Hotel Excelsior Review for Gault Millau's Gayot

excelsior dubrovnik view 500x255 Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik, Croatia   Hotel Review
The view from Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik

by Ben Narasin

In Croatia, one of eight Balkan states created from the breakup of Yugoslavia, the oceanside walled city of Dubrovnik showcases a mélange of three styles. These distinctive styles will be familiar to any traveler who has visited an ex-eastern-bloc Soviet Union component state: the historic European beauty that predates communism, the cinder block and cement utilitarian ugliness that embodies it, and the trappings of tourism and trade that has been newly installed upon the Communist party’s departure.

Dating back to 1913, Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik offers a fine example of this hodgepodge in architectural form....... [FULL REVIEW]


Wall Street Journal S.A.S.

See Original PDF as published here:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6veLGWvPHnlYjRmaEM3Z3hmczQ/edit?usp=sharing


Tale of an Ale. {For Edible Print & Online}


Biotech Begets Brewery with a British Accent
 Story by Ben Narasin

Malcolm McGinnis found his way to beer through chemistry while working on his PhD. “My graduate advisor said every biochemist worth his salt should be able to brew his own beer,” he says. “I started brewing in graduate school in the late ’80s.”

[ Read Full Story Here ]


Cult Wine Contenders - For Sommelier Journal

Winemaker Martha McClellan with owners Dennis O’Neil
and Steph Martin of Checkerboard Vineyards on Diamond

     The term “cult wine” polarizes. Some winemakers despise the designation as elitist—which it is—and unfairly biased toward a select group of wines, as one could certainly argue. But whether you detest or embrace the phrase, many consumers go to great lengths to invest in, acquire, and enjoy these wines, particularly California Cabernet Sauvignons. To meet the demand of the connoisseurs who collect such ultra-premium bottlings and, often, convert them into auction assets—not to mention the sommeliers who cellar them to add cachet to restaurant wine lists—a growing segment of high-net-worth individuals is clamoring to create them.

     The history of California’s cult Cabernets can be read in three chapters, the last of which
may be seen as an introduction to a cast of characterswho will be featured in the sequels to

Full article available free online or in this month's print issue of Sommelier Journal.
Free article access: http://www.sommelierjournal.com/articles/sm_2012-11-70.pdf.


Appellation Commandaria for Sommelier Journal

APPELLATION Commandaria, Cyprus Ben Narasin

The "wine of kings" is still produced by the ancient methods on this eastern Mediterranean island. The sun shone bright on his back as the Neolithic man stepped out of his rammed-earth abode, raised a clay container to his lips, and enjoyed the sweet sip of magic liquid that never failed to lift his mind from the pain of the day. The wine had barely touched the back of his throat when the world lifted, hurling him into darkness—the small pot broken into shards beside him a...

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