August 2007

Editor’s Note


Fined & Filtered

Year's Best: Pinot Grigio &
Sauvignon Blanc

Spirits: David Wondrich
on variatinos of the G&T

Critic's Picks: Best Buys

Joshua Greene on aging
New World sauvignon blanc

Wine without Women, from
Holy Mount Athos
by John Szabo

Chill Out
Overview by Philippe Newlin

Summer Sparklers
tasted: 92 reviewed: 35

Rías Biaxas/ Vinho Verde
tasted: 56 reviewed: 27

American Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio
tasted: 89 reviewed: 26

tasted: 224 reviewed: 80

Northeastern Italy
tasted: 202 reviewed: 80

American New Releases
tasted: 426 reviewed: 63

Imported New Releases
tasted: 171 reviewed: 48

tasted: 1,260 reviewed: 359

Sausage, Mushrooms...and Barbera Great Wines for Pizza
Every week, Francine Stephens spends hours and hours manicuring the wine list at her restaurant. Her selection of nearly 20 wines by the glass changes daily ("I do it for the regulars," she says) and the 50-bottle all-Italian main list sees a major overhaul with every new season.
     Her restaurant, in fact, is a pizzeria: Franny's, in Brooklyn Heights. In this stroller-crammed neighborhood, she could dole out a decent sangiovese, pour Peroni (instead of offering a tidy list of quality craft beers) and easily pack the place every night. So why all the trouble?
     "Serious food deserves serious wine," she says, reflecting a view-pizza can be serious business-that more and more restaurateurs are adopting. The number of pizzerias helmed by notable chefs keeps growing-Andrew Feinberg, Franny's husband and the restaurant's dough slinger in chief trained at Savoy, Veritas and Gramercy Tavern; Nancy Silverton, one of Los Angeles's favorite chefs, came out of semiretirement to preside over the oven at Pizzeria Mozza. And the wines on hand to wash down those pies have gotten more sophisticated, too...

Roero Arneis, the New Crus of Piedmont
For most people, Piedmont means the red wines of Barolo and Barbaresco. Fair enough: Nebbiolo can justly claim the steep hills between the Langhe's two most famous communes as home, but Piedmont hardly stops there.
     Venture across the river Tanaro from Alba and you'll find the sandy hillscape of the Roero where, in sharp contrast to the vine-covered hills of the Langhe, vineyards share precious vertical space with orchards and small forests. Locals have successfully grown nebbiolo and barbera in these hills for centuries, but more recent recognition of the region has come from the expressive, fresh white wines made from the Roero's indigenous arneis...

The Wind Tunnel
The town of Petaluma is best known for three things: butter, eggs and some of the strangest weather in Sonoma County-namely, the wind and blanket-thick fog that rolls in like clockwork most afternoons. The cows and chickens have never seemed to mind the sudden temperature drops and howling wind that blows in from the Pacific. Nor does the pinot noir...

Gallo in Sonoma
The Gallo brothers grew up in the grape business and stayed in it when they lost both their parents and landed deep in debt. That was 1933, the end of Prohibition, when they turned to winemaking and set out to learn how by rifling through pamphlets in the basement of the Modesto public library. Together, Ernest and Julio built an empire based on brands like Hearty Burgundy, Thunderbird, Carlo Rossi, Bartles & James and, eventually, Gallo of Sonoma. For a time, E&J Gallo was the largest wine company in the world, unseated only by the merger of two corporate giants, Constellation Brands and BRL Hardy, in 2003...

Great Greek Grapes, A Field Guide to the Next Wave

In the 1990s, the Greek wine community was in high swing, trying to catch up with the modern wine world. For some, this meant reexamining the grape varieties in their vineyards; others believed "international" varieties were the answer. "We're in the middle of a small revolution here in Greece," said Yiannis Paraskevopoulos of Gaia Estate in Nemea, a red-wine region in the Peloponnese, southwest of Athens. "In five, ten years, a lot of people will come here. Agiorgitiko will be the first Greek wine to go out of Greece."...