All The News That's Fit to Sip

Around the world in 80 stands - well 2,400 exhibitors to be exact - but if you really want to get a feel for the global drinks industry then there is no better place than Vinexpo.  
UK drinks logistics firm Tradeteam has clinched a £12m eight-year contract with Wales’s largest brewer.
Sizzling summer temperatures and a renewed focus on food has boosted the performance of pub owners Greene King, the company has reported.
Constellation Europe has extended its Jack Rabbit wine brand with the launch of a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc.
Constellation Brands has reported a 15% drop in consolidated net sales in the first quarter of its current financial year, largely impacted by the sale of its value spirits business.
Diageo is to cut 900 jobs with the closure of a whisky packaging plant in Kilmarnock and its Port Dundas distillery in Glasgow over the next two years.
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Ice needs to do more than chill a drink; it has to entertain, too. Eben Freeman, director of bar operations and innovation for Altamarea Group, went shopping for trays.
The Vault at Pfaff’s, a new subterranean lounge in NoHo, is named for the proprietor of a bohemian gathering place in the area 150 years ago.
To produce the best burger, one needs advanced scientific cooking techniques, a former Microsoft executive says.
A collection of links by the reporters and editors of the Dining section.
A restaurant in the East Village avoids Thai standards in favor of dishes from a region of the country that borders Laos.
The wine panel recently tasted 20 dry reds from Roussillon, a sunny region in France.
The chef Sam Talbot’s large and glittery restaurant at the new Mondrian hotel in SoHo suffers from inconsistency.
In the reception rooms of Congressional offices, visitors get a treat while they wait: regional snacks like Golden Flake potato chips, Little Debbie cupcakes and Peeps.
Sesame seeds are used in both the dough and the coating of these nutty-tasting breadsticks.
TSG Consumer Products recently made a major investment in Stumptown Coffee Roasters, and has met with other top boutique coffee companies.
Fatty Crew’s outpost in Battery Park, Momofuku Milk Bar in Brooklyn, and other openings and closings.
Recipes celebrating asparagus and eggs that are substantial enough to serve as main courses but still light and spring-like.
Frozen steaks and other compact cuts can be defrosted in as little as 10 minutes, without compromising their quality, and with very little effort.
Barbecue and rhubarb are the subjects of two festivals; a vegan chef stops at a pop-up; jazz at a Manhattan oyster bar; and other events this week.
With his coops, Jason Stroud, the Red Hook Chicken Guy, helps city residents get farm-fresh eggs from their backyards.
A California brewer uses beer to flavor the caramel fillings for chocolate-covered candies.
Made without preservatives, hot-smoked Coho salmon from Triad Fisheries in Seattle is ideal for quick canapés, sandwiches and garnishes.
Children of first-generation immigrant entrepreneurs are bringing their own families’ food businesses to a public hungry for the real thing.
A Spanish rice dish to serve with red wine from Roussillon.
This unspoken question always lurks. Is it true? Should we care?
Weather doesn’t dampen spirits as vintners celebrate raising $100 million in 31 years
Wine Spectator’s Bring Your Own Magnum parties in Napa and Sonoma mark the beginning of auction week
Rémy Cointreau and EPI finalize their sale agreement for Rémy's underperforming Champagne division
New reviews of outstanding Pinot Noirs, Zinfandels and more
It is the tantalising nature of red burgundy that seems to have inspired a new generation of vignerons to seek out sites in California, writes Jancis Robinson
© Courtesy of Veuve Clicquot A bottle the divers didn't chug.Last summer, divers discovered a cache of incredibly old Champagne in a shipwreck off Finland's Åland islands. Today, someone snatched up part of it. Two 1840s-vintage...
A first look at vintage quality in South Africa, with eyewitness reports from growers and winemakers
New reviews of Austrian sweets from Kracher
Plus, Moët plants roots in China, babes in wineland and an obscenely extravagant wine box (it's ok—it's for charity)
A first look at vintage quality in Argentina and Chile, with eyewitness reports from growers and winemakers
A first look at vintage quality in Australia and New Zealand, with eyewitness reports from growers and winemakers
Wine Spectator has learned Crimson Wine Group will buy historic Sonoma producer
At the 13th century “Battle of the Wines,” wine tasting and trash talking went hand in hand
Jancis Robinson realises that Michel Chapoutier had become Rent-a-Wine-Quote when he came out with 'fruit is to the wine what the disc is to the music'
New reviews of Chardonnay, Riesling and other enticing values for $25 or less
New reviews of crisp, refreshing Sauvignon Blancs that blend quality and value like few other California grapes can
Or at least wine from a French Château owned by an Irishman. A few weeks back on the Today show I semi-predicted that one of the wines served at the royal wedding events would be Château de Fieuzal, a white Bordeaux from a property owned...
