The case of the curious combo (watermelon and scampi) copy

Vinous Table: L’Auberge de l’Ill, Illhaeusern, France

France, France: Alsace, Vinous Table

Ian D'Agata, Jan 2019

It’s 150 years and counting at l’Auberge de l’Ill, one of the world’s best restaurants, and also a world-class spa and hotel. My latest visit shows l’Auberge de l’Ill hasn’t missed a step – an epicurean temple that continues to regale food and wine lovers from all over the world.

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Trentino: New Releases

featured, Italy: North, Italy

Ian D'Agata, Jan 2019

While it is common to refer to Trentino and Alto Adige as one region, Trentino and Alto Adige, are in fact, quite different from historical, geographic, and social perspectives. But the differences in terms of grape varieties and wines are just as big.

Coutet madame1990 bottle

Cellar Favorites: Coutet Cuvée Madame

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, France: Bordeaux

Neal Martin, Jan 2019

An unexpected message pops up on my Smartphone. It is from Aline Baly, daughter of co-proprietor Dominique Baly, enquiring whether I can meet for an impromptu tasting of eight vintages of Coutet’s Cuvée Madame. The odds are slim. I am flying back to Blighty at some ungodly hour the following morning and I am midway through a marathon tasting. Then again, this is not just any Sauternes, but an elusive and fascinating bottling.

Brasserie georges 8 copy

2018 Dining & Drinking Memories

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Josh Raynolds, Jan 2019

I was fortunate to enjoy dozens of fantastic meals, casual as well as over-the-top, indulgent and gastronomic, as well as literally hundreds of superb wines, ranging from remarkable values to rarities this year, many of which will likely never pass my lips again. Choosing which ones were “best” is, frankly, impossible but here is a highly pared down selection of those meals and wines that made some of the strongest and most lasting impressions on me in 2018.

The beautiful alsace copy

Through the Wine Looking Glass: 2018 in Review

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Ian D'Agata, Jan 2019

Two thousand and eighteen is running out. Waiting for the new year allows me to finally sit back and take stock of a year’s worth of great wines and friendships, beautiful scenery and endless travel. Here is a summary of my 2018 diary.

Bassermann 1811er verkostung copy

Memorable Moments from a Turbulent 2018

featured, Germany

David Schildknecht, Jan 2019

While I lack Neal’s talent or experience in this genre, I was invited to address one or more personal highlights of my year. If you and I are lucky, the recitation might pleasantly distract us from the symptoms of social and governmental dysfunction that have been so conspicuously in evidence. There was one vinous event in which I participated that could conceivably be set alongside the year’s many cultural calamities as “historic.”

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2019 Burgundy Verticals

France: Burgundy

Stephen Tanzer, Jan 2019

All of the producers I visited in December presented their wines in the same way: from youngest to oldest, with the bottles uncorked shortly before the tasting and not decanted. Beginning with the youngest vintage and working backward has always been my preferred approach to vertical tastings, for the simple reason that this order allows me to understand how wines develop with bottle age.

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The Year in Review – 2018

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Antonio Galloni, Dec 2018

Two thousand eighteen was a fabulous year full of highlights. More than anything else, though, as I type this, I realize how extraordinarily fortunate I am to do what I love more than anything each and every day for work. I hope readers will enjoy this look back at 2018. If you don’t, it is all Neal Martin’s fault – he pushed me to write about my favorite experiences of the year.

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Asti & Moscato d'Asti: The Delightful Lightness of Being

featured, Piedmont, Italy: Piedmont

Ian D'Agata, Dec 2018

Asti and Moscato d’Asti are two of Italy’s best-known and most delicious sparkling wines. Light in alcohol and strong on flavor, Asti and Moscato d’Asti are the ultimate party wines, but they can be remarkably nuanced and terroir-specific, too.

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Vinous Table: An Unforgettable Charity Dinner at Saison

United States: California, Vinous Table

Antonio Galloni, Dec 2018

This recent charity dinner at Saison was easily the finest meal I have had there and also one of my best dinners of 2018, period. The evening came together as a charity lot that was auctioned off at the most recent La Festa del Barolo to benefit children’s oncology at The Mount Sinai Hospital.