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britcook

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Posts posted by britcook

  1. Proud to say I've been to exactly none of them. Passed by most of them and have never once been tempted.

    not curious at all? i mean, it is a part of food culture afterall. why deny oneself the experience?

    Nope. Got introduced to the "legendary" White Spot hamburger in Vancouver (I think) in '71, which was pretty good, then found out that the chain kinda fell apart later because of some fairly heavy health problems. Since then I figured that the risk/reward ratio wasn't worth it. Fast Food Nation backed that theory up rather well. If I'm gonna eat shit it had better be tasty shit.

  2. Most bottles of Bordeaux don't even tell you what the variety breakdown inside is. It's not considered important to how the end-product is presented, except perhaps when marketing to Americans.

    Not only does it not tell you it is illegal to tell you, the rules governing AOC see to that, although the rules may have been changed slightly recently,

  3. There is no category error to me, they are both red wines

    Bordeaux is a region producing both red and white wines.

    Category error, basic definition: "A category error occurs when someone acts as though some object had properties which it does not or cannot have. The reason why it cannot have those properties is because the properties belong to objects in some other category or class."

    Though I still find the category error in question entertaining, I am now finding the attempt to explain why it's not funny to be much more amusing!

    Yeah, I know Bordeaux produces red & white wines, I've been there and tasted them, but I was shortening the discussion (or perhaps not) by assuming that we were talking about red wines. So OK Mr Dumbass in the store may not have known that but I figured most people on this board do. Yes Bordeaux is a place and Merlot is a grape (and allegedly a little blackbird, but I digress) but both terms are used to categorise wine, and Bordeaux is principally associated with red wine. Although the grape principally associated with Bordeaux is the Cabernet Sauvignon if you go to Pomerol and St Emilion the Merlot is the major grape. So to compare and contrast a "Bordeaux" with a "Merlot" is still not a category error, although possibly not the smartest move. So Bux tells me Merlot is grown around the world. Shock horror, how could I not have known that! But in a New York wine store (unless Steven has been a-roving recently) most Merlots there (labelled as such) are likely to be domestic.

    As for the origin of this thread, well I guess you really had to be there. Although Carema thinks its funny

    cuz Bordeaux is Merlot really
    . Some work possibly needed there.
  4. The reason I find "Merlot or Bordeaux?" so funny is exactly because of the category error, and of course because of the ignorance the attempted comparison represents. It's also a "you had to be there" situation.

    At least I see why I don't find it funny. To compare, if a person went into a butchers and asked, "Which is better, the beef or the lamb?" it's a dumbass question but not particularly funny. So with the wine thing the Merlot is a varietal, which may or may not be a blend including Cab Sauv and/or other grapes, Bordeaux is a blend which may or may not effectively be a varietal Merlot or may contain no Merlot at all. There is no category error to me, they are both red wines, the only significant difference is that the Merlot is almost certainly American and the Bordeaux is French (California Bordeaux being, like California Burgundy, a non-existent creature). So effectively the dumbass customer is asking, "Which is better, domestic or French?". although he probably wasn't smart enough to realise that, and that may have been funny.

  5. Since when is ignorance a forbidden category of humor? Ignorance is an endless source of laughs. But of course, once you start debating about whether or not something is funny, it becomes un-funny. Humor is a bit more existential than that.

    Ignorance is of course a great source of laughs, but is still not, of itself, funny. But I still don't see why this is such a howler. Now if it had been a Chablis and a Chardonnay, or a Fume Blanc and a Sauvignon Blanc I could have found some fun in it. Surely you're not thinking that a Merlot and a Bordeaux are the same thing? Or are we back to the Plotnicki concept of evaluating "better"?

  6. Parker manages to be both a blessing and a curse upon the French wine industry. His absence has the same effect. Perhaps it will persuade some people to trust their own palates and not rely on somebody else to justify paying too much for decent wine. Perhaps it may also persuade some producers to make the best wine they can and not one that pleases Mr Parker's palate.

  7. Interesting though the discussion on Mondavi is, with good points for and against, back to topic, for people who want to know more about the smell descriptors for wine they could do worse than find out about the Aroma Wheel produced by UCD. And did you see that Mondavi gave $25m to UCD?

