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Posts posted by WineMiles

  1. I recently got to taste an SB from a winery that specializes in SB only. Sauvignon Republic's first offering is a 2003 Russian River Valley SB. A New Zealand and Loire Valley release are coming in the next 12 months.

    The Russian River SB is everything that is good about SB. Citrus and floral nose. More of the same with grassiness in your mouth and a nice long finish.

    I tend to like wines that aren't afraid to stand up and be counted with a bold taste and full nose, that's why I really like this wine.

  2. If you are like me, when eating in a group, you'll order a chicken, beef and pork or seafood dish together. That makes the pairing rather difficult. Often times, I vary the spiciness in the dishes I order too.

    I'm going to agree with Carolyn's suggestion to try a good Pinot Noir. They usually won't overpower delicate foods and have enough back bone to stand up to the more flavorful dishes.

    A good white wine alternative would be a good Fruity/Grassy Sauvignon Blanc. The tropical fruit flavors often associated with SB could be very complimentary to some chinese dishes.

  3. You know the main reason screw caps haven't caught on?


    Those machines at the winery that insert the corks are VERY expensive. Even a small winery can spend upwards of $100K on a corking machine for their bottling line. Wineries need to get some return on that investment and push the machinery to the point of breakdowns before they can really even think of changing their closure systems.

    More and more wines are coming out with screw tops and I would imagine that we'll see them on all the low to mid priced wines by 2010.

  4. That's awesome that you hit Taylor's refresher and Bubba's. As locals we get so many people asking us for restaurant recommendations that we rarely think to recommend all the really cool places. Next time check out Silverado Brewing Company. Good BBQ and good beer too. Glad you had a good time. Come back and see us again.

  5. Chefwoody,

    check out La Toque in Rutherford. Same sampler style as the Laundry at a fraction of the cost. They also have a great wine pairing for each course and an incredible optional cheese course.

    My wife took me there for my 40th. It was incredible. Because it was a surprise, I brought my own bottle of '86 BV George La Tour. Next time, I would go with their suggested wine pairing at $50 additional. We had a wonderful 3 hours where I had the opportunity to try things I wouldn't normally see elsewhere. I recommend and will be returning as soon as I can.

  6. As a Napa local, you can do pretty well at the Napa Wineries They give us a locals only discount.

    Check out: wine-searcher.com

    Chances are, you'll find a vendor close to you that has great prices and won't have any shipping issues.

    Of course, if you live in Pennsylvannia, your screwed. Since all direct wine shipping is illegal in Penn., even if the current Supreme Court case regarding interstate shipping falls to the side of the wine industry, no one will be able to ship to Penn.

    There are a handful of other states Utah, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky where it is a felony for anyone to ship wine directly to a consumer.

    The whole shipping thing is very messy right now. You need to understand your state's laws regarding the direct shipping of wine before you go out and get disappointed by the on-line communities possible inability to serve you.

  7. TFL was closed to construct a new kitchen. Additionally, they added a new state of the art climate control system that utilizes a series of deep wells dug into the ground. From a customer perspective, the experience is supposed to be unchanged.

    As far a reservations go. You can use the traditional call-in approach or go to: OpenTable.com

    Having used OpenTable in the past for Martini house reservations, I recently received an update email that listed TFL as a new restaurant that they handled reservations for. Still only 2 months in advance though.

  8. Yeah that is total B.S. Our site is very clear about shipping and it allows you to choose which method you want and can afford. I'd complain loudly.

  9. Since the brine soaks into the meat, it really isn't anymore explosive than a fresh bird. But a frozen turkey... that shits scary when dropped into the oil. Whenever I fire up the fryer I tell the neighbors and I do birds for them too. But I always tell them, fresh only and if they bring me a thawed out frozen bird, their banned for life.

  10. I've been deep frying turkeys every thanksgiving and on other special occassions for almost 15 years now. This last Thanksgiving was the first time I brined the turkey as well. Since I didn't have an unbrined bird to directly compare to, I wasn't sure it was worth the effort.

    Has anyone else tried this and what were your findings?

    BTW I always inject the birds with a spicy, garlic, butter sauce.

  11. On a past Good Eats episode Alton Brown said the same thing. Also got the same info from America's Test Kitchen. I can't stand overcooked pork chops. Medium-rare is soo much better. Especially with a big thick bone in chop. Now a days my biggest complaint about Pork is that it can be dry. Again both of the afforementioned shows brined their Chops before cooking.

  12. Find the closest Micro-brewery and go order a sampler. You'll be presented with 5 or more shots of the different beers they serve. Pick the one you like, order a pint of it and enjoy. Try to find out what style it is and then start trying other beers of similar style.

    You know, all the good wine makers drink beer.

