Stu Yaniger??

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TomHill
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Stu Yaniger??

#1 Post by TomHill » April 23rd, 2020, 6:32 am

Anybody know whatever happened to the InterNet wine legend Stu Yaniger?
Inventor of the NeoCork and the ThreeStooges wine scoring system.
Not heard anything about him in yrs.
Tom

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Larry Stein
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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#2 Post by Larry Stein » April 23rd, 2020, 9:43 am

I don't know anyone who called him Stu. He gravitated away from wine forums many years ago. His thing these days (and it was then when he lived in the Bay Area and we hung out) is building high-end audio equipment.

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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#3 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » April 23rd, 2020, 9:48 am

Isn't he living in Texas?
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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#4 Post by Larry Stein » April 23rd, 2020, 9:55 am

Arizona. Wisconsin previous to AZ and Texas before that.

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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#5 Post by TGigante » April 23rd, 2020, 10:09 am

TomHill wrote:
April 23rd, 2020, 6:32 am
Anybody know whatever happened to the InterNet wine legend Stu Yaniger?
Inventor of the NeoCork and the ThreeStooges wine scoring system.
Not heard anything about him in yrs.
Tom
The 3 stooges rating system was funny and as good as any

May your next bottle be a Curly and not a Shemp
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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#6 Post by MitchTallan » April 23rd, 2020, 10:23 am

Tom, thanks for bringing this guy to my attention.
And it appears he does go by the name of "Stu".
https://syclotron.com/

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Yup..

#7 Post by TomHill » April 23rd, 2020, 11:03 am

Yup, Mitch....the two times I met/tasted with him, everybody was calling him Stu.
And I seem to recall he signed his posts as Stu.
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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#8 Post by Larry Stein » April 23rd, 2020, 11:08 am

Funny, at every offline I attended with him, we all called him Stuart. Or worse...much worse ;-)

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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#9 Post by Mel Knox » April 23rd, 2020, 11:26 am

I love the warning on his website to the effect that high voltage is used to kill prisoners so be careful.

I've always thought of high end audio stores as somewhat parallel to fancy wine shops. At the former you are always greeted by some guy who can hear dog whistles.He starts speaking a language for which several degrees in electrical engineering are a prerequisite. His usual customers are a bunch of highly obsessive, opinionated men somewhat tolerated by their wives,or not at all by their exes.

The glory days of the high end audio store have passed because big stores with ads in the NY Times or on line have stolen a lot of their business.

Sound familiar?
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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#10 Post by John S » April 23rd, 2020, 12:59 pm

I know Stuart pretty well but it has been a while since we got together in person. Never heard anyone call him Stu but to each his own. Besides being a PhD scientist for his real job, is quite active in DIY audio. I have a couple pieces he built and all are interesting designs. Far as I know he still drinks and enjoys wine but it is far from his current focus nor has it been for quite a while. His partner in crime, JD, I have not heard nor seen in many moons. Both are hilarious and good peoples.
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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#11 Post by Larry Stein » April 23rd, 2020, 1:26 pm

John, JD retired and IIRC from what Stuart told me, he moved to either Idaho or Montana (could be one of the Dakotas). Sunday 49er games with those two was about as entertaining a time as one could have.

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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#12 Post by Eric Ifune » April 23rd, 2020, 3:37 pm

Best tasting note ever.
http://www.the-stupids.com/?p=1387

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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#13 Post by Larry Stein » April 23rd, 2020, 3:41 pm

I don't even have to open that link to know which wine it was. Folks I know who tasted that wine told me it was even worse than Stuart's description. He was on Dressner's sh*t list after that note. Not that Stuart cared.

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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#14 Post by Rauno E (NZ) » April 23rd, 2020, 4:47 pm

I had thought that TN was actually from Chris Coad - perhaps he had also done one on that wine in a similar (and possibly better-written) vein.
Last edited by Rauno E (NZ) on April 23rd, 2020, 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#15 Post by Larry Stein » April 23rd, 2020, 4:48 pm

Rauno E (NZ) wrote:
April 23rd, 2020, 4:47 pm
I believe that TN was actually from Chris Coad
Nope, Stuart wrote it. The offline was in SF and Chris wasn't in attendance.

