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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
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
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
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
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!
I've tried to write this post since October and just can't nail the voice, so I'm forgetting about the voice and in the old fashioned heritage of blogging, will spew instead. I felt ill when reading, "Watch out world, France is taking it's varietals back." It was in a recent issue of the trade rag, The Tasting Panel. Few articles have pissed me off in this particular way. I wanted to retort: Hey, France, want to gain back your drinkers? Why don't you take your terroir back, you idiots. It's the place, that made those grapes famous, you dumb idiots.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2015 at The Feiring Line
Researching for my next book, delving into the history of the region of Samtskhe-Javakheti , the home of one of Georgia's best-beloved rulers, the inspiration of The Knight In Panther Skin who lived here I came across this brilliant history lesson: When King Georgi III surprisingly crowned his 18-year-old daughter as the co-ruler of the Kingdom of Georgia in 1178 AD, he is said to have uttered a quote that is still famous in the country today. I’m paraphrasing, and I haven’t been great about keeping up with my Medieval Georgian language skills, but it more-or-less said something along the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2015 at The Feiring Line
Great to meet you too, Sarah May. More to come I hope.
Toggle Commented Dec 30, 2014 on Stories I left behind, 2014 at The Feiring Line
A peek into some memorable tastes and moments in my wine year, inseparable from the people and place. From Renaud Bruyere & Adeline Houillon. There was one teensie sip left for me at a dinner table packed with Georgians in Angers last Feb. Dry farmed Beechworth, Australian gamay? Oh yeah! When visiting Barry Morey last February, he asked if I would like to taste a gamay without so2. Duh. Of course. Turns out it was a 1998, fresh and vibrant. A poster child for unsulfured wine excellence. So why doesn't he do more? Simply gorgeous. A race horse of grace.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2014 at The Feiring Line
Going over my 2014 moments to pull images to share I realize there were several stories I really wanted to pen. They were about people, places and things. The subjects deserved ink, but for some reason they just could not find the right outlet. So I offer you some teasers of moments gone unsung. There's a town upstate New York where I earned my foraging chops years back. A trashy place plagued by poverty and circumstance currently showing signs of renewal. Cheryl Lims an early pioneer in absinthe is thriving with her brand, Delaware Phoenix. This summer I visited to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2014 at The Feiring Line
Hi Fabio, Yes, I think it's a great idea. After all returned bottles are a nightmare for importers and the producers. But best of all, as Adam said, a dialogue has been opened in a way that was not possible before.
Toggle Commented Dec 22, 2014 on Natural Wine Warning at The Feiring Line
A friend snapped this for me at P.J. Wine and Liquors thinking I would be amused. And I was. I posted to Instagram (@alicesari) and to Facebook, it ended up on Twitter (@alicefeiring), creating a bit of a stir. Some people were upset at the warning. The reaction surprised me. Some thought it was going to increase wine fear. I beg to differ. I think it's necessary especially in a neighborhood far from Hipsterville. Adam Eisenberg who works at P.J's, has a different opinion. His experience tells him that New Yorkers generally just don't know much about the genre, outside... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2014 at The Feiring Line
Want to share the recipe?
Wine gifting? That’s easy. My December issue is packed with ideas in the bottle section, but for something else? The important part is to side step the schlock. For example, I don’t know anyone who would appreciate bottle charms or an aerator or a device that instantly ages a wine. For myself? Books! Bottles! Glassware! And if someone were feeling generous, a bigger wine fridge would be most welcome. But just so it’s not all about me, I asked some friends and colleagues what they would like to give and get. Doug Wregg, the eloquent voice of Les Caves de... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2014 at The Feiring Line
Here we go again: The Feiring Line’s Super Packs have been sorted out and the the details are on Christy's site. So go on over. You think this is easy deciding what wines will work. Not. Kind of intense. Tasting. Deciding. What can I get but you might not be able to? It's tricky. And then do I go hard core natural or something that can appeal to both camps. I did a little of both. Christy pushed hard on the older rielsing. She was right. The 2002 was really special. I wanted something else. Maybe something just in the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2014 at The Feiring Line
In Slovenia or Croatia this coming weekend? Then come at what will be a fabulous tasting--Label Grand Karakterre. I'll be there and will come back with my head swimming in thoughts of terroir and palate thrilled with tastes. The organizers have pulled this off with no sponsors. What that means is complete freedom. No one has an agenda, no one is pulling rank or pushing a message other than wanting the participants to come with an open mind for discovery. I'm really proud to be a part of it, though being on a panel discussing terroir with three prodigious vignerons... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2014 at The Feiring Line
Last night was members and subscribers night. The first ever TFL night. Held at Christy's Frankly Wines, (my partner in wine society crime). It was frankly, a blast. With Nick (from Jenny & Francois) Guilhaume (Selection Massale) Alvaro (Selectiones de la Vina), and Christy's picks, there were plenty of personalities and tastes involved. I was really honored to have such industry support and so happy to meet some readers face to face. Here arethe wines you missed. Don't miss the next one! - Partido Vinel-Lo - Akilia K - Ca dei zago - Dobra Vinice Kambrium (DEBUT!) - Trinqu'ames Sauv... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2014 at The Feiring Line
A good friend of mine, a doctor/photographer (who admitedly, is a bit mad) absolutely loves peppery wine. In fact, he takes it literarlly. This summer, in a tableside video he gamely showed off his technique of doctoring a wine to get it to his liking. This is not a joke. He does this all the time. Is it a manipulation? Sure it is. Do I care? No. I choose the wines I give him carefully. A Côtes du Rhône or a wine from the Languedoc? For those he stays away from the mill. He's often a great receptacle for the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2014 at The Feiring Line
During my last trip to Georgia, the country was in the middle of harvest and Iago Bitarishvili (Iago's wine) had a big problem. He needed help cleaning qvevri. This is one of the most important tasks when working with those big vessels. Without a proper and throrough cleaning the resulting wines would surely be a mouse bomb. But there were few takers to lend a hand. "I go to the square and ask the boys and men. I will pay good money. But no one wants to help," Iago lamented. I looked at Jeremy, a game sommelier newly off the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2014 at The Feiring Line
Hey, so I decided I had to find some delicious wines under $18 (to hell with under $20 which is the new $15). I mean, we have to drink every day and the days of $12 and under are long gone. So in this issue of The Feiring Line I tasted and tasted and selected 30 fab wines, I love and you'll love and if you want more, subscribe! Plenty of selections of Thanksgiving, the day that throws many into wine klutz. Let me save you from disaster. Here's two of my favorites from the issue. Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2014 at The Feiring Line
Actually, for those vegans who wear leather, the biodynamic treatment of using a cow horn as a vessel to ferment manure in, is not an issue. FYI: no cows were dehorned for the sole use of the treatments. Thanks for chiming in.
Toggle Commented Nov 4, 2014 on Vegan wines? at The Feiring Line
This month there's a little vegan wine guide thing I wrote up for Vegetarian Times. It's a little heavilly edited, but there is information in there you might not have known. The PDF is living on the Querciabella site, so take a peek. Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2014 at The Feiring Line
A few years ago my friend Becky said to me, "You'll have to find a new battle to fight." The wine world had changed so much since I wrote The Battle for Wine and Love, she was indicating that winemakers had started to question their paradigms; make wine for Parker's palate or for themselves. The work was done. I mean, have you looked to see what's going on in the Beaujolais? Just look at the names of the annual tasting La Beaujolise . This season I'm aware of three significant debuts from the area, and I'm sure there's more. Yohan... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2014 at The Feiring Line