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zin1953's Profile

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Two Buck Chuck? No Thanks

Lagatta, by and large the stuff generally *is* crap -- technically sound, commercial-grade "plonk" that borders on "insipid." But it certainly is not flawed; it won't kill you; and obviously thousands and thousands of people not only drink it, but drink it REPEATEDLY!

Sunshine and I are in complete agreement on this score. Neither one of us (I'm sure) would drink it voluntarily, and the fact that someone else enjoys it tells us -- well, it certainly tells ME -- a lot about the individual's taste (and knowledge) when it comes to wine. And neither one of us would open a wine we adore for someone who adores 2BC . . . unless that individual is a student in one of my wine classes.

about 10 hours ago
zin1953 in Wine
1

5 lunches, 4 dinners

If it's not too late . . . I'd drop Bouchon entirely. I have eaten there twice, and it was SO MUCH WORSE than the Yountville location, I see no point in going a third time . . .

about 13 hours ago
zin1953 in Las Vegas

E by Jose Andres, any other secret restaurants?

Doesn't "other secret" imply that é is a secret? It's really not. (Hard to be a secret when you have a website, when there are at least 55 separate discussions on Chowhound involving é, when it's been the subject of articles by newspapers and magazines, when . . . .

Ah, well . . . the short answer is "none that I know of" -- after all, they're secret! ;^) -- but there are a number of restaurants with "Chef's Tables," apart from the main dining floor -- the Krug Room in Restaurant Guy Savoy, for example; Alain Ducasse's Mix has a Chef's Table, IIRC, as does Wolfgang Puck's Lupo, Scott Conant's Scarpetta, and many others.

about 14 hours ago
zin1953 in Las Vegas

Bacardi’s North America president resigns

Of course the article is "mis-titled," as it's written from the perspective of Let's Welcome The New Guy, as opposed to the (now) ex-CEO who resigned. The article does not say WHY he resigned -- NOR why the US National Sales Director ALSO resigned . . .

Inquiring minds . . . .

about 14 hours ago
zin1953 in Spirits

Bacardi makes unprecedented move into single malt Scotch whisky

Well, OK, "unprecedented" might be a bit much, but . . . (note: article consists of five separate [short] pages).

about 14 hours ago
zin1953 in Spirits

Blass blasts Treasury’s American venture

Well, Wolf Blass wines never did all that well here, and neither did Penfolds' entire lineup. Only Lindemans did reasonably well, and then only at the lower end of the range . . . .

about 18 hours ago
zin1953 in Wine

Restaurant Review - Japonais Morimoto

Sadly, this doesn't surprise me -- sounds like my experience at Morimoto's in Napa.

1 day ago
zin1953 in Chicago Area

Two Buck Chuck? No Thanks

Agreed . . .

1 day ago
zin1953 in Wine

What to do when the RESTAURANT cancels your reservations?

Well, as I said earlier, I emailed the restaurant to take them up on moving the dinner to Friday evening and was waiting to hear from them when I posted the original question.

Heard from the restaurant's General Manager, and we now have an 8:00 reservation for the next day, Friday! All that worked out perfectly! Now we'll have to see how the food is . . . I'll post a report next month! ;^)

1 day ago
zin1953 in Las Vegas

New York Department of Agriculture and Markets Announces Actions to Assist Farm Wineries Affected by Harsh Winter Conditions

Can you still be a "farm winery" if you're buying outside grapes, let alone grapes from another state??? Is this just a short-term effort aimed at helping wineries through a one-time grape shortage, or does buying V. vinifera from other states have long-term implications for NY State wineries as it a) may draw attention to the wines of other states, and b) cost "farm wineries" their unique identity of being local/regional that *that* place?

1 day ago
zin1953 in Wine

Two Buck Chuck? No Thanks

Technical foul: Boone's Farm was (is?) in a separate category of "pop wines," rather than in the category of "still table wine" that 2BC is in . . .

1 day ago
zin1953 in Wine

1970s cocktail?

I take it you've never had "Green Death" . . . .

Rainer BEER is still being brewed, albeit no longer in Seattle. It's now owned by Pabst, and is being brewed by Miller for them (IIRC).

But Green Death was never Rainer BEER. It was Rainer ALE . . . the one and only time I ever got truly sick from drinking was on Green Death . . . .

FWIW, the Rainier website you reference doesn't even mention their ale at all! Go figure . . .

2 days ago
zin1953 in Spirits

Two Buck Chuck? No Thanks

Exactly!

2 days ago
zin1953 in Wine

Two Buck Chuck? No Thanks

And how is that is disagreement with what I wrote?

