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Traveler of the year

Wine & Spirits

December 2021
Dec 21, 2021

St. Lucia Serves Lots of Liquid Happiness

Just as inextricably linked to St. Lucia as the emerald twin peaks of The Pitons are sugarcane and chocolate — both factor into the most delectable drinks you’ll encounter on this lushest of tropical islands.

Wine & Spirits
Nov 5, 2021

Seasonal Sips for Thanksgiving

Wow your Thanksgiving guests with a signature drink. Wine and beer are always a staple, but giving a seasonal option kicks up your feast just a tad more. From drinks with appetizers or a dessert cocktail to end the night, try these during your holiday season.

Wine & Spirits
Sep 28, 2021

Football Season Just Got Better with Longbranch Bourbon

The weather is getting colder, kids are back in school and the dog days of summer have come to an end. Americans wait patiently each week for their football team’s day to play, all while dreaming of the accompaniments that go hand in hand with the game. Make a new addition to your bar cart and sip on something different this season with Longbranch Bourbon.

Wine & Spirits
Sep 7, 2021

Sip on Science with Endless West Whiskey

Experience a new, bold taste through the use of molecular distilling from plants, fruit and yeast. Endless West discovered a one-of-a-kind distilling technique, analyzing the molecules that create the flavors and aromas needed to concoct the perfect whiskey. Each small batch is analyzed through smell and taste to determine the molecular components they wish to experience through the drink. Next, the molecules are gathered through natural resources. These ingredients are brought to the lab to be crafted into different iterations until perfected. Lastly, the product is bottled to be shared with the world.

Jun 25, 2021

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa Debuts Halona Kai Beer Garden

Recently renovated Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa launched its Halona Kai Beer Garden pop-up series, bringing Maui brews to meet Maui views and celebrate the summer season. Sip a cold Maui beer or seltzer while taking in the breathtaking views of the island. The beer garden will be offered three times a week, 5–9 p.m.

Wine & Spirits
May 12, 2021

Preakness-Inspired Cocktail at The Ivy Hotel Honors Black Jockey History

Magdalena, a Maryland Bistro in The Ivy Hotel partnered with Uncle Nearest premium whiskey to create a Preakness-inspired cocktail ahead of this weekend’s event. The Laws and Lilies libation honors the contributions of Black jockeys in the early days of American horse racing. Emmanuel S. West, Jr., director of food & beverage, The Ivy Hotel, crafted the cocktail using Uncle Nearest’s 1856 Premium Whiskey.

April/May 2021
Apr 18, 2021

Sokol Blosser Celebrates 50 years of Winemaking in the Willamette Valley

When Bill Blosser and his wife, Susan Sokol Blosser, moved from Portland to the Willamette Valley more than 50 years ago with dreams of starting a winery, neither had any farming, business or viniculture background, and Oregon had no history of winemaking success. Armed with only the dream of “growing things,” a pioneering spirit and a burgeoning American wine industry, they set out to make high-quality Pinot Noir in a location whose climate and terroir mimicked that of Burgundy, one of the world’s most revered regions for the fickle red varietal.

Wine & Spirits
Apr 1, 2021

4 Brightly Colored Cocktails for Easter Brunch

Easter is this weekend and so is your Sunday brunch. Enjoy these light, refreshing cocktails to accompany your meal or as a sweet way to end your holiday.

Wine & Spirits
Mar 18, 2021

Travel Down the Rabbit Hole with Obsidian Wine Co.

A couple months ago, Obsidian Wine Co. launched an Outdoor Adventure Series that takes wine tasting out of the tasting room and into nature, but its newest adventure, Down the Rabbit Hole, sets the bar higher.

December 2020
Dec 11, 2020

Domaine Bousquet Nurtures the Land to Produce the Finest Organic Wines

Thirty years ago, Jean Bousquet, a member of a third-generation winemaking family from Carcassonne in the south of France, visited Argentina. Traveling around the country, he found himself in the Tupungato district of Uco Valley, a high, desolate area 5,250 feet above sea level. A wine professional, he could sense the barren region’s possibilities as a new viticulture area, so much so that when he returned to France, he convinced his family to buy property there. Ten years later, in 2000, the Bousquets planted their first vineyards in Argentina. Five years later they sold their first wine. Beginning with that first sale, Domaine Bousquet wine has been organic — a rarity at that time in Argentina.

November 2020
Nov 29, 2020

Savor MacRostie Winery’s Exceptional Burgundy-Style Wines

California boasts 4,200 bonded wineries and produces more than 240 million cases of wine each year from more than 100 grape varieties. Of those varieties, the most important white grape is Chardonnay and the fourth-most popular red is now Pinot Noir; both grapes are the basis of all fine Burgundies.

Lifestyle / Wine & Spirits
Sep 14, 2020

Raise a Glass of Red Wine and Reap its Many Benefits

It fascinates. It relaxes. It intrigues. It adds complexity to a meal. And now, as a number of scientific studies completed over the past few years have shown, red wine is also good for our health.

August 2020
Aug 20, 2020

Straight or Mixed, Enjoy the Unique Spirit of Svedka Vodka

Svedka is a Swedish vodka whose quality outpaces its price. First made by Guillaume Cuvelier in Lidköping, Sweden, in 1998, it arrived in the United States in 2007 through its American owner, Constellation Brands, and has since become the vodka of choice for many American drinkers. Taken by its winning combination of taste and cost, they made it one of the top-selling vodka brands in the United States.

April 2020
Apr 1, 2020

Eco-Friendly Methods of Grape Growing

THE LABELS ON SOME OF TODAY’S wine bottles sport a relatively new vocabulary, one that explains how the grapes were grown and made into wine. They include such terms as sustainable, organic and biodynamic, among others, and they warrant some explanation. Were the grapes grown by sustainable farming? Were they sprayed with organic fertilizers? Is the wine biodynamic? A number of the terms are new to many consumers. Some are controlled by the U.S. government; others are not. For simple definitions of this relatively new vocabulary, consider the following.

March 2020
Mar 11, 2020

Sip Fine Wine, Dine and Enjoy Excellent Entertainment at City Winery

CITY WINERY IS JUST WHAT its name suggests: a winery in the center of a city. Its new winery/concert space/restaurant opens its doors this month at Hudson River Pier 57 in Manhattan. The base of every City Winery, a winery is simply one aspect of its pleasures. Like the original City Winery introduced by Michael Dorf in New York City in 2008, the new iteration shares its working winery space with an array of music shows and dining experiences.

February 2020
Feb 11, 2020

Don’t Overlook Southern England’s Sparkling Wine

THE GRAPE BASE IS VIRTUALLY the same as Champagne — Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. They are made by the same two-fermentation Champagne method. And, like Champagne, the finished result is a sparkling wine. One difference, though: This bubbly is made not in France’s Champagne region but in the southern part of England. So much is English sparkling wine a growing industry, the majority of wine currently produced in England’s 450 wineries is now sparkling.

January 2019
Jan 9, 2020

Bold and Beautiful

THE REGION OF UMBRIA lies in the center of Italy, sheltered on all sides by other Italian regions, including Tuscany on the northwest. As well as medieval hilltop villages and historic towns such as Assisi and Spoletto, Umbria is known for its white truffles in the fall and for its wines, particularly those made of Sagrantino. It is, in fact, the only wine region in Italy that grows the red Sagrantino grape.

December 2019
Dec 18, 2019

Pop the Cork!

WE DRINK CHAMPAGNE as an aperitif. We raise flutes of Champagne to toast people, memories and victories. And yet, when our meal begins, we usually put the Champagne flute aside and reach for a glass of still wine. But have you ever considered sharing the bubbly ones with food? If not, there are pleasant surprises ahead. Champagne, with its effervescence, its acidity and its clarity, often highlights food flavors we might otherwise miss.

Lifestyle / Mixology
Nov 13, 2019

Sip and Sail

IT IS IN THE NATURE OF THINGS we love to want to trace them to their beginnings. It is also in the nature of things we love to enjoy sharing them with others. Put the two together, add a ship, and that is what wine enthusiasts can expect on a wine cruise. Sail along historic rivers, disembark to visit wineries, walk the vineyards, taste the wines and later, on the ship, enjoy dinner with other wine lovers while sipping wines highlighting your meal. A wine-rich day ends with a peaceful night’s sleep as the ship sails on to tomorrow’s vinous treat.

October 2019
Oct 9, 2019

A Tuscan Tradition

IT BEGAN IN THE LATE 1800S with Ferruccio Biondi Santi, who built on the work begun by his grandfather, Clemente Santi, and produced the first Biondi-Santi Brunello di Montalcino. Today, seven generations later, the Biondi Santi family still produces the wine at its Tenuta Greppo estate in the Montalcino commune of Tuscany, with the wine still considered among the greatest of Tuscan wines.

Lifestyle / Wine & Spirits
Sep 1, 2019

Wines of Alice Loubaton

ALICE LOUBATON IS AN AMERICAN who lived and worked in France for 10 years. Now settled in the United States, she combined her love and considerable knowledge of wine with marketing experiences in both countries to establish Loubaton Imports, a small company bringing the wines of France’s small, family-owned and -operated producers to the United States. None of these producers make large quantities of wine. Some of the wines have never before crossed the Atlantic. Fresh to the American palate, many are worthy discoveries in quality and price.

August 2019
Aug 1, 2019

Willamette Valley Wines

THEY BELIEVED IT WAS a path to a bright future, pioneers who, some 50 years ago, moved to Oregon and planted Pinot Noir and other grape varietals not usually found in that state.

July 2019
Jul 1, 2019

Bushmills Irish Whiskey

IN THE CURRENT SWIRL of Americans’ changing tastes, Irish whiskey’s popularity soared over the last decade, with sales growing substantially, particularly among higher-priced bottles. One of those U.S.-bound labels is Bushmills, the oldest of all Irish whiskeys, having been the country’s first whiskey distillery licensed, in 1608.

June 2019
Jun 1, 2019

Wine and Your Health

RAISE A GLASS OF RED WINE. Down it and know that beverage is as satisfying for your heart as it is for your taste buds. So say scientists who conducted innumerable studies on the subject.

