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Dutton-Goldfield, Marin County (California) Pinot Noir Azaya Ranch Vineyard 2015 ($62)
 A favorite Pinot Noir Producer of mine strikes again with a wine from Marin County -- not the first county I think of when talking wine, but one that has some small pockets that are producing brilliant fruit.  Figure in the touch of Dan Goldfield and you know that the result will be worthy.  Lively red fruit, cinnamon, dry earth and rhubarb aromas translate nicely, remaining present in equal parts through a long finish.  It’s tasty now, or age it a few years to deepen everything. 
94 Rich Cook


Posted by Marguerite Thomas on May 2, 2018 at 8:55 PM

Cocktail Tip: The Gesundheit

With luck, warmer weather means we’ll soon be seeing the end of cold and flu season. Meanwhile, most of us, I think, are tying to stay out of harm’s way by washing our hands obsessively and boosting our immune system’s resistance (we hope) by getting enough sleep and eating a nutritious diet. For many people good nutrition means adding more foods rich in vitamin C to our daily meal plan. One of the simplest and tastiest ways to get more dietary vitamin C is through oranges (a single orange can provide anywhere from 70 to 100 milligrams of vitamin C).

And what does an orange marry with beautifully? Whiskey! Stay with me here--we’re still talking about the flu. Dr. William Shaffner, Chair of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has been widely quoted in various media outlets for suggesting that a whiskey-based drink probably won’t prevent you getting a cold or the flu, but if you do get sick…whiskey might very well help treat the symptoms.

The alcohol in whisky dilates blood vessels somewhat, explains Dr. Shaffner, “and that makes it easier for your mucus membranes to deal with the infection.” In some circles Hot Toddys are the standard treatment for cold or flu symptoms, while other folks swear by hot chai dosed with whiskey. In Ireland people apparently like whiskey mixed with ginger to combat the flu, which makes sense given that ginger has a long history in traditional Chinese medicine for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

But even if you don’t believe that whisky can relieve flu symptoms, or that vitamin C and ginger will help you avoid getting the sniffles, this lovely cocktail will undoubtedly make you happy.

Recipe: The Gesundheit

4 ounces fresh squeezed orange juice
4 ounces rye
2 ounces ginger liqueur*
1 teaspoon Cointreau

Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Shake, strain, and pour into a glass of your choice.

*I use Stirrings Ginger Liqueur, which is nicely spicy, and sweet enough for my palate, anyway. Stirrings is relatively inexpensive at $20, and has forthright, but not too intense, gingery flavors. This brand is sweetened with cane sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup.

Dr. Michael
This Issue's Reviews
Biodynamic Basics
Sandra Taylor

Biodynamic wine producers believe that life begins in the soil and that a healthy balance in the vineyard eco-system and in their wines is dependent on first achieving healthy balance in the soil. Many turn to biodynamic viticulture in order to restore balance to over-used soil that had been abused by years of poor agricultural practices. The biodynamic approach to grape growing has become one of the more controversial issues within the wine industry. The skeptics, who are many, see it as an incredible waste of time and money. For some, it is pure quackery, an affront to science and modern thinking. For its adherents, however, biodynamic viticulture is a further advance along a similar line as organic viticulture.
Muscadet is Morphing
Michael Apstein

The cru system--as in Grand or Premier Cru Burgundy or the cru of Beaujolais--has reached Muscadet. The growers there are doing what producers throughout the world are doing: They are defining and identifying specific areas within the broader region that are capable of producing distinctive wines. The French wine regulators have agreed that certain villages (crus) within the region have unique terroir and are capable of producing unique wines that are very different from traditional Muscadet. This new AOC (Appellation d'Origine Controllée) will carry the name of the village (cru) prominently displayed on the label along with the broader region, Muscadet Sèvre et Maine. In some cases, Muscadet Sèvre et Maine is even relegated to the back label to emphasize the importance of the individual cru.
Wine With
WINE WITH…Five-Spice Chicken with Chickpea & Olive Salad

With its seductive sweet/ tangy/ spicy flavors, five-spice blend is a common component in the cuisines of China and Taiwan. Many of the premixed commercial versions are excellent (we often use McCormick's), but making your own blend using ingredients that you already have on your spice shelf can be fun and easy. The basic mix is not carved in stone, and variations on the general theme are common. Sichuan pepper, for example, is a standard ingredient in the mix, but a combination of freshly ground black pepper and a dash of red pepper flakes or Aleppo pepper works just fine too. If you have anise seeds in your spice collection but not star anise, no problem. Feel free to add orange peel (fresh or dried) to the mix, and of course garlic generally improves almost any savory dish. We might have added ginger to our recipe here, but we decided to put it in the salad instead.
On My Table
Classic, Timeless, Consistent
Mary Ewing-Mulligan

Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon is one of California's most consistent wines. With subtle changes from vintage to vintage, the wine typically shows a relatively restrained, graceful, food-friendly style, with fairly low-key fruitiness and the concentration and balance to develop beautifully for a decade or more. The 2014 vintage, the 39th release of Jordan Cabernet, is a lovely Cabernet that maintains that classic style.