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Everything posted by dinwiddie

  1. Obviously the writer has not tried some of the wonderful examples from Crocker & Starr, Mulderbosch, Kim Crawford and that like.
  2. I agree with Brad, but the Rosemont GSM would be a good match too.
  3. I'm also looking for something else. However, I'm taking a 2001 Capçanes Montsant Peraj Ha'Abib Kosher with me this year as well. Capcanes makes some excellent Kosher wines at a reasonable price.
  4. I gave up buying from Martinelli because I was tired of being a captive of the list. While I love their wines, and can't get them at retail here in DC for the most part, I just couldn't justify continuing to buy a case of wine to get the three or four bottles I really wanted. I am on quite a few lists, most of which are not "closed" per se, though my allocations are limited. For example, my allocation of Karl Lawrence is what I bought last year (not that I have a problem with that). I wish I had gotten on the Kosta-Brown list when I had the chance a couple of years ago. While they haven't been around long, their track record so far is unbelievable. What PNs of theirs I have tasted have been outstanding. Their list is closed because they have more requests than they have wine. Same thing with lists like SNQ. I also find that if I don't want to buy the whole allocation, I can usually find someone who wants to "piggy back" on my list. Of course, I don't even try to get on the lists that would require me to pay $75 and up per bottle since my wife has been eyeing the growing cellar with the fact that the kid is getting ready to start college.
  5. The Mondavi Private Selection line is their bulk wine. It is normally from the CA coastal sections, as opposed to Napa or Sonoma. It is often pleasant, easy to drink, but ordinary. Compare it to BV Coastal and you will see why it is priced as it is.
  6. dinwiddie