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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#16 Post by Rauno E (NZ) » April 23rd, 2020, 4:50 pm

Yup - just edited my post :)! Do you recall if there was one from Chris?
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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#17 Post by Larry Stein » April 23rd, 2020, 4:57 pm

Don't know. Chris' website no longer exists and I wouldn't know where else to check.

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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#18 Post by Brad Kane » April 23rd, 2020, 5:20 pm

It was the '93 Overnoy Poulsard. Freaky stuff.

I spoke to him a few years ago and I believe he was living an hour or so north of Chicago. He lost much of his once epic Rhone collection in divorce.

Btw, I always called/call him Stu.
Last edited by Brad Kane on April 23rd, 2020, 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#19 Post by Larry Stein » April 23rd, 2020, 5:22 pm

Brad, 1993.

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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#20 Post by Brad Kane » April 23rd, 2020, 5:32 pm

Larry Stein wrote:
April 23rd, 2020, 5:22 pm
Brad, 1993.
Yeah, meant that. I'm on a very bumpy bus at the moment.
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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#21 Post by maureen nelson » April 23rd, 2020, 5:45 pm

Eric Ifune wrote:
April 23rd, 2020, 3:37 pm
Best tasting note ever.
http://www.the-stupids.com/?p=1387
I knew what is was going to be without hitting the link! So famous!

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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#22 Post by Nathan V. » April 23rd, 2020, 5:47 pm

Eric Ifune wrote:
April 23rd, 2020, 3:37 pm
Best tasting note ever.
http://www.the-stupids.com/?p=1387
That was my bottle of Overnoy. The wine internet in simpler times.
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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#23 Post by Nathan V. » April 23rd, 2020, 5:51 pm

Larry Stein wrote:
April 23rd, 2020, 3:41 pm
I don't even have to open that link to know which wine it was. Folks I know who tasted that wine told me it was even worse than Stuart's description. He was on Dressner's sh*t list after that note. Not that Stuart cared.
Actually, Joe loved that note. Being on his shit list and him liking something about you or that you did weren't mutually exclusive.

Happy for this thread, brings back good memories of days gone by and people I miss.

And Larry, I remember a jeebus with you and JJB (?) at Chapeau! around the same time.
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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#24 Post by Nathan V. » April 23rd, 2020, 5:52 pm

Larry Stein wrote:
April 23rd, 2020, 11:08 am
Funny, at every offline I attended with him, we all called him Stuart. Or worse...much worse ;-)
Yep, Stuart and worse...
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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#25 Post by Jayson Cohen » April 23rd, 2020, 6:04 pm

He doesn’t have as much to do with wine these days as he used to, but he’s in the Phoenix area. His email address hasn’t changed in over 10 years at least, so if you knew it then, you can reach him now. Just saying.

And yes - he is responsible for the most famous Poulsard note in the history of the interwebs. Let’s just say that Overnoy’s 1993 Poulsard was an interesting wine with serious stability issues.

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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#26 Post by Jayson Cohen » April 23rd, 2020, 6:14 pm

One more thing. To my recollection we only met once in person although I’ve known Stu, like many others, from The Stupids and the Garr board and then Wine Therapy in the old days. Stu and I had dinner at the old Slanted Door many moons ago. He was his jovial and full of life self in real life, with an edge. I wish I could remember what we drank. But it was the days when it was Mark Ellenbogen’s list. And Mark (living on the other side of the pond now) hangs out on Wine Disorder and Instagram if you want to say “Hi” to him. The wine program at SD was incredible and well ahead of its time.

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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#27 Post by Vincent Fritzsche » April 23rd, 2020, 7:22 pm

The Overnoy! Back when the Jura was still obscure, in the US anyway. Three Curlys to that memory.
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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#28 Post by D@ve D y r 0 f f » April 23rd, 2020, 8:00 pm

This thread is a triple Curly with extra Whoop Whoop Whoop!

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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#29 Post by Keith Levenberg » April 24th, 2020, 5:45 pm

Mel Knox wrote:
April 23rd, 2020, 11:26 am
I love the warning on his website to the effect that high voltage is used to kill prisoners so be careful.

