Heads up, wine lovers. Two star-studded events are in the works on Maui in the next couple of months.
In my days of working in "white tablecloth" fine-dining restaurants such as the Maile, La Mer and Bagwell's 2424, with their classic French-oriented menus, chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon had their golden moments, especially when paired with cream- and butter-infused sauces.
This is a banner year for Hawaii foodies and wine lovers, thanks to the number of star chefs and winemakers who will visit our islands.
Here are some suggestions to consider for Valentine's Day:
What better way to say aloha to the old and hello to the new than with a glass of Champagne?
I was in New York recently, where one of the more controversial topics in the winemaking world reverberates. It centers on high alcohol levels in wine.
There has been an upswing of food-and-wine festivals throughout the state. Last month's Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, for instance, organized by local superstar chefs Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong, brought to Honolulu top chefs from around the world.
Finding wines that deliver the biggest bang for the buck is and will always be a challenge. Part of rooting out such value is finding winemakers who have control over the growing of the grapes.
Grenache is a grape variety on the cusp of being "discovered" by the general public. At its best, grenache offers lush, ripe, delicious red fruit with a rustic, gamey, peppery edge that keeps the taster engaged from beginning to end.
This is the time of year when carafes of well-chilled, pink wines populate tables in seaside cafes along the Mediterranean basin.
It is always a learning opportunity to attend a well-thought-out, well-run wine event.
How does the public learn about wine? While the most obvious answer would seem to be the wine media, what readers tend to forget is that wine publications make larger profits by selling, along with advertising, more copies.
Pairing the right wine with a dish can be quite a revelation. It nurtures the thrill of discovering a complete dining experience.
When I was growing up in the wine industry, the world's standard for cabernet-based red wines was those from Bordeaux, France.
At a Hawaii Food & Wine Festival luncheon last fall, chef Ed Kenney featured an array of fresh, locally grown vegetables. Not only was his presentation wonderfully colorful, it deftly conveyed a "farm-to-table" theme.
I have heard more than one person say they will look to do things differently in 2012 instead of keeping the status quo.
What better way to celebrate New Year's Eve and the prospects for 2012 than with bubbly? Because sparkling wines can be so festive, light and ethereal — full of life and bursting with bubbles on the palate — how can you go wrong?
Christmas, with all of its festive get-togethers, is right around the corner. Time to get in the spirit, and what better way to set the tone than with wine?
Over the past year I have been asked to do a lot of wine presentations. These certainly have been fun, and I’ve left each with a smile because of the new friendships fostered.
If you have been following the wine media, you know 2009 is a sensational vintage for French wines. I was there with my wife, Cheryle, at harvest, tasting grapes alongside some of our favorite winemakers, with pickers working around us. The superb grape quality created pure excitement. The best wines have sensational physiological ripeness and innate complexity coupled with wonderful balance.
In many parts of Europe, 2009 was a special vintage. Not only was quality high, but so was quantity. This is unusual.
With summer in full swing, I asked several wine professionals for recommendations appropriate for warm-weather sipping. Here are their replies:
As a friend once noted, for most wine drinkers the riesling grape variety is the Rodney Dangerfield of grape varieties.
I love touring wine country. One of my latest visits was to Amador County, Calif., in the Sierra Foothills. What a beautiful, panoramic countryside.