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Wine Enthusiast Magazine

Wine Enthusiast Magazine

August/September 2021

Wine Enthusiast Magazine is one of the most respected and quoted authorities in the world of wine and spirits. We feature the hottest trends in everything related to wine. Our seasoned editors do the work for you, with over 700 expert ratings and reviews in each issue. Plus, in-depth features on all aspects of cocktails, spirits, beer, inventive wine and food pairings, trendy recipes, savvy travel features, and more.

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United States
Wine Enthusiast
13 Issues

in this issue

2 min
last drop: cellar memory

My first experience with French wine and food started with a Julia Child cookbook. I made tournedos Rossini and filet of beef with Bearnaise sauce. Such luscious dishes called for superb Bordeaux wine, and the owner of a local wine shop in West Hartford, Connecticut, provided it. That same shop owner taught me a great deal about Bordeaux and shared wonderful bottles, including some from the great 1961 vintage. When I was ready to visit the region, he sent what must have been a very convincing letter on my behalf to Maison Sichel. Upon my arrival, the négociant sent an employee and car to take me on a three-day journey to the most famous vineyards in the world. The chateaus—Lafite Rothschild, Margaux and d’Yquem—were, of course, beautiful, but I couldn’t wait for…

2 min
more than amphorae

From the Greek word amphiphoreus for “something which can be carried from both sides,” amphorae are oblong, two-handled vases with fat bodies, pointed ends and narrow necks, a 15th-century BCE invention of the Canaanites who inhabited the Syrian-Lebanese coast. They were crafted from clay not for vinous reasons, but because it was an abundant natural resource. The vessels were easy to produce, ship and reuse. Utilitarian, their bulbous shape provided maximum storage space, tapered ends allowed for rolling and slender necks helped manage pouring. With interiors pitched in pine resin to render them waterproof, amphorae were used to hold wine, but were also packed with goods like oil, grains and nuts. Sealed with a plaster stopper, they would be layered in the hull of a ship, sent across the seas and exchanged…

2 min
old rome days

Last May, the remains of a beautiful Roman mosaic floor were found under a northern Italian vineyard. This caused great excitement and was a fresh reminder of ancient Romans’ huge influence on our wine culture. Roman soldiers who marched north to conquer Gaul, as France was called then, and other parts of Europe carried great amphorae of wine along with their swords and shields. When the battles were won, and those soldiers were paid off in land, they swapped those swords for ploughshares and planted vines. TECHNICALLY SPEAKING It wasn’t just that the Romans made wine, however. They were also very knowledgeable about soil types, planting, pruning and trellising, often training vines up trees. Their knowledge didn’t end in the vineyard. They fined wines with pigeons’ eggs and cellared better vintages. Given the poet…

2 min
viewpoint: you win some, you lose somm

There’s pleasure in finding something that works unexpectedly and lets me feel like a bit of a rebel. I have to apologize to many of the sommeliers who have enhanced my meals over the years: I wasn’t my truest, most authentic self with you. I’m sure you don’t care—in an ideal scenario, you stop thinking about me the second you walk away from my table. But so many of you have told me that you want guests to be honest and open. It’s only now that we’re apart that I realize I haven’t always been. I’ve always so enjoyed our ritual. I tell you what wines I like, we discuss the dishes I’m eating. You don’t just recommend a glass or bottle—you usually teach me something. Maybe you expose me to a region…

24 min

SAUVIGNON BLANC 94 Ehlers Estate 2020 Sauvignon Blanc (St. Helena). This elegant white was aged in stainless steel, neutral French oak and concrete egg, with just a hint of newer oak. Juicy in pear, lime and wet stone, it offers well-integrated acidity and brightness throughout, with a slate-like texture and hints of baking spice and herb. —V.B. abv: 13.4% Price: $36 94 Grieve 2018 Estate Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley). From a 60-acre estate in the Lovall Valley, this white is made by the team at Atelier Melka and 100% varietal, given 17 months in new French oak and concrete egg. Fresh in peach and candied ginger, it shows lovely, well-integrated acidity and impressive texture, with length and brightness throughout. —V.B. abv: 14.2% Price: $90 94 Rusack 2017 Icon Musque Clone Sauvignon Blanc (Ballard Canyon). There’s…

2 min

ICEWINES 95 Inniskillin 2019 Icewine Cabernet Franc (Niagara Peninsula). Cabernet Franc, both still and sweet, is a rising star in eastern Canada. As an ice wine it’s rare and distinctive, aromatic and focused. Honey, molasses, caramel, bubble tea, sweet tobacco, candied apricot, blueberry and blackberry jam mark the dizzying mix of flavors. There’s enough tannin to cut through, and this very special wine makes a splendid dessert all by itself. Maisons Marques & Domaines USA. Editors’ Choice. —P.G. abv: 9.5% Price: $101/375 ml 92 Inniskillin 2019 Icewine Riesling (Niagara Peninsula). This Riesling Icewine offers sweet, honeyed flavors of apple sauce and peach pie, with accents of candied apricots and dried papaya. The acids balance out the sugar, which is finished at 230 g/L. Maisons Marques & Domaines USA. —P.G. abv: 9.5% Price: $80/375 ml 92…