May 2019
May 1, 2019

McQueen and the Violet Fog Gin

THE DUTCH MADE IT FIRST, probably in the early 17th century, and called it genever after the juniper berries that made its base. Over centuries, the name evolved into gin, and today many of the best-known brands of gin are made far from its land of origin. Now to gins produced in Great Britain, the United States, Spain, Germany and other countries, we can add Brazil’s McQueen and the Violet Fog.

April 2019
Apr 1, 2019

Pasqua Wines

THEY ARE THE THIRD GENERATION to lead Pasqua Vigneti e Cantine, the winery named for their family and started in Italy’s Veneto region in 1925. And they are determined to make their wines as well-known in the United States as they are in their home country. The winery produces about 1.5 million cases of wine each year, much of which it exports to 50 countries. Since taking over control of Pasqua in 2014, the members of the third generation have worked to put a fresh face on Pasqua wines in America.

March 2019
Mar 1, 2019

Chappellet Wine

FIFTY YEARS AGO, Molly and Donn Chappellet left their life in swanky Beverly Hills and moved their family to a rugged, 320-acre mountainside in Napa Valley called Pritchard Hill. Donn’s goal: to make fine wine that would echo some of the world’s top growths.

February 2019
Feb 1, 2019

Trivento, Mendoza Region

TRIVENTO, IN SPANISH, MEANS “THREE WINDS,” a perfectly descriptive name for the Argentine winery where three beneficial winds blow across its vineyards in the Mendoza region. They are the polar wind of winter, the warming Zonda in the spring and the cooling Sudestada wind of summer. Each plays a vital part in producing the grapes that make the wines of Trivento. With them, winemaker Germán Di Cesare produces a variety of wines including Chardonnay, Torrontes, Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Syrah and, especially, Malbec.

January 2019
Jan 1, 2019

X Wines

X MARKS THE SPOT — often the spot where a treasure can be found. And one such treasure is X wines, chosen by Xavier Flouret of the wine importing company Cognac-One. Its wines, with a large “X” on their labels, are boutique wines Flouret selects from his travels around the world, wines made by small producers he feels provide excellent representations of their region, their grapes, their type.

December 2018
Dec 1, 2018

Honey Wine from Bee D’Vine

“DON’T CALL IT MEAD,” Ayele Solomon said. “It’s honey wine, the world’s oldest fermented drink.”

October 2018
Oct 1, 2018

Padre Azul Tequila

IT IS AN AUSTRIAN TAKE on a Mexican original. And yet it is a product of Mexico totally true to its Mexican origins. It is Padre azul, a tequila born out of an intercontinental love affair. Adrian Alvarez Maxemin, from Guadalajara, Mexico, was studying German in Heidelberg, Germany, when she met HP Eder, an Austrian working at a local bank. After they fell in love, they went to Mexico to meet her family, and Eder tasted his first true tequila. For him, it was “the most delicious spirit I had ever had.”

September 2018
Sep 1, 2018

Alentejo’s Versatile Reds and Whites

IN LAST MONTH’S COLUMN, I talked about the wines of Alentejo, the Portuguese region that opens like a fan southeast of Lisbon. On my recent trip there, I tasted so many interesting wines I could not mention all in one column. And so, this month, we continue our tour of Alentejo.

August 2018
Aug 1, 2018

Wines on the Wing 2018

THE PIERRE HOTEL OPENED IN 1930, a handsome, light-shaded building on the corner of Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue and East 61st Street with sweeping views of Central Park. Eighty-eight years later, it remains one of the city’s most elegant and luxurious hotels. With its reputation for excellent care and distinguished service, it attracted such guests over the years as Audrey Hepburn, Coco Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, Yves Saint Laurent and Paul Newman. And it has been the hotel of choice for scenes in several movies and television programs. Today, managed by Taj Hotels, this landmark hotel remains an oasis in the city, offering not only white glove service to guests but also dynamic food and beverage service, from cocktails to afternoon tea to French-American fare in its Perrine restaurant.

August 2018
Aug 1, 2018

Alentejo Wines

ALENTEJO FANS OUT EAST OF LISBON, an enormous arc of land covering nearly one-third of Portugal yet holding barely 7 percent of the country’s people. What it lacks in population, it more than makes up for in its wines and vineyards, its cheeses, hams, sausages, cork oak trees and the wheat that makes its memorable breads. And it is equally rich in archaeological finds, ancient towns and millennia-old wine methods. Two thousand years ago, the Romans, who had a long stay in what is now Portugal, made their wine in large clay amphorae. During a recent trip through Alentejo, I came across amphorae, both old and new, in a number of wineries and tasted wines being made in them today.

July 2018
Jul 1, 2018

Greek Wines

IT MAY BE ABLE TO TRACE ITS WINE HISTORY back some 6,000 years, perhaps longer than any country, but Greece looks forward, not backward, with the wine it produces today. While some wineries make Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and other wines from Western grapes, most make their best and most interesting wines from Greece’s own original native varieties.

June 2018
Jun 1, 2018

Ketel One Vodka

IT WAS IN 1691 IN THE DUTCH TOWN of Schiedam that Carolus Nolet made his first spirit with the goal of creating an exceptionally fine, smooth vodka. Today, 327 years and 11 generations later, the Nolet family still makes exceptionally fine, smooth vodka, producing the spirit in Schiedam and still using Carolus’ original copper pot still, along with other stills and modern distilling techniques.

May 2018
May 1, 2018

Brunello di Montalcino Wine

WHENEVER WINE AFICIONADOS talk about Italy’s greatest wines, they are sure to bring up Brunello di Montalcino, often the first and, occasionally, the only one mentioned. A Tuscan wine, it is made solely from Sangiovese Grosso, the grape grown in vineyards surrounding the town of Montalcino, 20 miles south of Siena. This super clone of Sangiovese bears large, rich, thick-skinned berries that are brown-shaded — thus, the name Brunello. And it is capable of making bold, flavorful red wines, most of which need years of aging to reach their peak. In fact, Italian wine laws require Brunello di Montalcino be aged five years after harvest before it is released and its riserva six years before being put on the market.

April 2018
Apr 1, 2018

Find a Good Wine That’s Right for You

OFTEN, AFTER I’VE PRESENTED a wine tasting to people relatively new to wine, they are eager to ask questions: “How do I know I’ll like a wine?” “What’s an interesting wine?” “What’s a wine that tastes good and won’t cost too much?” “What would you drink with spaghetti? With salad?” And always, “What’s a good wine?”

Mar 1, 2018

Rosé: A Wine for All Seasons

ONCE, ROSÉ WAS A WINE to sip in summer and to put away when the calendar flipped to fall. No longer. As wine retailers and sommeliers discovered, there are sizable requests for rosé all year ʼround, and for good reason. A well-made, dry rosé may be the ultimate pairing wine, one that comfortably accompanies the widest range of dishes — almost any dish, in fact, other than heavy, dark meat courses. Another reason for its popularity: It is simply delicious.

February 2018
Feb 1, 2018

Henriot Champagne

OF ALL THE MAJOR PRODUCERS in France’s Champagne region, only a few are family-owned. One of the few is Maison & Domaines Henriot, founded in 1808 and today, seven generations later, still making outstanding Champagne. As a privately owned Champagne house, Henriot chooses to keep its production low, to just over 1 million bottles a year, while most larger houses in the region turn out many millions annually.

January 2018
Jan 1, 2018

Alto Adige Pinot Grigio

FAME CAN BE FICKLE. And the more famous something becomes, the more likely its true nature is lost. Take Pinot Grigio, for example. Born in France centuries ago as the brownish pink-skinned Pinot Gris grape, it crossed the border into Italy. There renamed Pinot Grigio, by the turn of this century it had become the most popular white wine in that country and, soon, Italy’s most popular imported white wine in the United States.

December 2017
Dec 1, 2017


IT WAS LOVE AT FIRST SIP. It happened in the south of France where drinks like Pernod are particularly popular. I poured a bit in a glass and marveled at its brilliant, transparent, green-tinged, golden-yellow shade; breathed in its sweet licorice aroma; and then, since I was told it would bring out even more pleasure, I added some water. Immediately, the clear liquid turned a creamy-looking, opaque shade. And the aroma, already rich, now offered a deeply exotic bouquet of anise and licorice, flowers and a garden of herbs and left a delightful, lingering aftertaste. It was pure pleasure, and I, who love licorice, had found my favorite aperitif.

November 2017
Nov 1, 2017

Meunier, Champagne’s Other Grape

MEUNIER IS CHAMPAGNE’S other grape, the one we rarely hear about. And yet it is an integral part of the region’s famed sparkling wines. Champagne can be made from three grapes — Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier — either totally from one grape or a combination of two or three. But while wine fans are acquainted with the light-skinned Chardonnay and dark-skinned Pinot Noir, not many realize dark-skinned Meunier is every bit as important to Champagne. In fact, there is more Meunier planted in Champagne than Chardonnay.

October 2017
Oct 1, 2017

Wines of Château de Chausse

MENTION THE WINES of Provence and most people think pink. Understandably so. Rosé comprises 35 percent of the wine made in this region in southern France, almost 6 percent of all rosé made in the world. But Provence also produces less known and highly attractive whites and reds.

September 2017
Sep 1, 2017

Affordable Bordeaux

IN A WINE REGION FAMOUS FOR its expensive red wines and large enough to warrant 60 area appellations, the challenge of finding good wines at reasonable prices may loom as overwhelming. But Bordeaux, one of the world’s most highly regarded wine regions — whose top-rated wines often sell for hundreds and, when they are also well-aged and from a highly rated vintage, may cost thousands — also produces a remarkable number of great and affordable finds.

August 2017
Aug 1, 2017

Wines on the Wing 2017

CITY WINERY IS JUST WHAT its name says: a working winery in the heart of a city — New York City, in fact. Opened in 2009 by wine enthusiast Michael Dorf, it offers the rare urban setting where wine lovers can make their own wine from grapes chief winemaker David Lecomte selects in California, New York state, Oregon and Argentina. They can bottle their wine and add custom labels. They can attend wine and food courses, wine tastings, wine seminars and wine dinners. And they can celebrate the joy of it all with music programs in the evening in City Winery’s adjoining large social space.

August 2017
Aug 1, 2017

Hungary’s Dry Furmint Wines

ASK WINE FANS ABOUT Tokaji and they will gladly talk about Hungary’s famous sweet white wine. Ask them about Furmint and most will have a quizzical look. Tell them it is the white grape that makes sweet Tokaji and they will nod. Add that Furmint also produces a lovely dry wine and nearly all will be surprised.