  13. I gotta chime in with the anti-Tra Vigna crowd. My last meal there was only average. Don Giovanni is good but it can be really loud if you eat inside. I may be a little burnt out on Don Giovanni though.

    The Yountville staples of Bistro Jeanty, Pere Jeanty, Hurley's, Bouchon are all good options. Although I had a bad experience at Bouchon and won't be returning. Don't miss Margarita's at Compadres if your in Yountville.

    In St. Helena, Martini house is the best. Cindy's Back Street Kitchen is another sure fire choice. The CIA's Greystone restaurant is good. But there are better choices. Don't miss 1351 lounge for Cosmos or Martinis. They infuse their own Vodka there.

    The ZuZu suggestion is a good one and you could eat only in downtown Napa for your entire stay and have some really good meals. Cole's Chop House, Celadon, Tuscany, Allegeria, Belle Arti, Pearl's, Uva, Kelly's all serve excellent food. Another newer place in the Hatt Building that I can't remember the name of is supposed to be pretty good. I haven't been there yet, but my wife thought it was good. Maybe another local can help me out here.

    For a really good meal that in my opinion rivals the French Laundry, check out La Toque in Rutherford. Same sampler style as the Laundry at a fraction of the cost. They also have a great wine pairing for each course and an incredible optional cheese course.

  14. Just about all the restaurants at Epcot are very good. I've eaten at the Italian, French and German places. Alfredo's (Italian) is related to the restaurant in Italy that created Fettucini Alfredo. My kids loved it.

    For a fun meal, Check out the Sci-Fi Dine-in theater at MGM. The Brown Derby in MGM gets my vote too.

    Last time we stayed at the Wilderness lodge and the main restaurant, Artist's Point was very good and had a nice wine pairing. Also their family style restaurant, Whispering Canyon Cafe was great for the kids.

    If you can, start making all your reservations now. Otherwise, your in for a long wait at the door.

  15. I just did a search on Wine Spectator for Zinfandels rated 90 or above from 2000 or higher in vintage, that turned up 33 wines. Seghesio, Rosenblum and Turley dominated the list. Now factor in that most wineries don't even submit their stuff for rating...

    Not a single Ravenswood was listed. Frankly, I'm not real impressed with most of Ravenswood's offerings. Here in California it is a supermarket wine that most self respecting wine shops (ours included) do not carry. I think that their offerings pre-buyout by Constellation Brands were better and some of their higher end stuff is drinkable. But, I'd try something else first.

  16. Front Street which runs along the bank of the Russian River is host to a number of great wineries. Davis Family Vineyards, Camellia, Holdredge, Huntington and Sapphire Hill all have tasting rooms on Front Street. The Davis Family "Old Vine" Zinfandel and their NZ Sauvignon Blanc are not to be missed. Other areas of Healdsburg are equally compelling. The Chalk Hill appellation is host to Chalk Hill Estates, Chateau Felice, Lancaster Estate, and Medlock Ames.

    Additionally, Healdsburg is becoming quite the Foodie destination. Zinfandel, Chez Felice, Felix and Louis, Ravenous and the Dry Creek Grill all serve excellent food.

  17. My Dad was Polish and after he passed away, my brothers and I picked some gems from his liquor cabinet. Since then, I've done some research on Polish Vodka and I look for new stuff whenever I find a good liquor store. Probably my favorite so far is Krolewska. One of the bottles I got from Dad's stash was a bottle of Zubrowka that he brought back from Poland. Very interesting flavor almost like liquorice.

    My favorite domestic is Hangar One.

    I keep a bottle of Hangar One and whatever Polish Product I'm currently trying in the Freezer at all times.

    I'm really thirsty now...

  18. I've got to get in my vote for "The Big Night" soundtrack. Louis Prima, Rosemary Clooney... Now that's music.

    Sometimes, I tune the DirecTV to "Big Band and Swing", "Alternative", "Metal" or "Sounds of the season"

    Brian Setzer, either with the Orchestra or just the Rockabilly power trio.

    I know... my musical tastes are sort of all over the place.

  19. Ok. Since I've never seen any of the wines you guys are talking about, I've got to assume you are in the eastern half of the U.S.

    Out here in California, we rarely see imports. I have to admit that I am completely lost when ya'll start talking imports. Some names I recognize, but others...

    Does anyone in the bay area know of some shops that carry the imports? Some of our distributors carry them, but we've decided to focus our offerings on the products of California. Occassionally letting in an outstanding Oregon product.

  20. Whenever my wife or kids get sick, I make chicken soup for them. My wife swears it cures her everytime. In fact, she has had a lingering cough for the last few weeks and told me last night that she would be all better if I'd made some soup for her.

    My chicken soup is pretty close to a gumbo in that I use a roux to thicken it and I make sure to carmelize all the tasty bits before I add the homemade roasted chicken stock to the pot. Served over fussili it will cure what ails ya'.

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