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Wine pairing -- beef cheeks goulash

Sounds like you had a great meal. I'll have to try it myself some time.

Apr 22, 2015
SteveTimko in Wine

WHO MAKES KIRKLAND / COSTCO WINES?

The original winemaker didn't sell it under his own label as far as I know. He sold it to other winemakers. I don't know what the second winemaker is doing.
The original winemaker sold the wine for about 12 years. The homeowner has wine from earlier vintages and age is not improving them They're still horrible.
I'll see if I can get the name of the original winemaker. I think the current winemaker is a little skittish about dragging another winemaker's name through the mud.

Apr 14, 2015
SteveTimko in Wine

WHO MAKES KIRKLAND / COSTCO WINES?

Well, that's a point. What they taste isn't representative.
Consider this story: A guy plants a vineyard at his Sonoma County home. He cuts a deal with a winemaker that the winemaker makes wines from the grapes and the homeowner gets to keep half of the wine.
The guy gets his half allocation every year. It's terrible wine but he's thrilled to get wine made off his property. This goes on for a dozen years or more. The winemaker is selling the other half of the wine.
Finally, the winemaker moves out of the area. The guy gets another winemaker. First vintage, the amount of wine produced dropped dramatically. But the quality of the wine soars. Suddenly this guy's home is producing some pretty good grapes. He couldn't give it away before but now people are willing to pay him for the wine.
The new winemaker pieces together what happened. The first winemaker was harvesting all the grapes, including those that most vineyards would leave on the vine or drop on the ground. He divided them into two groups. The wine he sold had all good grapes. The pile he used to make wine for the homeowner had good grapes and the grapes that should not have been picked.
If Costco catches a bad bottle, the winemaker can blame it on something other than bad grapes.

Apr 13, 2015
SteveTimko in Wine

Wine pairing -- beef cheeks goulash

You want to avoid tannins if it is spicy.

Apr 13, 2015
SteveTimko in Wine

Wine pairing -- beef cheeks goulash

I'm Slavic and goulash describes a broad range of styles. With the spices, particularly paprika, I'm guessing this is amped up. I'd go with rose or an off-dry white.

Apr 12, 2015
SteveTimko in Wine

WHO MAKES KIRKLAND / COSTCO WINES?

They have a hit and miss reputation. I think a lot of it depends on the winery with whom they contract. Some wineries will make sure everything that goes out the door is the best quality. I think some wineries will try to sneak in inferior grapes.

Apr 12, 2015
SteveTimko in Wine

Can handmade pasta be sauce-proof?

I had rigatoni with a short rib at a new Italian restaurant in Reno, Villa Donato. Chef Donato is a native of Italy. The dish was fantastic. The short rib was remarkably tender. I forgot to ask, but I bet he cooked it sous vide. Pertinent to this post, the sauce was deeply infused into the rigatoni, almost at a molecular level. The ridges on the rigatoni helped, I'm sure.
I asked the chef how he prepared his pasta.He said he cooks it al dente before, sets it aside and puts olive oil on it. When the sauce is ready, he will put the pasta into the water again to heat it up, then he drains the water and finishes the pasta in the sauce in a saute pan. He said that is the common way to do it in Italy.
I will vouch for his results.

Apr 12, 2015
SteveTimko in Home Cooking

Wine Numerical Ratings vs Price

Points can also apply outside a category. I remember in an interview that Parker specifically said that Chateau Pesquie in the Southern Rhone, which he rated at 92, was a better buy on a restaurant wine menu than a wine he described as a classic California cabernet sauvignon he rated at 88. The Pesquie was $40 on the menu and the cab was $150. He didn't name the cab but it sounded like it was Silver Oak.
He cited that as an example of how points can indicate overall quality.

Apr 06, 2015
SteveTimko in Wine

Arsenic levels in wine?

This guy raises some interesting points in rebuttal. He calls it a hoax.

http://www.naturalnews.com/049095_Cal...

Same thing with mercury. We have schools shut down when a kid brings some mercury to play with, but I've had a mining chemist explain that's a bunch of BS, that there's only certain ways mercury can harm you and that isn't one of them.

Mar 25, 2015
SteveTimko in Wine
1

Can handmade pasta be sauce-proof?

The pasta was excellent. I'm just used to good pasta absorbing some of the sauce.

