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budnball's Profile

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Randall Grahm to breed 10,000 new grape varieties

Thanx for the history. I forget that history was flowing on before I entered the stream. That being said, I felt like as a DEWN member, I was getting the trial and error along with the tried and true. I appreciate his passion but is not my passion and I will be watching from the sidelines.

Jul 23, 2015
budnball in Wine

Randall Grahm to breed 10,000 new grape varieties

I respect Grahm and buy his wines. Until recently when I got stuck with his version of a Pinot, I was a club member. The last thing I would go to Randall Grahm for is Pinot Noir. It felt like loosening of his focus on the Rhone stuff. I feel like he is a very smart but easily distracted by all the ideas he has flowing.

I don't understand the theoretical concept here. What does the phrase, "first New World Grand Cru" mean?

Jul 22, 2015
budnball in Wine

Dunkin Donuts coming to the Bay Area

I don't think that Krispie Kreme did that well after the initial hub-bub and I doubt that Dunkin will do any better. Nostalgia only lasts so long and unless they have upgraded the coffee I don't see them lasting. However, maybe they can become Hipster cool like Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer.

Rich Table. Ala carte or chefs tasting? [San Francisco]

It was not so much a failure as ..odd. It was the Avocado with green juice(kale)ice with dried stone fruit and brown butter ice cream. not bad and I really needed the lightness after the rather heavy meal, but I don't understand Avocado as a dessert ingredient. Or Kale for that matter. All of the appetizers were killer. And the bread!!!!

Rich Table. Ala carte or chefs tasting? [San Francisco]

We went with the Chef's choice and if there is any complaint, it was a lot of food. Some really sublime, a head scratcher, of a dessert, and all tasty and well prepared. Also a bit light on the veggies, which I could have used a bit more of. I was not a fan of the Salmon prep which tasted lovely, but had that soft, Sous vide, texture. Service was wonderful and flexible. We each got a different menu up till the Strip main course. Informative, but not intrusive, which is not always an easy balance. A great meal all around and I look forward to returning and taking my on tour of the menu.

Can anyone reccomend great Fish and Chips in Santa Cruz?

My go-to for fish and chips is Aquarius at The Dream Inn. The fish is battered and really well prepared. Not the cheapest place but I highly recommend it.

Jul 05, 2015
budnball in California

Rich Table. Ala carte or chefs tasting? [San Francisco]

I'm taking the husband for a birthday dinner tonight and everything looks good. Since this is such a tight seating to get, I'd like to maximize the number of dishes to taste. Should we each order 4 different courses, or leave it in the Chef's hands?.

Trip Report: San Francisco with my Foodie Son...

The best approach for Nopa is to show up early and sit at the bar or request a table. They will usually get you a table by 6:30

Decanter’s orange wine tasting: the top 24

So it is more of production or wine making style? I've only heard of Orange Wine in the last 3-4 years and have not sought any, so it is odd to find I've been drinking one for a few years.

May 28, 2015
budnball in Wine

May Wine?

Since the OP asked for suggestions to use for May Wine, the responses that questioned its validity as a drink had a tone of superiority. If you don't like it, why chime in? I find Retsina disgusting also but would not advise someone who was looking for some not to buy any. If someone else finds pleasure in it, who am I to question their taste?.

May 27, 2015
budnball in Wine

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.

May 25, 2015
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.

May 25, 2015
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