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  1. A couple thoughts. I found that formal classes helped me. My favorite was the 10 week course by Kevin Zraly. Gave me a good foundation. From there, it involves pulling a lot of corks. And yes, the more you know, the more you realize that there is so much you don't know. A career in wine...hmmm. I've done that, gained a lot more wine knowledge, but never made so little money. If yu are a writer now, and want to also write about wine, then immerse your self in it. Working part-time at a wine shop can help alot, but it has to be a better wine shop, one where they are constantly tasting new wines, and you will also have the opportunity to taste. Being a clerk at a wine shop is a waste of time. Also, after you feel you have a little foundation, have a wine tasting at you apartment every week with a bunch of friends. You set the theme, perhaps everyone brings a chardonnay this week and a cabetnet next week. Hope this helps...Ed
  2. I think the best food in Roma are the simple dishes like Cacio e Pepe or Penne all' Arrabbiatta. Look for the restaurants that have a "Cucina tipica" sign, and you will find simple trattorias where a pasta can cost 6 Euro. Two I would strongly recommend are Osteria da Olindo in Trastevere and Sora Margherita (only for lunch) in the Jewish Ghetto.
  3. redwinegulper


    I loved it. Unfortunately I flew out the next morning to Napa, and after several gallons of vino my brain is having trouble remembering all the details. It was a 3 course tasting menu for $75. You start with an amuse, then for apps I tasted a polenta with mushrooms and a fresh pea soup...both were excellent. Presentation is rather exquisite...so, looks great, tastes great, but not huge portions. For the entree I had beef which was prepared two ways...braised and grilled...also quite good. Dessert...hmmm The room is pretty modern, perhaps I should say sleek, the walls are bottles of wine, rather contempoary but a much warmer feel than The Modern or Lever. Wine list was good with many selections from Italy, but don't expect bargins. I really enjoyed the experience, and would certainly recommend it for those expense account meals.
  4. Although I went to Capitale last night, it was for a function, so that does not count as a "C". So it may be a few weeks till I post my next restaurant, the next couple weeks I will be grilling at home...and with weather like this I am looking forward to the change.
  5. Just realized that I am going to a function at Capitale tonight, perhaps that will be my "C" ps - not trying to make this a race
  6. A & B complete, next comes C A for Alto which was a complete homerun, perhaps my besy meal of the year. B is for Bouchon, ok it was in Napa Valley, but it was a great B to add to the list Anyone else making any progress??
  7. I am not saying you did not receive some nice pairing suggestions, but the most important thing is to serve what YOU like. Everyone has a different palate. I would not serve anything at a dinner party without first trying it, and second actually enjoying the wine. I would go to the wine store today and buy several of the wines you are thinking of serving, pull the corks, and serve what you like...it's your party.
  8. I don't disagree with the fingerprints on the tumblers, and that a glass with a stem is not a better choice for that great bottle of wine. But I think the tumblers can be fun. I plan to use the tumblers this summer...dressed in shorts, a ribeye on the grill, and pulling the corks off some simple reds...the tumblers sound perfect!!!
  9. redwinegulper

    Australian Wines

    I tried a Laughing Jack Shiraz last night for the first time, 2002 from Barossa. Wow, it was damn good. A little less plumy than some of the Shiraz from this area, but lots of roundness and plenty of structure. I need to try another bottle or two, but I think this could be a good one
  10. Hey, I am going to Alto on Thursday, and next week I am eating at Bouchon in Napa. Looks I am on my way...Ed ps - may the best letter win
  11. redwinegulper


    I had to laugh at the inlaws comment. I cook Thanksgiving every year, and the first bottle of wine is open about a half-hour before the in-laws arrive. Although many of us love food, we equally love our wine.
  12. Lot's of good resourses listed already, I also read articles in Food and Wine or other food books. I find some of the books mentioned give a good general understanding, but I do not use them for specific purchases. I found Kevin Zraly's Windows on the World Wine book to be a good learning guide, and I like Burton Anderson's Wines of Italy as a helpful guide. BUT, the books, magazines, internet sites can give you ideas...your palate is unique, so use it as a guide and then taste, taste, taste. For your older bottles, or gifts, and when to drink them, Wine Spectator has this pullout vintage chart, I believe it is in their January issue, it has the regions, and rates the years. As a pure guess, I would say many of your gifts are ready to drink now. If youhave some better bottels that you are unsure of, post them, and you'll get plenty of opinions
  13. redwinegulper

    Australian Wines

    I think the explosion of Aussie wines in the US has resulted in a ton of poor $10 wines, and pretty much the same could be said for those $10 wines from California. I find as you reach the $15-20 area there are some tasty reds, lots of fruit but with structure and a bit of complexity. I typically drink the Shiraz from Australia, and here are a few I enjoyed: Fox Creek Shiraz and JSM Peter Lehmann d'Arenberg Footbolt Turkey Flat Two Hands For a special evening: d'Arenberg Dead Arm and Vasse Felix are damn good
  14. Bargins, not to compare to Graund But I find buying some of the lesser years, '96, '98, '99 can provide wines that are ready to drink today, and are cheap compared to the '00
  15. Tammy, You can go 50 different directions, but I would keep the number one goal is to have fun. That will keep it from being stuffy, and you will learn tons. You learn from tasting, the more you taste, the more you will know. I think the best book for the basics is the Windows on the World Wine Course by Kevin Zraly. I remember once taking a wine class from Kevin Z, and he said "who ever likes the cheapest wine wins". So, taste the wines blind (cover with papaer bag) and draw your own opinions, if you like a $5 wine, good for you I would have 5-10 people at the tasting I would have each bring one bottle Another way is you preselect the wines and everyone chips in If you like Chards, taste Chards Have a bucket to empty your glass after each wine Write down your impressions as you smell and taste Rate each wine from 1 -10 When finished, rip off bags and discuss Remember, no one is right or wrong, everyone has an opinion Tasting ideas: Chards : Calif, Chablis, Burgundy, Chile Australia Sauv Blanc: Calif, NV, Sancerre Italian Whites: Soave, Pinot Grigio, Orvietto, Greco di Tufo, Calif Cab vs. Bordeaux Calif Zins Syrah vs Shiraz - calif, rhone, australia Hope this helps...Ed
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