  8. To be honest, I wasn't old enough to drink wine 40 years ago, but going back to the 1970s, when I was drinking wine, I think the quality was higher back then, and that leads me to suspect it was higher in the 1960s and before, too.  The old wines that I've had from those days would support my position.

    Of course California has had some fine wine makers since the days of Prohibition, and even before that. But they were few and far between. That's like saying you could always get decent wine from the top classed growths in Bordeaux. But for high quality wines that were available and affordable to the general public, forget it. Until the mid 60s California wine in general was heavy, oversweet, made in a variety of pseudo-European styles such as "Chablis", "Burgundy", "Rhine" etc, regardless of the grape varieties and growing conditions. That was fair enough because it met the needs of the buying public, like the low end Gallo output of today, and Americans then did not drink wine regularly - even today the per capita consumption is lower than most other wine growing countries in spite of the massive output.

    So if you think the quality was higher in the 1960s and before then I suspect a little more research may be in order. Just because today you might dine at the French Laundry and similar top end restaurants you can't say food today is better than it ever was, because these few fine restaurants are beacons surrounded by seas of mediocre to poor burger joints and restaurants.

  9. The wine may be better, but the word seems to me contrived and awkward. Also, it sounds better pronounced incorrectly :smile:

    I think this is exactly correct and shows what a disaster this process was - picking a name that people would almost certainly pronounce in a French way for wines that they were trying to differentiate from Bordeaux and establish as a legitimate American type.

    Yes, even the correct pronunciation seems a bit clumsy.

    Were they trying to differentiate from Bordeaux? I thought it was more to rival Bordeaux where many of the greatest wines are blends of the classic varieties, whereas the California tendency is to varietal wine. The skill of the blending would, at worst, cover the deficiencies in individual grape harvests and at best use the characteristics of the grapes to enhance each other, for instance the classic idea of Merlot being used to soften the tannic Cab Sauv.

  10. These sorts of regulatory schemes -- which ultimately protect producers more than quality (witness the requirement that so many ingredients be imported from Italy) -- are a mostly European thing. I can't imagine they'd catch on in the US beyond the level of novelty.

    There is certainly a degree of producer protection in certification schemes like this, but it's not necessarily wrong. Try inventing and marketing a cola drink and calling it Coca Cola and see how long it is before you're wrapped up in litigation. Now the original may not be the best cola, it may not even be a good cola, but stupid attempts at formula changing aside you know what you're going to get. So what's wrong with promoting authentic Neopolitan Pizza? Consumers may prefer other styles, may not even like that style of pizza, but at least they can make an informed choice based upon accurate labelling.

    This casual use of descriptors can be minefield. If you go into an unknown restaurant and order, say, a Caesar Salad do you know in advance what it's going to look like, what it will taste like, what it will contain? It will probably contain lettuce, some kind of dressing and some kind of cheese (which may be authentic Parmigiano Reggiano or may be some inferior knock-off from Wisconsin). No point of reference, no means of authentication. That is not to say "original is best", but it should be a known starting point.

    Take your own handle, it shows up here as Fat Guy, and we all know what that implies (I'm not going grease here, but it's generally good), but how would you feel if another writer came along producing clearly inferior stuff under the handle of fatguy or fat bloke, or even Fat Guy?

  11. Fresh

    What, as opposed to stale? Meaningless.

    Farm

    So where else are you going to raise animals/grow crops? Usually applied to the output of an agricultural factory. And you can combine the two to give

    Farm Fresh

    As if!

    Special

    As in "our special recipe" or "today's special". It means our normal recipe or what we are trying to push today.

  12. Haggis, which even at its best cannot be described as a gourmet dish, is best experienced with a "wee dram" of Scotland's finest drink. Now whether this is because there is some subtle interplay between the two which enhances the flavour of the bag o' guts or the Scotch merely numbs the taste buds I wouldn't like to speculate. Besides which, if you really don't like haggis (a faction which must surely include the majority of the world's population), then at least you can enjoy the whisky.

  13. A well made White Zin is a pleasure to drink, by itself or with an alfresco meal. Problem is so few are well made, but worth searching out if you get a good recommendation.

    Sidebar note, Zinfandel is a well known bleeder, the skins give out their colour very readily, probably more than any other red grape, which is why the stuff is never white but the currently unfashionable pink.

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