Paying three-star prices in a restaurant with very limited menu justifies you in expecting the wine waiter to be able to suggest several perfect matches for every dish, writes Jancis Robinson
New reviews of Proseccos, Moscatos and more Italian sparkling wines for the spring and summer, all attractively priced at around $15
For several months now, I've been stalking an Italian cheese called Lou Bergier Pichin. I've purchased it several times, written enthusiastic tasting notes, and then discovered that nobody else carried it beyond the store that sold it to me. Finally,...
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Submitted by RSS on Sun, 06/05/2011 - 3:00am

The last time I wrote about a cheese from Moliterno, a village in southern Italy, it wasn't from Moliterno. It was made in Sardinia. Moliterno is in the region of Basilicata, on the border with Calabria and Campagna, and has long been known among the area's...
They say that 90 percent of cheesemaking is cleaning up, and I believe it after watching Maureen Cunnie produce cottage cheese. Cunnie is the cheesemaker for Cowgirl Creamery, and I spent a morning with her recently at the original Point Reyes dairy (the...
David Stoesz is policy guy who likes to get creative in the kitchen.
It was a "food" program like no other. Kojo Nnamdi and his production team had set up shop in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, last November, nearly 11 months after an earthquake killed more than 200,000 people and left even more scrambling for sustenance and shelter in tent cities. Nnamdi wasn't there to...
Culinary anthropology isn't a priority, but if we are to stay connected to our heritage, that needs to change.
Wines to try from the Jackson Family Estate in California.
A new pinot noir winemaster explains the factors that affect quality and price when wines are made from the same grapes.
Sherry is one of the most versatile, and best value, wines in the world. You can almost always find high quality for under $20, and often for under $15.
I hope you enjoyed the daily whisky reviews this past month. I think it was a good way to introduce you to the other whisky reviewers in the Malt Advocate team. Although they follow the Malt Advocate rating scheme, each one has his own style. Our new issue of Malt Advocate hits the streets today. It’s a special one: our 20th Anniversary issue. If you are not a subscriber, be sure to pick up a copy. It’s our largest issue yet–and our most personal. You’ll find out how Malt Advocate (and WhiskyFest) was created, and there’s an interview with my wife Amy (pictured) and me. She has been my business partner since the beginning. Without her, there would be no Malt Advocate or Whiskyfest. This will probably be my last post for about a week. I’m taking the next couple days off for vacation. Then, the first half of next week is filled with editorial meetings, doctor visits (routine stuff), etc. We have some very exciting things planned for the next 20 years. We’re already working on them. Stay tuned…
Glenfarclas 175th Anniversary, 43%, £80 First things first — congratulations to the Grants of Glenfarclas on attaining their 175th anniversary. To celebrate, they have vatted together a cask from 1952 with one each from the following five decades — and released it at an exceptionally reasonable price! The nose has a lift of struck match immediately followed by cedar, pomegranate, blackberry jam, and Seville orange. There’s a thick caramel toffee sweetness to the palate alongside the classic ’Farclas depth where dried, but sweet, fruits repose. Recommended. –Dave Broom Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 91
Kilbeggan 18 year old, 40%, $130 Kilbeggan, once overshadowed by its stable-mates, is the rising star in the Cooley repertoire; an active distillery once more and capable of thoroughbred gems like this. This isn’t your typical Irish whiskey at all, so be warned. Sure there are lashings of soft caramel, peach crumble, and vanilla up front, but then the wood takes over and big waves of tannin and chili pepper kick in. It’s 40% ABV but it delivers a much harder punch. Limited edition release. –Dominic Roskrow Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 90
Penderyn Bourbon single cask, cask strength, 61.2%, $430 The unusual distilling process and some maturation in Madeira casks has given standard Penderyn a liqueur-like, perfumey quality many whisky fans don’t care for. This is a single bourbon cask bottling of the 11th cask the distillery ever filled, to mark its 10th anniversary, and is less cloying, less feminine, and more gutsy than the standard version. It’s also very palatable and of excellent quality. Some will make it to America, but the price tag will deter all but the most passionate. –Dominic Roskrow Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 90 Photograph courtesy of Penderyn Distillery
Fettercairn Fior, 42%, £36  Released with no age statement, Fettercairn Fior contains 15 percent heavily-peated whisky matured in first-fill ex-bourbon barrels, along with a proportion of 14 and 15 year old spirit. The result is a bold and complex whisky with real nose presence; smoke, sherry, toffee, vanilla, and oranges merge on the nose, while the palate showcases more smoke and toffee, plus spices, oak, and licorice in the lengthy finish. –Gavin Smith Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 90
Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique Cask Strength, 59.2%, €70 Kavalan is Taiwanese whisky from the King Car Company, and the progress its whiskeys are making is truly remarkable. With humidity roughly the same as Speyside — high — but the temperature more than 20° Fahrenheit higher, maturation is on fast forward. This is just 4 years old, but it’s a monster mix of kumquat liqueur, tropical fruit, blackcurrant, and strawberry and cream candy. Later on some eastern spices, especially turmeric, bring it all back home. Remarkable. –Dominic Roskrow Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 92
Glenfiddich, Snow Phoenix, 47.6%, $90 Second of this pair of limited editions from Glenfiddich. This was named after a number of the distillery’s warehouse roofs collapsed under the weight of snow in 2010. This was a bottling of a selection of casks — ex-sherry, ex-bourbon, refill — from one of those damaged warehouses. It is gentle and sweet — cooked pear, fruit crumble topped with rolled oats, golden syrup, and on the palate hints of raisin. A lemon finish adds a freshness to a dangerously drinkable dram. –Dave Broom Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 83
Auchentoshan 1998, 54.6%, $70 This 1998 vintage triple distilled Lowland Auchentoshan has been matured in fino sherry casks, which are rarely used for Scotch whisky maturation. The nose presents violets in fresh soil, honey, spice, developing citric fruit notes, and almonds. Quite full-bodied, fruity and zesty in the mouth. Lengthy in the finish, with spice, nuts, and oak. Becoming dry and gingery at the last. –Gavin Smith Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 85 photo courtesy of Morrison Bowmore Distillers
I first wrote about it here last week. Have a look if you need to get the background. Today, I’m going to give you the details of the 12-bottle first release and offer some brief thoughts on them. Here’s a breakdown of each bottle number, along with the variables from each bottling: 3 – Tight Grain, Top Cut, Rye Recipe 4 – Tight, Bottom, Rye 35 – Tight, Top, Wheat 36 – Tight, Bottom, Wheat 67 – Average, Top, Rye 68 – Average, Bottom, Rye 99 – Average, Top, Wheat 100 – Average, Bottom, Wheat 131 – Coarse, Top, Rye 132 – Coarse, Bottom, Rye 163 – Coarse, Top, Wheat 164 – Coarse, Bottom, Wheat As you will see, the variables are the mash bill (wheat or rye as the “spice” ingredient), which half of the tree the barrel was made from (top or bottom), and the grain size (tight, average, course). Note that the bottle numbers are grouped in pairs (3-4, 35-36, etc.). The odd numbered bottles are from the top cut of the tree, while the even numbers are from the bottom cut of the tree. My observations and preferences First, let me say that my opinions are just one person, and there are other opinions out there that differ from mine. Also, if you want to taste these whiskeys without any opinions bias you, this would be a good time to stop reading this post. One thing I noticed immediately was that the bottom cut (the even numbers) really show a lot more wood influence (and possibly even terroir). Generally speaking, I preferred the bourbons that were aged in barrels made from the top part of the trees (the odd numbered bottles). In many instances, the wood from the bottom cut dominates the flavor profile. I sort of feel the same way with whiskeys aged in barrels made from wood with the course grain size (131, 132, 163, 164). There’s a lot of wood influence there. The course grain particularly dominates the more delicate (and vulnerable?) wheat-spiced whiskeys (163, 164). In fact, 163 and 164 were my least favorite of the twelve. Generally speaking, bourbon made from barrels with average grain size seemed to be the sweet spot. On the flip side, the wheated whiskeys with “top” wood and both tight and average grain (35 and 99, respectively) were quite nice. They were (respectively) my 2nd and 3rd favorite whiskeys. If you like wheated bourbons, you might consider one of these. My favorite of the bunch: #67: a rye bourbon with average grain size wood taken from the top of a tree. I felt it was elegant, refined, and sophisticated. I could drink this stuff all day long. So, trying to summarize what I liked most: whiskeys aged in barrels made from the top parts of the tree with an average grain size for the rye bourbon (#67) and a tight grain for the wheated bourbon (#35), because it’s a more delicate style of whiskey. Has anyone else tried any of these yet? If so, your thoughts?
Collingwood, 40% ABV, $27 Sweet, rich candy — pulled taffy, boiled sweets — with a little hot edge. Signature Canadian sweetness, but with more depth and a gently mouth-coating feel. Touches of vanilla, caramel, and some of those candy notes again, but the finish isn’t cloying. No overt evidence of the toasted maplewood finishing. Another exploration of what Canadian whisky is, or can be, that stays within bounds and makes the sweet whisky idea work. –Lew Bryson Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 84