Steven Spurrier, the English merchant, educator, winemaker, grape farmer, and advocate, died March 9 at age 79. Thoughts, accolades, and remembrances of him have poured in all day from all quarters, including The Drinks Business, who today called him "The Great Man of Wine," while Decanter awarded him the same moniker in 2017.  Surely he was, but I doubt he'd relish being referred to that way. Spurrier became what's referred to in the wine world as a household name, beginning back in 1976 when he held "The Judgment of Paris," a blind tasting of French and U.S. wines, originally intended primarily to promote the visibility of his wine store. Spurrier's wine history is long, back to the presidency of LBJ,…

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Ok, an unusual name for this Wine Flair Wine of the Week! A play on prohibition, evidently (I was not there) in the '20s you could get access to booze in a Speakeasy through a strong-willed woman, a "Whisper Sister." In this case, it was a real person, Bertha Beringer, through whose efforts Beringer outlived our country's ill-advised dry decade+, from 1920 to 1933.  Beringer, one of the few to survive, is Napa's longest continually-operating winery, back to 1876. And, this is one of the best, high-value Cabs you're gonna find. It's got that Napa boldness and richness, but it's nicely balanced, with tannins that give it structure but don't grind your gums. You can get it from Wine Chateau…

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OK so this Wine-Flair Wine of the Week is about a 50-buck wine. And it's a classic Napa ballsy Cab: rich and concentrated dark fruit, balanced, lovely tannins and a long finish. Some (including me) may detect a little residual sweetness right out of the bottle, but after I decanted it became more subtle, and I recommend doing that. Plus it's always more fun pouring a great wine out of a crystal-clear decanter. So it is indeed rich but not crazy over-the-top, though it does have over 15% alcohol. While it might overpower some foods, it will match with any beef dish and went great with steak frites. But it's still very young, and could stand some cellaring. Probably quite…

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