Our Authors

Please Stop Pairing Red Wine and Chocolate

For once and for all, let me say it loud and clear: dry red wine and chocolate do not go together. Why would someone lie to you and try to convince you that this is something you should enjoy? Why would the powers that be—the red-wine pushers and the chocolate coercers—set you up for such flavor failure, particularly around Valentine's Day when presumably you want to impress the object of your affections? I don't know. But I'm here to help. More

Harvest Journal: Consider The People Who Make Your Wine

Work at the winery has slowed and we had our first two-day weekend since Labor Day. The extra free hours gave me some time to reflect on what the whirlwind of a harvest season I've had. I have spent almost three months coming home physically exhausted absolutely drained at the end of the day, and I am left with a feeling of accomplishment and pride in what my coworkers and I have accomplished. But, does anyone who is going to buy the wine care? More

Harvest Journal: It's Raining Rot

Every growing season—every vintage—is different, and while some are good and others not so good, 2011 is shaping up to be one of the worst in Napa's recent history. It's a popular adage that a good winemaker can make good wine even in a poor year, but sometimes it's just bad. Grapes struggle every year with the whims of nature and the weather she doles out, and disease can be a problem at any time. Some vineyards have gotten away without too much pain, but this year there has been a major problem with rot. More

Harvest Journal: Where's The Magic?

Before I came to Napa, wine was a job and a passion, something tasty and sometimes transcendent. I would talk with friends and coworkers about great wine and winemakers like they are magicians, transforming fruit into a beverage that is much greater than the sum of its parts. The winemaker as artist, the winemaker as genius. I'm starting to believe that winemaker as workhorse is a more appropriate comparison. More

Harvest Journal: The Mess We're In

Pictures of winemakers always show them triumphant in the vineyard or proudly tasting a wine from barrel. Rarely do we see the mess that goes in to making wine, but that may be because it's the intern who's covered in goo and red juice, looking like a madwoman grape killer. No one want to see a picture of that. More

Harvest Journal: The First Ferments

I started babysitting them when there were only sixteen, checking in twice a day to see what they were up to. At first they were kind of boring, just lying around doing nothing. But they are now off and gurgling, full of interesting—and disturbing—smells. It feels nice to have traveled across the country to find a new family already waiting, even if they are only barrels of fermenting grape juice. More

Harvest Journal: Arriving in Napa

Wanna start work at 6:30 am? Work for 12 hours? Walk outside and be surrounded by beautiful rows of grapes? Have I got a job for you! Or for me, as the case may be. I look forward to sharing my attempts to not ruin the harvest with you all over the next few months. More

Tips for Pairing Wine With Grilled Seafood

Throwing some fish on the grill and spritzing it with a squeeze of lemon is an easy way to celebrate the waning days of summer. For drinkables, the rules had always been "drink white wine with fish." An inevitable backlash brought red into style, but there is room for both on the porch, soaking up the last illuminated evenings of the year. Here are a few of our favorite wines to serve with grilled seafood. More

The Best Wines to Drink with Ribs

Succulent ribs can be prepared from pork or beef, but in terms of selecting a wine to drink with them, the sauce and spices are the most important consideration. Dry-rub ribs have spicy notes that respond well to earthier wines. The wet ribs need something fruitier or off-dry to balance and enhance the sauce. Here are a few of our favorite wine picks for your next rib dinner. More

Best Wines for Grilling: Burgers

Summer time means grilling time, and there's a wine that goes well with just about anything you can put on a grill. Our first challenge: the burger. A grilled burger gains some extra flavor from the char and smoke of the grill. Add to that the multitude of topping options (cheese? onions? mushrooms? tomatoes?) and you've got a whole lotta flavor going on. But fear not, there are plenty of wines that can stand up to the behemoth you are going to create. More

Affordable Wine Picks: California Syrah

Syrah hails from the Rhône region of France but has made its home all over the world. Syrah wines from cooler regions are evocative of blackberries and black pepper, with age-worthy tannins. Syrah from warmer areas tends to offer full and jammy blueberry flavors with a softer structure. We tried a handful of affordable California bottlings and found a few delicious choices. More

Wine Pairing: What to Drink with Steak

To pick the wine that will complement your beef, consider the cut and level of doneness of the steak. If you prefer a leaner steak like filet mignon or some cuts of sirloin, look for a wine with a bit less tannin, because the steak will not have enough fat to soften it. However, a cut with more fat, like ribeye, New York strip, or skirt steak can handle a more brawny wine. More

Serious Grape: Dolcetto Under $20

The name Dolcetto means "sweet little one" in Italian, but don't let that fool you: wines made from this grape are dry and easy drinking. Mostly cultivated in Piedmont, Italy, Dolcetto wants to be sipped while young and cheerful and full of fresh cherrylike flavor. More

Where to Eat Vegan in New York

Nile Valley at Dekalb Market is a haven in downtown Brooklyn. Fresh juices are lovely, and the patties are great (and cheap).

Have You Ever Had Airline Food You Actually Liked?

Jet Airways offers pretty stellar vegetarian indian food... I was always happy when I flew with them! Plenty of wine too (crucial for a frightened flyer like me).

10 Ways to Not Lose Your Mind at a Wine Tasting

I have always been told not to rinse out a tasting glass with water as it dilutes the next wine. Probably best to just ask for a very small pour of your next wine to rinse your glass if needed.

What's Your Favorite Bread Basket in New York?

SmashBurger Is Smashingly Good

Lovely review, I look forward to trying SmashBurger soon! As billbillet said, we are living in exciting times in Montclair for burgers, and food in general. My loyalty still lies with Tierney's though... I love a cheap naked burger with a side of cheap beer.

Weekend Giveaway: 'Good Beer at BAM' Tickets

Know Any Failing Restaurants For Gordon Ramsay's 'Kitchen Nightmares' Show?

I was just talking about this last week! In my neighborhood (Park Slope, Brooklyn) there is a new-ish diner-ish thing called Delicious on the Slope which is terrifying. I am pretty sure they are laundering money because they have very few customers and extortionist prices ($4 for a bagel with cream cheese) in a dismal, fluorescent atmosphere. I would love to see something useful/yummy/pretty at this location!

wine tasting event

Places like Bridge Urban Winery in Williamsburg or City Winery in SoHo would do a private event. Maybe 'Inoteca? I think that a wine bar might be your best bet.

Food Suggestions pre/post Broadway Show

Check out Osteria al Doge. It's pretty solid Italien... I particularly like their spinach and ricotta ravioli and fried calimari/shrimp. Also, Cafe Un Deux Trois is a good post-theater hang out, I usually see some actors I know. And they have crayons to color on the table cloth! (and awesome profiteroles)

Sugar Rush: Ho Hos from Bouchon Bakery

I visited Bouchon for the first time on Friday; what a delight. Service was a bit compromised, perhaps due to the swarms of lunchers, but I enjoyed myself. I splurged on tons of macarons (the first I've ever had with such obvious butter cream filling, but delightful nonetheless) for the ladies at the store I work at, and the ho ho was a fun treat as well. I love the wrapper... Makes it a lot easier to eat!

Sarah Chappell hasn't favorited a post yet.