Jul 1, 2017

Laphroaig Whisky

FOR ALL THE DAZZLE of the modern digital age, centuries-old products continue to bring delight, comfort and joy. And Scotch, the fabled whisky of Scotland, is one of them. Scotch takes its basic character from barley, its raw material. As a result, where the barley is grown and how it is treated very much determines the whisky’s ultimate taste and character. That individualistic taste is especially strong in single malt Scotch, whisky made solely from the barley of a single distillery. No blends, no additions, simply a pure representation of its origins.

June 2017
Jun 1, 2017

Bruno Paillard Champagnes

COMPARED TO MANY Champagne houses that are a century and more old, Bruno Paillard is a relative newcomer. While members of the Paillard family have been growers and brokers in the Champagne region since the early 1700s, none ever made Champagne. In 1981 Bruno Paillard, at the age of 27, broke that tradition when he sold his vintage Jaguar for 50,000 francs and used the money to establish Champagne Bruno Paillard. In 2007 he set another new Paillard tradition when his daughter, Alice, then in her twenties, joined him. After working in the vineyards and cellar and studying the business side of Champagne, she is now co-director.

Lifestyle / Wine & Spirits
May 1, 2017

Burgundy’s 2015 Wines

BURGUNDY, A QUIET LAND of tiny, medieval stone villages and pocket-sized vineyards in eastern France, makes some of the world’s greatest wines, and it does so using only two varietals. Whites are made totally from Chardonnay, and reds are made totally from Pinot Noir. Other countries plant the same grapes, and many make exceptionally fine wines from them, but none quite achieves the mystique of Burgundy. Only in Burgundy do these grapes produce wines as sensuous as liquid silk.

April 2017
Apr 1, 2017

Caribbean Rum Varieties

THE SPANIARDS INTRODUCED sugar cane to the Caribbean centuries ago, and today, while rum is produced nearly everywhere sugar cane grows, the Caribbean makes the most rum and the most varieties.

Mar 1, 2017

South African Airways Wines

SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS boasts an 83-year history, founded in 1934. Today the international airline serves 38 airports in 26 countries. And for the 31st year, it continues its meticulous program of choosing the wines offered on board. Like many airlines of wine-producing countries, South African Airways is justly proud of its own nation’s wines and serves its passengers South Africa’s best. Choosing those wines is a painstaking exercise that brings out the finest of the offerings.

February 2017
Feb 1, 2017

Sicilian Wines

SICILY HAS BEEN MAKING wine for millennia and today claims more vineyards than any other wine region in Italy. Yet it has only recently garnered international recognition for producing high-quality table wines. Some come from international varieties, but more interesting are those from ancient grapes grown in Sicily since the time of the Greeks.

January 2017
Jan 1, 2017

Spain’s Garnacha Grape

IN FRANCE, THE UNITED STATES and Australia, the grape is called Grenache. In Spain its name is Garnacha. And it is known by a variety of other names depending on where it is planted, ranging from Italy to Mexico to Morocco to Croatia and beyond. It is one of the world’s most widely planted grapes, yet it is not well-known as a wine. The main reason: Most often used as part of a blend, its name does not appear on the label.

December 2016
Nov 23, 2016

Holiday Punch Recipes

You’ve decorated for the holidays, set out the hors d’oeuvres and are ready to host your party. But should you also be bartender? Is it possible to make individual drinks to please each guest and still be free to enjoy the evening?

November 2016
Nov 1, 2016

Wine Pop Quiz

1. How many U.S. states have wineries?

Lifestyle / Wine & Spirits
Oct 1, 2016

Napa Valley’s St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery

The term “ estate” is not seen on many California wine labels. In the Napa Valley, for instance, only seven of its 475 wineries can legally add the word to every bottle they produce. The reason? In order to declare a wine “estate,” it must come from grapes grown on land owned or controlled by the winery located in the same area as the winery, and the grapes must be made into wine on that winery’s premises. Many California wineries do not own enough vineyards or they produce a range of wines that require them to buy grapes from other areas.

September 2016
Sep 1, 2016

Bordeaux, Les Vignobles André Lurton

André Lurton, a Bordeaux winemaker, heads Les Vignobles André Lurton, a 63-year-old family company that owns more than 3,000 acres of vineyards and 27 estates.

August 2016
Aug 1, 2016

Wines of Walla Walla

Walla Walla may be a name that runs trippingly off the tongue, but the wines of this relatively new region are not yet the first Pacific Northwest bottlings that come immediately to mind. Spread across the southeast corner of Washington state between the Columbia and Snake rivers and dipping down into Oregon, the area only began to make wine in the 1970s. Until then, it produced apples and wheat. Today, those orchards have become vineyards and farms are now wineries, about 130 of them at last count. And until I tasted the wines of Pepper Bridge and Amavi, I did not appreciate how fine the wines of Walla Walla could be.

Aug 1, 2016

Wines on the Wing 2016

Meliá Hotels International, based in Spain, operates 350 hotels in 40 countries, but it offered none in the United States until opening INNSIDE New York Nomad in March. There, in an open, light-drenched space enhanced with earth and neutral shades, the hotel offers 300 guestrooms on 20 floors, a wellness suite and Impero Caffé, where well-known chef Scott Conant features Italian bistro cuisine. It also features two meeting rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows.

July 2016
Jul 1, 2016

Bordeaux on a Budget

Château Brown and Château Couhins lie in the Péssac- Léognan area of Bordeaux, south of the city of Bordeaux. Both produce red and white wines from classic Bordeaux grapes, and the wines of both tend to age well and long. Unlike a number of Bordeaux châteaux, however, both offer excellent wines at reasonable prices.

Jul 1, 2016

Prestige Cuvée Champagnes

It is a small, elegant affair to honor a new job, a meaningful promotion, an intimate wedding, a special Father’s Day. A celebration that involves family and closest friends calls for the best. And the best means Champagne’s Prestige Cuvées. They are exceptionally fine Champagnes and tend to be expensive. But then, it is not an event where we pour Champagne for hundreds; it is a gathering for the few, the most meaningful people in our lives. I’ve recently tasted some Prestige Cuvée Champagnes I would gladly choose to serve at my own special celebration. Dom Ruinart represents one of the oldest firms in Champagne, begun in 1729, and it produces an outstanding blanc de blancs. Tasting the 2004 ($130) vintage, I found it aromatic with hints of citric fruits; a clean, smooth body; and lovely aftertaste. Overall, a most elegant Champagne. Like all blanc de blancs Champagnes, Taittinger Comtes de Champagne is made entirely of Chardonnay. Its Blanc de Blancs 2006 ($125) offers exceptionally fine bubbles and a lemony freshness. Lean and clean, it is satisfying and delicious. Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque 2002 ($325), a blanc de blancs, offers a bouquet that reminds one of pear and tropical fruits. Add a floral delicacy in the aroma, a vivaciousness in the body and a finish that is all grace for a most stylish Champagne. In 1876, Czar Alexander II of Russia asked the Champagne house of Louis Roederer to create a special wine for him. It created Cristal, and 140 years later it still produces this special Champagne. Cristal’s latest release, the vintage 2007 ($185), offers a rich bouquet of citric flavors, white fruits and crushed nuts and shows an overall harmonious balance. Moët & Chandon’s Dom Perignon 2006 ($155) pleases as a bright, vibrant sparkler with a floral intensity and beautiful balance of flavors . . . a silky and appealing Champagne. The non-vintage Krug Grande Cuvée ($130) presents a bright, creamy, complex Champagne brimming with aromas of berries and almonds and with a zesty acidity. An intriguing Champagne. As they all are.

Jun 1, 2016

South African Wines

A country whose wine history stretches back to 1659, South Africa enjoyed an oenological rebirth in the mid-1990s after the death of apartheid and the birth of democracy. Today it boasts nearly 600 wineries, with 247,000 acres planted in vines, and produces a range of wines that catch the attention of wine lovers throughout the world. Recently I tasted a group of new releases of South African wines in the United States — some from well-established wineries, some from wineries just entering the international market. Highberry Sauvignon Blanc 2014 ($21) represents both. It hails from a new winery owned by three men with long wine experience, one of whom is Jabulani Ntshangase, the preeminent black South African in that country’s wine world. Its first release is a delicate, subtly flavored, pale-shaded wine offering excellent balance and evoking flavorful citrus fruits. New on the international market, Virgin Earth Sauvignon Blanc 2015 ($19) calls to mind freshly mown grass, a basic aroma of its grape. It also offers a floral essence and a rich array of tropical fruits. With 18 percent of its vineyards planted to Chenin Blanc, South Africa is the world’s largest producer of the grape. And Terre Brulée Chenin Blanc 2014 ($16) proves an interesting example of the many paths the grape can take. The winery’s owner, from France’s Loire, produced a smoky, spicy wine with good acidity and hints of honey and citrus. Pinotage is a grape created in South Africa in the 1920s. Radford Dale Frankenstein Pinotage 2014 ($35) captures the essence of the grape with its dark color, an aroma that recalls plums and other red fruits, and a lingering finish. Thelema remains one of South Africa’s most dependable wineries, and its 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 ($35) continues that reputation. A smooth, stylish, complex wine, it displays dark fruit flavors and a long finish. Ken Forrester Renegade 2011 ($20) offers a blend of Syrah and Grenache and melds the flavors of both — the spice and black olive of Syrah and the earthier flavors of Grenache. They add up to a distinctive, well-structured, full-bodied wine.

Apr 1, 2016

Wine Stains

Marsha said, “I love red wine but I only drink white when I’m at a business function. I don’t want to talk to a client when my teeth are stained with wine.” Purple, she added, is her favorite color, just not on her teeth. But with a few precautions, Marsha need not worry. In fact, she might find red wine safer than white. And this is how we can best manage the problem.

Mar 8, 2016

Spirits Books

Some credit a return of the cocktail culture (though many doubt it ever went away). Others credit an improving economy, new interest in American-made distilled spirits and the next logical step after our enchantment with wine and craft beer. Whatever the reason, Americans are drinking more distilled spirits, and with this abundance of bottles comes an abundance of books about them, their backgrounds and suggestions on how best to enjoy them.