I've always thought of high end audio stores as somewhat parallel to fancy wine shops. At the former you are always greeted by some guy who can hear dog whistles.He starts speaking a language for which several degrees in electrical engineering are a prerequisite. His usual customers are a bunch of highly obsessive, opinionated men somewhat tolerated by their wives,or not at all by their exes.

The glory days of the high end audio store have passed because big stores with ads in the NY Times or on line have stolen a lot of their business.

Sound familiar?
The people trying to sell you on high-end cables are exactly the same people who have opinions on the superiority of the latest trendy stemware.

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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#30 Post by Brad Kane » April 24th, 2020, 5:47 pm

D@ve D y r 0 f f wrote:
April 23rd, 2020, 8:00 pm
This thread is a triple Curly with extra Whoop Whoop Whoop!
Yes, but how many and what kind of tines?
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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#31 Post by Jayson Cohen » April 24th, 2020, 7:31 pm

Keith Levenberg wrote:
April 24th, 2020, 5:45 pm
Mel Knox wrote:
April 23rd, 2020, 11:26 am
I love the warning on his website to the effect that high voltage is used to kill prisoners so be careful.

I've always thought of high end audio stores as somewhat parallel to fancy wine shops. At the former you are always greeted by some guy who can hear dog whistles.He starts speaking a language for which several degrees in electrical engineering are a prerequisite. His usual customers are a bunch of highly obsessive, opinionated men somewhat tolerated by their wives,or not at all by their exes.

The glory days of the high end audio store have passed because big stores with ads in the NY Times or on line have stolen a lot of their business.

Sound familiar?
The people trying to sell you on high-end cables are exactly the same people who have opinions on the superiority of the latest trendy stemware.
Have to admit I’m not following this Keith. And I have a wine lover’s appreciation based on experience that the wine glass does matter (but not that the “latest and greatest” is better) and an EE / physics (but not audiophile’s) understanding that, all else equal, a low-loss, impedance-matched cable with a flat transmission transfer function in the frequency domain across the entire relevant spectrum is better. For the cable its properties can be measured empirically, which isn’t to say it’s often the limiting “filter” of the overall audio system.

But your point is about the sales person. So what’s your point? I don’t begrudge sales people touting their goods. And I don’t equate people selling glassware or audio cables with those selling snake oil. But maybe you my friend are more cynical.

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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#32 Post by Mike Evans » April 24th, 2020, 9:50 pm

I first met Stuart virtually on Prodigy and in person at a Prodigy offline in May 1995 and must confess that both my wine journey and my life would have been much poorer and less interesting without him.

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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#33 Post by Mel Knox » April 24th, 2020, 11:41 pm

Jayson,

I don't equate people selling high end audio systems with state of the art and/or people selling expensive wine and wine glasses with snake oil salesmen. I don't think Keith is saying that either, but he can speak for himself. We are talking about personality traits.

Usually people with these jobs are obsessed with their work and that's not a bad thing.

You are right that one could say that the better the cables the truer the sound, whereas choice of wine container touches issues of wine philosophy/aesthetics etc. Indeed, Jacky Rigaud --biographer of Henri Jayer--urges people to try old-fashioned tastevins in order to appreciate the minerality of wine, and says that modern wine glasses emphasize the aromatics of wine over a wine's minerality and terroir. Jancis Robinson is promoting her own line of glassware with a 'one size fits all' approach. ... the opposite of the Riedels, who seem to have a glass for every important wine region and grape variety. For those of us living in small homes and apartments Jancis' approach is a gift from Bacchus.
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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#34 Post by Jim Brennan » April 25th, 2020, 6:15 am

Eric Ifune wrote:
April 23rd, 2020, 3:37 pm
Best tasting note ever.
http://www.the-stupids.com/?p=1387
That was a hoot, thanks for posting! I don't recall having seen that previously!

Brad, you should tell us more about the thong.

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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#35 Post by Jayson Cohen » April 25th, 2020, 6:50 am

Mel Knox wrote:
April 24th, 2020, 11:41 pm
Jayson,

I don't equate people selling high end audio systems with state of the art and/or people selling expensive wine and wine glasses with snake oil salesmen. I don't think Keith is saying that either, but he can speak for himself. We are talking about personality traits.

