June '09

Departments
Editor's Note

Happenings
  W&S's first
  annual Top of the List

Fined & Filtered
  Dial-up wine apps,
  smoky cocktails

News in Brief

Fiona Morrison
  on 2008 Bordeaux en
  primeur

Peter Liem
  at the scheurebefest

Tastings
Value Hunt

Year's Best
   Top 100 Values

Year's Best
   US Sauvignon Blanc

Year's Best
   Southern Italian Reds

Year's Best
    Argentine Malbec

Year's Best
    Chilean Cabernet

Year's Best Sherry

American New
   Releases

Imported New
   Releases

Extreme Values

Features at Wine & Spirits

Malbec... with fish? by Joshua Greene
Aldo Sohm holds the 2008 title as the Best Sommelier in the World. And he's just been nominated for the Best Wine Service Award from the James Beard Foundation. He's also one of the most cheerful sommeliers you're likely to meet, an Austrian heading up the wine service at New York's bastion of French seafood, Le Bernardin. Recently, Sohm returned from Mendoza, Argentina, where he had conducted a seminar on malbec at the Masters of Food & Wine, South America. W&S caught up with Sohm to talk malbec, the red wine that had all the sommelier buzz in our 20th Annual Restaurant Poll, and one that's gaining a place on Le Bernardin's list.

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

What Can You Get for $25? by Wolfgang M. Weber
You wouldn't suspect it walking down Manhattan's Restaurant Row on West 46th, but hidden among the food hustlers and wafts of marinara sauce is one of the most innovative and influential Italian wine programs in the United States. Jeremy Ensey is the senior manager and sommelier at Becco, a restaurant opened in 1993 by the mother-and-son team of Lidia and Joseph Bastianich. Ensey moved to New York 12 years ago and started working with the younger Bastianich at Lupa and Esca before starting at Becco in early 1999.

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

45 value brands of the year
Here's a short list of names you can trust: The brands with good $10 wine, the wineries with delicious $16 or $18 wine. We've combed through the results of our last 12 months of tastings to see which brands consistently produce great wines that leave change when you hand over $20. These 45 range from a Finger Lakes winery putting out world-class riesling for a song to a stellar lineup of Sherries that run $13. Whether it's lush Horse Heaven Hills reds you're searching out or spicy Rhône blends, these brands deliver the goods at a great price.

The complete article is available here.

Critics' Picks for Value
What do you brown-bag to your favorite BYO? Our critics dream up wine lists for their own favorite haunts.

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

Rejiggering Vermouth by Christopher Hallowell
In the heyday of the cocktail in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a bartender's arsenal relied on vermouth. The Savoy Cocktail Book, Harry Craddock's 1930 cult compendium of the known cocktails, lists 285 cocktails using vermouth (over a third of the total). For decades, however, vermouth has laid dormant in bar wells and kitchen cabinets, where half-empty bottles hide. A downward spiral of oxidation followed, creating the common misconception of vermouth as bittersweet vinegar. Now, as bartenders rediscover old recipes, vermouth is undergoing a renaissance.

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

Fino Summer by Tara Q. Thomas
Walk into Boqueria at 3 p.m. on a weekday afternoon, and you might feel like you've been transported to Spain. When other places would be desolate (or, more likely, simply closed), Boqueria buzzes with Spaniards or others with internal hunger clocks set later than most Americans, consuming plates of thin-sliced ham, boquerones or a full-on lunch. As the hour gets later, the air smells tangier, a combination of pata negra and Sherry.

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