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Rioja shows Burgundian-style ‘revolution’

I think you may have missed the main point. Historically, many producers bought grapes (and sometimes wines) across regional lines/boundaries (Rioja Alta, Alavesa, Baja), with no regard to the *specific* terroir of a specific region, let alone a specific village.

That is what Tim Atkin is referring to . . . and the current practice (on the rise) of many producers staying within a sub-region or within a village.

And so, just as a Volnay will taste inherently different than a Gevrey-Chambertin, so too will wines from (e.g.) Haro taste different from wines produced from grapes grown in Sierra Cantabria.

about 1 hour ago
zin1953 in Wine

Flying into LAX -- one special dinner . . . suggestions?

Anywhere from Downtown all the way west to Santa Monica; that doesn't matter. It's for a birthday dinner, but I can't get tickets for Trois Mec, nor reservations at Chi Spacca . . . prefer (broadly) European or East Asian cuisine, over (e.g.) South American or Indian, and someplace with a good wine list.

And although I grew up in LA, I haven't lived there in quite a long time, so . . . I need the help of LA's Chowhounds. Any ideas?

TIA

about 5 hours ago
zin1953 in Los Angeles Area

Top 10 travel retail (duty free) spirits brands

A couple of surprises, and a couple of "duh!"

about 6 hours ago
zin1953 in Spirits

DNA oak testing will ‘prevent fraud’

Wasn't aware that fraud was that significant . . .

about 6 hours ago
zin1953 in Wine

Rioja shows Burgundian-style ‘revolution’

I'd never thought about it, but I certainly see what Tim Atkin means . . . and agree with him.

about 6 hours ago
zin1953 in Wine

Wet summer favoured biodynamics in Champagne

Louis Roederer shifted to biodynamics? Who knew?

about 6 hours ago
zin1953 in Wine

Young winemaker suffocates in accident

Sadly, this happens more often than one would think . . .

about 6 hours ago
zin1953 in Wine

California cult winemaker 'improving' after bike crash | decanter.com

Hoping he fully recovers . . .

about 6 hours ago
zin1953 in Wine

Languedoc hit by worst floods in 60 years | decanter.com

"Two months of rainfall in just three hours has caused extreme flooding in France's Languedoc region, prompting concerns about damage to vineyards during the 2014 harvest."

about 6 hours ago
zin1953 in Wine

A Tiny Cocktail Trend In America?

$10/stem actually (and perhaps sadly) isn't bad at all.

about 22 hours ago
zin1953 in Spirits

soap or no soap to wash wine glasses

Agreed. I have a Miele dishwasher, which claims to be the only dishwasher Riedel "endorses" for use with their glassware. I have to say I've never had a problem . . .

1 day ago
zin1953 in Wine

Bordeaux 'lacks premium brands', says Baron Philippe de Rothschild chief | decanter.com

This is why part of what he says is crazy . . . he's using Champagne as a model, and decrying the lack of a "premium brand" like Dom Pérignon or Cristal, but a better model is in fact California -- the "brand" is the name of the winery, be it Robert Mondavi, Jordan, or Gallo; Lafite, Pontet-Canet, or Mouton-Cadet.

He is correct that the "known" names within Bordeaux represent a tiny fraction of the wines produced there. After all, there are over 2,000 châteaux in Bordeaux, the overwhelming majority of which never make it to the States. In that regard, a "premium brand" could draw people to the wines (think KJ). That said, I understand he wants to sell more wine, and attract more people to Bordeaux, but to say that Mouton-Cadet is not "an entry-level wine for the novice consumer" is crazy.

1 day ago
zin1953 in Wine

LeBron James scores a wine touchdown

Since when does an NBA player score a "touchdown"?

1 day ago
zin1953 in Wine

Bordeaux 'lacks premium brands', says Baron Philippe de Rothschild chief | decanter.com

Personally, I think he's got something of a point, but at the same time, some of the things he's saying make absolutely no sense to me!

