Archive for the ‘Wine’ Category

Or very rarely does.
I’ve had the opportunity either through work or with friends to help people develop their palate. I’m certainly no mega-taster (Robert Parker) I’ve just been able to find a way to get people to enjoy wine and get them to feel more confident in expressing what a wine is telling them.

Smell is the most closely linked sense to memory
This probably sounds familiar. Think of the TV show character Monk as he smells the pillow of Trudy, his deceased wife. Her scent allows him to reconnect with her even thought she’s long since passed. The opposite can hold true as well, just the thought of your first girlfriend may remind you of jasmine, the smell of her perfume.

Try and incorporate memories into when you’re tasting wine. If you’re tasting a Sancerre and it reminds you of passing through a stream while camping, or the first time you had Pellegrino that will be infinitely more helpful than saying that it tastes like grapes. Mine that information, your memories are informing your palate, and will help you in describing the wine. Mineral water is known for the taste of limestone, and in the stream there are stones that give a smell known in wine parlance as wet stone (not making that up)

Wine may not taste like grapes, but this wine sure smells like…
Raisins, or apricots, or cherries, or… If you are getting more interested in wine should and wish to further develop your tasting skills, go to the market put your shnoz on every thing you can find -especially the produce section. Take a whiff of some cherries and tell yourself, this is what cherries smell like. Like athletes building up muscle memory, sommeliers/winos train to develop scent memory. Since most fruits aren’t always in season it gives you an exercise year all long

As much as I hate the saying that “wine is bottled poetry,” tasting wines and allowing them to reminisce certainly gives some credence to the quote.


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I’ve been wanting to do an underground restaurant kind of thing for some time. I’m finally going to make it happen, somehow.

The goal is to have it once a month consisting of a different theme. I hope to put out about 7 dishes with a target price of $15 a person, or $20 for food and wine/beer.

Figuring I’ll have to front supplies, having a reservation policy and holding people accountable is only fair. If they’re a no-show and I can’t find someone else who’d like to join. I’ll have to have a reservation policy of 48 hours, otherwise if the reso doesn’t get filled by somebody else, I’ll have a nice gift basket of food for you 🙂

If anyone out there in intornet lands hosts one as well, I’d be very interested in what you are doing.

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I just popped open a nice bottle of Domaine Tempier Bandol. I’ve never had Bandol before but after reading about it in A Hedonist in the Cellar and have been tempted ever since.

I was able to find one the other day and have been itching to open it since. Chez Panisse has had one on their wines by the glass list since they’ve opened, so I figured it’s a natural for food. I had some braised pork belly done with some soy sauce, shaoxing wine, 5 spice, and lemongrass in the fridge. The two seemed like a fit, for some unknown reason. As it turns out, my hunch served me well.

Pairing asian food with wine has been an ongoing area of study. Seems like old world is the only way to go.

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Itinerary for wine tasting in Napa

Since working in Napa, friends have asked for recommendations. I’ve even been told that I should make a living by bringing 20 somethings out on tastings. That ‘d be the life.

Start at Beringer

Lunch at Taylor’s



Opus One


Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars


Dinner at Don Giovanni






Top Picks

Provenance (SH) – really good cabs

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars (SL)

Opus One (O) – just go for the architecture, it’s way too pricey for a tasting

Nickel and Nickel (O) – reservations required

Cosentino’s (Y) – is nice because they have a large selection to taste from, a chance to taste some expensive stuff

Darioush (N) – modern day Persepolis


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