HER BOOKS ON AMAZON
  • Wine and Climate Change: Winemaking in a New World
    Wine and Climate Change: Winemaking in a New World
    by L. J. Johnson-Bell
  • Pairing Wine and Food: A Handbook for All Cuisines
    Pairing Wine and Food: A Handbook for All Cuisines
    by Linda Johnson-Bell
  • Home Cellar Guide Hb
    Home Cellar Guide Hb
    by Linda Johnson-Bell
  • Quel vin pour quel plat ?
    Quel vin pour quel plat ?
    by Linda Johnson-Bell
  • Great Wine Tours of the World
    Great Wine Tours of the World
    Barnes and Noble Books
  • The Wine Collector's Handbook
    The Wine Collector's Handbook
    by Linda Johnson
  • De juiste wijn bij het juiste gerecht
    De juiste wijn bij het juiste gerecht
    by Johnson-Bell Linda

  • Good Food, Fine Wine: A Practical Guide to Finding the Perfect Match
    Good Food, Fine Wine: A Practical Guide to Finding the Perfect Match
    by LINDA JOHNSON-BELL

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Friday
Sep022011

Masi's Costasera Amarone 2006 Veneto, Italy

My sister and I drank this while dining at the Azurea at One Ocean Resort in Atlantic Beach, Jacksonville, Florida. One Ocean is the dreamiest Art Deco revival-style hotel. So stylish - not at all contrived. And the dinner was near perfection. After a week of eating huge portions of bland, flavourless meals that were taken from my dining table and put into styrofoam containers (never have I more wished that I actually did travel with my dog), I was wowed into submission. I had the Hudson Valley Duck Two-Ways. This was seared foie gras with a dusting of sea salt with a French toast of brioche, also with a spring roll with confit of duck with a shallot jam, that had some sweet chilli sauce, I think. This was followed by the Tenderloin with a white truffle herb dauphinoise. My sister had the Porcini Mushroom Raviolis with raosted garlic and confit of fennel and baby tomatoes in a sherry cream sauce ... simply to die for.

The Wine List was very extensive and obviously chosen by a well-travelled eye: a strong representation of the Old World. But I wish that better European wines got into mainstream US distribution. Masi was the only Amarone I could find. I have nothing against Masi, but it is the starting point: the reliable, basic, the homogenous version of this great wine. Drinking it, my sister was in rapture, and when I explained to her that it was probably a 5/10 of what Amarone can be, she thought that was not possible.

The 2007 Costasera (70% Corvina, 25% Rondinella, 5% Molinara) was drinking well: dark opaque robe, a nose of spice, dried herbs, stewed cherries and cinnamon and violets ... and even after being vinified "appassimento", drying the grapes on straw or bamboo racks to concentrate the sugars, the alcohol was 14.5% ...which preserves its freshness and complexity - unlike the dry reds from Napa that have 15.5% + ...pure alcohol.

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