    Stelvin Closures

    Stephen, I haven't seen any icons on the wine lists here in DC. However, I would be supprised if I did. Folks who are knowledgable about wine know all about closures and the move away from cork. Anyone who ordered a wine that had a stelvin closure and was suprised is probably ordering from the list based on price and not knowledge. However, I have had a sommelier tell me that a wine that I had inquired about had a "screwtop but don't let that bother you, it doesn't mean it isn't a great wine." It was interesting however, that a restaurant that had a sommelier felt the need to say something to me about the closure, as if I would be offended by a screwtop.
  7. My son decided he wanted to go to Citronelle for his birthday so I made the reservation and started saving up. Dinner was, in a word, WOW. The dining room is elegant and rich, with sparkling glasses on the table and comfortable chairs (thank goodness). We were placed on one of the higher levels with an excellent view right into the kitchen. After starting with an Amuse Boche that I can't start to describe other than to say it was wonderful, for my first course I had the lobster "Begula Pasta." The presentation of the Begula Pasta is something to see. The dish, served in a 'caviar' tin, is pearl pasta cooked with squid ink under which is hidden a poached egg, toasted brioche, hollandaise, and lobster meat. Everyone agreed it was out of this world. My son had the Mosaic "surf and turf" carpachio. Thin, vibrantly colored glass-like circles of fish, vegetable, and meats are artistically arranged on a plate (he really liked the eel and the venison). Drizzled with a basil infused oil with capers, bits of orange, it was a work of art that was even more delicious to the tongue than the eye. My wife had the diver scallops, with cauliflower couscous and egg porcupine. They literally melted in your mouth. Entrees were the colorado rack of lamb with soft polenta, sunchoke endamame, and garlic herb sauce for Jthe kid. The lamb was perfectly cooked medium rare, and the bone literally slid out of the meat. He was in heaven. I had the venison, slices of perfectly medium-rare loin with freshly cracked blacked pepper were served with chestnut risotto, absolutely wonderful tiny (really tiny) brussels sprouts, and a celeriac-red wine (syrah) sauce. Every bite was a joy. But my wife had the dish of the night. Sablefish with a leek brandade and potato gratin. It was so rich and flavorful that you had to put down your fork after every bite to savor it. It literally melted in your mouth with a burst of flavor that was almost orgasmic. Dessert was a wonderful orange souffle for my wife, served with a rich, buttery caramal sauce with a side of whipped cream, spiced grapefruit, and something else that she did not let me taste. My son had the Chocolate Mushroom Vacherin, a whimsical mushroom treat I can't even begin to understand how it was made, but it was huge, full of chocolate and he loved it. I had the Breakfast at Citronelle and I wish I had a camera. The dessert is composed of a cappuccino, home fries, toasted brioche with butter, bacon strips, and an egg sunny side up. The presentation is truly a work of art and each item makes you stop and think. The home fries are cubes of apples with raspberry sauce and the toast is pound cake with a small scoop of ice cream as the butter. The egg was flavored cream cheese with an apricot puree yolk, and the bacon strips of crispy pastry. Coffee for my wife and I, and tea for my son ended the meal. I also must thank Mark Slater (the sommelier) for a wonderful evening. He is nothing short of the cosumate professional. We know each other from DonRockwell.com, and it was fun to finally meet him in person. He paired the wines with our meal perfectly. After confirming what my tastes were, he recommended several Burgandys in several price ranges. At his recommendation we ordered a 2000 Domaine du Château Chorey Beaune Les Teurons 1er Cru to start the meal. My wife raised her eyebrows a bit when I ordered a Burgandy (she knows I really love the big RRV type Pinot Noirs) but she loved the wine. When the entrees were ready to arrive, I asked him for something to pair with the lamb and venison. Again, a short discussion about tastes, and I let my son choose whether he wanted a French Syrah or an Aussie Shiraz. Once he said he wanted something from "down under" Mark recommended a 2002 Torbreck "The Steading" and once again, was dead on. What a wonderful blend of Shiraz, Grenache, and Mourvèdre. Medium-bodied, surprisingly restrained and in perfect balance. Flavorful and delicious with flavors of crushed herbs, licorice, black raspberry and other black fruits. My son loved it and even my wife, who usually does not like Aussie wines loved it. And Mark's stories were sidespliting. He also made sure the service we received was first rate. I have to say a big thank you so much Mark, you made Jake's birthday dinner special. A three course dinner is $85 a person with an upcharge for the lamb ($10) and the Breakfast at Citronelle ($5). The service was out of this world, inobtrusive, efficient, and always friendly. Warm bread (made by BreadLine here in DC) was always replaced, water glasses were always full, and while never rushed, when you finished, the plate disappeared. All in all, a first class experience all the way around. The food, the wine, the service, the restaurant, all Premier Crü. Last thing. I hate when I order wine at restaurant and am told that they are out of that wine or that vintage. It never happens at Citronelle. Mark updates his list daily and if they don't have it in the cellar, it doesn't go on the list.
  8. Don't worry about cabs, you can use the METRO too. You should hit Palena if you get the chance. Kaz Sushi Bistro is excellent if you like sushi. Marcel's is an excellent suggestion, as are Corduroy and Dino. We ate at Citronelle last night, and yes it is expensive ($85 per for the three course, $150 for the tasting menu) but worth it. Great wine list too. Other places to try are City Zen, Zyatinya, and Tosca.
  9. It has been my experience that the unit you buy will not be big enough. Once you start buying wine that you plan to age for more than a couple of years, you will find that the amount of wine you thought you would buy was a lot less than what you end up buying. My wife bought me a VinoTemp 500 for my birthday one year to hold my 300 bottle collection, and now I need another. I'd bite the bullet and buy a larger unit that will store about 100 bottles.
  10. To be honest, the best thing about DC food is its diversity. This is an ethnic food lovers heaven. Because of the large diplomatic community here, and thus the large ethnic communities, we have a little of everything. Ethiopian food is ubiquitious in DC, especially along the U Street Corridor but Etete on 9th St is probably one of the best and Meskeerem in Adams-Morgan is one of the ones that has been around the longest. Much of it is in the suburbs, espcially Thai, Vietnamese, Korean and Salavadorian food. Great dim sum in both MD and VA burbs, but not really much good in DC proper. However there are lots of great fine dining places. Depending on what you want to spend, etc. Circlo Bistro is excellent, but there are quite a few that are just as good, I like Marcel's personally and Palena is one of my all time favorites, either for a pris fix dinner (and reasonabley priced and very good) in back or a great burger or the fantastic roast chicken up front in the cafe. And if you get to the Eastern Market area, Montemartre is a great French bistro. If you like meze (tapas) try Zaytinya (my favorite but they don't take reservations after 6 or so) or Jaleo. For Italian fine dining I like Tosca or Notti Bianche if I am in the trattoria mood. Corduroy or Komi are my favorites for American modern, and the Tabard Inn is a great place to eat on the patio if the weather is nice, good weekend brunch too. Also be sure to go to the cafeteria at the Museaum of the American Indian if you are at the Smithsonian.
  11. The thing about DC is that there isn't really a DC regional food, unless it is half-smokes. What does make DC interesting is that it is a mecca for ethnic food, you name it we got it. As Busboy said, Ethiopian food is ubiquitious to DC. Also Thai food in the suburbs, Vietnamese food (try Eden Center), Korean food in Arlington, Salvadorian food in the MD suburbs around Wheaton and Takoma Park, etc. We have good Indian food, Jamacian food, Greek food, etc. In Arlington, restaurant row is South 23rd Street just west of Crystal City. Lots of choices.
  12. dinwiddie