Aug 18, 2014
zin1953 in Wine

What to do when the RESTAURANT cancels your reservations?

My wife and I are coming back to Vegas, as we always do in September, for a three-day conference. Since the SLS is opening August 23rd, and José Andres will have a new place there -- Bazaar Meat by José Andres -- so on July 1st, I made reservations for September. This afternoon, however, I received an email -- nice enough, by the way; very polite -- informing me that, due to a buyout of the entire restaurant for a private party, the restaurant has to cancel my reservations. They would like to accommodate our party either the day before (we're dining at é), or the day after (we're at Jean-Georges).

Clearly I'm not going to cancel é, but I moved Jean-Georges to Thursday. Now I'm waiting to hear from the restaurant to see if they can seat us on Friday, but I confess to being skeptical . . . not only is it my nature, but Open Table shows no reservations are available.

Ideas? Suggestions? Has this ever happened to anyone else? It's a first in my experience . . .

Aug 18, 2014
zin1953 in Las Vegas

Two Buck Chuck? No Thanks

. . . also true.

Aug 18, 2014
zin1953 in Wine

Two Buck Chuck? No Thanks

True . . .

Aug 18, 2014
zin1953 in Wine

Cherry Brandy - Cointreau?? Marnier?

And apparently I won't be bothering to look for it, either . . . ;^)

Aug 18, 2014
zin1953 in Spirits

Islamic State supporters planned attack on Carlsberg Malaysia brewery

I give up . . .

Aug 18, 2014
zin1953 in Beer

Buffalo Trace: We aren’t discontinuing our Bourbons

It's an interesting position to be in -- to have to tell people "we're still in business." Hmmmm . . . .

Aug 18, 2014
zin1953 in Spirits

Cherry Brandy - Cointreau?? Marnier?

There are DOZENS of Cherry Brandies produced in the world, along with many more cherry FLAVORED brandies (such as the DeKuyper you referenced above) and many cherry liqueurs.

True cherry brandy is usually colorless and is distilled from the actual cherries themselves. Known as Kirsch, Kischwasser, or Cerise, these famous eaux-de-vie are dry, and filled with the essence of cherry. Typically very aromatic, these historically come from Alsace (France), Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, and parts of the former Yugoslavia. These are sipped, often chilled, as a digestif, or served to accompany cheese and some desserts, or coffee. Some producers make it here in the United States as well. Etter of Switzerland is my favorite.

Then there are cherry FLAVORED brandies, like the DeKuyper. These are grape brandies -- often cheap, mass produced brandies, especially domestically (U.S.-made) -- with cherries and/or natural- and/or artificial flavors added. Read the label carefully. Few of these (again, especially domestically) are very good.

Finally there are the cherry liqueurs. These often have a brandy (or in the case of Cherry Marnier, a Cognac) base, but will have some noticeable sweetness to them as well. These are served at room temperature, alone of with coffee, and play a role in many cocktail recipes.

Aug 18, 2014
zin1953 in Spirits

Cherry Brandy - Cointreau?? Marnier?

Yes, VERY DIFFERENT than DeKuyper . . .

From the Grand Marnier website, "Grand Marnier Cherry is an elegant blend of our world-renowned Grand Marnier made with our exceptionally smooth Cognac, wild tropical Haitian oranges and tantalizing European Griotte cherries."

See http://www.grand-marnier.com/index.ph... for more; they also, apparently, make a Raspberry version which I have never seen . . .

Aug 18, 2014
zin1953 in Spirits

Cherry Brandy - Cointreau?? Marnier?

Your brother-in-law is not crazy. Here is the proof . . .

That said, there is NO reference to Cointreau's Cherry Brandy on *either* the company's French or US websites.

Aug 18, 2014
zin1953 in Spirits

Great Pinot Noir under $20 -- Is there such a thing?

>>> (There is a reason I have managed to stay married for almost 30 years and counting.) <<<

True Dat! ;^)

Aug 18, 2014
zin1953 in Wine

Winemakers rally to oppose ban on new vineyards in newly-created Malibu Coast AVA

Apparently you can have your wine, but not your grapes . . . what's the point of having an AVA???

(OK, that's potentially an entirely different discussion . . . )

Aug 18, 2014
zin1953 in Wine

Does Bubba Gumps Have the best Turtle Soup in New Orleans?

Danger! Danger! Warning, Will Robinson . . . Thread Drift Approaching!!!