1 day ago
zin1953 in Wine

Louis Roederer launches first new Champagne 'since 1974' | decanter.com

With a price of £65 in the UK, €70 in France, that translates to (approx.) $85-105 . . . what the actual price here in the States will be is anyone's guess.

1 day ago
zin1953 in Wine

A Tiny Cocktail Trend In America?

Would that be an Über-sized America?

2 days ago
zin1953 in Spirits

East Bay Seasonal Ingredients with Great Wine List?

Well, a) you never have to buy full cases, Robert, unless you want to; you just have to pay the "broken case" charge; and b) no, we usually bought full cases¹.

We also had a daisy-wheel printer (remember those?) instead of a dot-matrix, and so we printed our own wine lists and BTG "table tents" daily.

_______________
¹ With the exception of Ports and Sherries, which we usually bought 1, 2, or 3 bottles at a time, depending upon the wine. There were exceptions even to that, however. We usually bought whatever 1970 Vintage Porto we were pouring by the glass a case at a time, and whatever 1945 Vintage Porto we were pouring was grabbed as it became available, usually in 6- or 12-bottle purchases.

A Tiny Cocktail Trend In America?

*IF* it's just a double, how many people have actually asked for a double? And since when did a normal sized cocktail become a "mini"? ;^)

2 days ago
zin1953 in Spirits

East Bay Seasonal Ingredients with Great Wine List?

Mike, I'm glad to see *you* understood my question.

I agree that traveling with wine these days is difficult, for precisely the reasons you outlined above. That is why I stopped doing that a long time ago -- if I'm driving from my home to dinner in SF, Napa, Sonoma, Santa Cruz, wherever, that's one thing; flying is quite another. I still fly with bottles of wine, but they're either presents for friends or samples for clients.

I'm biased to a certain degree, based upon my own experiences as a restaurant wine buyer back in the 1980s. We had 11 tables and 14 bar stools -- seating for <60 -- but with at least 24 wines by the glass (36 if you counted Ports, Sherries, and Madeiras), and a wine list with some 200-250 wines. That was a huge list for most places at the time, and still isn't considered "small" by any means. Yet it took very little in terms of capital investment -- I mean VERY little -- and on top of it, our pricing was a flat $5 over suggested retail. So, based upon personal experience, I disagree that a great list takes "beaucoups bucks" to create and maintain. ;^)

As with many things, it often depends upon how one defines terms. I don't think of, for example, Lotus of Siam as "manage some semblance of [having a great list] on a somewhat lesser budget." I think of LoS as having a great list, period. For me, part of a wine list's "greatness" is not determined by the number of selections, or the scarcity of some of those selections, or even having older vintages available. I think a great wine list is determined by how well thought-out it is, how the list's wines compliment the cuisine, and having a reasonable markup. I find most of the large wine lists, stocked with older, high(er)-end rarities to be impressive, but I don't find them to be great. Anyone can create those, provided they have deep pockets. After all, all you really need is one bottle of 1962 Romanée-Conti or 1961 Château Haut-Brion -- price it so high no one will buy it, and you shall have that gem on your very impressive wine list forever . . .

Who knows? Perhaps we'll continue this over a glass of wine some day . . .

Cheers,
Jason

A Tiny Cocktail Trend In America?

Me thinks thou hast missed the point . . . .

Wherever you look . . . online . . . in a book . . . you'll see a recipe similar to this:

2.25 oz No. 3 London Dry Gin, frozen
.75 oz Dry vermouth
1 dash Orange bitters

Now, according to the way *I* learned math, 2.25 oz + 0.75 oz = 3.0 oz. So unless you think "a dash" equals 4.5 ounces . . . how does one get to 7.5 ounces?

2 days ago
zin1953 in Spirits
1

A Tiny Cocktail Trend In America?

Please show me a recipe for a Martini that produces, as a result, a drink 7.5 ounces in size . . .

Sep 29, 2014
zin1953 in Spirits
2

Burgundy’s ‘original grand crus’ explored in new book

Sounds interesting to me, at any rate . . . .