    2000 Mouton

    Uh - we did. That is what the 'grand vin' - 2000 - was. A jeroboam of 2000 Mouton Rothschild. ← I'm jelious.
  13. With a few exceptions, business casual is the norm. Places like Citronelle and the Prime Rib require men to wear jackets, but otherwise, business casual is as dressy as one is expected to get. DC is a fairly conservatively dressed town, even we liberals dress conservatively.
  14. Years ago there was a place out on Georgia Ave just below Olney called the Silo. We used to go every Wednesday night when the kid was little for babyback ribs, a great salad bar (with the best marinated mushrooms in the world) and a baked potato for about $7.95. Friendly folks, well respected in the community, and even had live music in the evenings. When the land got sold (still nothing there) they decided that they had had enough of not ever being home. But I miss it.
  15. We had a few friends over lst night and decided to see if we could answer Rebel Rose's question, "Do you feel that women agree with these tastes?" when talking about CA Pinot Noir. While these are not necessarily representative of the CA PN landscape, they are of my cellar, so they are what we opened. I tried to let all of them decant for an hour or more in order to get a true picture of their flavors and aroma once they had a chance to open up. 2004 Dain American Beauty, Amber Ridge Vineyard - David Dain's inagurial vintage and a great start. Floral nose of cherrys, cola and nutmeg that was very pleasant. Supple, elegant wine, not as "big" as other PNs but still very fruit forward. Lots of black cherry, vanilla and earth flavors, well structured, good acidity, and supple tannins. Medium finish to long finish. Everythig on could want in a Pinot Noir. Excellent first effort and I'm really looking forward to the future for these wines. 2003 A.P. Vin Gary's Vineyard Dark ruby in color. Initially showing a nose of cherrys, cola and allspice, as the evening progressed it gained cinnimon and licorice notes. On the palate rich flavors of cherrys and blackberrys with a wonderful earthiness, mild tannins that softened with each passing hour. Balanced with long structured finish. Excellent wine. 2004 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Rosella's Vineyard Nose of predominate cherrys, allspice/cloves with a nice earthy funk that blew off early. After decanting the fruit had begun to mute from its initial predominance and it smoothed out to a well balanced, supple PN. Still bigger than the Dain. Smooth fouth feel, short to medium finish. Nice easy to drink PN. 2002 Martinelli Bondi Home Ranch Water Trough Vineyard Pinot Noir Medium-dark purple with a floral nose that clobbered you with cherries. Expansive with intense flavors of cherries and very ripe berries with a little smoke in the background. Almost a Syrah like PN, extracted, full bodied, and rich, but easily the favorite wine of the evening.
  16. Dinwiddie, it's interesting that you note some of the top-rated producers of pinot noir in California. Obviously you know your way around the artisanal productions. Do you feel that women agree with these tastes? I find myself to be very picky about pinot noir, although I love the grape. I don't like an extracted cabalicous style, but I also gravitate away from light, acidic pinots. I like this mysterious, otherworld pinot experience of dark color, but gypsy fruit--something that has zing--a little acidity, a lot of sass. What would you recommend? ← Actually I only named some ofthe PNs that I have allocations for. I tend to collect them because my wife loves them (as do I) and will always agree to me opening one from the cellar (unlike when I want to open a Cabernet or a Bordeaux). Actually as much as I like some of the things coming out of the Santa Lucia Highlands, I really love the big Russian River Valley/Sonoma Coast PNs. If I understand you preference properly, I'd recommend the Radio-Coteau Savoy, some of the Gary's Vineyard designates, say Siduri or A.P. Vin, that are not made in the over the top style (as opposed to the ROAR Gary's or even the Loring) or something like the Domain Drouhin from Oregon. Actually I like many of the wines Adam Lee is making at Siduri, and he makes a ton of different ones, and I think they will only get better as they age. Some of them should be to your taste, though many will be much to "big" for you I would think. I can't say whether or not women agree with these tastes, but I can say that I have never had any of my sisters, sisters-in-laws or friends wives every say that they didn't love the big Pinots that I've opened for them. Actually, I think that they enjoy them but as their palates become more educated, they tend to have a greatter appreciation for the more Burgandian style that is less "big wine" and more subtle and elegant.
  17. I don't necesssarily disagree with you but . . . "I am not sure that the generalizations and stereotypes of ten or more years ago apply today." Maybe not as much as ten years ago, but I think they are still valid today. "In my experience a high powered, self assured, confident man-- or woman is often an asshole." Because I work in Government where there are many, many women who work in high level jobs, I know many high powered, self assured, confident women (Heck, I'm married to one) and while some of them are as you describe, the vast majority are not. "Wines like Fat Bastard, Red Bicyclette and Yellowtail are battling for the five to fifteen dollar price range--that is everyday drinking wines. One may be critical of any or all of them but they are certainly not "plonk." Yes they are. But everyone has their own definition of plonk. Personally I don't particularly like any of these three, but I will admit that for what they are, they are quite good, not 2 Buck Chuck by any stretch of the imagination. "Wine making methods have improved today so that there are many very good wines from France -vin du pays and Italy (especially some very interesting whites), Spain even Germany is starting to produce some really nice rieslings--all around ten bucks on shelves in this country. I have also started to see some interesting well made wines from Eastern Europe." Agreed, but they still don't hold a candle to most classified growths or the hand crafted Pinots or Cabs from CA. "Also fine wine and cost are two different things--more so today than ever." Agreed, I can't stand Opus One, but love the wonderful Pinots I buy from Brian Loring, Radio-Coteau, A.P. Vin, Kosta-Brown, etc., for less than $50 a bottle. As one obcessed with wine, but who does not spend hundreds of $$s on a single bottle, I know a lot of folks just like me. While some of them are women, and are definitely extremely knowledgable about wine, the vast majority of them are men. But then, we all admit to being wine "geeks."
  18. You have some tough matches here, but here goes my take on it: Tomato & Mozzarella Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette & Fresh Basil This is not a good match with wine as the Balsamic will make all the wines taste sour or acidic. However if pushed I's say a Pinot Gris. Asparagus Soup with Caramelized Onion, Almonds & Goat Cheese Sounds like a perfect match for a White Bordeaux or an unoaked Chardonney Salmon with Braised Red Cabbage, Mushrooms, and Oven-Roasted Tomatoes I'd normally open a Pinot Noir with this, either a Washington or Burgandy though even the over the top CA PNs would work. Warm Chocolate Cake with Chambord-Marinated Raspberries & Pink Peppercorns Screams for a nice Port.
  19. I don't want to start a flame war, but the fact that 55 or 56 percent of the wine consumed in this country is by women is misleading. 95% of the wine consumed in this country is what can generally be referred to as "jug wine" or "plonk". However, the majority of wine writers and "wine dorks" are not interested in this wine. We (yes I consider myself a wine dork) tend to focus on the high end wine, that is rarer, and much more expensive. Women also do not drink as much beer or hard liquor as men do as a group. (that is not to say that women do not drink beer or liquor, just not as much as men) I think that the fine wine end of the spectrum is dominated by men, though as others have said, women tend to have better palates. I think women are just too smart to spend that much money on wine, nor are they as likely as men to obsess on it. Personally I think this type of marketing is insulting to women and that wineries would be better served in finding ways of making wine drinking seem to be the thing that is indicative of a confident, self assured, powerful woman, not something that had to be dumbed down. BTW, don't ever tell Helen Turley or Gina Gallo that women are not into wine.
  20. dinwiddie

