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Alicefeiring
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In Paris and Burgundy complaints were plenty about the state of the wine world. What happened to reading and researching? Were people going into wine as going into acting, for fame? And could they really do this on knowledge based on Twitter and Instagram? Some of the more cogent complaints were: "In these days even the sommelier's have to have a gimmick. Whether it's a saber or a variety. This is what people are basing their reputations on, the obscure cépage. "They aren't representing wines they are representing themselves." "There are all of these girls who go to Le Garde... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at The Feiring Line
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You don't want the above critter in your bed and you don't want it in your wine, but more and more we're seeing goût de souris in those that shun sulfur. What is it? What's to be done with it? I ran a three-part series in The Feiring Line with some of my favorite experts on the subject (like Eric Texier) chiming in. Here's a snippet of the final one. Enologist Maya Salee drinking some Bordeaux that surely don't have mouse! I have a hard time explaining what mouse is to people who haven’t thought about it. how do you... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2015 at The Feiring Line
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unexpected changes in Puligny Change of the guard in Meursault Derain magic in Saint Aubin Shock and awe in Meursault provided by this Isaac B. Singer-like vigneron and, agreeing to disagree about the 2005s Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2015 at The Feiring Line
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I hard love cider and I love that there is finally a movement that parallels the natural wine world. Last week I went to see one of the champions, Kevin Zelienski and his no additive E-Z Orchard apple wines. The place of course was New York City's hard cider restaurant, Wassail. His is stunning and ageable stuff. Mostly bone dry with a bit of a prickle, very thirst quenching and food worthy. If you get a chance, give them a whirl. (Whole Foods in NYC has them, and more coming to outlets outside of Oregon.) Why am I filled with... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2015 at The Feiring Line
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To all of my The Feiring Line Subscribers. Last week there was a request to update your information. The more elaborate reason for this is we lost the interface with Amazon and so there is no way to keep you in my data base (as Amazon rightfully so, doesn't transfer your CC#'s to my new provider.) So, in truth, unless you take a few minutes from your day to update your information per the link we sent out last week, the TFL is absolutely in danger of continuing. Technology has sunk many an institution and if you don't help, this,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2015 at The Feiring Line
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This is a piece I've had cooking on the stovetop for quite a while, but where could it be served up? The answer is, in Lucky Peach. In it are the secrets to life without conventional chopped liver, and more secrets bared about my family. All I can say is that it's a good thing my mother doesn't know from the internet. Recipe included. Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2015 at The Feiring Line
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I first fell for Lettie' Teague's new book, Wine in Words: Notes for Better Drinking (Rizzoli Ex Libris. $29.95) because of its looks. Was I that shallow, I wondered. With its vintage typeface, it's sturdy dust-jacket free, embossed cover in butter-yellow, the feel of the book in hand felt like a legacy. So, I started to fan through this collection of essays, and then sat right down and started to read the 40+ short pieces. I am fond of my colleague, Lettie, the wine columnist for the Wall Street Journal. It's true that she and I often don't exactly see... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2015 at The Feiring Line
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Last week one of my talks at the Ballymaloe Lit Fest was about natural wines changing lives. When I came up with the topic, I had some fantasy of getting work as a motivational speaker and sparking new energy in old lives. In fact, I started to feel all comic and hyperbolic about the topic. But then I thought, it has changed the path of my life. There is just something about drinking a wine that starts with the soil. Then the journey takes you through the vintage. The sips end up embracing us in its life and transition and... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2015 at The Feiring Line
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Totally thrilled to be part of the upcoming Kerrygold Ballymaloe Literary Food and Wine Festival. In addition to sitting on three fascinating panels, I'll be leading one session entitled Danger, Natural Wine Can Change Your Life. I dished out the title in some sort of hyper moment, but the more I thought of it I thought, damn, it really can change life in a very meaningful way. I asked readers of TFL how it might have changed theirs. I received about 20 answers, heartfelt and detailed. This included babies, marriages, jobs, passion, life purpose. It included passports and mid-life challenges... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2015 at The Feiring Line
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Have you noticed? It's rosé madness out there. Truly, the blushed wines are being poured at a feverish rate. And last night, I had some really piss poor rosé last night. I could almost suspect it was a faux wine by the palest of color. It was if the winemaker was focused on the color and not a wine. But that is the way it is in the world, whether Provence of Ribera. So, with it fresh in my mind, I decided to repost a Feiring Line Newsletter story from a few years back. Remember, when you drink a wine,... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2015 at The Feiring Line
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I never spent time with Anne Claude Leflaive, though she was a familiar face and taste. Through the years, I'd often stuck out my glass for drips of her wine. Over more than a decade I've sampled (and drank) both the Burgundy domaine wines and her Loire Valley Clau du Nell. I hadn't known she was ill until the news of her death at 59 earlier this week. It's impossible not to conjure up two vivid memories, which seem to be a glimpse into her personality, that I'd like to share. It was in 2009 at the Renaissance des Appellation... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2015 at The Feiring Line