Mar 18, 2015
SteveTimko in Home Cooking

Reno chowdown: Superb meal at Gaman Ramen

The Greater Reno Grub and Gripe Group held a chowdown at Gaman Raman and everyone gave it thumbs up.
Between the eight of us we covered all three types of ramen offered: Tonkatsu (pork cutlet), shio (salt broth with a poultry base) and miso. I had the tonkatsu and shio in previous trips, so this trip I got miso, which is a vegetable broth, and added pork cutlet. It was a delicious. The broth was only slightly salty and quite delicate savory and sweet flavors.
The egg and mushroom are a great addition too. My favorite is the tonkatsu. It seems to have the most depth. And the pork cutlet tastes delicious. They used duck when I got my shio ramen. It was fairly salty, but the duck breast was tough and didn’t taste much like duck. I still enjoyed that bowl thanks to all the add ons.
I screwed up and didn’t take a photo of the spice box you can add for $2. This is a great deal. There’s a variety of spicy, savory and sweet flavors you can make by combining the sauces. I like the garlic the best.
They were out of lotus chips this time. They are deep fried slices of lotus root. Those are tasty. The mixed appetizer was good. I also got the arctic char salad. It had arugula, char and grapefruit with a mild dressing – I forgot to ask what kind. It was good but not special. I think I would liked it with another dressing.
By the way, they also sell Fever Tree ginger beer, which is my new favorite soda.
They don’t take reservations so our group of eight bum rushed them when they opened. By the time we finished there were people standing and waiting to eat.
Service was excellent.
With a tip it came to $20 each.
Gaman Ramen is a nice addition to the Reno dining scene. I hope foodies give it the attention it deserves.
They are open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday beginning at 5 p.m.

Mar 16, 2015
SteveTimko in Southwest

Los Pepes Reno

Don't forget our get together this Sunday for ramen. ;-)
I will check it out, too.

Mar 14, 2015
SteveTimko in Southwest

Georgian wine

I've tried a couple. There's a Russian restaurant on the peninsula, I think San Mateo, that serves a few. The first taste is bad but it improves. I think it might work with salted and pickled foods.

Mar 11, 2015
SteveTimko in Wine

Can handmade pasta be sauce-proof?

I had a nice meal recently at a local Italian restaurant. One flaw though. The pasta seemed impervious to liquids, including the pasta sauce.
I've noticed at other restaurants that they finish the pasta by dumping in the sauce for the last minute or so. This had tasty noodles, made fresh, but the sauce didn't seem to cling to it.
Do you think I got this right? If so, was this done intentionally?

Mar 11, 2015
SteveTimko in Home Cooking

Any rec's for a steakhouse in Reno ??

Cactus Creek in the Bonanza and the Western Village steakhouse both get strong recommendations. I have not eaten at either one, but last week I chatted with a truck driver from Canada who raved about the Western Village steakhouse.
I was not aware Nevada was known for beef.
A friend who runs a catering business loves the Washoe Grill, but I haven't been there in 15 years.

Mar 09, 2015
SteveTimko in Southwest

Fried chicken problem: Bad meat or bad cooking?

This is a fried chicken special from a Reno restaurant. The skin was fantastic. But each chicken had a section of meat that was unchewable. And it was meat, not something else.
Is this a problem with the quality of the chicken or is this a cooking problem?

Feb 15, 2015
SteveTimko in General Topics

Willamette Valley

It rhymes with dammit.

Feb 15, 2015
SteveTimko in Wine

Willamette Valley

Here's a map.
http://willamettewines.com/about-the-...
I'd say pick an area or two and find wineries to try.
RIbbon Ridge is one of my favorites. It has Ayres and Brick House.
Not too far away are Stoller and Domaine Drouhin, both of which have good chardonnay to go with their pinot noir. Domaine Serene is literally across the road from Drouhin -- you turn right to go to Drouhin, left to go to Domaine Serene -- but its style is bigger, riper, California-like wines.
Scott Paul is in Carlton. He's both a winemaker and an importer of Burgundy.
I've been to the Carlton Wine Studio twice and haven't found a wine I would buy.
What day of the week are you going? Many are only open for tastings Friday through Sunday or Monday.
Salem is quite a bit towards the south. If you went to wineries north of there you could hit more wineries.
Sauvignon blanc is not common. The white wines are chardonnay, pinot blanc and pinot gris for the most part.

Feb 14, 2015
SteveTimko in Wine

Reno: Authentic and tasty Chinese food at 168 Cafe

Yes, 101 Taiwanese is quite good. It and Crawfish Asian Cuisine are the two places in Reno with authentic Chinese food. See my review here:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1004777

Feb 14, 2015
SteveTimko in Southwest

Reno Chowdown: Spectacular meal at Crawfish Asian Cuisine

It was good enough, Andy, that we should probably schedule another trip for later in the summer after you guys get back.
Thanks for the nice words.