Usually people with these jobs are obsessed with their work and that's not a bad thing.

You are right that one could say that the better the cables the truer the sound, whereas choice of wine container touches issues of wine philosophy/aesthetics etc. Indeed, Jacky Rigaud --biographer of Henri Jayer--urges people to try old-fashioned tastevins in order to appreciate the minerality of wine, and says that modern wine glasses emphasize the aromatics of wine over a wine's minerality and terroir. Jancis Robinson is promoting her own line of glassware with a 'one size fits all' approach. ... the opposite of the Riedels, who seem to have a glass for every important wine region and grape variety. For those of us living in small homes and apartments Jancis' approach is a gift from Bacchus.
Interesting turn to the thread. I happen to live in a NY apartment, have an inordinate number of different circa 1999-2000 Riedel wine glasses that I use at home (wedding registry items mostly that have survived), but am also very happy with using a Gabriel Gold (GGG) for almost all wines. In any case I hope Keith comes back to explain. And I hope social distancing ends “soon” so he comes back to NY soon: we always drink great wine together!!

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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#36 Post by Keith Levenberg » April 25th, 2020, 9:27 am

The amount of ink/bandwidth expended on the hi-fi cable debate dwarfs all "terroir: myth or reality?" and "Burgundy is a minefield" threads by orders of magnitude. I claim no expertise in electrical engineering but here is one of the canonical treatments of the anti side: http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm Let's just say I am not a believer either in magic copper or in Mr. Riedel's bowls directing wine to the cabernet sauvignon portion of my tongue!

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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#37 Post by Mel Knox » April 25th, 2020, 10:20 am

One thing to remember: we don't all agree on which wine glass is the best or what cable is the best, but we do know bad glasses and cables. The wine glasses of my youth were almost calculated to make you unable to smell VA etc.
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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#38 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » April 25th, 2020, 11:20 am

Keith Levenberg wrote:
April 25th, 2020, 9:27 am
The amount of ink/bandwidth expended on the hi-fi cable debate dwarfs all "terroir: myth or reality?" and "Burgundy is a minefield" threads by orders of magnitude. I claim no expertise in electrical engineering but here is one of the canonical treatments of the anti side: http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm Let's just say I am not a believer either in magic copper or in Mr. Riedel's bowls directing wine to the cabernet sauvignon portion of my tongue!
Thanks for the links it confirms my cable/wire bias, not that I would drop thousands on cables.

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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#39 Post by Markus S » April 25th, 2020, 2:04 pm

Larry Stein wrote:
April 23rd, 2020, 3:41 pm
He was on Dressner's sh*t list after that note.
I don't think that was very hard to do. He called me out on a couple of occasions.
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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#40 Post by Markus S » April 25th, 2020, 2:06 pm

Mel Knox wrote:
April 24th, 2020, 11:41 pm
J...Jacky Rigaud --biographer of Henri Jayer--urges people to try old-fashioned tastevins in order to appreciate the minerality of wine, and says that modern wine glasses emphasize the aromatics of wine over a wine's minerality and terroir.
Interesting. First time to hear of this, thanks.
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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#41 Post by Mel Knox » April 25th, 2020, 3:27 pm

Jacky wrote a book called Geosensorial Tasting. In it he talks about this.

I've probably had 50 meals with him and have yet to see him use anything other than a wine glass.

I remember giving a talk to winemakers of St-Romain in 1981 about California wine. Many vignerons brought their own tastevin. At the Hospices auction pre tasting you will see many Burgundians with their own tastevins...maybe not as many today as 20 years ago.
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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#42 Post by Jay Miller » April 25th, 2020, 4:10 pm

And now you need to be a whale to get an allocation. Oh what a wurld, what a wurld...
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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#43 Post by G. Greenbaum » April 25th, 2020, 5:49 pm

Yaniger put Côte Rotie on my radar back in the day. And isn’t he responsible for “Belle Helene”?
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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#44 Post by Brad Kane » April 25th, 2020, 5:59 pm

G. Greenbaum wrote:
April 25th, 2020, 5:49 pm
Yaniger put Côte Rotie on my radar back in the day. And isn’t he responsible for “Belle Helene”?
Indeed, he is and that was the basis for the whole WAITING FOR CALLAHAN: A TRAGICOMEDY IN ONE ACT dinner. Yaniger was in down to show Callahan and the rest of us, the first vintage of the Belle Helene and Robert never showed up!
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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#45 Post by Dan Kravitz » April 25th, 2020, 6:30 pm

I knew (know?) Stuart Yaniger pretty well, as mentioned he is certainly now off the wine radar, a loss for all who know him.