Sep 29, 2014
zin1953 in Wine

Treasury Wine ends talks with bidders KKR and TPG

Not-so-gone . . .

Sep 29, 2014
zin1953 in Wine

Am I the only one worried about the safety of sea salt?

<delete>

Sep 28, 2014
zin1953 in General Topics

2014 Oregon wine-grape harvest turns up the heat as winemakers predict quality vintage

"Hottest on record . . . "

Sep 28, 2014
zin1953 in Wine

Is it me or are these synthetic corks hard to pull?

-- They are hard to pull (yes, sometimes, but it varies greatly by manufacturer)

-- (They) strip teflon coating off corkscrews (again, true with many, but not all)

-- (They are) impossible to put back in (true)

-- (They) don't have a long life (also true, which is yet one more reason why I prefer screwcaps)

Sep 28, 2014
zin1953 in Wine
1

East Bay Seasonal Ingredients with Great Wine List?

>>> The original post seems clear to me as well. <<<

Yes, Robert, by all means, let's have another debate -- this one on what constitutes a great wine list -- but can we save this for a different thread?

I'm glad that you and Melanie have such clarity in life, but for me, a wine list does not have to be large to be great. It seems to me that the OP believes otherwise -- to wit, "None of these have what I would really call a top notch wine list, although Chez Panisse and Rivoli do have nice medium size lists that are very well selected and far better than most wine lists." The implication, at least as *I* take it, is that "a nice medium size list" is too small to be great. The era of large, "telephone book" wine lists is mostly a thing of the past, except for some specific establishments (Bern's is the poster child for this), or in certain "destination cities" like Las Vegas -- where, quite often, restaurants don't need to worry as much about how much is tied up in inventory as elsewhere.

I thought *you* had a very good, even superior list, Robert -- but no one would ever accuse it of being large and extensive. How much could you afford to tie up in inventory?

RN74 is, I agree, "the obvious choice," but wine lists like that are few and far between. Gary Danko has a very impressive wine list, but it impresses as much for the size of its markups as for its selection. It's impressive, but for that reason, I don't think it's a great list.

As I said, we can debate it all we want, but let's do it in a different thread.

SF Foodies Visiting in 2 weeks

For a more "refined, elegant" atmosphere (without being stuffy), I'd seriously look at Bayona. For a more"laid back, down home" atmosphere, check out Patois.

Sep 28, 2014
zin1953 in New Orleans

East Bay Seasonal Ingredients with Great Wine List?

Melanie, you obviously have more experience than I . . . ;^)

I presume you have been to all of the above restaurants mentioned by name in the OP's original post. The OP describes a wine list that would ABSOLUTELY be the death of most of the places that he then goes on to mention specifically, to wit: Rivoli, Commis, Cafe Rouge, and Corso.

For a wine list to have "a good range of bottles in the upper end . . . $150-$300," it HAS to be a large list. Thus my question. No restaurant, save possibly Oliveto with its "Wine In Time" program, fits the OP's criteria. Can you picture a restaurant like Commis with a 10,000 bottle list? Corso? What about Rivoli or Café Rouge?

Do you personally believe all the other restaurants mentioned above have a horrible wine list? Neither do I. Thus my request for a definition, and my subsequent examples of why *I* think constitutes a great list. There are any number of ways to create and maintain a great wine list . . .

East Bay Seasonal Ingredients with Great Wine List?

Robert, why does everything with you turn into some sort of on-going debate?

They *aren't* the "same ones that are in cases out on the floor." Overwhelmingly, that wall is filled with wines from either the previous vintage, the last few bottles from the current vintage (all the cases being sold out; thus the expression, "odds & ends"), or OLDER wines from -- I don't know -- Kermit's personal cellar? some obscure corner of the warehouse containing forgotten wines? who knows where?

All I know is that's where I picked up some older bottles of Méo-Camuzet, Domaine Maume, Domaine Tempier, Vieux Télégraphe and others . . . .