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Posts posted by jrt

  1. Great topic, Rebel!

    A few friends and I have actually been referring to the "wine dorks" as something a little less... well, kind. We happened to be leaving a tasting one day when a friend said, "I hate those <insert a short word for rear end> hats." (Urban Dictionary link)

    Since it's pretty easy to imagine an awkward moment arising if you were to call a person that name to his or her face, we simply call those folks "wine hats." A gentleman who had cornered us in a tasting room and proceeded to slowly torture us with tales that began like "Once, at a Hollywood dinner party where I just happened to be sitting next to...", actually took the term "wine hat" to be some sort of profound compliment. Ever since, that phrase has become part of our lexicon.

    Personally, I like to think of myself as a wine geek. I've found that there are two more differences between the dorks and the geeks: 1) the dorks don't ever seem to get that far away look in their eyes as they gaze upon wine in a glass (that look that seems to indicate that because of the wine, the geek's view of the world has somehow, if only temporarily, become more forgiving) and 2) dorks wouldn't be doing what they do if they were invisible -- geeks don't need or care or notice the social implications of enjoying wine.

    As to the numerical ratings: I am a hypocrite, there's no doubt about it. I'm with Capaneus w/respect to my feelings about what Parker's or the WS's ratings do to the cost... but my personal notes aren't free of numbers.

  2. To this I exclaimed " What on earth is this ??? "

    He responded " Red wine "

    My reply "What has been the other shit I have been drinking for the past few years ?"

    I remember the moment vividly and I hope that I always will.

    That's hilarious. Do you happen to remember what his response to the second question was?

  3. what about joel gott? iirc, there's a very small amount of oak, but i'm very sensitive to it, too, and it's not at all objectionable to me. or brander "au naturel"(sp?) from santa barbara?

    while i'm a big fan of most of what Joel Gott makes, i'm just not a fan of his SB. the fruit in it doesn't really pop out to me.

    FYI, it's not just a small amount of oak, but none at all (at least in the soon to be released vintage). Stainless tanks all the way.

  4. During lunch he and I would drink and eat and discuss things, it was then that I noticed for the first time that the wine changed him. He became more open and accepting of me. The conversation flowed from us in spite of the fact that I had to struggle with my German. At that time I became closer to him than I ever had ever been in the past. Those memories of my Grandfather and our times together in Switzerland sparked my love of wine and are greatly responsible for my return to Switzerland six years ago.

    Wow, what an idyllic memory.

    For me, it was a few glasses of wine at a friend's house: a white Burgundy and then some Barolo. I remember stammering -- something was happening that I couldn't describe. When I left, I felt that euphoric near-drunkennes you get from good wine. The more I looked at wine after that, the more I realized that there was a huge, even ancient culture and tradition around what had previously seemed like such a simple thing. I'll never forget having those wines on that night.

  5. Tonight: chimicurri poured into a large-ish seeded baguette with thin slices of grilled top round, provolone, and sweet onion slices softed over low heat with sherry vinegar... a sort of nearly senseless interpretation of a steak sandwich. It performed very well.

  6. The federal law on this actually has to do with 'truth in advertising' and doesn't allow you to be too unscrupulous -- that is, you have to have at least 75% of your fruit from the place you're advertising. The trick here was that Bronco Wine Company had wines like Napa Ridge, which are grandfathered in federally. The Californians nixed that loophole starting this year.

  7. I'm curious as to how much a nearby plant can pollute food relative to how much damage is done by chemicals applied directly to the plants.

    Your observation is particularly interesting to me after again recently reading the oft-mentioned "fact" that Argentinian and Chilean grapes supposedly have much less of a need for fungicides and pesticides due in part to the geographic isolation.

    With respect to pollution in California, they're starting to have to get even more strict w/respect to pollutants than they already are.

    Hm, sorry, I think I may have wandered a bit off topic. :unsure:

  8. French people serve wine at children's dinner parties (not for the kids) but for the parent's who are chaperoning. At the French school my 6 year old attends, wine is served during PA meetings (again not for the kids, for the parents). There is a French children's character that is shown visiting a winery and drinking wine on it's website. Can anyone even imagine Mickey Mouse or Barney visiting a winery?  :laugh:

    Totally different cultural attitudes toward wine.

    You've brushed up against something close to my heart on this subject: the American obsession with hiding the "perils" of alcohol from its youth. A country that can send you to war to kill and/or be killed but that doesn't allow you to drink a glass of wine in public is one that is hard for me to get my head around sometimes.

    I just remember so well all of my peers at a certain age getting away from their parents and learning to drink the hard way: with a bunch of other kids who didn't know what the hell they were doing. Learning to be responsible with anything almost always is easier the earlier you start it. While I'm not suggesting that five year old children be attaching bottles of gin to their belts, I am saying that the gut-level reaction most Americans have to a fourteen year old enjoying half a glass of wine with a nice dinner and surrounded by adults is, frankly, absurd... and it's my belief that it creates more problems than it solves. The National Youth Rights Association is one of the few folks I can even find on the web that dedicates any real ink to this.

    (I also fall into the bottle-ish per day category, so maybe the demons in that glass of wine I'll have later tonight are the real culprits. :unsure: )

  9. If you were the host would you care?  I wouldnt.  As a host you cant expect to please everyone 100%.  But you can and do want everyone to be happy.  If that is what made that guy happy, so be it.

