b

budnball's Profile

Title Last Reply

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

My memory of Ghent is from 1980-82. I lived in a tiny apt behind a high school and would walk to the Naro which did double bills of "art films" old films and foreign films. I saw To Catch a Thief there the night of Grace Kelly's death which was too weird since it had been scheduled at least 2 months before. I was in Navy then and not much of a drinker, so I don't remember the bar scene. Ghent was a charmer even then.

Jul 22, 2014
budnball in Spirits

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

I have been following this thread mostly due to the Ghent references. I miss the place. (are the public clay tennis courts still there?)
I find that old school Barkeeps that know the Pre-90s bar menu can usually be trusted to make a 2 or 3 ingredient cocktail by free pour. Younger ones, not so much. Todays cocktails often require several steps and layers of ingredients that call for carefull measurement. I don't care as long as drink is balanced.

My martini however must include at least 1/4 vermouth. Gin on its own is pretty foul.

Jul 22, 2014
budnball in Spirits

One Dinner in SF - Where and Why?

If you want a San Francisco experience, I would go with Zuni, Nopa, Outerlands, or Francis. These are not 4 star, but reflect the area, the staff the clientele. I am sure that Saison and A. Crenn are wonderful, but they are more about the chef then the city. It really is about what you are looking for. The upper end tasting menus or some flavour of the area.

Jul 22, 2014
budnball in San Francisco Bay Area

Manresa fire

Really bad news. I had the best meal of my life there about 10 years ago. I remember giggling with pleasure at the beautiful and surprising food that just kept coming. Hopefully there can be a future ala Chez Panisse.

Jul 07, 2014
budnball in San Francisco Bay Area

Napa Valley ranking in the world?

Well if like much of Burgundy and Bordeaux, it means over priced and over praised, someday is in the rearview mirror.

Jul 02, 2014
budnball in Wine

to chez panisse or to not chez panisse, that is the question

Gather, Nopa, Spruce of the top of my head. It really depends on what kind of food experience you want. I have never had anything but raves when I take someone from out of town to the Slanted Door and that will start another thread rant.

Jun 26, 2014
budnball in San Francisco Bay Area

to chez panisse or to not chez panisse, that is the question

So as you see, Chez Panisse is still well regarded. I would advise that you go early in your visit. Please report on your experience.

Jun 26, 2014
budnball in San Francisco Bay Area

to chez panisse or to not chez panisse, that is the question

Heirloom tangerines? Wow!

Jun 24, 2014
budnball in San Francisco Bay Area

to chez panisse or to not chez panisse, that is the question

Of course CP has a relationship with suppliers to get the best. I just feel after 4 meals over the years that fresh does not equal tasty, and for me, I want more from a restaurant than a list of ingredients that have been respected. I want real cooking and and I cannot emphasize enough, flavour. More than anything CP just does interest my palate. Maybe it is too subtle for me.

Jun 24, 2014
budnball in San Francisco Bay Area

to chez panisse or to not chez panisse, that is the question

Yes they get good stuff but I want flavour and that is what I miss at CP. Plus except for the seafood, we all can get fresh turnips, porcini, leeks and peas.

Jun 24, 2014
budnball in San Francisco Bay Area
1

to chez panisse or to not chez panisse, that is the question

I am one of those who find the place boring. Not bad, just dull. Just because they have ther freshest and best quality ingredients, does not mean the food is tasty. To me, it is elevated home cooking and I can do that myself. Give it a try tho, you may, like most, find it charming. Service and atmosphere are wonderful.

Jun 24, 2014
budnball in San Francisco Bay Area

strawberry rhubarb pie

I love Strawberry/rhubarb pie and can't think of anything that wants wine less. I tried a dessert Moscato with a simple strwaberry pie and it just felt like sweet on sweet.

Jun 23, 2014
budnball in Wine
1

The "California wines can't age" notion

I've not been since maybe Feb. They were only open on Saturdays. I would give them a call. They had loads left. I think Val said they had more in storage beyond the house cellar. The web site has an out of date listing of what was on hand but I doubt if it has changed that much.

Jun 20, 2014
budnball in Wine

The "California wines can't age" notion

You never know where a recommendation may come from or where it will lead. A few years ago in a thread about Semillon, Jason,(zin1953), mentioned a small winery in the Santa Cruz hills named Ahlgrens. That led me to driving up and meeting a great older couple who are selling off their cellar. It was my first experience with older wines and it has been an eye opener. Aged wines are the hardest thing to get a handle on because they are either too expensive or you have no way to know how they were stored. If you live in the SF bay area, I would check them out. They made several varietal wines, Cabs, Cab Franc, Merlots Pinots and Syrahs, Also Chards and Semillons. Prices are more than fair and you will be stunned at how fresh and lively a 20 year old bottle of a well stored red can be.

Jun 20, 2014
budnball in Wine

Questions about wine lists

KInda Bogles the mind. Sorry I coudn't stop myself. :-)

Jun 09, 2014
budnball in Wine
1

Questions about wine lists

Ok I think I 've got it. Since I am a California fan, I am not so focused on vintages. I'm not saying that they don't matter, I just have eliminated vintages from from the things I need to know right now, and it works for me. That being said, I would trust a producer I know with a wine I don't. And since I never buy Bordeaux or high end Cabs, I would certainly look at the Zins. With this qualification. I may love your red wines but not care for the whites and so Ahlgren on a list will sell me anything but Chardonnay.
Even though many places had started pouring higher end choices BTG, I still find it hard to spend $20 on a glass. Quite often it is Scotch for me.

