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stalkingwine's Profile

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Best wine you've had under $15

Bill - I like your style, because it is mine as well. I hated the Sideways effect on pinot, but it did open up some nice opportunities elsewhere, eh?

When you come to SF, I'll pour rosés for as long as you want -- now that is a category that still remains very attrractive, even though NYC and SF have been featuring them on summer wine lists.

Dec 04, 2009
stalkingwine in Wine

Sommelier snobbery - why do 4 star restaurants refuse to list white zinfandel?

"Good" is so relative. What's a "real" rosé other than a wine that has some minimal skin contact? Is Tavel more real than white zin? If you say yes, you're being a snob too.

I can't stand white zin, but I also can't stand debating with the legions who love it as to whether or not it's a better wine than something else. In the U.S. there are more of them than there are of me. :-)

Dec 04, 2009
stalkingwine in Wine

Sommelier snobbery - why do 4 star restaurants refuse to list white zinfandel?

I don't expect slabs of ribs everywhere, nor do I expect all sommeliers to stock white zin. But I do expect restaurants to know their customer, and give them what they want.

French Laundry serves white zinfandel. It's just not on the list...you have to ask...

Dec 04, 2009
stalkingwine in Wine

Alcyone, Atlantida

Give JJ Buckley wines a look. Followed by K&L and Wine Club. If not that, New York retailers and Winesearcher.com.

I've had it once, and I know why you seek it...it's tasty. But hard to find!

Dec 04, 2009
stalkingwine in Wine

Sommelier snobbery - why do 4 star restaurants refuse to list white zinfandel?

Last week, I was at a highly rated restaurant in San Francisco. An elderly woman asked the wine steward if they had white zinfandel.

In a snobbish tone, he said no, they don't have it on the list, but there were French and German whites that he could suggest. He then brought her tastes of a reisling and a chenin blanc, which she refused, and then ordered a mixed drink. Then she said to her husband quietly: "I just want a smooth, simple, fruity glass of wine...that reisling tasted a bit like oil!"

When I got up to go the the restroom later that night, I ran into the wine steward. I asked him about the white zin incident, to which he responded: "No doubt, white zin would sell well here, but I would rather be caught dead than to walk through my dining room and seeing Beringer White Zin all over the place. I don't want to work in that kind of restaurant. To which I said:

"So you want to work in a restaurant where there is a possibility that your guests aren't getting what they want because of YOUR preferences?"

He replied: "It's not just my preferences. It's my reputation. The wine industry is really close. Word will get out if I put white zin on my list. That is seen as a negative when I look for my next job."

To that response, I let out a painful laugh. Because I realized that this "Sommelier Snobbery" is the standard. And that there are probably tons of guests at the nicest restaurants around the world who are doing the same thing.

Aren't restaruants in the hospitality industry, after all?

Dec 04, 2009
stalkingwine in Wine

T Day line-up - what is everyone pouring?

That was quite a nice lineup. Tell us how the wines fared with the guests!

Dec 04, 2009
stalkingwine in Wine

Pairing with Both Pumpkin & Apple Pies?

Whatever you like. I like coffee because I don't generally like to have wine with really sweet food.

Dec 04, 2009
stalkingwine in Wine

Chilling whites in the freezer- the science please

Way to go Bill and Cindy. Let's start a revolution that causes restaurants to start serving wine at the right temperature!

People think I'm crazy when I chill reds or order whites long before drinking them so that they can get to proper temp!

Dec 04, 2009
stalkingwine in Wine

Need a Wine please

I think its fabulous that you like fruity wine. Being a celebration, I suggest you buy a bottle of Prosecco, which is sparkling white wine from Italy ($7-20). It's slightly sweet and fruity. If you're into reds, try Mark West pinot noir ($8-18) or Yellow Tail shiraz ($7-10).

Dec 04, 2009
stalkingwine in Wine

Does Wine Taste More Pronounced In Crystal Stemware Versus Glass?

Update - I did another two rounds of tastings with Reidel vs. other inexpensive glasssware. Not only did Reidel win 3 out of 4 tasters, but people noticed the elegance of a well made wine stem as well.

Dec 04, 2009
stalkingwine in Wine

Need help with a Birthday dinner...

Head for Hayes Valley and dine at Citizen Cake after a cocktail at Absinthe locaed one block away (best in city, IMO). My only caution: watch out for the grey hairs on opera and symphony nights. Way to avoid that is to have dinner starting at 8.

Not sure why CK doesn't get more play on Yelp, etc. I think the place is awesome. Romantic, intimate enough, not bistro loud.

Freezing pulled pork

Yes you can freeze it, but you will lose quality. The viscosity of fat and overall flavor degrade.

That said, it takes a long time to prepare pulled pork, so it's often better to freeze extra than to cook small amounts everytime.

Dec 04, 2009
stalkingwine in Home Cooking

Romantic Dinner - Loves Steak and Pork

Suggest Perry Street in the West Village. Quiet, romantic, comfy booths for all guests. Dining room is unusually large for the 60 guests it can hold. Modern takes on steaks and pork. Awesome-but-small wine list, great table service.

Dec 04, 2009
stalkingwine in Manhattan

Just Add Water

Agree with ttriche: this stuff sucks and can give sensitive bellies the runs, which is disastrous out there in the wild.

The only reason why I advocate freeze-dried is for extreme situations...such as, uber long trips and emergency situations.

Otherwise, make your food at home. Chow.com of all places is a wonderful site to get great ideas.

Dec 04, 2009
stalkingwine in Features

Is Cod Dead?

If all the fisheries don't reign in their limits within 5 years, it will be too far gone to ever recover. Remember - it take sooo long for cod smolt to achieve reproductive maturity (6-10 years) that it's exponentially harder to restore cod vs. say salmon. California has instituted marine protected areas (MPAs) and they are working. Canada and the UK must step up.

One bright spot at this point: Black Cod of the cold Northern Pacific isnt really cod...and its numbers are strong at this point. Think Morimoto's Miso Black Cod, baby.

Dec 03, 2009
stalkingwine in Features