April '09

Editor's Note


Fined & Filtered
  Two decades of wine in

News in Brief

  St. John Frizell
  on Amaro Cocktails

Peter Liem
  on Burgundy 2007

David Darlington
  on the Terrier of Terroir

Wine List Favorites

Year's Best
   Pinot Noir

Year's Best
   Tuscan Reds

Year's Best Austria

Year's Best Douro

American New

Imported New

Extreme Values

Features at Wine & Spirits

20th Annual Wine & Spirits Restaurant Poll
The 50 Most Popular Wines in America's Most Popular Restaurants, plus wine trends and hot brands in America's top dining rooms. A Wine & Spirits' exclusive report.

The complete article is available in the print edition of Wine & Spirits.

I am Not Going to Pay Alot for My Pinot Noir by Jordan Mackay
There are certain phrases–say, "delicate cult cabernet" or "muscular moscato"–that you rarely, if ever, hear in wine circles. Another one is "good, cheap pinot noir."

The complete article is available in the print edition of Wine & Spirits.

Bassa Maremma by David Lynch
Until last summer, my mental image of Tuscany was very thickly wooded: it was all cypresses and holm oaks and misty, cool, vertiginous vineyards. Then I spent one of the quietest afternoons of my life on a deserted, driftwood-strewn beach in the heart of the Parco Regionale della Maremma, on the Mediterranean coast near Grosseto, and my perceptions of Tuscany–and Tuscan wine–were forever altered.

The complete article is available in the print edition of Wine & Spirits.

2009 Destinations

Omakase of the West by Jane Sigal
On Tuesday nights at Canteen, a 20-seat restaurant that opened in San Francisco in 2004, Dennis Leary subtracts the choice from his standard menu of four starters, four mains and four desserts.

Great Wine Under $50 by Wolfgang M. Weber
If ever there was a chance for wine in America to shed any snobbery and elitism–especially in restaurants–that moment is now. Even with the grim economy, the wine market in this country remains strong: The demand is there, just not the disposable income. Stepping away from high prices and ornate service, savvy restaurateurs and bar managers are gearing their wine selections to a real sense of value, limiting their lists to bottles that rarely exceed $50.

Sommeliers on the Farm by Tara Q. Thomas
"Somehow, it just feels more natural, more pleasurable, to drink outside," says Nate Ready, a Master Sommelier who left behind fancy dining rooms so he could be standing here, in a field in Boulder, Colorado, pouring wine. He's working with Meadow Lark Farm Dinners, one of the newest mobile restaurants that stage events with some of their favorite purveyors.

The complete article is available in the print edition of Wine & Spirits.

Martinborough Pinot Noir by Josh Greene
Before I visited Martinborough, I'd been a little mystified by the character of the wines. More than most places in the world that grow pinot noir, the best from Martinborough had a distinctive scent, which they seemed to wear shamelessly. Looking back at my notes, I'd attempted to describe that character as the fruitiness of blue-foot mushrooms, an earthbound intensity, a pungent soil character between black raspberry and black mushroom. On site, the wines seemed less quirky but no less intense. Martinborough itself is a pretty relaxed place. Located in the southeastern corner of New Zealand's North Island, the town radiates out from a central square, with an old Victorian hotel and bar on one corner, a hardware store and a few cafés on the main street. The square is about three blocks west of Puruatanga Road, where the land slowly falls off to the Huangarua River.

The complete article is available in the print edition of Wine & Spirits.