Feb 4, 2016

Ornellaia, Italy

The irony is its grapes grow in an area that for centuries was considered incapable of producing fine fruit. Yet today this wine ranks among the greatest Italy has ever produced. It is Ornellaia, made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, classic Bordeaux grapes grown in the westernmost part of Tuscany.

Jan 1, 2016

Sonoma County Wines

Begun in 1857 in Sonoma County, California’s oldest winery, Buena Vista, still makes remarkable wines. Sonoma is also home to more than 400 other wineries, scattered across the county’s 1 million square acres. Its 60,000 acres of vineyards are planted in up to 50 different types of soil in 17 American Viticultural Areas, distinctive U.S. wine grape growing regions called AVAs, or appellations. With such size and so many diverse soils and varying weather conditions, Sonoma can produce a wide variety of high-quality wines, among them some of California’s finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Dec 3, 2015

Campania’s Ancient Grape Varieties

The ancient wine land of Campania lies along the shin of Italy’s “boot,” with the Mediterranean Sea as its western border and Naples as its capital. With a viticultural history dating back to the 12th century B.C., today Campania offers the pleasure of drinking wines made of grapes often found nowhere else in the world. Look elsewhere for international wines — the Cabernets, Merlots, Chardonnays and Rieslings produced in nearly every winemaking country. In Campania, expect wines made of Aglianico, a red grape introduced to the region millennia ago by the Greeks; Fiano, a white grape planted in the region for hundreds of years and first mentioned by name in the 13th century; the white Greco di Tufo, a light-shaded grape introduced by the Greeks to southern Italy 2,500 years ago; Coda di Volpe, also grown in the Campania region since ancient times; and other “new” grapes.

Nov 4, 2015

LAN And TAM Airline Wine

Separately, they did just fine. Together, they are doing even better. In 2012 LAN Airlines, based in Chile, and TAM Airlines, based in Brazil, became LATAM Airlines Group, the largest airline association in South America. In August of this year, the brand announced a new brand identity as LATAM. LATAM's new brand roll-out begins in 2016 and will continue for three years.

2015 / September 2015
Oct 1, 2015

Hedges Family Estate, Washington

In a way, Tom Hedges backed into winemaking. It was the 1980s and he was marketing American wine in Taiwan. Next, he sold an American Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend he’d purchased to the Swedish government. From there, it was not long until he and his French-born wife, Anne-Marie, thought about making their own wine. To start, they bought 50 acres on the southwest slope of Red Mountain in his native state of Washington; nothing had ever been planted on it. Today, the Hedges Family Estate is celebrating its 25th vintage of wines made from grapes grown on their now 125 acres of Red Mountain. Daughter Sarah is the winemaker. Son Christophe is general manager and director of sales. It is, as its name says, a family affair.

2015 / August 2015
Sep 1, 2015

Wines On The Wing 2015

A recent movie titled Just 45 Minutes from Broadway actually took place miles from this world-famous setting. The Westin New York at Times Square, on the other hand, is barely 4.5 minutes from Broadway, just one block from the center of the city’s celebrated theater world, just steps from more than 40 theaters. In addition to offering its enviable location, the 13-year-old hotel, the first Westin in New York City, recently unveiled the $33 million renovation that provided its 873 guestrooms a fresh, new look — many with spectacular views of Manhattan — and accomplishing it all with energy-saving devices, recycled materials and other environmentally friendly practices. The renovation also included $1.6 million spent on the ninth floor’s 8,760 square feet of meeting and event space and the floor’s center, the stunning Atrium that soars seven stories high.

2015 / August 2015
Sep 1, 2015

Portable Wine Packaging

Once it was wine in clay amphorae — tall, elongated and often pointed toward the bottom. Hardly handy at a picnic. Then glass wine bottles came into use about 2,000 years ago. Not the best thing to take to the beach.

Aug 1, 2015

Asiana Airlines In-Flight Wines

So many factors go into Asiana Airlines’ choice of wines served on its international first- and business-class flights. The carrier must consider both Korean and Western cuisines as well as the taste preferences of 17 million passengers from the 24 countries it serves.

2015 / June 2015
Jul 1, 2015

Rosé Champagne

Mark Twain once said, “Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right.” More than a century later, Americans are doing their part to make rosé Champagne the drink that is just right. Last year, the United States pulled the cork on 3 million bottles of rosé Champagne, raising the pink bubbly to 16.2 percent of all Champagne shipped to this country.

2015 / May 2015
Jun 1, 2015

AsomBroso, Tequila

Tequila has come a long way in a short time. From a low-priced, shudder-producing, raw alcohol, many have moved up the quality scale to become everything they were not before. All tequila is made from the blue agave plant, grown in Mexico and produced in the state of Jalisco and a few surrounding areas. But whereas less expensive mixto contains a minimum of 51 percent blue agave, premium tequila is made 100 percent of the plant. And while cheaper tequila is aged solely in used bourbon casks, the elite is often aged in such containers as used Bordeaux and Napa Valley barrels.

2015 / April 2015
May 2, 2015

Cabernet Sauvignon, Corison Winery, Napa Valley

“You, a winemaker? No one would hire a woman winemaker.” So said Cathy Corison’s professor when she was studying for her master’s degree in oenology to become just that — a winemaker. That was 1978. Today, about 10 percent of the winemakers in California’s 3,700 wineries are women. And Corison, after working in other wineries, has not only owned Corison Winery since 1987, she earned an enviable international reputation for making some of the finest, most elegant, well-balanced Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa Valley. In a region where many Cabernets reach hot-to-the-mouth 15-plus-degree alcohol, Cathy Corison never produces one more than 14.

2015 / March 2015
Apr 1, 2015

Bordeaux, Graves And Pessac-Léognan Districts

Once they were one: Graves, a sub-region within the large Bordeaux region of France. It wasn’t until 1987 that the northern part, beginning just south of the city of Bordeaux, gained its own legal appellation, Pessac-Léognan. Separate or together, they both carry the distinction of their soil. Graves means “gravel,” and true to its name, these two sub-regions have deep levels of gravel and stone, excellent for producing particularly fine grapes and, thus, fine wines. Graves and Pessac-Léognan boast another distinction: They are the only sub-regions in Bordeaux that make both top-class red and top-class white wines. Graves produces 20 million bottles a year, of which two-thirds are red; Pessac-Léognan produces half that many bottles, of which 80 percent are red.

2015 / February 2015
Mar 1, 2015

Dessert Wines

When Shakespeare wrote “Sweets to the sweet” in Hamlet, they were words delivered with flowers scattered in Ophelia’s grave. How the centuries have changed the meaning. Say “Sweets to the sweet” today, and we think of romance, love, sweets to eat and sweets to drink.

2015 / January 2015
Jan 31, 2015

Chenin Blanc, South Africa

Since it first came to light in France about a thousand years ago, Chenin Blanc has been known as a major white grape of the Loire Valley. Ten centuries later, however, it is South Africa that is this versatile grape’s largest producer, accounting for about 20 percent of its vineyards, about twice as many as in the Loire. It’s not that the country suddenly adopted Chenin Blanc; it was introduced into South Africa in the late 1600s. But it spent most of its years there as the country’s workhorse, a grape that blended easily with other grapes in an array of styles. And until recently, it was known there as Steen. Today, South Africa has rediscovered it, the best examples now appearing unblended, bottled as a 100 percent Chenin Blanc, labeled under its proper name (occasionally with Steen added) and offering a vibrant, opulent wine.

2014 / December 2014
Jan 1, 2015

Italy, Lombardy Region, Berlucchi’s Franciacorta

In a country where wines tend to trace their origins back centuries, sparkling Franciacorta is an anomaly. Born in the Lombardy region just 53 years ago, it was the first sparkler in Italy to be made from the same grape varietals and by the same method as Champagne, and in its relatively short history, it has become Italy’s finest sparkler.

2014 / November 2014
Nov 30, 2014

American Wines For Thanksgiving

There were 150 Pilgrims and Native Americans at the first Thanksgiving, a feast that lasted three days. They ate wild turkeys, partridges and other birds; five deer the Native people brought; corn, cranberries and pumpkins. What they lacked that first year was beer, the “water” of their time. But making beer came easily to the settlers since it was the drink of their home country; and once settled in their new land, they enjoyed it during following feasts.

2014 / October 2014
Oct 31, 2014

Lieb Cellars

It was only 40 years ago that Long Island’s first winery was established, and land that once grew potatoes began to sprout grape vines. Today, this region, 85 miles east of New York City, boasts 56 wineries, most at the far end of the island where it splits in two. Forty-seven wineries lie on the North Fork, four on the South Fork, and there are 3,000 acres of vineyards. The lure? With a cool maritime climate, well-drained soils and the longest growing season of East Coast wine regions, Long Island has proven it can grow many of Europe’s finest vinifera grapes.

2014 / September 2014
Oct 1, 2014

Craft Beer

It began as a hunger for flavor, diversity, quality, authenticity and uniqueness. By the mid-1970s, it took on the fervor of a renaissance, beginning with a trickle of microbreweries and a few home brewers. It grew over the years to become today’s highly regarded and highly original American craft beer.

2014 / August 2014
Sep 1, 2014

Wines On The Wing 2014

The Westin New York Grand Central Hotel takes care of its guests from top to bottom. At the top, on its roof, 384 feet above mid-Manhattan, it cultivates a 1,344-square-foot organic vegetable garden whose mesclun greens, arugula, heirloom tomatoes, basil, thyme and other herbs and vegetables become part of the hotel restaurant’s seasonal menus.

2014 / August 2014
Sep 1, 2014

Provence, White Wine

In a region where 89.5 percent of the wine production is rosé, whites have a very small voice. Provence, that glorious stretch in the south of France where sunflowers seem to smile and fields of lavender waft their perfume across the countryside, is the only French wine region where rosé dominates. But hidden behind this sea of rosés are lovely, virtually unknown whites. While they account for only 3.5 percent of Provence’s output (the remaining 7 percent is red), they are nature’s perfection for summer sipping.