First, let's separate the coffee house/café -- whether it be PJ's or Community Coffee; Fair Grinds Coffee House or Velvet -- from true, sit-down restaurants -- be they high-end places like August, Galatoire's, or Bayona; or more casual places like Patois, The Joint, or Upperline -- and carve out a third category for your classic diner/coffee shop like Clover Grill, Waffle House, or Denny's.

And keep in mind most of this is *not* restricted to New Orleans.

The last category is easily dismissed. They all have Bunn brewing equipment, brew lots of coffee constantly (drip), and it's never that great, but it's hot and strong and goes well with the bacon-and-eggs or waffle at breakfast.

Other (non-coffee shop) sit-down restaurants cannot do espresso to save their lives. No one is trained on the equipment, or -- even if given a quick, cursory lesson -- they don't pull enough shots to *stay* trained. Ordering an espresso here is the kiss of death. I'm always pleasantly surprised if they brew their cups individually, say in a French press or with a small drip cone and pot, and such coffee can be quite tasty. If, on the other hand, they use the classic Bunn brewers, it will all-too-often be burnt and bitter from sitting on the burner too long. Yuck.

Now we come to the coffee house, and this is where New Orleans is unlike any other city that I travel to regularly, the espresso here SUCKS! I've been disappointed so many times, that I've surrendered.

I'm quite content to stay with my café au lait's . . .

Aug 17, 2014
zin1953 in New Orleans

1970s cocktail?

I shudder at the thought . . . appropriate though.

Aug 17, 2014
zin1953 in Spirits

Does Bubba Gumps Have the best Turtle Soup in New Orleans?

Glad to hear you had such a fun (and delicious) time . . . it's what makes us "frequent flyers" on the SFO/OAK-MSY route!

One thing: New Orleans doesn't do coffee -- at least not to what you'd expect here in the SF Bay Area. I gave up a long time ago on ever finding a good (let alone great) espresso or cappuccino there. It's always hit-and-miss, as I've never had a good one in the same place twice!

But when in New Orleans, I just have my café au lait with coffee & chicory and I am a happy camper. I've even made it back here at home . . . no. It was good, but not as good (and certainly not as special) as having it *in* New Orleans itself. Yes, factoring in the airfare, that café au lait is rather expensive but then again, I'm in New Orleans! Who could ask for more? ;^)

Aug 17, 2014
zin1953 in New Orleans

Are there brandies/cognacs/armagnacs as good as French ones made elsewhere?

In all honesty, the more I think about it, you ended up with the PERFECT choice . . . no thanks to me. I prefer drinking Korbel to Paul Masson, on those rare occasions I drink one or the other. (Generally, I don't; I only taste them as a judge at the California State Fair; phased more correctly, Korbel would be my choice if I had to drink one or the other.) But that said, Paul Masson is the better choice for infusions *precisely* because of its lightness.

I'm glad it worked out well, and I'm thankful the Korbel wasn't available! ;^)

/\/\/\/\/\

I would repeat the previous recommendation of trying Germain-Robin if you ever get the chance . . . NOT for infusing, but as a very fine California alambic brandy (in the style of a Cognac), but sadly it's not carried in NH.

Aside from the Kelt, you might want to try this one offered by the NH system: http://www.liquorandwineoutlets.com/p...

Aug 17, 2014
zin1953 in Spirits

1970s cocktail?

Thanks for the agreement . . . can I just pick one nit?

1971 was a crucial year in the history of Anchor, but . . .

According to Anchor's own website (and labels) -- see http://www.anchorbrewing.com/brewery/... -- Anchor Brewing Co. was founded in 1896 when the original brewery founded by Gottlieb Brekle in 1871 was purchased and re-named by Ernst F. Baruth and his son-in-law, Otto Schinkel, Jr. After changing hands a few times, closing during Prohibition, and again for one year in 1959, Anchor re-opened in 1960 but was on the verge of bankruptcy by 1965 when Fritz Maytag purchased 51 percent ownership in Anchor, and the brewing continued. Fritz subsequently bought the rest, and from then until 1971, invested heavily in cleaning up the brewery, installing newer, more modern equipment, and learned about brewing from start-to-finish.

What 1971 produced was the first BOTTLED Anchor Steam Beer in, as the website says, "modern times" -- which I take to mean since sometime prior to Prohibition. And there is no doubting how crucial that was to the history of what is now called "craft brewing" in the U.S.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\

Despite the OP's Seattle location, I suppose he could retain "period authenticity" for the party by serving Coors and Anchor Steam . . . how's THAT for a combination??? ;^)

Aug 17, 2014
zin1953 in Spirits
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