The Right Way To Blind Taste Wine

First of all, let's identify the wrong way to blind-taste wine. The wrong way involves taking a sip of some mystery wine, swirling it around in your mouth in a disdainful way, and then saying something like, "Well, Bonneau, of course. The Cel...

The No-Napa Guide to California Cabernet

Everyone knows Napa Valley makes great Cabernet Sauvignon. But now exciting cabs are arriving from the “other” California, like Santa Barbara’s Happy Canyon region and Lake County’s obsidian-strewn hills. Here, a guide to t...

This Is What Happens When Ray Isle Talks to a Chef

At the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen last year, I sat down for a few minutes one afternoon to chat with my fellow Houstonian Chris Shepherd, the insanely talented cook and owner of Houston's acclaimed Underbelly restaurant and&nb...

Sherry: Not Just for Little Old Ladies Anymore

Here’s a multiple choice quiz. Sherry is: a) Sweet, cloying stuff from a screwtap-topped bottle sipped by bored grannies while watching “America’s Top Knitters.” b) Some sort of vaguely appealing, dry-tangy, not-exactly-win...

Is a Bottle of Harlan Estate Really Worth $750?

Recently I had the good fortune (apt phrase) to taste through several vintages of Harlan Estate red, which is one of the most sought-after, highly rated and, yes, expensive wines from Napa Valley. A red blend that primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, it ...