Feb 11, 2015
SteveTimko in Southwest

Reno Chowdown: Spectacular meal at Crawfish Asian Cuisine

The Greater Reno Grub and Gripe Group held its latest Chowdown at Crawfish Asian Cuisine in Reno and the meal was spectacular, one of the best the group has ever had. We stuffed ourselves on gourmet food – not one bad dish in the batch – and the bill, with a 20 percent tip, came to $40 each. Everyone was happy.
For me, three dishes stood out. One was a baked Chilean sea bass done in a honey barbecue sauce. I think I picked up mild flavors of garlic and ginger set off by a mild sweetness. So few restaurants in Reno can get fresh fish but this was both fresh and perfectly good. Fall apart in your mouth good. It is definitely a dish I will order again if it’s on the menu.
The second dish were the lamb chops. A few weeks earlier I had gotten the black pepper lamb on a sizzling hot plate at the restaurant and it was excellent. The lamb chops were even better. Again, perfectly cooked. So good our group of 11 ordered a second plate to make sure everyone got one who wanted one.
The third one was pea greens in garlic sauce. Pea greens are the part of the pea plant we usually throw out as we eat only the peas. I loved this dish as soon as they set it down on the table as a wonderful fresh pea aroma wafted past me. It was quite tasty.
But the quality didn’t end there. Others raved about the crab and corn soup. There was a nice seafood flavor blend with fresh corn flavor.
We started the meal with boiled crawfish and boiled shrimp with each of their sauces. I liked all the sauces but I think my two favorites were the one with garlic and the one with Thai sauce. It’s a good idea to wear bibs as breaking apart the crawfish and shrimp can get pretty messy. Make sure you rip off a good supply of paper towels beforehand.
When you order crawfish or shrimp you can also order a side of garlic noodles. They are quite tasty, as other online reviewers have noted, and worth the money. One in our group was a chow fun fan so we ordered a vegetarian chow fun and it was also quite tasty. The noodles were perfect and it had other delicate chow fun flavors.
We also got duck and the group finished that with no problem.
Service was excellent. My water glass was never empty.
The owners, Ken and chef Da, came out at the end of the meal and chatted with the group. We appreciated the meal.
Want even a better endorsement than something from me? The owners of Fourth Street Bistro stopped by and got an order to go while we were there. When the operators of one of the best Reno restaurants stops by and gets food that means they must be doing something right.
The restaurant has crawfish in the name and the boils are a good choice there, but after exploring the rest of the menu I can say there’s plenty to bring you to Crawfish Asian Cuisine besides the boils.

Feb 10, 2015
SteveTimko in Southwest
1

2000 Ridge Jimsomare Zin--How Long-Lived?

CellarTracker! notes suggest it is still going strong.
https://www.cellartracker.com/wine.as...
As others noted, it has a good reputation.

Dec 26, 2014
SteveTimko in Wine

Are your taste buds ever off?

No tastes that I remember. BUt it was odd that the Kiwi would taste so good and the oranges basically had no taste.

Dec 09, 2014
SteveTimko in General Topics

Are your taste buds ever off?

I was at a fruit stand Saturday, The operator bragged about the quality of the kiwi and the small mandarin oranges. I tasted the kiwi and loved it. I bought lots of that.
I tried orange samples from three different ones and didn't like any of it. But both the operator and other customers raved about it. I bought only a couple.
I tasted the orange this morning and it was fantastic.
So I guess I'm wondering way the kiwi would taste so good and the orange would not.

Dec 08, 2014
SteveTimko in General Topics

Champagne to reduce sulphur dioxide

I'm thinking through all the wines where I detected too much SO2 and I can't think of a single sparkling wine where it was a problem. It's usually in delicate whites or plonkish reds.

Oct 31, 2014
SteveTimko in Wine
1

Best roast duck close to Long Beach?

Anything new for duck?

Oct 13, 2014
SteveTimko in Los Angeles Area

Korean food suggestions in Garden Grove/Long Beach area?

Thanks. I think I may have been to Cham Sut Gol once but could not find it again.

Oct 13, 2014
SteveTimko in Los Angeles Area

'People were afraid of Burgundy when I started,' says broker Becky Wasserman | decanter.com

Wasn't she a secretary to Kermit Lynch or some other importer before she went out on her own?
I think she has many of the best high-end wines but in Burgundy I can afford -- which is almost none now -- Becky Wasserman's name on the label almost assured I wouldn't like it.

Oct 09, 2014
SteveTimko in Wine

I got a Le Creuset Dutch oven for $99. What are some good newbie recipes to try?

Thanks for all the tips.
I'm curious. This is the 9.1-quart version. It's 15 inches in diameter. If I wanted to use it on a portable induction heater plate, would it work? Online customer reviews give conflicting advice.

Oct 07, 2014
SteveTimko in Home Cooking

I got a Le Creuset Dutch oven for $99. What are some good newbie recipes to try?

I found a Le Creuset Dutch oven on clearance at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $99. I want to get serious about cooking. So this will be an excuse to start. What are some good recipes for a beginner to try?
So far suggestions on Facebook have been chili and braised short ribs. What bulletproof recipes would you recommend?
The BB&B clerk said they don't carry Le Creuset in stock normally. It is supposed to be scratched, but when I looked at it I couldn't find a scratch.
I'm thinking someone ordered it and didn't pick it up and these disposed of it this way, or someone ordered it (maybe using the 20 percent off coupon), found something wrong with it and returned it and it sat around for a while before they finally dumped it in the clearance table.

Oct 05, 2014
SteveTimko in Home Cooking