Wine Travels and Reviews

June 20, 2014

When Boulder Wine Merchant owner and Master Sommelier Brett Zimmerman and I chatted the other day about why you should trust your sommelier, he made an observation that struck me for its sheer brilliance and simplicity.

"One of ways that the sommelier makes your dining experience better," he said, "is that — if you let she or he chose the wine for you — you can spend more time talking to your dinner companion, whether a first date, a spouse, or an old friend."

"Why devote so much time to leafing through a 500-bottle list," he noted, "when the sommelier already knows which wines are showing best? That way, you can talk to your date."

When we spoke last...

June 13, 2014

In case you're not familiar with the Coravin, it's a tool that allows wine professionals to extract wine from a bottle without breaking its seal or removing the cork. The device itself is a high-tech syringe that's inserted into the bottle through the cork. Because it doesn't allow any air to enter the bottle, the fitness of the remaining wine is not compromised.

The Coravin was launched in July 2013 (click here for the company's press release announcing the launch) and since that time, it's become immensely popular among wine professionals across the U.S.

On June 3, subscribers to the Coravin email...

June 6, 2014

Danny Meyer, Jonathan Waxman, Jacques & Claudine Pépin, Marcus Samuelsson... Reading the schedule of events and seminars for the first day of the Aspen Food & Wine Classic (June 20-22) is like reading a who's who of America's leading chefs and food personalities.

In the world of international food and wine festivals, the Aspen Food & Wine Classic, founded in 1982 by the editors of Food & Wine magazine, is king: there is perhaps no other gathering that brings together more top food celebrities.

And it also draws the crème de la crème of American and international foodies, gastronomes, gourmets, gourmands,...

May 29, 2014

It seems like just a few years ago that you would offer someone a glass of Prosecco and they would invariably light up and say, "oh, great, Champagne!"

Today, the exact opposite is true. Prosecco is so ubiquitous at social events that most people will just assume that the sparkling wine in their glass is Prosecco.

There are so many fine sparkling wines available to us today in the U.S.: Crémant from the Loire Valley, Crémant from Burgundy, Franciacorta and Trento from northern Italy, Cava from Spain, Sekt from German-speaking countries, and many, many others.

But because of their popularity, Champagne and Prosecco seem to be the two categories that appear most often — whether...

May 22, 2014

With Memorial Day and the summer season kick-off around the corner, it's that time of year when we begin to crave rosé wines.

Americans have a unique relationship with rosé. After all, we were the ones who gave the world "white Zinfandel" and "blush wines" back in the 1970s. During that decade, some of the big California wineries aggressively marketed "rosés" that weren't really wines at all. In fact, they were what we would call "wine coolers" today. They were "wine products" to which flavorings and often sweeteners were added.


May 15, 2014

"Nestled among the foothills of the Coast Range of mountains at Rutherford, in Napa County, about sixty miles from San Francisco, in the State of California," wrote the editors of The Illustrated American in 1891, "is the famous Inglenook Vineyard, where are produced what the Wine and Spirits Traders' Society of New York a few years ago pronounced the best Californian wines ever placed on the market. The vineyard is the property of Captain Gustave Niebaum, a millionaire resident of San Francisco, whose chief aim since it came into his possession has been to produce a quality of wine which would compare favorable with the best products of the vineyards of Europe."


May 8, 2014
The Italian Beer Renaissance: Menabrea (Piedmont, 1846) at Boulder Wine Merchant, Wednesday, May 14, 5-7 p.m.
If you've traveled to Italy in the last five years, you know that Italians are thoroughly enjoying their beer renaissance.
It stretches back to the 1990s, when a new wave of micro-breweries in Piedmont and the Veneto began producing artisanal beers.
Above: we will be featuring Menabrea beers from...
May 5, 2014

Join us at in the private dining room of Pizzeria Locale for an en event with François Xavier Barc of Complices de Loire in the Loire Valley.  F.X. is the former winemaker for the prestigious Domaine Charles Joguet in Chinon.  His skills with producing wines from Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, and Cabernet Franc are unparalleled and this is the first opportunity to purchase these wines in Colorado.  F.X. will be hosting a seminar on the Loire Valley and we will taste 9 different wines to show the differences with the wines produced in these regions.  The cost for this seminar and wines will be $30 per person with only 14 seats available.  There...

May 1, 2014

Here's the thing about having dinner at the fabulous Del Posto on the west side of Manhattan, Lidia Bastianich, Joe Bastianich, and Mario Batali's flagship restaurant.

You don't just see celebrities (they're there, too). You see FOOD celebrities.

On the night I dined there this week, my party and I happened to bump into Scott Conant, chef, restaurateur, Italian gastronomy expert, author, television star, and one of the coolest dudes in the industry.

Del Posto is one of the most exciting dining rooms in the City and beyond the superb food and incredible wine list, the space and vibe alone are worth the price of admission...

April 24, 2014

We really loved Eric Asimov's column this week in the New York Times, "A Wine Critic’s Realm Isn’t a Democracy."

"Should wine critics allow their personal preferences to color their critical views?" asks Eric. "Or should they remain neutral on questions regarding a wine’s style, regardless of how they feel about it?"

The piece, inspired by a recent trans-Atlantic social media discussion on the subject among high-profile wine writers, doesn't hold back when it comes to criticizing those who believe the wine writer's role should be driven by objectivity....