iconic Champagne vintage.
featured, France: Champagne
Champagne remains one of the hottest regions in the world. The emergence of small, family run domaines continues at a fast pace as the grower Champagne movement comfortably settles into its second generation. Many of the grandes marques, Champagne’s historic high-end houses, have quietly expanded their ranges, with an assortment of single-parcel and/or late-release ultra tête de cuvée bottlings that did not exist just a few years ago. All of that means consumers have never had more choice – at all ends of the quality and style spectrum – than they do today.
Italy: North, Vinous Table
I haven’t done the math, but I would be willing to bet no other place in the world can match Piedmont for its sheer concentration of world-class restaurants, most of which are situated within a few kilometers from each other. Located in the heart of Barbaresco, Campamac is the newest addition to Piedmont’s glorious dining scene.
featured, Verticals & Retrospectives
For my money, Miani proprietor Enzo Pontoni makes Italy’s greatest white wines. None of Pontoni’s other wines showcase his amazing talent more than the Ribolla Gialla. Concentrated and complex yet also crystalline, Pontoni’s Ribolla is light years ahead of everyone else’s.
Cellar Favorites, cellar favorite, United States: California
Tasted from magnum, Spottswoode’s 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon is gorgeous and in a great spot right now. The exotic bouquet, with its myriad shades of smoke, graphite, espresso, savory herb and spice, is super-inviting. Deep, pliant and resonant on the palate, the 2002 captures the natural radiance of this warm Napa Valley vintage in its voluptuous fruit and soft contours.
D’Brendelstub offers a nice mix of tradition and twenty-first century flair, with modernist lighting and open kitchen, but also a spit-roast and mostly old Alsatian reliables on the menu (choucroute, tarte flambée, kugelhof, and foie gras.)
featured, France: Burgundy
Following the drought vintage of 2015 and its atypically rich but sometimes unwieldy wines, 2016 yielded fresh, pure, aromatic wines that should offer considerable early pleasure. But concentration levels vary widely in ’16, as a severe late-April hailstorm had a major impact on vine yields in much of the southern Mâconnais.
featured, France: Bordeaux, France: Burgundy
I was delighted to once again participate in the Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival, which is held every October in Toronto. Grand Cru attracts many of the biggest names in food and wine for a weekend-long series of events, tastings and dinners, all held to benefit the Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation. The highlight of Grand Cru takes place on Saturday night, when thirty couples host some of the world’s most acclaimed chefs and vintners in their homes for a series of intimate dinners. This dinner raised an astounding C$1.2m for charity.