One of the most interesting aspects of the restaurant industry is pairing wine to food. The very complex matrix of understanding how they interact is really totally fascinating & compelling to say the least. I am so lucky to work with a group of chefs who are continuously churning out new foods. Here are some of the most recent–
The Anderson Valley is located in the western part of Mendocino. It is roughly 1 to 1 1/2 hours of winding road above Cloverdale in upper Sonoma. The Navarro River heads north & empties into the Pacific Ocean. It is that cut in the mountains which allows the cold ocean wind to creep into the valley, making it a very cool growing climate.
A customer 2 nights ago, asked me the difference…. between Barolo & Barbaresco. I thought that would make for an interesting blog…..especially if I could incorporate quotes from other notables on the subject. Just so you understand, There is NO ONE correct answer. It would therefore be crazy to generalize, as there are so many factors/variables which can influence the outcome. I am, however, just hoping by asking the questions, it will start the discussions….AND hopefully the comments from each will help to shed more light on the topic……from different perspectives. I have found that is a great way to learn.
It is really amazing how craft beers have thankfully caught on in the local restaurant scene, which has created more demand for importers & distributors to bring in a growing array of quality minded beers.
Fortunately, a real standout- Big Island Brewhaus, is local.
I first met brewmaster/owner Thomas Kerns when he helped open the Fish & Game Brewing Company in the late 1990’s over in Kahana, Maui. In the mid 2000’s the awards & accolades really starting rolling in & deservedly so and over time, Tom & his beers really developed quite a following. I was surprised to hear that Tom & his wife Jayne moved to Waimea over on the Big Island, first taking over a Mexican restaurant & finally starting to produce their craft beers again. In several recent tastings, these beers are really worth searching out for.
Here is a note I received from Bruce Neyers & Kermit Lynch about one of our favorite wines, which I thought you might find interesting.
“Recently, I had a chance to talk to Kermit about Didier and Catherine Champalou. We visited them last month with my traveling group, and as many of you have already heard the 2013 vintage in Vouvray was a disaster. Domaine Champalou lost almost 70% of their 2013 crop to a combination of hail, coulure and rain, and Kermit was interested to hear how they were dealing with this enormous economic setback. They were fine, I told him, and indeed despite an economic disaster that seems almost biblical, they were upbeat, enthusiastic and welcoming. Strong people. Kermit thought about it, and sent me the following note, which he entitled ‘From the Pencil of Kermit Lynch’……..” Bruce Neyers
Yes another Blind Tasting…..another opportunity to learn…to better understand what good wine can be……AND hopefully get better at listening what the wine wants to say….especially on this quality level.
2011 Domaine Dupeuble Beaujolais
After we finished our New Age Kaiseki @ Hiroshi Eurasion Tapas, we did a Blind Tasting with the “guest sommeliers” who poured wines for the dinner. Our goal was to show this new generations of wine professionals what our teachers from England referred to as bankers–typical, “spot on” wines.
Again, I don’t think we as an industry spend enough time teaching people what is good wine. Hopefully we accomplished that on this night, in a small way.
1995 Felsina Chianti Classico “Riserva”
I have mixed feelings on blind tastings. On one hand, I find that most tasters, will inevitably select their favorite of the line-up….& it usually is the biggest, blackest, loudest, more dramatic. While that is okay for most, I ask myself, what am I learning?
We, therefore, created these blind tasting opportunities at our VINO restaurant, so we all can walk away experiencing & learning other facets of wine enjoyment.
“NEW AGE” KAISEKI MENU
JANUARY 28, 2014
Mekajiki Carpaccio–sesame oil-chive relish, chili pepper water vinaigrette, micro greens and truffle oil
Braised Island Tako–seaweed salad, yuzukoshu, shiso and yuzu vinaigrette
Marinated Island Papaya & Seared Foie Gras–green papaya, sweet Thai chili and Thai basil chiffonade
“Surf and Turf”
oxtail chawan mushi spoon & Kauai shrimp with Chinese five spice dust