    While I can see your point, I do think that if you really wanted to order something else, the right thing to do would be to order something that isn't wine. While I personally wouldn't be offended as the host, I wouldn't do this as a guest and would probably say something to another guest doing the ordering.

  10. I'd like to add that having an experienced guide is worth the person's weight in gold. Any reputable wine shop would love, especially on a slow day (try during a weekday), to talk you through a few things and maybe even give you a few tastes to see what might turn you on.

    Perhaps for me, though, the key was food. While today there are only a few classes of wine that I would feel the absolute need to enjoy with food, when I first started it was imperative that I enjoy a few nibbles of something I liked and was comfortable with as I drank the wine.

    I was lucky enough to have both a guide and some food -- I found I absolutely loved many different reislings, and now drink basically every grape I know of.

    It's true, though, that the earlier you start the easier it tends to be. Just remember: anything truly enjoyable comes at a cost. :biggrin:

    (Also, there's a lot of crap out there -- not that you're drinking crap -- but the landscape is full of deadly mines, IMHO.)

  11. Tonight's dinner was light but lots of flavor.  I made Tom Yam Kung (Thai Lemongrass soup with shrimp)


    I'm not quite a master at rolling with the rice paper and the broth was a little cloudy, but both tasted just right.

    It doesn't look cloudy in the picture... well, it doesn't look clear but seriously there are a lot of freakishly cloudy presentations out there.

    The dishes look great. I'd guess a little more oil (chili oil won't kill a diet) and a few more veggies can help keep things to jump to the surface.

    edited to fix a post that was full of surprising, interesting insights... yeah, that's it

  12. Pide, a Turkish bread with a chewy, crisp crust and a soft interior. The cookbook suggested sprinkling it with nigella seeds, but not having any of those on hand, I used sesame seeds, suggested as an alternative.


    Looks great!

    You've described pide very well, yet I must say: sesame seeds are no substitute for nigella. Heresy! :wink: It's worth it -- not in flavor, not in bouquet, not in presentation, but rather in all three.

  13. ...Kasma's site, and I came across her method for steaming Jasmine rice, so I decided to go down the entree route and try her method out (I've never liked my simple method much, and I've never met a rice cooker I really liked).

    The result was fabulous.  I can't believe how incredibly well the rice turned out -- I will never, ever cook rice another way unless I have a seriously good reason to believe it will compare.  I was shocked; it tasted like rice at some of the best meals in my memory.

    I read that and was interested in trying her method for Jasmine rice. I have been using the Hot Sour Salty Sweet method. I think I was especially thick-headed when I was reading it. Do I understand correctly that a bowl sits in the steaming section of a steamer and in that bowl is the rice AND hot water? With her emphasis on not boiling the rice, it threw me that the rice would be cooking in water.

    Whoa, this browser window has been open for weeks, apparently... I had this typed out:

    Yes, that's how I understood it. The water poured over the rice is not actually boiling, it's about as hot as you would have water prepared for, say, black tea.

  14. While I agree w/you both with respect to some of the seemingly sillier items, I'm a little confused by the use of the phrase "trumped up." Are you implying that these folks are intentionally gunning for places like Lark but leaving other places alone? Many restaurants have much lower scores than Lark did on that inspection.

    And while the inspection system isn't perfect, food borne illnesses and diseases are a real concern for the entire public. Drinking ice isn't made from an approved source? Well, it could be "trumped up," but I certainly would have asked someone there about it before drinking the water had I known it at the time. Seriously, I never use a wiping cloth on both food prep and other surfaces (though the statement is vague enough that it could have been another reason).

  15. Has anyone tried the Firefly? My understandign is that the joint is a Queen Anne place but it wasn't until they dropped a flier in my mailbox that I decided to give them a shot (okay, so it after a few shots w/friends that we decided it)... I must say: I've been a Pag's devotee for a long, long time and yet I may end up switching to these cats.

    There are a few very good things to say about this pizza: the dough is rolled incredibly thin; the toppings are placed generously and with care (a rare thing, IMHO, in Seattle); the folks answering the phone want to know *exactly* how to get to your place (which was weird for a second, but at least they're trying to get it right); the crusty edges were puffy, airy, and yet crispy; and to top it off, the price was quite decent.

    The few times I've gone by the restaurant, it seemed like the kind of place I didn't want to go into. Their website, which gives me the creeps, also makes me want to run away.

  16. You could also do stuff like get kebabs from Mr. D's or Turkish Delight, or piroshkys from the Russian place, and go walking by the water. Many non-foodies wouldn't resist roasting meats and eggy buttery stuffed things.


    Very good point -- I get something from D's or TD and meander throughout that area about once a week. The food is decent to good, and if you can't find a good view out there walking around, well, something's wrong. (Of course this only works if the weather is nice.) The one thing that stinks about this option is that if you go to the little park there on the NW end of the Market, you could be eating your meal with some... well, unsavory folks.

    After thinking about this more, I might recommend the Alibi Room: good, approachable and reasonably priced food, nice view, cocktails, and hit-or-miss service. Obviously it's not right on the water, but slipping into a place under the Market like that can be a pretty neat first time experience.

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