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budnball's Profile

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May Wine?

A simple sparkling wine would be my 1st choice. Second would be a Bordeaux blanc. A friend used a Spatburgunder a few years back for a flavor that was hmmm, interesting. I would stick to Riesling or sparklers.

about 10 hours ago
budnball in Wine

May Wine?

A decent $15 fruity Riesling is fine. May wine is a welcoming of spring drink and like Sangria, or Champagne Cocktails, can be easily modified to taste. Of course you don't need a "Vintage" wine, the simpler the wine base, the more it is about the fresh green of spring herbs and fruit. I would never buy a ready made version but making one is an easy small joy.

about 13 hours ago
budnball in Wine

Decanter’s orange wine tasting: the top 24

I have to second that query. I just finished a bottle 2 days ago and it seems more on the green side of yellow than the orange side. Would never consider it an "Orange" wine.

May 18, 2015
budnball in Wine

When a menu is not a menu

As the OP I will answer my own question. Yes I am out of touch ...and that is OK with me. When I was younger, I kept up with all the newest trends in music and Pop culture until I could not keep up with it all, and found that I was ok not knowing who the newest cool director or performance artist is. I am going through this with food and restaurants now. I want more flavor and less art. I find I don't need or want the extravagant very often. As Robert has stated, I have done the " Canapes as a meal" thing enough and am over it. But this is just me putting on my Grampa pants. LOL

When a menu is not a menu

I was in Los Gatos on Sunday and walked by Manresa. They had a menu out but it was a listing of 40 or so ingredients, with no sense of plating or dish or anything. My best meal of all was at Manresa about 10 years ago and I have been looking for a return visit but feel unsure without a menu as a template. I see that Atelier Crenn just gives you a poem. Granted I may be old fashioned, but I would feel more comfortable throwing down 5-6 hundred dollars if I had an idea of what for. Am I just out of touch?

TN: 2000 Ahlgren Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, "Bates Ranch" Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mtns. AVA

In what shape was the cork? I have bought many cases of their wine and even though I try and pick carefully, I get a pretty good number of wet corks. I really adore the Bates Cab also. So full bodied and deep concentrated flavor yet so light of alcohol. Ahlgren wines have been a wonderful intense lesson in wine making expression and terroir and aging, and corked wines and so much more. I have learned to develop a relationship with wine makers and more than any other winery, I would be able to blind taste and know their wine.

I thank you again, Jason, for turning me on to them. They have provided me with such pleasure.

Apr 25, 2015
budnball in Wine

Why is no one buying Sauternes?

Very few of my wine friends drink dessert wines. I happen to love 'em. Between ports, Sauternes, Icewines and other assorted "stickies", sweet wine makes up almost a tenth of my cellar. I think part of the problem is the idea of "dessert wine". After drinking a few bottles of dry wine over dinner, few want to add a sugar and alcohol cap to the evening. My solution is to pour a sweet wine with my 1st appetizer/ cheese course when entertaining. Unlike Europeans, I have cheese before dinner.

Apr 18, 2015
budnball in Wine
2

I need a recommendation for a nice bottle of wine $25-35...

You did fine.

Apr 17, 2015
budnball in Wine

Jeremiah Tower v. Michael Bauer on FB

I totally agree. I know that M.B. is not a favorite of this board, but that review seemed respectful of a former great who may no longer be at his best. Did Tower think he would only get raves?

How to become a ‘wine expert’ in four hours

Totally misleading title! The article has standard advise on increasing ones wine knowledge, but the 4 hours in the title is a bait and switch rubbish.

Apr 07, 2015
budnball in Wine

Smith Haut Lafitte owner creates Sauternes to mix with Perrier | decanter.com

So it's a different white wine spritzer. Does that mean its a bad idea? if it moves bottles of Sauternes off the shelves, what's the harm. I tried it at home before posting and its tasty. Not earth shattering but refreshing.

Mar 16, 2015
budnball in Wine

Lazy Bear Review [San Francisco]

I don't want to be full but I don't feel like I had a true meal. It felt like a catered party where the lovely little bits never coalesced into a real dinner. It felt clever but not at all deep, despite the obvious skill displayed. Fun in a do once kinda way. But that is my takeaway.

Lazy Bear Review [San Francisco]

Small but ok I guess. I left almost full but unsatisfied. The pacing was fine and the staff were well trained and obliging. I drove home to San Jose and made a sandwich. The whole thing came across like a fun dinner party until you add up the cost. $400 for 2 with one wine pairing is more than it was worth to me. Most people seemed to be having a great time though.

Lazy Bear Review [San Francisco]

Had dinner last night. Had a fun time and the group setting made it better than the meal. The snacks were very good with the firefly squid and the foie being special. Bread as a course is a joke. There was a really good broth over an egg yolk dish that was sublime and a really good rhubarb palate cleanser that may have been the best off the night. The wine pairing at $75 plus service charge is a total ripoff for my mind but cocktails were tasty. I'm glad I went and my neighboring diners were loads of fun but I would not recommend Lazy Bear to my friends. Felt like a gimmick restaurant tho and I would not return.

