Posts Tagged ‘Laurie Daniel’

Wine & Temperature

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

I have written about these wine storage and serving issues before, but I figured I’d re-print this short article written by a favorite wine writer of mine – Laurie Daniel.

Wine temrature

IN YOUR CAR: Put it in a cooler or other insulated container. (more…)

Less know wine region(s) in the news

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

Yes, I have been tempted to write about Israeli wines a lot lately given the fabulous press they have been getting with recent articles in Wine Spectator (online version only available to subscribers) & The San Fransisco Chronicle (found online at the SF Gate).

But any post about Israeli wines will be elaborate and hopefully include some specific news/update describing progress concerning my previously discussed Israel Wine Project.

So instead, I want to bring up wines from another not-too-discussed wine region – Washington state.

Washington State

Washington State, is known to produce some exceptional reds, in particular Merlot, Syrah and yes, of course, Cabernet Sauvignon (and blends including all or some of the aforementioned varietals). (more…)

Gourmet food WITHOUT WINE (and New Zealand Pinot)

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

A friend from college is running for city council here in NYC. He has a fund raiser tonight and he was able to get a well regarded published cookbook author to demonstrate/prepare several gourmet courses for the guests at tonight’s event.

When he and I first spoke about the event I thought how fabulous it would be for me to pair each of the courses with a wine. He loved the idea, but sadly, in the end the logistics made doing this too complicated. The response to this fund raiser was so overwhelming that the guests will be seated but will not have table space. They will be holding their plates on their laps and we ultimately decided that managing the food while also trying to hold onto a glass of wine would prove to be problematic.  So we came up with what I believe was the next best option – sparkling wine.  Nice and refreshing on a warm summer day, and said to be “food neutral” the Yarden 2000 Blanc du blanc would be served as the guests arrive.

Although I’m confident that we came up with the best alternative to each course being paired with a wine, and I am really looking forward to this event, I still want to sneak in some wine (I won’t). The more I come to learn & appreciate wine, the more I treasure a well paired wine with good food. The best meal in the world without any wine is simply void of what I believe to be a critical element in culinary appreciation. While I fully understand the complication inherent for today’s event, I believe that any food related event MUST have wine to compliment the food/meal.

food & wine

On a completely UNrelated note, I just finished reading another very nice article written by a wine writer whose pieces I’ve really come to like. I have linked & mentioned pieces by Laurie Daniel before, and here she talks about New Zealand Pinot Noir.  Pinot is a HOT varietal (still) and one that I tend to either love or…well, not hate, but if I don’t really like it I generally don’t care for it at all. Daniel discusses the huge increase in Pinot planting and production in recent years and discusses several specific New Zealand Pinots (all rather expensive with the cheapest being $21). A nice quick & simply read with some good suggestions for the Pinot lover. Enjoy!

Happy Wine & Food pairing!


Blind Tasting

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

I just enjoyed another article written by Laurie Daniel for the San Jose Mercury News. This one titled “Blind tasting Can Be A Real Eye-Opener”. OK, the title is a little old-man-pun style, and the article was written citing some recent research done by Standford Business School and California Institute of technology (regarding how price influences people’s appreciation of wine)…but she sheds some light into wine appreciation. And as an advocate of blind tasting, I like to see other people touting its unique ability to force people to appreciate what it is the glass as opposed to its label, reputation or price tag.

I like blind tasting for a multitude of reasons. As someone who DOES NOT profess to having a master palate it is OK when in a blind tasting I pick a (supposedly) inferior wine over one priced much higher or said to be much more highly regarded.

I also like blind tasting as a result of an experience from my time working in the lab at a Napa custom crush. There was a producer who made their wines there that consistently had trouble maintaining the natural balance of their wines. They would doctor the heck out of their wines just to get them into better balance. Yet these same wines carried a triple digit price tag and a reputation to match. Proof that marketing, a high price tag, or for you conspiracy theorists – paying off critics, is enough to “fool” consumers. (One of the many reasons why I STRONGLY advocate tasting wine YOURSELF and buying wines YOU like – not those you are told you should like).

The last reason I’ll mention here as to why I am such a fan of blind tasting has to do with my affinity for Israeli wines and my STRONG belief that they are STILL under appreciated. We Israeli wine people joke that simply being “Israeli” means that critics will (subconsciously??) deduct 3-5 points from their scoring of the wine. Oh how I would love to set up a blind tasting for well known critics and sneak a few Israeli wines in with some other New world wines.

Bottom line, read the Laurie Daniel article, and know that when you are contemplating that $100 bottle vs. the $30 bottle, yes you may enjoy the $100 bottle more – but it will only be BECAUSE it cost you $100 and NOT because you were drinking a better wine…

Now how do you go enjoy that $500 bottle of Bordeaux after reading that…????….SORRY!

Happy drinking!


Laurie Daniel: What’s ahead for wine drinkers in 2008

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

A recent article, “What’s ahead for wine drinkers in 2008″, written by Laurie Daniel for the San jose Mercury News is an interesting read, with 4 predictions listed below.  Not much for me to add but I do want to comment on #3.

1.  Domestic wines should look more attractive as prices rise on many imports.

2. More companies will start touting how “green” their wines are.

3. We’ll see more wines from ever-more obscure places.

4. Some wine producers will become more transparent about their winemaking practices.



When referring to the “obscure places” in #3 Daniels mentions places in Countries like Italy & Spain that once was not considered to be a wine producing region and now is.  She proceeds to mention countries such as Croatia, Bulgaria, the former Soviet republic of Georgia and even goes so far as to contemplate the possibility of wines from China.


I am interested in this prediction (isn’t it really an already proven trend?) as it relates to another “obscure” region…yup, ISRAEL!  While Israel can not even be mentioned in the same breath in terms of size, I think the recent Wine Advocate feature on Israeli wines both confirms Daniels suspicion that new, previously unexpected wine regions will emerge in the not too distant future AND that Israel should be included in the list of “obscure places”.


Keep your eyes open…premium Israeli wine MAY be coming to a shelf near you sooner than you think…


Happy happy everybody…