    Bottle Variation

    How often have you had this experience? ← Often enough to comment on, not so often as to be a major problem. What is more likely is that you will try a bottle of something that the critics or your friends rave about and find that it just isn't up to snuff. I've had this happen but when I tried another bottle, find myself wowed.
  21. I would assume that it is the SORI PARIDISO Barolo. Tenuta Cappallotto is a Piedmont winemaker, though I've not had much of their wine. I'm not suprised you liked it, 1996 was a superb year for Barolos and they are drinking well right now.
  22. dinwiddie

    2000 Mouton

    Darn, for a moment there I thought you got a chance to try a Château Mouton-Rothschild, but then why would there be pourings of a $400 wine. In the late 1920's Baron Philippe Rothschild began to discard some of the wine not worthy of carrying the name Mouton-Rothschild, and used it for the emerging Mouton-Cadet, now one of the most successful global Bordeaux brands.
  23. Many (many) years ago I was tending bar in Los Angles when a woman came in and said she wanted a white wine but didn't like Chardonney and could I recommend something in a French White. I asked her is she wanted a Chablis, served it, and was told. "This is wonderful, why don't they grow Chablis in California?" Of course, the Chards that we were serving in those days could have been classified as Chateau 2X4 (Had to steal your line, sorry Chris.)
  24. Mark Squire's site can be intimidating, but the folks there are REALLY into wine and have the money to pay for it. I'm suprised that Wine Spectator did not make the list. Another site that I participate in and enjoy is vinocellar.com. All the sites have their pluses and minuses. Some are moderated so tightly that they can be stifling, but they do keep the focus on wine. Others are so free wheeling that they can get to be very frustrating because of a couple of insulting and sophomoric folks who use the site to put down others and rant. Another I like is winodepot but is fairly new. Winetalk is Serge's site, and is interesting at times but I don't participate much there.
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