Yao Ming crowdfunds new tasting rooms

Let's look at this as simple business arrangement. Many famous people try and start wineries or sell wine. Some are wine enthusiasts and others are opportunists. Few of them make money or really last. Some people lose their shirts. It sounds to me like he had some good financial advise. My, "The Producers", quote was a comment on that. I have not sought out his wine to drink but if they hired professional winemakers and bought good fruit, they should make a decent wine and so, they may make a buck or two in China. Since I'm not buying, I dont care about the price. I just admire his advisers yelling in his ear. Never put your own money in the show!

Mar 08, 2015
budnball in Wine

Yao Ming crowdfunds new tasting rooms

Never put your own money in the show!

Mar 06, 2015
budnball in Wine

What's up with Dungeness Crab?

The new Whole Foods in downtown San Jose has been out for about the same time. And similar prices.

Lazy Bear Review [San Francisco]

hmm. I have a reservation in the next few weeks and am concerned. It looks like literal "finger food." The snacks are miniscule. I remember going to Cyrus and leaving angry and hungry. I may have to consider selling off these tix.

Pick up and shipping charges

Then you have to ask yourself if you are getting value for money. Sounds like you really enjoy the wines and if you can afford to swallow the extra costs, then go for it.

Feb 20, 2015
budnball in Wine

Pick up and shipping charges

Does this winery have a tasting room storefront? If so I can not get behind any excuse to charge a fee for pick-up.

Feb 20, 2015
budnball in Wine

Pick up and shipping charges

I guess it depends on how much you like the wine. For me it is a deal breaker. I live in San Jose and often drive to the Santa Cruz mountains to pick up Club allotments, and even head to Davenport on the coast for my Bonny Doon orders. I figure that the point of a pick-up is to avoid more fees. If I have been a loyal customer, I would feel unappreciated and would bail. There is too much good wine out there to feel ripped off. I would also check the local markets and see if the wine is available for retail because it is often cheaper than buying it direct from wineries.

Feb 20, 2015
budnball in Wine

Rioja sales reach new high in 2014 -- but dropped in the U.S.?

Maybe it is also that Spain is a bit farther down the new wine drinkers learning curve. It seems most people go from their local wines or start in France which takes a lot of time to get a handle on. Then to California and the west coast, or Germany and Italy. All of these areas have many deep benches and years can go by before one gets to Spain. I think one needs to be introduced to Rioja by an enthusiast for it to be on the radar. I have been buying wine for about 15 years and have maybe bought 2 bottles of Rioja. It just doesn't come to mind.

Feb 18, 2015
budnball in Wine

Critics drove Mouton to cut Cab Franc

Since I only read about wine at this price level and would never buy, I don't understand the politics. A friend compared it to "couture" fashion. Hand made "one offs" whose influence trickles down. Is that a fair comparison?

Feb 08, 2015
budnball in Wine

Critics drove Mouton to cut Cab Franc

Is this a Bordeaux thing? Would the makers of Screaming Eagle or Opus1 change their formula because of critics?

Feb 07, 2015
budnball in Wine

Waitress at Elmwood Cafe Berkeley makes racist assumption

The thing is that these are not new issues and will not be solved here. I do not dismiss the possibility of a racist reaction by the server or the systemic problems in the Bay Area. I would only hope that people would step back, and examine themselves, and ask what part do I play in making things worse and what can I do to help make it better. My choice is to be try and be forgiving of other's faults and to ask the same in return. Not being blind, but hopeful.

Waitress at Elmwood Cafe Berkeley makes racist assumption

I am not dismissing the reality of racism. How could I? When I moved to California 30+ years ago I would not walk into a sit down restaurant because I felt unwelcome. This was partially my own internal compass, coming from the south. I remember having a panic attack at the front of the Pacific Edge in Monterrey because I felt like I did not belong.( service was wonderful and so welcoming that my attitude changed. Not saying it is fair, it just is. I cannot change everyone's attitude. I chose to change mine. The checklist may be exhausting but being angry and suspicious all the time is more so. I prefer to not to spend anymore time being righteously indignant. Life really is too short.

Waitress at Elmwood Cafe Berkeley makes racist assumption

As a middle aged black man, I have seen and been on the receiving end of many a racist incident. I have also been the recipient of just rude behavior. It is sad but true that often I have ask myself, Was that directed at me, a black person, or was that person just rude, or maybe having a bad day, or did I misunderstand? It is exhausting to have run this check list over in your head at every incident and I have tried to give it up. Unless the situation is one that cannot be fixed by a simple apology, I am giving others a pass. We have all had bad days at work and most of us are not blogged about. It is far too easy to throw out race as an excuse.

anonymous food critics

As one who gets tired of the Bauer bashing that can go on in these boards, I would prefer he just get it over with and come out from behind his palm tree. The pretense serves no one at all.

Financial pressure forcing vineyard sales in California's Paso Robles | decanter.com

How to lose a boatload of money. Buy a vineyard right after a new restaurant and my own bar. I used to dream of all of these.

Jan 23, 2015
budnball in Wine

Anniversary dinner in San Francisco

Well congratulations on your anniversary and let us know how your meal goes.