Search Results: textbook

Tasting Report: Family Winemakers of California 2011

By Christopher Null | September 23, 2011 |

Family Winemakers of California, while not quite as daunting as I’ve seen it in prior years, remains a monstrous wine exhibition: It’s been called the largest show of its kind in the country — and with 300 wineries pouring this year, if that’s not still true today, it’s awfully close. I did my research in…

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Tasting Report: Wines of the Santa Rita Hills 2011

By Christopher Null | March 9, 2011 |

Made famous by its appearance in the film Sideways, the Santa Rita Hills area near Santa Barbara is still riding high, thanks to a continued focus on quality winemaking, particularly in the realm of its storied Pinot Noirs. Recently a dozen or so wineries from the Sta. Rita AVA trekked up to San Francisco to…

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Book Review: Whiskey & Philosophy

By Christopher Null | February 18, 2011 |

It is try that whiskey has a tendency to make philosophers out of all of us, but I didn’t know that would lead anyone to actually write a book on the topic. Truth be told, Whiskey & Philosophy is not really a study of drinking dogma but an anthology (written by 20 different authors or…

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Review: Sanford 2008 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay

By Christopher Null | November 5, 2010 |

Sanford is a legend in the Santa Barbara winemaking scene, and even though Richard Sanford is no longer involved with the winery (he runs Alma Rosa now), Sanford (the winery) is still putting out top-notch vino. The 2008 vintages of its Chardonnay and rightfully renowned Pinot Noirs are hitting any day now. We tried them…

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Book Review: The Sommelier Prep Course

By Christopher Null | July 7, 2010 |

Need to bone up on the wines of Greece and Hungary? Can’t keep straight the various styles of Madeira? Desire a greater understanding of the production of various ciders? You need The Sommelier Prep Course: An Introduction to the Wines, Beers, and Spirits of the World. As the name might imply, wine is the focus…

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Tasting Report: Wine Spectator Grand Tour Las Vegas 2010

By Christopher Null | May 5, 2010 |

There are monster wine events, and then there is the Grand Tour, Wine Spectator magazine’s celebration of its highest-rated wines and an event of unparalleled opulence. The list of wines being poured — each winery gets just one bottling at the table, none of these dozen-to-choose-from affairs — makes it almost impossible to know where…

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Review: 2007 J Vineyards Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

By Christopher Null | April 3, 2010 |

Textbook California pinot. Fresh cherries, just a hint of earth and stone, and a lightly floral finish. Somewhat thin body, and light on the tongue, but great on its own, especially as an appetite-whetting aperitif. Really worth a try. A- / $35 /

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Review: 2007 HammerSky Vineyards Zinfandel Reserve Paso Robles

By Christopher Null | January 31, 2010 |

Yay, more zinfandel! HammerSky made just 294 cases of this reserve Zin, a textbook example of California zinfandel that’s worth a look. Jammy with plums and cherries up front, it reveals an intricate structure underneath, with leather, tobacco, and some raspberry notes, too. A very easy-drinking wine but one which is decidedly zinfandel at heart.…

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Tasting Report: ZAP Zinfandel Festival 2010

By Christopher Null | January 31, 2010 |

Zinfandel enthusiasts have a… how you say… an interesting reputation.  I’m not sure if it’s the mystique of the wine or the generally heavy alcohol content, but Zin fans are unique among the wine enthusiasts of the world. Judging from some of the costumes at this year’s ZAP Zinfandel Festival (men in hula skirts, home-made…

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Review: Absolut Boston Vodka

By Christopher Null | September 5, 2009 |

Absolut Boston is the third city-themed vodka from the massive spirits company, but the first of that bunch I’ve had the chance to sample. Some thoughts — before the bottle vanishes altogether. Absolut Boston is flavored with black tea and elderflower, an interesting and overall quite successful combination. Everyone loves elderflower — you can’t turn…

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