Monday, October 22, 2007

Ash trays full? Replace the car!

How could this happen? I moved into my new house six years ago and built a cellar that was supposed to take me into the end of my wine drinking days. You guessed it, it's almost full. By the frequency of my tasting notes lately you can see I'm obviously not drinking enough. Either I need company (I hate to drink alone) or I'm going to have a wino garage sale.

My too small storage area experienced technical difficulties a couple of weeks ago as my P.O.S. Breezaire unit underwent cardiac arrest. Luckily I found a local commercial refrigeration guy who came up with a solution that should last. Thanks Fred. Anyone planning to build a cellar should look into a commercial unit. Humidity can be controlled and these suckers are built to last.

I'm still weighing my options for long term storage on the ridiculous amount of juice I have coming in 2008. This week I'm going to look at an offsite facility in NY. I'll let you all know how it works. On the other hand, there's always a larger house........

Dinner on Saturday night:
Le Rendez Vous-520 Kenilworth Boulevard, Kenilworth NJ

Old faithful. This 38 seat bistro with it's casual decor is one of my local favorites. They offer a four course tasting menu for $55 or you can opt for dinner ala carte. There's a limited selection but something for everyone.

The wines:

2004 Domaine Vincent Girardin Meursault 1er Cru Les Charmes-Dessus: I don't buy enough of Girardin's wines. Quality for the money seems to always be high and I flat out like their wines. This opened with a nose of tropical fruits. The first sips showed the acidity which characterizes the vintage, but after 1/2 hour the wine became rounder and fuller in the mouth. The group moved on to reds but I drained this bottle. $50 and I'm buying more.

2003 Williams Selyem Sonoma Pinot Noir-I don't have a real note. I was busy Bogarting the Meursault this one got polished off by the rest of the group. I got one sip. It was soft, fruity, not overdone. Very nice for this night.

2004 Kracher Beerenauslese cuvee-Lovely notes of apricot. In the mouth the wine has great viscosity without heaviness. Everyone liked it. $25 for 375ml. I'd definitely buy it again.

On my way out of the restaurant I noticed a table of 4 sipping a 1905 D'Oliveira Verdelho. I asked them how it was and that I just finished a 1922 Boal from the same producer. They were nice enough to offer me some and it was just exquisite. Thanks Andy!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Vegas and vino

2004 Jean-Luc Colombo Côtes du Rhône Les Forots Vieilles Vignes

Sometimes it takes something you hate to get you back on track. The above mentioned wine was recommended to me by a local retailer who told me a large portion of the grapes were sourced from Cornas and others border the same area. While we're on the subject, I get get numerous emails from retailers touting location. "This vineyard is located right next door to Chateau Latour!" "Just a few steps away from Ch. Petrus" "The next door neighbor of Ch. Lafite Rothschild!". Is that supposed to mean something to me? Plenty of neighbors are assholes (not mine of course). If these properties were such undiscovered gems wouldn't it them make sense that the much larger, famous, and cash rich buddies next door would purchase them?

Back to the wine. That's the last time I ever buy something because of location. The wine was completely uninspiring. There were no real flaws to speak of but absolutely nothing to get excited about either. I took two sips and headed for the drain. The remainder of the bottle should work well in tonight's veal stew. Price tag: $18. Quite expensive for cooking wine.

This week's purchases: Magnums of 2005 Clos des Papes-$135 (An absolute steal)
Lamy Pillot Chassagne Montrachet 2005 Les Bois-$40 (this was a reload for me having made my initial purchase 5 months ago)
2005 Gérard Boulay Sancerre Les Monts Damnés- $30 I love the house style

I just got back from Las Vegas and have to mention the finest Thai restaurant I've ever eaten in. Lotus of Siam sits in a parking lot diagonally across from The Green Door, one of the city's famous sex clubs. It doesn't look like much (LOS not the Green Door) from the outside or inside for that matter but what awaits is an experience not to be missed. Sixty or so wine geeks gathered to share and taste wine but the star was the food. Dishes such as Thai beef jerky, drunken noodles with sea bass, and grilled squid salad poured on the flavor and heat until we couldn't eat anymore. The wine was good too. I find myself daydreaming about the meal and can't wait to return. I only wish there was something in the NY area that came close. I can't recommend this place any higher. The picture in the upper left is one of the shrimp dishes.