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Thoreau Wine Society
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Dear Friends, As a teenager in Concord, MA, I worked many odd jobs -- catering, plowing, shifts behind a cheese counter, selling produce at the market; the four seasons of New England with all of their tastes and impressions laid the foundation for a lifelong obsession with gastronomic and vinous... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2013 at Thoreau Wine Society's blog
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Dear Friends, It's a really perfect Halloween day out there -- appropriately grey and ominous. Tonight I will be serving a brooding but superb Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, the wine for the one-percent (of the sixteenth century). (Winemaking was first mentioned here in 789 -- and perhaps the remnants of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2013 at Thoreau Wine Society's blog
Pierre Henri Morel hosts a Southern Rhone Dinner at Back Forty West! Dear Friends, Now that we are really, really into fall it is time to sit fire-side and enjoy farm-to-table fall flavors courtesy of Back Forty West, Chef Peter Hoffman's cherished Soho restaurant, once known as 'Savoy.' The second... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2013 at Thoreau Wine Society's blog
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Dear Friends, I am loving this slow step into fall -- (never mind the fever) -- and thus my inner sommelier is directing me towards the nutrients of deep red. I pulled out my old copy of "Barolo, Tar and Roses, A Study of the Wines of Alba," and found... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2013 at Thoreau Wine Society's blog
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Dear Friends, During my younger years, sometime in the mid-nineties, I managed to get myself into an acting course in Dublin, Ireland. I was too foolish to fully appreciate it, although one might argue that its influence has seeped under my skin. One afternoon they invited an Irish 'storyteller' to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2013 at Thoreau Wine Society's blog
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Dear Friends, Just a quickie for Friday. At the top of the year I flew over the Dolomites on my way from Munich to Bologna for a tour of the magnificent academic town I had yet to explore. Air Dolomiti is a great little airline, everyone dressed in aqua and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2013 at Thoreau Wine Society's blog
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Dear Friends, I am going on an imaginary trip to the Mediterranean island of Ischia--northwest of its much more inflated neighbor, Capri. Ischia is a volcano speckled with pretty boats; a favorite of the Etruscans, then the Greeks, then the Romans (including Virgil), then the Barbarians, and now tourists looking... Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2013 at Thoreau Wine Society's blog
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Dearest Friends, I just returned from the wilds of Wyoming, where even the bears and eagles say good morning to each other, and the crisp nights and hot dry dusty afternoons up on the mountain trails lend themselves to cleaning one's slate and thus finding new causes for adventure. One... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2013 at Thoreau Wine Society's blog
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Dear Friends, On Sunday morning I dug up an offer I had sent some 5 years ago--three little paragraphs describing a wine from Montagny--calling to memory a perfect moment in the bosom of France's countryside. It is hard to keep up one's writing style, especially given that my stories have... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2013 at Thoreau Wine Society's blog
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Dear Friends, I just read the quote, "Be light; it moves faster." The wines of Laura Aschero achieve so much more than pristine minerality -- they have a luminosity. For those of you who have been urging me for Italian whites, it doesn't get much better. As grace would have... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2013 at Thoreau Wine Society's blog
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Dear Friends of Good Wines at Fair Prices, I had the occasion recently to taste a fascinating white wine from a region in the south of France known more for red than white wines: Maury. I usually ask where a wine comes from before tasting so that I have a... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2013 at Thoreau Wine Society's blog
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Dear Friends of Good Wine, Everyone knows of Barolo and Barbaresco, the most famous and important wines made in the Piemonte region in northwestern Italy. The one and only grape from which these two wines can be made is Nebbiolo--which is in quality, significance and temperamental demandingness, the Pinot Noir... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2013 at Thoreau Wine Society's blog
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Dear Friends, I have tasted so much wine, I should be exhausted with the subject by now, and then there happens these incredible revelations that make the whole thing fascinating again and worth the ceaseless exploration. Gevrey Chambertin has always been a favorite--from the early days when my red cheeks... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2013 at Thoreau Wine Society's blog
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Dear Value Hunters, I recently had the occasion to taste a gripping red wine from the region of Lirac in the southern Rhone. We do not often hear about this lovely-sounding village which has its own appellation. A mere 6-7 miles southeast of Chateauneuf du Pape, Lirac did not start... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2013 at Thoreau Wine Society's blog
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Dear Friends of Good Wine and The Good Life, Not long ago I went to a trade event where I had the opportunity to taste recent releases from wineries I have respected for some time. One of these is a small, highly regarded and, by American standards, ancient estate that... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2013 at Thoreau Wine Society's blog
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Friends and Followers, Back to a French wine (with an excellent California Pinot Noir to follow). TWS readers well know that Mary and I have “French” or old-world palates, no matter where the wine comes from. When I find old-world virtues in a wine from California or Australia and the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2013 at Thoreau Wine Society's blog
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Dear Friends, May this be the start of our 2013 season of transcendentalist wine writing. I am back from a European peregrination from Italy up through Austria across the continent and down to Catalonia. I went through a major career change and used this blessed healing time to well, peregrinate... Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2013 at Thoreau Wine Society's blog
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Dear Traditionalists, I had lunch recently with a colleague in the wine business, Jim Turney. We worked together at Morrell & Company in the first decade of this century. Jim was able to realize his dream of importing Spanish wines to America in 2008 when he left retailing to devote... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2012 at Thoreau Wine Society's blog
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Friends and Friends of Friends, I take a brief vacation from recommending French wines to bring you a delightful Italian red made from an indigenous varietal, Lagrein, grown primarily in Alto Adige, a region so far to the north in Alpine Italy that it practically touches Austria and Switzerland. There,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2012 at Thoreau Wine Society's blog
Dear Friends, I've taken a long lacuna from my incredibly busy day job and am now free to go back to an idyllic renaissance of writing, thinking, acting, drinking, pondering ... such as how I lived in France when I started these emails. Today I helped out in the Far... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2012 at Thoreau Wine Society's blog
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Dear Thoreauvians, As a follow-up to our recent successful offering of an excellent, affordable red Burgundy, I would like to draw your attention to a mahvelous, just mahvelous white Burgundy, which--while a little more expensive than the red--is of such compelling excellence at under $30 that it should be purchased... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2012 at Thoreau Wine Society's blog
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Dear Friends, We've pulled together a dinner at the Michelin-starred Manhattan restaurant Aldea on Thursday the 27th (next week!). Should you happen to be available, it will be an extremely worthy affair -- three different winemakers from Portugal in attendance and together we will conduct a pairing with George Mendes'... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2012 at Thoreau Wine Society's blog
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Dear Aficionados, The Holy Grail for lovers of red wine is Burgundy. Only a few would dispute this claim. The flip side of this quasi-religious commitment is the ever repeated experience of disappointment in the tasting of red Burgundies. Of ten Burgs tasted randomly, perhaps two will truly satisfy, two... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2012 at Thoreau Wine Society's blog
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Dear Friends of the Vine, Mary, in her tireless effort to find artisanal growers in France, has uncovered a gem of an estate in Sancerre: Pinard. The Pinard vineyards are located in a sub-region of Sancerre called Bué, in the southern part of the Sancerre appellation, and the smallest of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2012 at Thoreau Wine Society's blog
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Friends of Fermented Juice, It was about 3 years ago that I tasted the wines of a small estate named Becker, whose vineyard holdings straddle Germany and Alsace. The winery is located in the southern Pfalz and has earned the reputation of being one of the three finest producers of... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2012 at Thoreau Wine Society's blog