Jun 09, 2014
budnball in Wine

Questions about wine lists

Interesting topic, Jason.
For me, the more I learn about wine, the less I am likely to buy a bottle at a restaurant. I hate spending more on wine than food. Living in the SF Bay Area, I can usually find something of value on most lists, but a restaurant is the last place that I want to be experimental with my wine choices. It's one thing to spend say $40 on a bottle on the recommendation of wine merchant that you can drink at your leisure. And another to spend $100-120 on the same bottle at a restaurant. I prefer to buy what I feel I know something about when dining out.
The steak analogy is an apt one for sure. People know what they are getting when they order a New York, or a Filet. Wine is not always so clear. So yes, often people buy what they are familiar with or have some knowledge of, as opposed to an unknown "bargain" listing. I'll take a chance in a wine shop but not at dinner.

Jun 08, 2014
budnball in Wine

Texas Roussanne Tasted Blind Against California and France - Comes Out Top

This is a discussion that was debated same time last year and there were many skeptics then who suggested that the number of French and and California bottles were not sufficient to have a legitimate tasting result and there does not seem to be any change in the approach this year. When you are able to pour equal numbers of respectible labels from each area, which to my mind means at least 5 from each area, then there may be something for non Texas vinters to notice. This is not a knock on your wines since I have to tasted a one. This is just me saying what I think and hear in many responses. It feels like a rigged game. This is not the way to sell Texas wine.

Jun 05, 2014
budnball in Wine
6

Texas Roussanne Tasted Blind Against California and France - Comes Out Top

I have to agree. There is nothing wrong with promoting the local product. I believe in supporting my community and for me that means spending 75% of my wine money in my county and 80% in my country. And I am sure the Texas wines are fine, but to put them over in a national way is going to take at lot of work and this wont do it. Virginia has a much longer history of wine making and they are barely noticed. Instead of comparing to France and California, I would think just being themselves would work better, first convince Texans that the wine is good. they will sell the rest of us.

Jun 05, 2014
budnball in Wine

Rose wine I should seek out for the long hot summer.

yeah, I was just bitchin about the added drive from the "wine ghetto" area around Swift in Santa Cruz. I'm a club member but i drive to pick up and the extra miles are a pain sometimes. it adds an hour to my trip from San Jose.

Jun 01, 2014
budnball in Wine

Rose wine I should seek out for the long hot summer.

Didn't realize but yes you are correct. I guess that means only sold at the tasting room, which is a pain to get to in Davenport.

Jun 01, 2014
budnball in Wine

Allocation lists and how to play?

Thanx for the input. I really enjoy your wine esp the Mourvèdre. I signed up because of my love of Semillon. Because I bought untasted, I hedged my bet with you. Next time I will know better. :-). Really really great wine.

May 28, 2014
budnball in Wine

Allocation lists and how to play?

Without getting lost in the "Wine Club" thread, I have a few questions. I was recently accepted on two allocation lists. Rhys and Dirty and Rowdy. I ordered about 1/2 of what was offered at both. Rhys had some cases left and I was able to get another 6 bottles.
My questions.
1-Should I expect to be offered about what I was offered at 1st on the next go 'round? Or would I be offered on the basis of what I actually bought?
2-This is the first wine I have bought that appears to be worth more than I paid for it, and I have had offers from friends, who are not on the list. I am not a speculator, and feels awkward. The Rhys Pinots are highly thought of but don't really sing to me, tho I adore the Chards. Any ethical issues buying for friends? At the moment we are trading like priced bottles.

May 27, 2014
budnball in Wine

Request for your Best of the Best in SF to WOW my Fiance!!

I would allow for some lower end diner/ethnic fare. If nothing else but to give your palate a break from all the high end stuff. Hole in the wall breakfasts or Mexican. With TFL and Danko, you have "Out of the world" sewn up. Balance it with greasy burgers and Chinese.

May 27, 2014
budnball in San Francisco Bay Area

Rose wine I should seek out for the long hot summer.

Bonny Doon has a Mouvedre based Rose out now called Rose Ave. Finished a bottle this weekend and really love it. $18 or so.

May 12, 2014
budnball in Wine

Need San Jose restaurant with great food & quiet environment

Nick's Next Door in Los Gatos.

May 11, 2014
budnball in San Francisco Bay Area

Chronicle Top 100 2014

Ouch!

May 11, 2014
budnball in San Francisco Bay Area

Chronicle Top 100 2014

As one who lives in San Jose, there is the reality that is often reflected on this board, the restaurant scene here, tho getting better, does not quite yet rate.

May 11, 2014
budnball in San Francisco Bay Area

Small, soft chocolates?

Those are wonderful! A 20 piece box will lovely.

May 02, 2014
budnball in San Francisco Bay Area

What is plonk, really?

My understanding is Plonk is as Rumploe would say, "vin ordinaire". Not terrible but nothing you would remember the name of or recommend. I think of Art Exhibit wine.

Apr 03, 2014
budnball in Wine