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Everything posted by jbonne

  1. it is pretty much impossible to go wrong from Thierry's menus, or book. his food is exquisite across the board, and that's one heck of a gift your friend has scored.
  2. jbonne

    Box Wine for Cooking

    any of the ones recommended to drink are generally great for cooking -- Black Box, Hardys, Banrock Station, &c. personally, i remain partial to the Three Thieves 1-liter Tetra Prismas, especially the whites, since the smaller format is quite conducive to the kitchen.
  3. jbonne

    Sangiovese in the US

    can't speak to the price-value bit, Rose, but i can say that Leonetti's sangio has never disappointed, which is a rare thing for me to say. it's probably the least expensive entry into the Leonetti portfolio, and remains one of the wines of theirs i enjoy the most. i know their mailing list has frustrated you in the past, but see if you can find a bottle on the open market. in Walla Walla, at least, you can occasionally hunt one down for market price, no need to buy the full 2.5 cases. better yet, strike a deal to go in on it with a few folks.
  4. in NYC, it's not such a problem. if any presumptive New Yorker tells you the best pastrami can be found anywhere but Katz's, you can clearly deduce that they're ignorant, or crazy, or both.
  5. jbonne

    Old-School Napa?

    thanks, Max. just quickly on the Ridge Monte Bello, we discussed requesting it for the tasting, but opted not to -- not because anyone doubt's Paul Draper's talents, but because we needed some geographical limits. (thousands of miles or no, the Napa vs. Santa Cruz vs. California overall geography differences are hardly subtle.) i also wish we had been able to include the Mayacamas, which was the other wine from the Paris tasting. the point on pricing is well taken.
  6. jbonne

    Old-School Napa?

    the Judgment of Paris threads (both Taber and the Chronicle-Shanken scuffle) don't quite seem to address this, so i'll float this out there and then step back and lurk, since my views were expressed in the published piece. for Father's Day, we did a broad tasting of most of Napa's big established names, tasting many of their most-popular Cabs up to a price limit of about $115. results can be found here: Napa's defining wines stick to their roots of the six wineries included in the original Paris tasting, we included four whose reds were tasted, plus Montelena, whose chardonnay won the original title. the question of whether Napa is worth the money is frequently circled back to, so i'm curious, in this forum, what experiences have been with these stalwarts and others.
  7. jbonne

    wine with Korean food

    adding to the riesling, gewurz and Beaujolais items ... -Chinon, or other Loire reds. they have the smoke notes for bbq, but not the weight of zin. we personally tested this theory within the past week or so. -pinot gris, esp. Alsatian. -NV Champagne or other young, straightforward bubbly. or a German brut sekt.
  8. jbonne

    Oregon Pinot Noir

    the correlations to Victoria -- and esp. to Tasmania -- are pretty good. i suspect OR draws an even stronger line to your Kiwi counterparts. no clue what might make its way down there, but of the list i saw on Winesearcher available in AUS stores, i'd specifically suggest: Elk Cove, Evesham Wood, Rex Hill, Cristom, Domaine Serene, Patricia Green, and especially Chehalem and Stoller. of course, there's a lot of '03s on the market, so you might want to choose carefully. Chehalem, which is one of the older and more non-interventionist wineries, ended up with ABV over 15 percent in its 2003s. (it's an indicator of what happened to wines that were left alone and not ... let's not say watered back, but in the words of one Oregon winemaker, acidified with very weak acid.) here's the tech sheet on the Chehalem '03 3 Vineyards, if you're interested.
  9. rubber ring: inert synthetic, as MaxH notes. some models do have a rubber ring, but neither part comes in contact with the wine (that i can recall, i have to take another look). as to aging, it's a toss-up, but no more so than with screwcaps or even cork. but it's also worth me asking Alcoa next time i ping them. opening: think like a T-top, but slightly easier since it's tapered. and it generally snaps on and off with a satisfying thwack thanks to the snug O-ring. one thumb under the lip is generally enough to open, and one thumb on top to close. it's far more graceful than a T-top or screwcap. in fact, ease of use was one of its biggest selling points to me. on its side: was never an issue for us in several weeks of storing the bottles (full of water) on their sides in the fridge. (and yes, it's a valid issue for those of us with smaller fridges.) no leaking whatsoever. certainly more than i can say for recorked wines.
  10. this has been in the works for a while, as MaxH notes. the Vino-Lok stoppers are nothing short of brilliant, and not just for their TCA-free properties. i've encountered 'em in several German rieslings and spatburgunders; they work great for resealing the riesling and keeping it fresh for a week or more in the fridge. (plus the empty bottles make for great water containers at table.) in March i noticed that Oregon's Sineann has begun sealing its higher-end red wines with the stoppers, and some Californians have since followed suit. way better than screwcaps (at least aesthetically) and a trend i'd be perfectly happy to see continue. [edited to add a missing verb]
  11. jbonne

