Enth Degree September 2006
News and notes from the world of wine.
The Enth Degree - September 2006
Wine Enthusiast: How often do you come to the Napa Valley?
Geena Davis: I haven't been here for a number of years. It's so incredibly beautiful and easy to get to from Los Angeles; I don't know why I don't come here more often.
WE: Do you like wine?
GD: Yes, I love wine. I went to a fun "cult" wine tasting the other day with Rich [Frank]. It's amazing how much flavor you can find in glass of wine.
WE: What do you like best about being president of the United States on your show?
GD: It might sound silly, but I really like all the trappings. You know, like having my own secret service agents. And I love it when the generals snap to attention. Of course it's not real, but it's really fun. From a more serious perspective, I think that portraying a strong woman president to millions of Americans has created a positive role model for women and girls across the nation. This is definitely a role that transcends entertainment.
WE: Do you like to cook great meals to accompany your favorite wines?
GD: I cook at least once a year; usually at Thanksgiving or Christmas. You see, I have this disease: I've got to do everything perfectly. So it takes me about four days to prepare a great meal. I guess that's why I eat in restaurants most of the time! —Jeff Morgan
Nelsons' Private Wine Bin Program customers receive their own monthly special reserve list, and their own mahogany bin that holds up to 15 bottles. Program perks include some quality one-on-one time with wine director David McComas, who sits down with customers to determine which wines they're craving. A glance at a recent list, with everything from an organic Searby Vineyard Chardonnay to Core Winery's "Hard Core" red, attests to McComas's affinity for esoteric wines. McComas essentially acts as a broker, sourcing his guests' requests.
One client has him working on a list that "focus[es] on 2003 Chateâuneuf-du-Pape. Some are small-production [bottlings] such as Château Pignan and Château Rayas' second label." Nelson's sells the bottles to consumers at retail prices, sometimes even less. "If you dine a couple of times a month...it's a value," McComas points out. Bin customers also get dibs on the restaurant's most coveted seats. The real treat that makes the $5,000 fee worthwhile? Members are entitled to one 12-person dinner at the restaurant—naturally with paired wines.
Nelsons, 521 Daniels Street, Raleigh, North Carolina; 919.832.9815, www.nelsonsrestaurant.com. —Alia Akkam
Tired of drive-thru burgers? The upscale Old
the French wine industry, died June 18 at age 54. He began his career as a wine producer in the Loire and president of the local union. He became president of INAO in 2000. Renou was in the midst of reforming the vast numbers of Appellation d'Origine Controllées (AOCs) by dividing them into two separate groups. · Winebow has acquired Boston Wine Company, expanding their distribution
network into Massachusetts. · Jackson Family Wines has acquired Murphy-Goode Estate Winery, located in Sonoma County's Alexander Valley. · Warre's, the oldest British Port company, has acquired Quinta do Bom Retiro Pequeno in the Rio Torto Valley. · Al Brounstein, the pioneering Napa vintner who founded Diamond Creek Vineyard in 1968, died June 26 at the age of 86, from complications of Parkinson's Disease. Brounstein was the first vintner since Prohibition to plant vineyards on Diamond Mountain. He was largely responsible for Diamond Creek becoming one of the original cult Cabernets in California. Courtly and accessible, he and his wife, Boots, who survives him, always were ready to open their doors and pop open a few bottles. Brounstein is survived by Boots, his son, Gary, step-sons Phil Ross and Chuck Ross, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild. For more information, visit winemag.com. —Samara D. Genee
Straws are for drinking milk. But wine?
Enology students in California State University-Fresno's advanced tasting classes informally use the Wine Prism, as did the judges at this year's West Coast Wine Competition. $19.95; www.wineprism.com —Kristine Hansen