2014 / July 2014
Aug 1, 2014

Wines Of Montenegro

At least 53 of the world’s countries make wine. But even that list, extensive though it is, does not mention Montenegro. A small country (population 600,000) with Europe’s largest continuous vineyard (5,700 acres), Montenegro, under the brand name Plantaže, exports to 35 countries, including the United States. And while its vineyards also grow Cabernet Sauvignon and other Western European varieties, it takes particular pride in wines made from its native red grape, Vranac. About 70 percent of its vineyards are planted in red grapes; of those, 70 percent are Vranac.

2014 / June 2014
May 27, 2014

California, Wente Vineyards

“Let me tell you a story,” Carolyn Wente said. And as the fourth generation and CEO of Wente Vineyards, California’s oldest continuously operated, family-owned winery, she had many stories to tell. So did her nephew, fifth-generation Karl Wente, winemaker and senior vice president of winemaking. Their story began in 1883 when Carl H. Wente planted a few acres of grapes in Livermore Valley. Today, Wente owns 3,000 acres of vineyards in Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay and Arroyo Seco in Monterey and produces 600,000 cases of wine annually, about 25 percent of them sold overseas, in 50 countries.

2014 / May 2014
Apr 23, 2014

France, Saint-Émilion, Merlot-Based Reds

It is small and hilly, and nearly every other shop along its steep, narrow streets sells wine. This is Saint-Émilion, the picturesque medieval town in the wine district of Saint-Émilion, 25 miles east of the city of Bordeaux and the oldest winemaking area in the Bordeaux region. While most people think of red Bordeaux as primarily made of Cabernet Sauvignon, Saint-Émilion is known for full, luscious reds based primarily on Merlot; Cabernet Sauvignon plays a minor role in its blends. It is soil that largely determines which grapes grow best, and in Saint-Émilion’s soils, that is Merlot.

2014 / April 2014
Mar 20, 2014

Wines Along the Danube

Never mind the Strauss waltz about the beautiful blue Danube. Is it beautiful? Yes. Blue? No. The wines along the river, on the other hand, are striking shades of red and yellow. They are the products of the nine winemaking countries the Danube passes as it flows nearly 1,800 miles from Germany to the Black Sea.

2014 / March 2014
Feb 28, 2014

Italy, Capezzana, Tenuta di Capezzana

About 12 miles northwest of Florence, within the Tuscan district of Carmignano, lies the village of Capezzana, where unearthed parchments show wine was produced as early as 804. Capezzana is still producing wine, notably at the winery Tenuta di Capezzana, named after its village and owned by the Contini Bonacossi family since the 1920s. Today it is run by the family’s third and fourth generations.

2014 / February 2014
Jan 28, 2014

California, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines

The man accomplished so much I could write a column about that alone. But Jerry Lohr is a modest man. He would much rather talk about his wines. He would much rather compliment his winemaker, Jeff Meier.

2014 / January 2014
Dec 18, 2013

France, Bordeaux

Bordeaux is the largest wine appellation in France, with close to 7,000 producers. But how many do we hear about other than the 61 Grand Cru châteaux plus a handful from Pomerol and Saint-Émilion? Most of their wines are often excellent, all of them always expensive, with the extraordinary 2010 vintage being offered by some châteaux for $1,000 or more a bottle.

2013 / December 2013
Nov 18, 2013

France, A.R. Lenoble Champagne

A fine Champagne does not shout. It draws the taster to its singular character with nuance and subtlety. Nuance and subtlety might be odd words to describe the Champagne of a giant house, one producing millions of bottles — in some cases, well over 100 million each year. But the words are apt descriptions of A.R. Lenoble Champagne, a house that keeps its quality up and its production down to about 400,000 bottles annually, small by most Champagne standards.

2013 / November 2013
Nov 1, 2013

Germany, Mosel And Rheingau Regions, Riesling

Every great grape has a home base, a country or region considered its natural and prime habitat. The finest Pinot Noir, for example, is found in Burgundy. Nebbiolo thrives in Piedmont. And Riesling shows its best in Germany.

2013 / October 2013
Oct 1, 2013

Biodynamic Wines

Just when we understand the meaning of “sustainable,” “organic” and other grape-growing terms, the world of wine is adding another. It is “biodynamics,” a method of grape growing based on principles the Austrian philosopher Rudolph Steiner set in the 1920s. It is, in a way, looking back for its future.

2013 / September 2013
Sep 1, 2013

United States, Napa Valley, Charles Krug Winery

The Charles Krug Winery is a tale of two immigrants. The first, Charles Krug, came to California from Prussia in the 1820s and in 1861 opened the first commercial winery in Napa Valley. The second was Italian-born Cesare Mondavi, who arrived in California in 1922 and bought the winery in 1943. After Cesare, his son Peter headed Charles Krug. Today, 152 years old, the winery is still owned by the Mondavis and now run by Peter’s sons, Peter, Jr. and Marc, with members of the fourth generation beginning to enter the picture — and with Peter, 98 years old, still coming to the winery daily.

2013 / September 2013
Sep 1, 2013

Best Of GT: Wine

SAY WHAT YOU WILL about wine, it is never dull. In its cascade of tastes and types, it overflows with variety. And since the first issue of Global Traveler, nearly 10 years ago, I’ve had the pleasure of writing a monthly column about this subject of infinite possibility. There was wine before there was the written word, and millennia later, it has only gained in appeal. It lured countries once content to produce ordinary jug wine into becoming contenders for international awards. It tempted regions that never before grew a grape to plant acres of vines. It enticed nearly every state in the United States to turn to winemaking. While I’ve written columns about the best of California, Oregon and New York State, Americans are making wine everywhere. Texas has more grapevines than cowboys. Desert-like New Mexico is home to 50 wineries. Idaho still grows potatoes, but it is far more enthusiastic about its wine grapes. Virginia’s vineyards have expanded. So have those of Washington, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Ohio, New Jersey . . . wherever it is possible to grow a grape.

2013 / August 2013
Aug 1, 2013

France, Rhône Valley, Notre Dame de Cousignac

In the seventh century, in a part of France’s Ardèche called Cousignac, a small chapel was built and named Notre Dame. In the 18th century, the Pommier family bought the property and over the years turned the fields into vineyards. The chapel is still there, now in the middle of the Pommiers’ vineyards, and the winery’s name is, appropriately, Notre Dame de Cousignac.

2013 / August 2013
Aug 1, 2013

Wines On The Wing 2013

Stretching across Manhattan from the Hudson River to the East River, 42nd Street changes its face and character nearly every block and, along much of it, exudes nearly 24 hours of brash, kinetic energy.

2013 / July 2013
Jul 1, 2013

Portugal, Alentejo Region, Herdade do Esporão Winery

A winemaker who uses unfamiliar grapes to make unfamiliar wines in an unfamiliar region, Sandra Alves is producing tastes considered not only new but intriguing and sensual as well. Still, the young white-wine winemaker at the huge and complex Herdade do Esporão winery in Portugal’s Alentejo region says, “I try to keep things as simple as possible.”

2013 / June 2013
Jun 1, 2013

Cocktail Names

What’s in a name? When it comes to cocktails, the meaning, the magic, the legend, the lure. A drink by any other name would be as tasty, but would it be as tempting? Would Alcohol and Quinine sound as chic as Gin and Tonic?

2013 / May 2013
May 1, 2013

Italy, Le Marche, Umani Ronchi

Along the superhighway of Italian wine, Le Marche is a side road. Set at the eastern end of central Italy bordering the Adriatic Sea, Le Marche is a quiet place where few travelers venture beyond Urbino, its Renaissance-rich town, and its beaches. But while its region is relatively unheralded, even the casual wine drinker is aware of its major white wine, Verdicchio; and the more dedicated wine lover knows the surprising pleasures of its reds.

2013 / April 2013
Apr 1, 2013

Australia, McLaren Vale, Yangarra Estate Vineyard

Jess Jackson and his wife, Barbara Banke, knew exactly what they wanted: the ideal setting in Australia to grow Rhône grapes. They found it in 2001, in Yangarra Estate in the McLaren Vale region. They also wanted a winemaker who could turn those grapes into outstanding Rhône-style wines. They found him in Peter Fraser, who believes in preserving the essential taste of the grape in his wines.

2013 / March 2013
Mar 1, 2013

United States, Oregon, Sokol Blosser Winery

“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” Susan Sokol Blosser said. And that was after a lifetime of hard decisions, beginning in the early 1970s, when Susan Sokol and her first husband, Bill Blosser, established Sokol Blosser Winery in Oregon, before Oregon had a viable wine industry. Hard decisions continued as she worked the vineyards and heavy equipment and, in 1991, became president of the winery. Then, in 2008, she tackled the hardest one of all. After a slow transition and without being pressured to do so, she resigned from the presidency and appointed her daughter, Alison, and son, Alex, co-presidents of the winery.

2013 / February 2013
Feb 1, 2013

United States, Calif., Paso Robles, Various Wineries

If it weren’t for the Templeton Gap and other dips in the Santa Lucia Range allowing cool marine air from the Pacific Ocean to flow in, California’s Paso Robles region would not be home to 168 wineries. Its climate would be too hot to grow fine grapes. And if it did not have such a wide swing between day and night temperatures, its wines would not be so well-balanced.

2013 / January 2013
Jan 1, 2013

United States, New York’s Finger Lakes, Various Wineries

Upper New York State’s Finger Lakes, a pastoral world of 11 lakes shaped like fingers, has 120 wineries that produce this country’s finest Riesling. Yet, other than a few wineries along the larger lakes, it is barely known outside the state. Even less known is the area whose lakes are the size of little fingers and whose wineries are equally small.

2012 / December 2012
Dec 1, 2012

Ideal Wine Glasses

It is the rare wine lover who would not welcome a set of ideal wine glasses. And it is a rare choice of gift that offers such an abundant selection of style and price.

2012 / November 2012
Nov 1, 2012

Belgium, Abbey, Trappist Beer

A country that traces its beer-making history back to the time of the Crusades, Belgium today is considered the most diverse beer producer in the world. Among the many stylistically individual beers it produces are abbey and Trappist beers.

2012 / October 2012
Oct 1, 2012

Italy, Piedmont, Beni di Batasiolo

Piedmont, the wine region in northwest Italy, rarely calls attention to itself. It lets its wines speak for it. Here, the Nebbiolo grape is king, reaching its finest expression in such wines as Barolo and Barbaresco, among others. The best Nebbiolo comes from a delimited area of communes within Piedmont, one of which is La Morra. And this is where, in 1978, the Dogliani family bought a winery with seven beni (vineyards with farm houses) and named it Beni di Batasiolo. Today, the third-generation Doglianis own nine beni for a total of almost 300 acres, of which nearly 60 percent is planted in Nebbiolo and another 10 percent in other red varieties of the region.

