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Wine SpectatorWine Spectator

Wine Spectator May 31, 2017

Wine Spectator rates over 15,000 wines per year, in every price range, to fit every occasion. Read about the world's great wineries and winemakers and visit restaurants with outstanding wine lists. Plus, each issue features delicious recipes and pairs them with the perfect wines.

United States
M Shanken Communications
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15 Issues


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wine and food matching with harvey steiman

A wine can taste wonderful on its own—who hasn’t enjoyed a glass of chilled rosé by the pool? And for close analysis, it’s best to study a wine in isolation from sensory distractions. But wine truly finds its home in the company of food. Good food connects with a wine’s structure and unlocks its flavors. A good pairing improves both partners. On most occasions, we first decide what we’re go-ing to eat, and then choose a wine to accompany that. The basic rules work most of the time: red with meat, white with fish. Sometimes it’s fun to make the matches more precise—white Burgundy with Dover sole, or Napa Cabernet with a rib-eye steak. But passionate wine lovers often reverse the pro-cess—we have a special bottle and want to create a dish designed…

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Wine Epiphanies I thoroughly enjoyed your 40th Anniversary issue (Nov. 15, 2016). I was most im-pressed with the part about the early days of Marvin Shanken’s discovery of wine. He mentioned he’d never had any good wine prior to that fateful dinner in 1970 when he ordered a bottle of 1961 Pétrus. I had a similar experi-ence a year after [completing] my engineering degree. It was 1979. The oil price had spiked at almost $40 per barrel, and the oil company I worked for had a big dinner to celebrate. I, like Marvin, had never really had any good wine before. At the din-ner, they served 1976 Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. I was captivated, and bells went off; I had never tasted anything like it before. Paired with a steak, there…

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lights, camera, vino!

Is a buttery Chardonnay the perfect pairing for a bucket of movie popcorn? Theater owners are hop-ing so. Movie theater attendance has declined significantly in the past five years, according to in-dustry data, even as the economy has rebounded; many customers are binge-watching streaming services at home rather than heading out to the cinema. But a group of theaters—both independent establishments and chains—are trying to lure back customers with new con-cession items: alcoholic beverages, including wine. Theaters have experimented with wine for nearly 20 years, but it’s always been more of a novelty than a stan-dard part of the experience. But as owners try to draw audiences back with bigger screens, better picture and sound quality and comfy reclining seats, some are seeing that wine, beer and cocktails are one way…

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wine and moonlight

The moving story of a black man growing up in Miami while grap-pling with his mother’s drug addiction and his own sexual identity, Moonlight, from director Barry Jenkins, grabbed best-picture hon-ors at this year’s Academy Awards. While it might not seem like a wine film, a bottle plays a pivotal role in the third act. In the scene, Chiron, the film’s main character, hears from an old childhood friend, Kevin, who wants to reconnect and apolo-gize for past behavior. They meet at the diner where Kevin now works, and after awkward greetings, Kevin makes Chiron a meal. While Chiron eats, they share a bottle of red wine. The wine triggers a turn in the conversa-tion from small talk to a deeper reckoning. The wine is poured into plastic cups and the…

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cannabis company buys former fetzer property in mendocino

In a sign of changing times, Flow Kana, a California distributor of sustainable, sun-grown cannabis, has purchased Fetzer Win-ery’s old stomping grounds in Mendocino County’s Redwood Valley. Neither party has disclosed the sale price, but the 80-acre ranch and vineyards were listed for $3.5 million. Fetzer produced its first com-mercial vintage at the site in 1968 but later shifted primary operations to the North Coast Winery in Hopland. Brown-Forman bought Fetzer in 1992 and sold it to Concha y Toro in 2011, but members of the Fetzer family retained owner-ship of the Redwood Valley site. (They still own another part of the property.) Flow Kana distributes can-nabis to more than 100 dis-pensaries throughout North-ern California. It plans to transform the winery into a cultivating, manu-facturing, distribution and retail hub. Some neighbors are…

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south african winemakers decry mining activities

In February, the government of South Africa’s Swartland wine region granted sand-mining permits at two farms on the slopes of Paardeberg mountain. Area winemakers are protesting. Eben Sadie, a winemaker and member of the Protect the Paardeberg Coalition, says the fight has been going on for two years while the gov-ernment considered the application. “We’ve in-vested in agriculture to keep it sustainable for future generations and it’s terrible to think that all this might now be lost for some short-term gain,” he said. The Swartland Municipality responded, “The Municipality Tribunal’s decision is currently sub-ject to an appeal process.” Opponents’ main concerns are damage to dirt roads by heavy trucks, and the destruction of the area’s beauty. “We can’t replace [these vineyards] if you take half the mountain away,” Sadie said. Chris Mullineux of Mullineux…