Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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If there’s one thing that people tend to assume about the wines of Bordeaux, it’s that they’re red. Fair enough: The region produces about 89 percent red wine. But the 8 percent or so of dry white wine (the other 3 percent is sweet) that trickles out of Bordeaux’s chateaus is well worth investigating.

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The newly released 2000 Krug Clos D’Ambonnay Brut Champagne is a glorious bottle of wine. It’s easily the best new Champagne I’ve tasted this year. There are only 5,000 bottles of it. And the price is $2,000 a bottle.

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Visiting wine country is great. Paying for that visit to wine country, not so much. Conveniently, the folks at travel-booking site Hipmunk just created a ranked list of the average costs involved in getting to and staying at some of the most popular wine regions in the world.

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Maison F. E. Trimbach, one of the top producers in France’s Alsace region, makes any number of very good wines. They also make one indisputably great wine, which is the family’s Clos Ste. Hune Riesling.

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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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