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Last week I got a DM. "Wine ingredients on the label. It's here." Well, not so fast. It is true that on March 31st, the EU Parliament did vote for a new wine label law. The changes were championed by anti-alcohol docs and health care workers. Their aim was more to raise awareness among under-age binge drinkers thirsty for alcopops. The wine ingredient list was given the go ahead in the same breath There's been consensus among the natural set that what the world needs now, after world peace and a few other choice essentials, is a wine ingredient list.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2015 at The Feiring Line
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That's what just came in the mail. Nice suprise! Now, why don't you go and vote for your favs? I've got some stiff competition, and when you get there you might decided not to vote for me, but if you thought I was the one, well, wouldn't that be nice. And don't forget, while you're there, give a shout out to my wonderful friend Elizabeth Minchilli and fellow nominee in the food category for her blog, you can look for her blog, Elizabeth Minchilli in Rome. Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2015 at The Feiring Line
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Someone hadn't received the memo that ever since 2008 when I penned an editorial slamming the bold Californian wines, I had been banned from a number of West Coast-centric tastings. And so believe me I was appreciative when I received an invitation to celebrate and examine Cathy Corison's 25 -years of history under her own label. I said, "Thank you!" before anyone could change their mind. But, Cathy, actually never read the memo about how California was supposed to taste, and instead she followed her own vision, very much owning her vigneronne voice, never paying attention to the style of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2015 at The Feiring Line
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Next Wednesday, March 25th, along with Pascaline Lepeltier and Bill Fitch, I'm helping to produce a wine dinner for one of my favorite vigneronnes, (make that favorite vigneronne) from Burgundy, Claire Naudin. I am absolutely insistent you need to come. You won't be sorry. (only two spots left) We have figured out a very fair price for some rarely seen and lovely wines. I hope you can join us at Vinegar Hill House's Hillside. Please click on the link for the particulars, and if you have any questions, ask here, or email me. For French speakers/ readers, why not see... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2015 at The Feiring Line
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In 2002 I tagged along to my very first Dive Bouteille. I had hitched a ride with the Dressner crew, on my way to the Salon de Val de Loire. At that oyster-shelled tasting, with wines that were more like lab experiments and more than a few flashes of brilliance, we seemed to be the only Americans. In fact it was pretty much a French only crowd. Unlike today, where it's a cross between the Burning Man and the Vin Expo of the monde du vin, there were no Asians, no Scandinavians, no Italians, no Brits, no Aussies, no Germans,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2015 at The Feiring Line
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Have you heard of Alquimie? Here's the piece of mine they published in Issue #4, about my 2014 Australia adventure that started in the energetic festival, Rootstock. Download Real Wine in the Land of Vivid Sunshine Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2015 at The Feiring Line
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Now that we solved tonight for you, another question you might have is: "What happened to Alice's annual email on the Dive and other winter tastings?" The update on the voyage that took me to the Rhône, Jura, Burgundy, Paris, Loire, Beaujolais and Champagne is delayed. Here are the excuses: I came home with a raging 103+ fever. So there went that week. Then I had the first draft due on the Georgian wine book. (Will be published in 2016). The newsletter needed to be written. What fell through the cracks was the note to you. Please forgive me. It... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2015 at The Feiring Line
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Last night over a Zidarich Vitovksa, my friend (in for the Lafarge dinner. Which by the way, if I could have, I would have. ) cautioned me and said, "The trick is, if you don't have anything positive to say...." Then I thought, that's what my newsletter is for, but the blog? Well, other rules apply. Which brings me to this story in Sunday's New York Times biz section. The story, Reading Restaurant Wine Lists, for Blockbusters and Values could have been a perfect, even sexy idea for the section. The question of how much up-selling and off-loading is that... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2015 at The Feiring Line
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Going through old mail, I came across this fine question and thought it deserved an answer. Dear Alice: I really enjoy the wines of Hervé Souhaut, whether its the syrah, the gamay. My problem is when I'm at a decent restaurant the sommelier may ask what I enjoy drinking and these wines come to mind. If they know the wines then we can usually narrow down a good bottle, but if they do not then I'm stuck. I can't describe why I enjoy these wines other than they're always gulp-able and go great with food. I know you have featured... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2015 at The Feiring Line
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When I'm late (!) neglecting the blog, getting sick, otherwise occupied sometimes I share snippets from The Feiring Line newsletter (you really, really should subscribe.) Here's a cutting from my voyage to Rome with some recs you might want to clip and save. The links are not engaged, but you will want to know about Elizabeth Minchilli. Sarah May Grunwald. Oh, and he rest? Just google them. Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2015 at The Feiring Line
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A few weeks back I was out in NYC, on the town, you might say, with a couple of friends who wanted a good bottle. A really good bottle. Life was short and wine needed to be long, that sort of thing. We went to a resto, new for us. The wine list was great, hidden gems and great prices. We weren't going cheap, or rather my friend wasn't going cheap. I was to be one of the lucky recipients of his largesse. The main sommelier was off on that holiday weekend, but the assistant let us know of some... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2015 at The Feiring Line
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This is one situation where I feel lifting cartoon property for use in the blog is not going to be an issue. They all hit hard, this hit even a little harder. Words. Literature. Art. Music. Dance. Theater. Wine. Love. Humor. I can't imagine a civilization devoid of the joys, nor can I believe that those who want to strip life of culture and joy are at all part of the human race. There must be a genetic disorder; the missing soul. Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2015 at The Feiring Line
Good luck!
George, ooph!