Anthony Dias Blue

Connoisseur’s Guide to Collecting Fine Wine

Genuine collectors thrive on an invigorating blend of passion and discipline. Their collections are purposefully designed, and exhibit a pronounced sense of order. True collectors do not merely create a cellar and stock it; they carefully select their wines according to their developed interests. Beginners should spend a few years enjoying a wide variety of […]

Perrier-Jouët 2002 Fleur de Champagne Rosé

Founded in 1811, Epernay-based Perrier-Jouët has always taken a progressive, forward-thinking approach to the art of winemaking. That tack has enabled the house to uphold the highest traditional standards of the Champagne region while setting some new standards of its own. In 1858, for instance, the company became the first house to produce a vintage […]

Best of the Best 2008: International White Wines

The estate that would become Villa Russiz was Italy’s most forward-looking when it was built in 1869 by French count Théodore de La Tour. De La Tour invested his Italian dream estate in the rolling Collio hills with the latest in French technology, built a vaulted underground cellar, and introduced French grape varieties. Sauvignon Blanc, […]

Best of the Best 2008: International Red Wines

By the time I returned from two weeks in Argentina in March of this year, I had become firmly convinced that this country on the east side of the Andes is currently the best place on the planet for winegrowing. I had tasted nearly 150 releases, and more than half of them received scores of 90 […]

Best of the Best 2008: Spirits

Absolut vodka has become a modern classic, thanks not only to its famous and relentlessly inventive ad campaign but also to its smooth, clean, all-natural flavors. However, even an icon as absolute as Absolut cannot rest on its reputation. Parent company Vin & Sprit (which Pernod Ricard purchased from the Swedish government for $8.34 billion […]

Best of the Best 2008: International Sparkling & Dessert Wines

The legendary Dom Pérignon thought he was drinking stars when he first tasted sparkling wine, and Champagne lovers have echoed his joy with each new release of Moët & Chandon’s prestige cuvée. The Moët & Chandon 1999 Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon (www.domperignon?.com, $155) is elegant and complex on its own, but also superb with food: […]

Feature: Holiday Essentials

Spirits are called spirits precisely because they capture essences, and in doing so they enable us to gain a greater appreciation—and enjoyment—of the sources from which they derive. Brandy is the essence of grapes, and it expresses that fruit better than wine does. Whiskey is the distillation of grain or corn, cereals that have been […]

Best of the Best 2007: Liqueurs, Cordials & Aperitifs

The Pagès Distillery has been making the heady, verbena-flavored Pagès Verveine du Velay Verte (, $47) since 1859 in the sizable town of Le Puy-en-Velay, in France’s Auvergne region. The recipe—devised in the 19th century by a local apothecary and kept secret by the company—is said to contain more than 30 ingredients derived from plants […]

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