2012 / September 2012
Sep 1, 2012

England, Notting Hill, Martin Miller’s Gin

There they were, three friends in a bar in London’s Notting Hill, sipping gin and tonic and hating the gin, when one of them, Martin Miller, pushed his drink aside. “Enough,” he said. “Gin shouldn’t taste like this. Gin is romance. Gin is adventure. Gin is the most seductive of drinks. It should invite you to love it.”

2012 / August 2012
Aug 1, 2012

Portugal, Minho, Vinho Verde

They’re not the most famous wines. Their grapes are unfamiliar. And their name is slightly misleading. But if they are not yet familiar to you, August is the perfect time to discover Vinho Verde. A product of northern Portugal, they are the quintessential summer wines — delicate, light, refreshing, low in alcohol and lightly pétillant when you pour them, a wine to enjoy in its youth. As for its name, Vinho Verde translates to “green wine,” but here green means young, not aged, and the wine’s color tends toward the palest yellow, not green.

2012 / August 2012
Aug 1, 2012

2012 Wines On The Wing Airline Wine Competition

SD26 is San Domenico reborn. A bright, modern, festive restaurant with soaring ceilings and edgy artwork, SD26 is the sparkling, 3-year-old descendent on Manhattan’s East 26th Street of the sedate, 20-year-old San Domenico on Central Park South. But while the name, location and décor changed, owner Tony May and his daughter, Marisa, made certain its cuisine did not. Italian-born Mr. May has always taken pride in his restaurant’s authentic Italian cuisine; and the pastas, game, meats, seafood and cheeses of San Domenico made the move to SD26.

2012 / July 2012
Jul 1, 2012

Spain, Ribera del Duero, Tempranillo Wines

Like Rioja, Ribera del Duero’s major grape is Tempranillo, called Tinto Fino in Ribera. And like Rioja, its wine is made to age long and well. But while the two wines share similarities, Ribera, whose vineyards stretch along the Duero River, has its own individuality. Although many vintners make their Ribera with 100 percent Tempranillo, the law allows them to use a minimum 75 percent, blending the rest with Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec.

2012 / June 2012
Jun 1, 2012

Japan, Hokkaido, Takasago Shuzo

Across the world, it is almost always true that the locally made beverage is a natural match with the local cuisine. Burgundy, for example, is the perfect companion to Burgundy’s foods, and this is so for the wines and foods of nearly every wine-producing region. It is also true for sake and Japanese cuisine: a meeting and melding of flavors and tastes.

2012 / May 2012
May 1, 2012

Argentina, Valle de Uco, DiamAndes

“We’ve had Malbec in Argentina for a century, so there’s been plenty of time to make careful selections and develop only the best vines,” said Jean-Jacques Bonnie of DiamAndes. That is one reason Malbec, once a bit player in Bordeaux, is now the starring red grape in Argentina. Argentina’s dry, temperate, sunny climate and vineyards 3,000 feet high on the slopes of the Andes Mountains — conditions that help the grape ripen fully — produce the finest expression of Malbec, probably in the world.

2012 / April 2012
Apr 1, 2012

United States, Kentucky, Angel’s Envy

When bourbon is put in oak barrels to age, about 2 percent of the spirit evaporates through the wood. This is called the angels’ share. But it’s the 98 percent the angels do not take that matters. And this is why a new super-premium bourbon has been named Angel’s Envy. Satin-smooth, rich and mellow with a sensuous aroma that recalls vanilla, pear, caramel and dried fruits, it is enough to make an angel flap its wings in envy for what is left behind.

2011 / February 2011
Feb 1, 2012

Worldwide, Outstanding Red Wines

An outstanding Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, a memorable New Zealand Syrah. Each is a particularly fine example of its kind. This month, rather than concentrate on a specific region or type of wine, I’d like to give single examples of several red wines, each different from the others, each outstanding in and of itself.

2012 / February 2012
Feb 1, 2012

Austria, Burgenland Province, Ruster Ausbruch Wines

In 1681, the little town of Rust (pronounced “roost”) in what is now Austria’s Burgenland province became a “free city,” buying its freedom from Emperor Leopold I with 60,000 gold guilders and 500 buckets of Ruster Ausbruch, its finest sweet wine.

2012 / January 2012
Jan 1, 2012

Chile, Casablanca Valley, Various Wineries

It began in 1982 when Pablo Morandé planted the region’s first vineyards — four acres of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Riesling. It made news in 1989 when Ignacio Recabarren captured the winegrowing potential of Chile’s Casablanca Valley with his Sauvignon Blanc, the region’s first commercial wine. Until then, no one thought of Casablanca Valley — north of Santiago and cooled by the Pacific Ocean, barely 20 miles away — as an ideal place to produce cooler-climate wines.

2011 / December 2011
Dec 1, 2011

Hangover Cures

Have some sparrow droppings in brandy. Down a raw egg. A sour pickle. And thank or curse the culture that called it a hangover cure.

2011 / September 2011
Sep 1, 2011

Austria, Burgenland, Esterházy Wines

In the 1700s, when the Austrian composer Joseph Haydn served as the musical director for the Esterházy family, one of the wealthiest and most influential in the Austrian Empire, he received part of his salary in wine. At that time, Esterházy was already known for the quality of the wine made at its ancestral home in Burgenland in eastern Austria near the Hungarian border. Now, some 250 years later, Esterházy wines have come to the United States, and Americans can discover for themselves why Haydn so willingly accepted wine rather than cash.

2011 / August 2011
Aug 1, 2011

Canada, Ontario Province, Various Wineries

Pillitteri Estates Winery When it comes to climate, we bend to it; it does not bend to us — a fact wise vintners acknowledge. Warm climate? Don't plant cool-climate grapes. They will ripen, they will make wine, but with too much sun and heat, many of their characteristic flavors will likely be muted.

2011 / May 2011
May 1, 2011

Argentina, Favorite Torrontés Wines

In an attempt to describe Torrontés, Argentina’s signature white wine, some have compared it to Pinot Grigio, Viognier, even Riesling. But none come close. Made from the grape of the same name, Torrontés is like no other. It begins with an aroma that conjures up a bouquet of flowers (the honeyed, perfumed Muscat of Alexandria is one of its ancestors), hinting that a sweet wine will follow. But no, Torrontés goes toward dry and fruity with a tangy and spicy edge. It is the perfect aperitif and equally right with shellfish, Niçoise salad, chicken, other white-meat dishes, lightly flavored cheese and many Asian foods.

2011 / April 2011
Apr 1, 2011

Israel, Various Wineries

Barely a decade ago, I would not have considered writing about Israeli wines. The effort was there; the quality was not. Despite the region’s wine history that dates back to biblical times, it was only in the 1980s and 1990s that Israel’s wine truly reinvented itself. With a surge in technological advancement and more young Israeli winemakers training abroad, many of the country’s nearly 300 wineries have now leaped across millennia and into the 21st century. And while their names may not be familiar, most of the grapes that make their wines are. Take Dalton Winery’s Estate Shiraz 2009 ($18). Blended with small amounts of Petite Sirah, Merlot and Mourvèdre, it is a deep-shaded and intense wine with peppery tones in the aroma followed by a round body. The winery’s Fumé Blanc 2009 ($15) echoes Sauvignon Blanc’s characteristic grassy aroma and lively taste.

2011 / March 2011
Mar 1, 2011

France, Rhône Valley, Hermitage Rouge

If you have ever questioned the adjectives used to describe a wine, if you ever wondered whether you, too, can find spice, currants, pepper, blackberries, chocolate, leather and licorice in a whiff of wine, pour a glass of Hermitage Rouge, swirl and sniff.

2011 / February 2011
Feb 1, 2011

England, Bloody Mary

Was it George Jessel? Fernand Petiot? Ernest Hemingway? In one version of the story, Petiot, while a bartender at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, invented the Bloody Mary in the 1920s; Hemingway often drank at Harry’s, which is probably why he’s sometimes credited with the drink’s creation. In Jessel’s version, he invented the drink in the 1930s at the King Cole Bar in New York’s St. Regis Hotel, where Petiot was again the bartender. Most likely, as Petiot told The New Yorker in a 1964 interview, Jessel thought of the vodka and tomato juice mix but it was he, Petiot, who added the spices that turned the drink into the Bloody Mary.

2011 / January 2011
Jan 1, 2011

Italy, Veronese Region, Amarone

About 60 years ago, an old red wine reinvented itself in the Veronese region of northeast Italy. The old wine, first mentioned in Roman times, is the sweet Valpolicella della Recioto. The new wine is the dry Amarone della Valpolicella — called, simply, Amarone — full-bodied, velvety, sensual and imposing. Using grapes indigenous to the region, Corvino with smaller amounts of Rondinella and Molinara, Amarone is produced employing a modern version of an ancient method. It is what gives Amarone its singular character.

2010 / October 2010
Oct 1, 2010

France, Paris, Absinthe

Absinthe has been loved, loathed, banned, mourned and, now, reborn. The anise-flavored, high-alcohol (100- to 146-proof) spirit has resumed its popularity, with a dozen countries currently producing 200 brands.

2010 / September 2010
Sep 1, 2010

South Africa, International Society Of Africans In Wine

While 80 percent of South Africa’s population is black, less than 1 percent of the country’s 560 wineries are black-owned.

2010 / August 2010
Aug 1, 2010

Italy, Tuscany, Chianti

Tastes change and fashion is fickle. But despite the constant barrage of tempting new wines on the market, Chianti remains one of the world’s favorites. Italy’s most famous red wine, whose history goes back centuries, Chianti comes from a region that covers much of central Tuscany; it is divided into seven zones.

2010 / July 2010
Jul 1, 2010

United States, Napa Valley, MacRostie Winery

Steven MacRostie doesn’t shout. He lets his wines talk for him. And for over 20 years, they have done just that, demonstrating how the meticulous matching of climate and soil to grape varietal creates beautifully balanced, individual wines. He established MacRostie Winery and Vineyards in 1987, and with his first vintage proved his theory — that when Chardonnay, a cool-climate grape, is grown in the right climate, such as Carneros, the relatively cool California region that skirts the southern parts of Napa Valley and Sonoma, the wine expresses its origin and individuality.

