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Dining
 Pizza Hut tests interactive table for ordering, payment
With the help of  Chaotic Moon Studios, PIzza Hut is taking a look at an interactive concept table that could be the future of the Pizza Hut dine-in ordering experience. Check it out. Display settings
IC Places Tour of Ferrari-Carano Vineyards & Winery
In 1979, Don and Rhonda Carano purchased a single 60 acre parcel of land in Sonoma County's Alexander Valley. The parcel included a restored 1904 farmhouse, a barn and 30 acres of grapes. So began a twenty-five year mission to acquire premium vineyard properties throughout the county, because Don and Rhonda truly believed, and still do, that owning their own vineyards is the best way to ensure the highest quality grapes needed to supply their growing winery in Dry Creek Valley and their mountain winery in Alexander Valley. Display settings viewNode("fb8fc3140e479", {"server_detection": true, "width": 500, "height": 310});
Wine of the Year: Chateau Palmer 2009 Margaux
I must confess, I decided the 2010 Wine Talk Wine of the Year the moment I tasted it. It was late March and I was visiting Chateau Palmer in Margaux during the Bordeaux Primeurs. Barrel samples from the much-anticipated 2009 vintage were being evaluated throughout the region, and there was an air of excitement at every stop. I was trying my best to ignore the inevitable hype. But I succumbed there on the sedate grounds of one of the…
THE GLENROTHES® OFFERS THE OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME: COULD YOU BECOME A GLENROTHES WHISKY MAKER?
This fall, Berry Brothers & Rudd, makers of the exceptional Glenrothes® single malt Scotch whisky, are offering a one-of-a-kind experience to a select few.  Four passionate, promising Scotch aficionados will have the chance to work as an official Glenrothes Whisky Maker, spending a week at the distillery in Speyside, Scotland for a whisky adventure unlike any other. Each winner, selected from qualified entrants from around the globe, will work at the historic Glenrothes distillery learning the art of creating…
On one cool but glorious August afternoon in Paso Robles, as the winds came up, I pulled on a sweater and my thoughts drifted to the coming harvest. California vintners were about to experience a vintage like no other, the first in memory without the blistering daytime temperatures that ensure the grapes will fully ripen before the inevitable autumn rains. "I'm thinking about grafting my Cabernet over to Pinot Noir," winemaker Gary Eberle quipped. "This time of year, it's…
The Importance of Terroir
Surely, you are familiar with the word "terroir" as it is applied to the taste of wine. It is a French term, thus bound to be confusing. In fact, wine journalists for years have offered various mind-bending explanations of terroir, which seems to defy precise definition. So I was intrigued when a colleague recently posted a column on the website Wine Review Online headlined "Demoting Terroir." Author W. Blake Gray made almost no attempt to explain terroir, choosing instead…
Value Wines From Sud de France
As a young wine enthusiast, sometime in the early 1970s, I took great pride in foraging the bargain bin to come up with superb wines that would impress my various wine mentors. In the day, the gems were likely to be relatively obscure Bordeaux, perhaps from an "off" vintage. I can remember stocking several cases of Chateau Gloria, a cru bourgeois from Saint-Julien, because I loved the wine and the price was right, considerably less than $10 a bottle.…
More Wines Like This Please
This week I recommend two wines that both thrilled me, and gave me pause. They are a Syrah and Merlot from Nickel & Nickel, the Napa Valley winery that is the epitome in impeccable winemaking. Nickel & Nickel produces a number of vineyard-specific wines that illustrate the diversity and quality of terroir throughout Napa and Sonoma. The wines that got my attention were a Syrah from the Darien Vineyard in the Russian River Valley and a Merlot from the…
Brunello Producers Vote for Modernity
Perhaps, you are new to wine and wondering what's up with this war for the Brunello. It is, after all, merely wine. That is so true, and at the same time so wrong. The battle lines have been drawn through the very soul of one of Italy's most important wine regions — Montalcino, birthplace of the Brunello di Montalcino nearly 150 years ago. Once upon a time, it was an impenetrable fortress against marauders, who would have sacked the…
WINE TALK - Finding the Sweet Spots in Wine County Travel
It is being widely reported that consumer confidence is on the rise and more Americans than we've seen in the past few years are planning trips this summer to exotic locales. This is good news for the wine industry, which has taken its lumps through the great recession.It's no secret that wine enthusiasts have a thirst for travel, too. The Napa Valley is the best example. From early spring through the end of harvest in mid-November, it is the Disneyland…
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WINE TALK - Ten Affordable Chardonnays
Although Chardonnay remains the No. 1 white wine choice for most U.S. wine buyers, the myth persists that good Chardonnay exists only at the upper echelon and the rest is mainly plonk.I say nay.The price of Chardonnay grapes has sagged along with the economy, so there's no reason enterprising vintners (or those who own their own vineyards) can't source excellent grapes for the purpose of producing classy Chardonnay.Gary Eberle of Paso Robles is a case in point. His Chardonnay…
WINE TALK  -   Midwestern Wine Dazzles California Judges
After 17 years as director of the venerable Monterey Wine Competition, I've come to expect the unexpected. So, surprised I wasn't when the hands went up en masse as we polled the judges on the one Vignoles in the showdown for Best of Show white wine this year.Vignoles is a French hybrid grape that was developed in the first half of the 20th century to combat phylloxera, a microscopic bug that devastated the vineyards of Europe and North America…
WINE TALK -  Leaning Right in the Napa Valley
We've had this discussion before about Cabernet Franc. I'm in the camp that holds Franc as untapped potential to produce seriously good wine from the Napa Valley. I would even go so far as to predict it could be the next big thing from Napa.So far there is precious little evidence that I am right. Yet I was encouraged recently after an encounter with Aaron Pott, the erudite winemaker for a number of Napa brands, including the wines of…
WINE TALK - The Difference Between Right and Wrong
The question was perfectly reasonable."Aren't we now supposed to drink the wines we like and not pay attention to what the critics say? Isn't all of that swirling and sniffing, and those descriptive terms, just a little too snooty?"Talk about being directly in the sights as you stare down the barrel of a gun. Well, for starters, I agreed everyone should decide for themselves what they like or don't like when it comes to wine. That's a given.I still…
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