Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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The Douro Valley is one of the most beautiful wine regions in the world, and one of the most historic. Despite its natural beauty, though, it’s long been a difficult place for wine travelers to get to, much less stay. Thankfully, that’s now changing, most recently with the opening of the impressive Six Senses Douro Valley resort.

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Actor Sam Neill is probably most famous for his starring role in the original Jurassic Park movie, but in the wine world, he’s known for his Central Otago estate Two Paddocks, which makes some of New Zealand’s top Pinot Noirs.

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Scott Worcester opened the Maine wine store Sawyer's Specialties almost 20 years ago. He knows wine, but more to the point—his family’s been on the Maine coast since the late 1600s—he also knows lobster. 

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Since I’m a huge fan of popping open bottles of bubbly during the warm months, here are a few great possibilities.

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New York is home to dozens of very good wine lists. But the most remarkable wine list I’ve come across devoted to older wines—or, to be more specific, wines that have had enough cellar age that they’re drinking perfectly—has to be the list at Eli Zabar’s restaurant Eli’s Table.

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A lot of recent debate in the wine world has concerned questions of balance. Are black-fruited Napa Cabernets that weigh in at 15.5% alcohol a sure sign of wrongheaded winemaking, or are they exactly the way they should be? Is Pinot Noir at a less extravagant 12.5% balanced, nuanced and expressive—or is it just sharp, unpleasant and flavor-challenged? Winemaker Sean Thackrey weighs in with an open letter.

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F&W’s Ray Isle discovers what happens to a bottle of wine submerged in ocean water for 150 years.


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E. Guigal is one of the most famous producers of Rhône wines. Ray Isle recently sat down with winemaker Philippe Guigal to taste several vintages of the winery's acclaimed (and super-expensive) Château d'Ampuis Côte Rôtie, as well as some of Guigal's more affordable—and very impressive—other bottlings.

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The history of Champagne holds a number of extraordinary women, but men have generally dominated the most powerful positions in the industry. Here, F&W chats with Sandrine Logette-Jardin, the chef de cave (head winemaker) for Champagne Duval Leroy, and the first woman to hold that position at an independently owned Champagne house.  

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The sun is shining, the weather is sweet, and whether or not you want to move your dancing feet à la the Bob Marley song, at the very least you need a good glass—or bottle—of wine. Here are fifteen terrific bottles for under $20 that are ideal for any summer event.

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