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Brad Ballinger

eGullet Society staff emeritus
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    St. Paul, Minnesota

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  1. I would not make the trade. You should be able to find that vintage of Les Terraces rather easily in the Los Angeles area, and it will likely be under $30, especially if on sale. You can certainly find other vintages, too. Palacios makes other priorat wines that are designed for the long haul. Les Terraces can be enjoyed now or later.
  2. Ditto for me. And I end up going out to dinners with some Twin Citites wine enthusiast types where we each bring wines. I feel like a cheapskate at times since the wines I'm bringing are generally lower-priced than the industry or media darling wines brought by others. Yet, I've often found the wines I bring "hold their own" or are sometimes preferred to wines that costs two or three times as much.
  3. Had some friends over on July 3 for dinner. Starter of variations of goat cheeses, entree of grilled pork tenderloin with cascabel chile honey glaze. Dessert of cherry cobbler. 2003 Schloss Gobelsburg Zobinger Heiligenstein Riesling, Langenlois. I’m not sure I’d pick this out as a riesling if I didn’t see the label. Fat stone fruit. Low acidity. Viscous mouthfeel. And not as dry as one might expect. Lacking minerality. Just weird. 2005 Nicolas Paget “Harmonie” Touraine Azay-Le-Rideau. Oh my, does this go down easy. Lighter-bodied, harmonious balance (have to steal the word from the
  4. Pineau de Charentes is really more of a cognac. Serve nuts. The salmon would be fine with the Carbonnieux. No cream sauce, though. Oxtail would be fine with the Lynch-Bages. The wine, however, isn't going to be as structured/complex as other vintages, but should do okay. With the recioto serve parmesan-reggiano and similar hard, aged cheeses.
  5. Brad Ballinger


    Not with the company that called you, but with others. I don't buy wine (or anything) over the phone unless I'm the one placing the call.
  6. A very good Chinon producer in that price range (and probably even less) is Charles Joguet. They also make a Chinon Rose, which might be a better match for these dishes. I'd probably go white. An Alsatian producer, Josmeyer, uses organic methods and produces Pinot Gris (for your first course), Gewurztraminer (for your second), and Riesling (for your third). All at the low end of your price range, if not lower. The only exception might be if you seek out the "Le Dragon" bottling of their Riesling. For your dessert, many people like muscat with chocolate and berries. Others prefer something
  7. First, have beer available. Lots of it. But good stuff. Red: Just go with a Ravenswood Vintner's Blend Zin or Cline Old Vines. White: Pierre Sparr "One" or Hugel Gentil or Bonny Doon Pacific Rim Riesling. Pink: Rosa del Golfo Rosato or Domaine Fonsante Vin Gris.
  8. Do Oklahoma laws allow you to receive wine shipped from other states? If not, my suggest would be to go to the nearest wine retailer with the best reputation or largest selection. If there are no Albarino wines there, ask the person in charge if any distributors they work with carry any Albarino in their portfolios. This will probably be whoever provides the retail with most of the Spanish wines. Assuring the retailer you're good for a case may get one ordered for you. You may have to travel to Tulsa or OK City to make that happen. If that's where you are and you strike out, and if Oklaho
  9. Brad Ballinger

    Mosel Wineries

    The good thing about where you are staying is that there are many towns in the immediate area (Graach, Wehlen, Urzig, Zell, I could go on) that have multiple producers each. Part of your fun will be just popping in on some of them. In Bernkastel, there is also a large tasting room that features dozens of producers from the area. In my experience, most places do not require an appointment. But I did not get to JJ Prum. I would definitely visit Christoffel and Merkelbach in Urzig.
  10. Another data point, but not much different from what's been stated already. I prefer to see a list that separates bubbles, whites, reds, and dessert/fortified. Within those categories, it doesn't matte that much to me how the wines are categorized as long as each contains the following information: vintage year (with the exception of N/V bubbly or certain ruby and tawny ports), region, and varietal. I would generally only prefer to see the varietal listed if it is actually listed on the bottle's label -- as is the case with most New World wines and some Italian wines. But I don't have any
  11. Brad Ballinger

    Wine fraud?

    Not much more to add to the above. The biggest scam potential and market for this sort of thing is with respect to wines being sold at auction. But not just for older vintage wines. Also, for in-demand wines regardless of vintage (think wines highly praised by certain critics). Does that mean a whlesaler or retailer couldn't fall prey to wine forgeries? Of course not. But most of these frauds are committed against the consumer directly.
  12. Brad Ballinger


    I think Jim meant Juge (Marcel Juge) and not Joge, if you end up trying to locate those wines. But I'm also writing to add support for what Jim had to write about Cornas. I've had the 1997 Clape (and I have one more bottle yet). It is ready now, and you won't need much aerating time, but may need to decant for sediment. One other tidbit: Cornas differes from a Northern Rhone appellation not yet mentioned, Cote Rotie, in that Cornas is 100% syrah and Cote Rotie wines will contain some viognier.
  13. I was in Ankeny on business recently. On previous visits, I had given up on finding anything good to eat around Ankeny, also known as the Franchise Capital of the World. It was usually a pizza order placed to Big Tomato and a bottle of wine in my hotel room. On this particular trip, however, I had a colleague along, and having her in my hotel room with a pizza might not be that cool, so we looked for somewhere around Des Moines to check out. I wanted to stay away from Trostel ventures (don't ask why), and other places I looked at were very pricey for a non-profit company's expense account.
  14. Yet, another update. Probably not the last. On my latest trip, I arrived in Pewaukee on a Monday night after seeing too many cars in the ditch to count -- big snowstorm. Needless to say, once I arrived at the hotel, I didn't venture out. Ordered a pizza from Marty's Pizza (not bad) and had some of my six pack of New Glarus Fat Suirrel (nut brown ale). The following night, with the roads cleared, I ventured to Nashotah and the Red Circle Inn on the recommendation of a co-worker and Saltydog who mentioned it in a PM. Here's the kind of place this is. If you can identify with the following yo
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