Over the years, the pinot noir grape variety has garnered quite a reputation and following in Burgundy, France, and is now booming in both California and Oregon as well. What most wine lovers do not know, however, is that pinot noir is also the patriarch to a family of other pinot grape varieties.
Selecting a wine can be an overwhelming process for many wine drinkers faced with the multitude of bottles and labels lined up on shelves. I've heard countless times that, in the face of confusion, people will select a wine based not just on sale prices, but even pretty packaging or an eye-catching label.
The other night, a customer at Hiroshi Eurasion Tapas asked me what wine they should "put away" for their kids until adulthood. I get asked this question frequently, and the answer differs based on the number of years of cellaring and, more important, the budget per bottle.
When I mention the word riesling, I'm often met with odd expressions. Sadly, over the years riesling has been categorized in what a friend called the "ugly duckling" section, meaning it is highly underappreciated. But I hope I can convince tasters that it can be a real swan.
The Valentine's Day holiday raises the questions of where to eat and what to drink. Selecting a restaurant is one thing. But contemplating what wine to share with your loved one can be another way to enjoy the experience together, especially if you are having wine at home. Here are some suggestions.
Few occasions carry as much symbolism as the exit of an old year and the dawning of the new one. It's a time for reflection of what was and for welcoming all that will come with customs to draw good luck and prosperity.
I have been intrigued with wines produced from older vines. While vine age does not necessarily translate into wine quality, old vines in the right locations and farmed well can add nuance, intricacy and unique character to the finished wine.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.