    Oregon Pinot Noir

    though A to Z's wine is probably lighter-bodied than most from 2003, i'd say the quick answer is: no. 2003 was a nightmarishly hot summer not only in Burgundy but Oregon too, and the resultant wines have a fruit density, and a weight, that to me is completely atypical of Oregon. wines almost uniformly surpassed 14 percent and sometimes even peaked above 15. the fruit notes are more often of the stewed and cooked variety than fresh (so if you detected fresh, you're ahead of the game). the '03s can make for tasty wines to lovers of a certain style of pinot -- notably the Russian River and the more concentrated Santa Barbara styles. they're just not typical Oregon. what i would say is that if you enjoyed the '03 A to Z, consider it a good introduction to Oregon's potential, if not its typicity. seek out some '02s or '04s for comparison, which are likely to be more classic -- fresh strawberry and herb, rather than the darker, denser notes. Craig Camp, i'm sure, may have further insights.
  12. jbonne

    Wine Blogging Wednesday

    thanks! i occasionally check IMBB, but not nearly enough. and need to pester Lenn anyway ...
  13. jbonne

    Wine Blogging Wednesday

    i occasionally dip into WBW by request, but never quite figured out how to get myself into the loop on a regular basis. being, y'know, a slacker blogger and all. any words of wisdom, Alberto?
  14. sorry to do this to you, Rose, but shall we turn this question around and posit: Does anyone here (here being a blog-friendly habitat as is) not turn to blogs for wine blather? Disclaimer #1: With full credit and respect to Mr. Rogov, who makes an excellent point about signal-noise ratios on most blogs, wine or otherwise. Disclaimer #2: Question posed as someone who recently addressed a room full of food types and exhorted them all not to start blogging, for the exact signal-noise problems mentioned above. Disclaimer #3: Despite my tending to agree on the signal-noise issue, I am a perpetrator myself. [edited to add a needed space]
  15. way more complicated than it needs to be. buy a standard pizza stone for $40 and use that. i documented a technique for it for a piece last year, and we've had successful results with a standard stone for years.
  16. any idea whether it's BYO until they get a liquor license, or a permanent policy?
  17. seems like the right place to post ... y'all might find my latest project useful: BYOB Map of New York City feel free to give a heads up with changes, additions, &c.
  18. jbonne


    out of sheer curiosity, which grills are you looking at with a 45-46k BTU output? otherwise, i'll always tell people to look at a Weber Genesis, but that's just me and my own experience.
  19. ← Home Depot often has deals on the Magic Chef line of wine fridges, usually in 16-btl and 50-btl configurations, and <$250 or so. not the most high-tech -- the small one doesn't have precise temp control -- but it'll keep wine cool and at stable temp at a bargain price. i think we picked up two of the 16-btls at $99 apiece. obviously not a device for the precision-obsessed.
  20. as Jim notes, there are more affordable alternatives to the Big Bs.
  21. I think Crushpad 2.0 might be an update. ← curious. there was already a version of the Web-based "let us make your wine for you" service a while back, when they pitched me and a friend started writing about them. maybe they're overhauling it. what fascinates me most is that the release is coming after they've done a bunch of stuff, and before they're unveiling a new service, sort of a tide-over release. maybe their flacks are getting paid by the media hit.
  22. did they actually launch anything new, or are they just going back to the press-release well? from the release, it sounds like the latter. Crushpad has been doing this for a while now. interesting concept. they did appear to switch PR firms, though.
  23. it's not cheap, but Soehnle's Triple is almost as cool-looking as it is effective. i find it hard to live without now. (my 2004 review of it here.)
  24. another small shred of dining dignity is quietly kneecapped.
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