2010 / June 2010
Jun 1, 2010

France, Champagne, Various Independent Producers

Champagne houses come in all sizes, from those with well-known brands whose bubbly splashes out of millions of bottles each year to small producers whose quality far outpaces their quantity. A special group of these small producers is known as Independents, and this is why: Unlike large houses that buy all or most of their grapes, Independents must own or lease at least 90 percent of their vineyards; they make wines that reflect the individual character of those vineyards; they count their production in thousands, not millions, of bottles; and they often do much of their winery work by hand.

May 1, 2010

France, Burgundy, Various Wineries

No one does Pinot Noir the way Burgundy does. True, there are wines now being made in New Zealand, California and a few other wine regions that are fine examples of the grape. But none outdoes Burgundy. It remains the mother of all Pinot Noirs, one of the world’s greatest red wines and the most intriguing.

2010 / April 2010
Apr 1, 2010

Austria, Blind Wine Tasting, Various Reds

When we think of Austrian wines, whites come to mind, and for good reason. At least 70 percent of the country’s wine production is white. But beyond its Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, remarkable sweet wines and other whites is a wealth of lesser-known reds. They are wines made from grapes only occasionally grown in other countries, such as Zweigelt, the most widely planted red; Blaufränkisch, one of Austria’s finest grapes; St. Laurent; Blauburgunder; and international grapes, including Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

2010 / March 2010
Mar 1, 2010

Chile, Viñedos Emiliana

The sign in the shop says “Organic Wines” — but are they? Not likely. “Organic” laws differ from country to country, even state to state, but the basics are generally the same. To be a certified organic vineyard, grapes must be grown without pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers or bioengineering. To be a certified organic wine, it too must be made without outside additions. Thus, a wine may begin with organically grown grapes, but if the winemaker adds sulfite, as virtually all do to prevent bacterial spoilage, the wine is no longer considered organic. The bottle’s label can read “made from organically grown grapes,” but not “organic wine.” Biodynamic vineyards carry the concept of natural growing even further, using only natural products, homeopathic concepts and the moon calendar.

2010 / Feburary 2010
Feb 1, 2010

France, Bordeaux, Various Rosés

In this month of romance and roses, let’s talk about Rosés. While many wine regions make this pink-hued wine, it is rare to find one produced solely from the noble grapes of Bordeaux. The exception is the Rosé of Long Island, 75 miles east of New York City. A region where red wines are overwhelmingly based on Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc — the major grapes of Bordeaux’s finest wines — it follows that it would create its Rosés from the same varieties. The results are intriguing.

2010 / January 2010
Jan 1, 2010

Greece, Various Wineries

Homer mentioned them in The Illiad and The Odyssey. Dionysus, the god of celebration, embodied them. Ancient philosophers held their symposia around them. For nearly 4,000 years, in fact, wine has been an integral part of Greek life. Yet it is only in the past decade, after the country made tremendous strides in modernizing its winemaking, that the rest of the world has discovered Greek wine. Made mostly from native grapes virtually unknown in other winemaking countries, Greek wines can now be found in wine shops across the country at prices usually ranging from about $10 to $23.

2009 / August 2009
Aug 1, 2009

Wines On The Wing 2009 Airline Wine Competition

Montenapo, the elegant new Italian restaurant in Renzo Piano’s New York Times Building, is a lofty space with towering glass walls that look onto a birch tree atrium. Sleek, modern and inviting, it combines cool steel and warm woods with accents of blue and cream. And it emphasizes Old World fine service, beginning with a warm welcome at the entrance, usually from owner/manager Jozef Juck.

2008 / December 2008
Dec 1, 2008

United States, Eggnog Recipes

Americans have made eggnog as long as there has been an America. One year longer, in fact, since the earliest record of eggnog here is a 1775 recipe. Since then, holiday season celebrations have centered on a punch bowl brimming with that chilled, rich, delicious quaff. While its history is hazy, it’s generally believed eggnog evolved from a medieval drink that became popular in England before early settlers introduced it to the Colonies. The colonists in turn added rum and called it egg and grog, the colonial term for rum. Over time, the name slurred into egg’n’grog and eventually to eggnog.

2008 / June 2008
Oct 3, 2008

Summer Wines, Various Wineries

Change, as much as variety, adds spice to life. And in summer, change means reaching for wines that echo the fresh, easy spirit of the season. Gone are winter’s sturdy, full-bodied wines, and in their place come crisp whites, fruity rosés and light reds, all youthful, wellpriced and perfect for a picnic.

2008 / September 2008
Sep 1, 2008

France, Saint Emilion, Various Wineries

Say “Bordeaux” and wine lovers automatically picture big-ticket bottles: Château Latour 2001 ($925), Château Margaux 2004 ($450) or what might be considered relatively inexpensive, Château Gruaud Larose ($90) — wines from Bordeaux’s Médoc district where Cabernet Sauvignon is king. But Bordeaux is France’s largest fine wine region and among the grand and glorious are also affordable, satisfying wines. In the St. Emilion district, for instance — which has its own top quality wines such as Château Ausone 2004 ($595) and Château Cheval Blanc 2004 ($400) — I’ve tasted lovely wines that retail for $30 and less.

2007 / December 2007
Dec 1, 2007

Best Champagne Glasses

They are the dream gift of the season — lovely to look at, delightful to hold, heaven to use. In their nearly 300-year history, Champagne glasses have seen the design of choice run from frosted and tinted to colored and decorated — all of which hide Champagne’s bubbles. At various times, the shape of favor was the coupe — the wide V-shaped saucer style said to have been modeled on Marie Antoinette’s breast. Yet, while it may have been a beguiling shape for the lady, it is a terrible shape for Champagne. Its large open surface allows bubbles that took years to develop to disappear in minutes.

2007 / July 2007
Jul 1, 2007

Winemakers Prefer Stelvin Closure To Cork

Odd things can happen to wine corks. They can break. They can leak. In an old wine, they can crumble.

2007 / May 2007
May 1, 2007

United States, Calif., Rosenblum Cellars

“We’re like a big orphanage,” Dr. Kent Rosenblum said. “We love all our kids.” Rosenblum’s “kids,” as it turns out, are zinfandels, 26 different bottlings of the grape most closely associated with California. When this veterinarian founded Rosenblum Cellars in 1978, he began with two zinfandels — one from Napa, one from Sonoma. Soon there were four, then 12, and they kept multiplying. As the number grew, so did his technique. No longer simply blending zinfandels from a county and labeling them with that county’s name, Rosenblum began to purchase grapes from some of California’s best zinfandel vineyards and to put the name of the vineyard in which the grapes were grown on the label.

2007 / April 2007
Apr 1, 2007

United States, Napa Valley, Calif., Saintsbury Winery

When David Graves and Dick Ward founded Saintsbury winery in 1981, they were considered impractical risk takers. At a time when it seemed every California winery was adding cabernet sauvignon to its list of red wines, Graves and Ward were making only one red — pinot noir — from the glorious, temperamental, cool-climate red grape of Burgundy. Their goal? To prove an ethereal, Burgundian-like pinot noir could be produced in Napa Valley.

2007 / March 2007
Mar 1, 2007

Italy, Tuscany, Ruffino

“Ruffino has been making chianti for over a century,” said Ruffino CEO Adolfo Folonari. “But chianti isn’t the only wine we make.”

2007 / Feburary 2007
Feb 1, 2007

Italy, Alto Adige, Various Lagrein Wines

To wine lovers who enjoy discovering the undiscovered, the pleasure of lagrein awaits. Pronounced lah-grine, it is the name of the red grape grown and the wine produced in the northernmost Italian province of Alto Adige.

2007 / December-January 2007
Jan 1, 2007

Portugal, Vintage Port

In a modern world that demands instant gratification, Port refuses to oblige. After nearly four centuries, it remains a classic fortified red wine whose best examples take years — often decades — to mature.

2006 / November 2006
Nov 1, 2006

Is Martini Becoming A Generic Term?

In chapter seven of the 1953 novel Casino Royale, author Ian Fleming’s first venture into the 007 series, suave secret agent James Bond orders “a dry martini. One. In a deep champagne goblet. Three measures of Gordon’s (gin), one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large, thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?”

2006 / October 2006
Oct 1, 2006

United States, New York’s Long Island, Long Island Merlot Alliance

Fine winemaking on the east end of New York’s Long Island began only 30 years ago, barely a blip compared with European vineyards. Yet, it already has discovered the grape of its future. Although many varieties grow well here, none surpasses merlot. Today, 33 of the region’s 34 wineries produce merlot.

2006 / September 2006
Sep 1, 2006

France, Burgundy, Clos Des Mouches

In the intricate patchwork of Burgundy’s vineyards, few Premier Cru properties are held in higher esteem than Beaune Clos des Mouches. Its 62 acres are divided among more than 20 owners, many of whom preside over less than an acre. The largest single owner, with nearly 32 acres, is Maison Joseph Drouhin, the highly respected Burgundian négociant that bought its Clos des Mouches property in 1918. At its prime south/southeastern exposure in clay and limestone soil, Drouhin produces pinot noir grapes for its red Clos des Mouches and chardonnay grapes for its white Clos des Mouches.

2006 / August 2006
Aug 1, 2006

United States, Brooklyn, N.Y., Brooklyn Brewery

“Craft beer is made by traditional methods and all-natural ingredients — 100 percent malted barley; no corn, no rice, no preservatives, no chemicals,” Steve Hindy said. “The result is richer colored, richer flavored beers; the kind microbreweries produce.”

2006 / June-July 2006
Jul 1, 2006

Spain, Rias Baixas In Galicia, Various Albariño Wines

In a land renowned for red wine, a white beauty is beginning to take center stage. Albariño, the name of the wine and the grape, has a centuries-old history. But it is only in the past 20 years that it has evolved into the finest white wine of Spain, and the world is taking notice.