Yes, when I saw Eric Ifune's post 'best tasting note ever', I didn't have to look, I knew exactly what was coming.

I'm sorry to say I spent more time in cars with Yaniger than tasting (I once drove him from the Rhone to Paris during a transit strike in France).

Brad Kane, displaying his inimitable, infantile sense of humor, invited me to host a Pegau tasting in New York, without informing me that Joe Dressner was also invited. Yes, it was easy to get on Joe's shit list, but also easy to get off of it. I think it happened to me about half a dozen times that evening.

Besides wine and science, Stu also liked women, occasionally more than they liked him. I can't believe he ever got anywhere close to 'me too' territory, but at times he might have approached women who were, shall we say, not likely to be attracted to him. Again, AFAIK, he always was a total gentleman when gently informed of this ("I'm sorry Stu, but I'm already dating one rabid baboon").

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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#46 Post by Brad Kane » April 25th, 2020, 7:03 pm

Dan Kravitz wrote:
April 25th, 2020, 6:30 pm

Brad Kane, displaying his inimitable, infantile sense of humor, once invited me to host a Pegau tasting in New York, without informing me that Joe Dressner was also invited. Yes, it was easy to get on Joe's shit list, but also easy to get off of it. I think it happened about half a dozen times that evening.
That was one of my best moves ever and seating you close to each other. What a fun night that was and the wines were terrific!
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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#47 Post by jon leifer » April 26th, 2020, 7:11 pm

My wife and I and our daughters had dinner with Stu, probably 20 yrs ago, at Spiedini(long since closed) in Walnut Creek, a short ride on the BART from San Francisco..It was the first time our girls had ever had Foie Gras..Everyone in the resto knew Stu and you might have thought he was a Mafia Don from the service and attention he got..Quite a character..I originally met him on the Prodigy Board..While I never met Brad Kane, Callahan, the beloved Swillmaster ,Joe Dressner and many of the other colorful characters of the times, the wine boards back in the day were quite entertaining..Glad to see Brad Kane and Dan Kravitz still posting and providing excellent insight.
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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#48 Post by Larry Stein » April 26th, 2020, 7:28 pm

I went to Spiedini a couple of times with Stuart. An exercise in excess, but what a way to go! In the Steve Young/Jeff Garcia quarterback era for the 49ers, I used to go to either JD's or Stuart's house to watch the game. Those guys would cook. We'd eat and drink very well. They loved German Riesling. I had plenty so that worked out nicely. Invariably, some amazing northern Rhone would be opened. It's through Stuart that I tasted nearly every vintage of Michel Ogier Côte-Rôtie from 1984-1998. But never 1983 which was Ogier's first vintage. 100% Côte Rozier. That's the only vintage of regular Côte-Rôtie that was 100% from that lieu-dit. There was very little of it made. Stuart was a personal friend of the Ogier's. The only time he tried it was at the domaine when Michel was around to drink it.

I miss those days. I'm not sure my liver does...

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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#49 Post by Jeremy Holmes » April 26th, 2020, 8:30 pm

So far we have ascertained that he lives in Texas, Wisconsin, Chicago and Phoenix and that he will answer to Stu.
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Jayson Cohen
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Re: Stu Yaniger??

#50 Post by Jayson Cohen » April 26th, 2020, 8:33 pm

Jeremy Holmes wrote:
April 26th, 2020, 8:30 pm
So far we have ascertained that he lives in Texas, Wisconsin, Chicago and Phoenix and that he will answer to Stu.
The only true information here is he lives in Phoenix.

And he is amused by this thread.

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