2006 / June-July 2006
Jul 1, 2006

Wines On The Wing 2006 Airline Wine Competition

It’s time once again to reveal the results of Global Traveler’s Wines on the Wing competition — the ever-popular annual event that brings high-flying wines down to earth. This year’s judging of airlines’ international business-class wines, held at Sofitel New York in Manhattan, brought together 31 airlines pitting 150 wines against one another. Thirty-five professional judges tasted the offerings in coded glasses to find the wines whose qualities shone above the others. And the winner of Wines on the Wing 2006 — the airline whose wines garnered the highest overall score — was Air Canada.

2006 / May 2006
May 1, 2006

Spain, Andalusia, Various Sherries

Many winemaking countries produce a sherry. But only Spain makes Sherry — with a capital S. It was in Andalusia, in the southern corner of Spain, that Sherry was born, evolving over centuries to become, by the early 1800s, the fortified wine we know today. And although its type is copied throughout the world, its inimitable character is found only in the original.

2006 / April 2006
Apr 1, 2006

South Africa, Various Pinotage Wines

Pinotage is South Africa’s own, a red grape created here 80 years ago and still grown almost exclusively in this country. It came into being in the 1920s, when scientists crossed the noble and delicate pinot noir with the brawnier cinsault, a grape from France’s Rhóne Valley, called hermitage in South Africa. Combining the names of its parents, the new grape was christened pinotage.

2006 / March 2006
Mar 1, 2006

United States, Manhattan, N.Y., Sakagura’s Sake Collection

It is amazing anyone can find Sakagura, hidden in the basement of a midtown Manhattan office building with barely a sign to point the way. But for 10 years, a steady crowd has flocked to this restaurant, lured not only by its Japanese inn setting and its food, but also by its impressive selection of 200 sakes.

2006 / February 2006
Feb 1, 2006

Italy, Treviso Province, Various Prosecco Wines

It sparkles like champagne, but Prosecco is not champagne — nor does it pretend to be. Other than bubbles, this gentle, appealing, easy-drinking sparkling wine from northeastern Italy has little in common with its sophisticated cousin. Prosecco is a little lower in alcohol (11 to 12 degrees), a lot lower in price (the most expensive costs $15 to $20), rarely bone-dry, usually nonvintage, brimming with inviting fruit flavors and ready to drink when you buy it. And Italians are often ready to drink it, downing a glass the way Americans down a Coke or Pepsi.

2006 / December-January 2006
Jan 1, 2006

Portugal, Madeira Island, Various Madeira Wines

The Portuguese island of Madeira juts out of the Atlantic Ocean, a mass of volcanic precipices marked by tiny patchwork vineyards carved into its steep slopes. From these vineyards comes Madeira, the fortified wine that is like no other wine in the world.

2005 / November 2005
Nov 1, 2005

Tasteful Wines For Gifting

It’s the thought that counts. Well, yes, but even the mind reader who can channel that thought prefers a gift. Any gift says, “I’m really thinking about you.” But a special gift — like an exceptional bottle of wine — says, “Here’s a toast to your good taste.”

2005 / October 2005
Oct 1, 2005

Pairing With Chinese Foods

It’s a common question: Does wine complement Chinese foods? If so, which wines are best? A group of us gathered recently in New York City’s Chinatown to find the answers. Eileen Yin-Fei Lo, author of nine Chinese cookbooks, created the menu. The rest of us brought the bottles. And for four hours, we tasted our way through nine courses and 13 wines.

2005 / September 2005
Sep 1, 2005

Worldwide, Premium Vodkas

Every spirit is singular in its own way, none more so than vodka — for while we like our drinks to have tastes and smells, basic vodka has neither. In fact, U.S. federal regulations define vodka as a spirit “without distinctive character, aroma, taste or color.” Or, as defined by one Russian vodka enthusiast: “Vodka is not tasteless; it merely lacks flavor.”

2005 / August 2005
Aug 1, 2005

United States, Sonoma, Calif., Various Wineries

Some of California’s oldest and smallest wineries are among the 200 located in Sonoma, the Rhode Island–sized wine region nestled between Napa and the Pacific Ocean. Age translates to history. Size can mean an emphasis on quality over quantity.

2005 / June-July 2005
Jul 1, 2005

Chile, Good Quality Bargain Wines

Everybody loves a bargain, but sometimes what seems like a buy turns out to be a bust. And when that disappointment is a bottle of wine, it may sooner be poured down the drain than poured at the dining table.

2005 / May 2005
May 1, 2005

Switzerland, Valais, Various Swiss Wineries

Long before European settlers arrived in America, Switzerland was making wine. And for nearly as long, it kept it all for itself. Then, about 15 years ago, Switzerland began exporting, offering us some of its best and opening a window onto the quality and variety of Swiss wines, most of which are white.

2005 / April 2005
Apr 1, 2005

Scotland, Single Malt Whisky

I had a little whisky and water,” Queen Victoria wrote in 1859, “as people say pure water would be too chilling.” Clearly, Her Majesty liked her Scotch.

2005 / March 2005
Mar 1, 2005

United States, Oregon, Eyrie Vineyards

Four decades ago, Oregon was not even a speck on the fine wine horizon. Yet, a few calendar flips later, it has become a high-profile player on the American wine scene. How? By attracting the kind of pioneer who would not take no for an answer.

2005 / February 2005
Feb 1, 2005

Worldwide, Various Dessert Wines

Let’s have some sweet talk about sweet wines. Fine dessert wines get their sweetness from the natural sugar in the grape. Some grapes are attacked by a noble rot that shrivels them to raisins, concentrating their sugar. Others are left on the vine to shrivel until they freeze, hence the name ice wine. Because dessert wines are among the most difficult to make, they can be costly. Many come in half bottles (375 milliliters).

2004 / August 2004
Aug 1, 2004

Spain, Rioja, Various Wineries

The king lives; it’s the rumors that have died. For much of the 20th century, Rioja was the royalty of Spain’s red wines. But about two decades ago, its hold on the throne was shaken, partly by complacency, mostly by newborn and reborn Spanish regions producing excellent and exciting wines. So what did Rioja do? It sized up the competition, took a good look at itself, fine-tuned its wines and straightened its crown.

2004 / June-July 2004
Jun 1, 2004

Austria, Various Grüner Veltliner Wines

Austria loves its own wine. And it loves none more than the white Grüner Veltliner. Never heard of it? Little wonder. It is virtually an Austrian original, made from a grape almost no other wine-producing country grows. In Austria, however, it is the signature wine and the most widely planted grape, covering more than a third of the country’s vineyards. I would not be surprised if other wine regions begin to pay attention. It is, after all, one of the most versatile and flavorful of grapes, producing wines that range from fresh and simple to rich and complex. Grüner Veltliner is worth discovering.

2004 / May 2004
May 1, 2004

Japan, Sake

Cool sake is hot. Once thought of as a traditional, ceremonial Japanese beverage served warm in small ceramic cups, today’s sake is more often chilled to a temperature almost as cold as white wine, poured into a wine glass and sipped with fervor. Microbrews? Been there. Single malt scotch? Done that. Looking for the latest chic among connoisseurs of drink? Make it sake.

2004 / March 2004
Mar 1, 2004

Italy, Montalicino, Various Brunello di Montalicino Wines

Montalcino, Italy, is a little medieval town with a big, dramatic wine. Here, in southern Tuscany, both the Sangiovese grape and the wine made from it are called Brunello. Although it is less well-known than Chianti, its neighbor to the north, Brunello di Montalcino is the leader in quality. It is, in fact, one of Italy’s finest red wines.

2004 / February 2004
Feb 1, 2004

Chile, Ultra Premium Wine

Chile, a slender sliver of a country, captured international attention about 20 years ago when it sent out to the world friendly, agreeable wines that sold for under $10. So good were they for their modest price that Chilean imports into the United States leaped from 11 million liters in 1986 to 184 million by 1996.

Jun 17, 2024

5 Hotel Rooftop Pools for Sunbathing This Summer

Beat the heat this summer with a visit to one of these hotels boasting fabulous rooftop pools.

Explore Gyeonggi Province in South Korea

Gyeonggi Province, encircling Seoul, offers seamless travel with access to two major airports and a well-connected transportation system. It boasts top-notch MICE facilities, like KINTEX and Suwon Convention Center, along with a wide array of international-branded and resort-style hotels spread across its 31 cities and counties. Visitors can explore rich historical sites, including UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites like the DMZ and Suwon Hwaseong Fortress.

Jun 17, 2024

QC New York Spa on Governors Island Expands Guest Offerings

Who knew heaven was just a five-minute ferry journey from central Manhattan? On Governor’s Island, spa questers can escape the city and embrace a day of wellness and relaxation at QC New York’s Italian-themed Spa of Wonders. This July, guests can to enjoy the property’s new, 15,000-square-foot addition, which will include Casa QC — a bistro with seating for 142 and a menu of Italian-inspired treats. Menu items include a selection of artisanal gelatos and Taralli crackers with aged pecorino cheese. The new eatery will supplement the existing Flora Café.

Jun 17, 2024

6 Reasons to Put Rotterdam, Netherlands, on Your Travel List

It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Rotterdam, Netherlands, with us.

Welcome to Wyndham Monterrey Ambassador Centro

Wyndham Monterrey Ambassador Centro, operated by Aimbridge LATAM, opened its doors, welcoming guests to one of the most iconic and traditional properties in Monterrey, Nuevo León. Boasting 229 rooms and suites, the hotel, part of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, is ready for discerning travelers. Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is the largest hotel franchise company in the world with approximately 9,100 hotels in more than 95 countries.

Jun 17, 2024

7 Reasons to Visit Taos, New Mexico, This Summer

With more than 300 days of sunshine a year and a high desert climate keeping things cool and comfortable, Taos, New Mexico, offers a slice of paradise in the summer months for many travelers. From water activities on the Rio Grande to scenic hikes, here are seven reasons to visit Taos this summer.

Jun 13, 2024

Fly to These Summer Destinations with JSX

JSX, known for its 5-star, hop-on jet service, is set to relaunch its seasonal summer route to Taos (TSM) June 28 with flights from Dallas (DAL) and Denver/Boulder (BJC).

IHG Hotels & Resorts: Elevating the Guest Experience & Expanding Globally

With a robust portfolio of brands catering to diverse traveler preferences, IHG has been on a strategic trajectory to conquer key markets worldwide. The IHG footprint continues to grow, offering unparalleled experiences to guests around the globe.