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Mark Sommelier

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Everything posted by Mark Sommelier

  1. The "Black Wine" of Cahors has been famous for many centuries. I find it to be an acquired taste. These are big, fun, drinking wines, not ponderous at all. Served cool, they accompany many southern French staples: cheese, rillettes, foie gras, daubes. More interesting wines are made close by in Madiran. Find a bottle of Chateau Montus for comparison. Madiran is made with tannat. This grape is so rough, they soften it with cabernet sauvignon. No doubt, both these wines have character to spare. They are not for the meek. I agree that time and place can play an important part in the enjoyment of certain wines.
  2. 89 points! Sentenced to the close-out bin.
  3. jparrot say: I detect gobs and gobs of sarcasm here. PS: I love HdeV!!
  4. If you want to eat well done beef, you should cook a pot roast. Grilling a prime steak to death is silly. I wish more restaurants served pot roast!!
  5. Mark Sommelier

    J. Lohr

    21 years ago, I was the sommelier at Hugo's at the Grand Hyatt on Capitol Hill in DC. The Hyatt Hotel Corporation had a contract with J.Lohr to produce all their house wines, worldwide. I could open 3 bottles of "house wine" in a row and taste a different varietal each time. Riesling, Columbard and Chenin Blanc seemed to be the predominant grapes. They sold for $12 a bottle, which was roughly 5 times cost. Needless to say, I didn't sell a whole lot of Montrachet when I worked there.
  6. The Dean & Deluca here in Georgetown used to be my favorite store. Whole Foods Market opened last year on P St. in mid-town DC. This is a great store, they leave D&D in the dust. The service is 20 times better. The selection: meat, seafood, vegetables is far better, also. In reference to an earlier post, $20,000 a day seems like a low figure. Busy, large supermarkets in the US take in over $100,000 a day in some cities. Grocery store volumes are huge, profit margins are slim.
  7. Chef Spencer said: Wow! The plot, like the sauce, thickens.........
  8. I agree with Steve about Cafe 15. I've had some very impressive meals there. The restaurant is fairly small and quite attractive. Have drinks in the chic bar before dinner. The consulting chef is Antoine Westermann from Restaurant Buerehiesel, a 3 star in Alsace. The menu changes fairly frequently, so I can't really recommend any particular dish. BTW, congnoscenti refer to the restaurant as "Café Quinze".
  9. This is true. You can bring 2 bottles of domestic wine with no corkage. Imported wine is $25 a bottle. What's that about?
  10. Several months ago I bought some small boutique wines from Sonoma called Scott Paul - excellent pinot noir and very good chardonnay. We poured the chardonnay by the glass, actually - he made about 270 cases total. One day the distributor asked me if I would like to meet Scott. We sat down and had a nice discussion about wine. Scott Paul is actually Scott Paul Wright, who, among other things, is the managing director of Domaine Drouhin. I was impressed.
  11. That's not another thread. That's called a can 'o worms.
  12. Bar prices are up there. 5 of us sat there for an hour and a half and the bar bill was $200. Given the pokey service, it seemed high. The funny thing that Ritz did this week was have an "event" at the Georgetown Ritz with chefs from all over the east coast to show the public that some of them actually know how to cook. They highlighted Fabio Trabocchi from the Ritz in Tysons ( the chef from Maestro). This hotel offered the chef job to a friend of mine for $50,000 a year. This means that they are not serious.
  13. Mark Sommelier

    Very Cheap Wine

    The big producer of wine in Sicily is Regaliali. Salice is southern Italy.
  14. At the risk of sounding like a total snob here, I will say this. Carole Greenwood's place and Gillian Clark's place are not high end places. They may be expensive, but they are not lux restaurants. It is easier in their places to make adjustments. Especially when it is something as stupid as leaving the peanut sprinkle off the top of an ice cream sundae. I worked for many years at Jean-Louis at the Watergate. I remember distinctly a table of 8. The guy told me that 2 of his guests were kosher. He asked what they could eat. I told him: "nothing". Everything in that restaurant had cooked pig, been touched by pig, forks, knives, plates, pots, pans. Please, there is a limit to what people can ask for, even in a high end restau. We could do "pretend kosher", but, what is that? Steamed fish? Greenwood was clearly off base with the sundae thing. Gillian was clearly off base comparing herself to Beethoven.
  15. Jarad Slipp put the list together. It is maxi-eclectic. Cool assortment of dessert wines, too. This place is worth checking out before they get inundated from the Post exposure.
  16. Russ Parsons he say: BINGO ! !
  17. My favorite winelist in the whole world is at Taillevant. I've read that the food has much improved. The restaurant is famous for the service, also. The winelist is listed by vintage, rather than by price. The vintages start mid-19th century. It will blow you away.
  18. The quote was actually about Michel being bummed out about how many salads were being ordered at Citrus. Citrus was in HOLLYWOOD. 2 blocks from Paramount. Actors and actresses, you know the drill: Evian, salad, broiled plain fish.
  19. Vengroff rightfully asked me: Yes, when she got into the part about "you wouldn't ask Beethoven to re-arrange his notes, or Leonard Bernstein to conduct slower" (paraphrasing here), yes , it was more than silly. She cook hamburgers, for Christ's sake. This is not high art. But Gillian Clark and Michelangelo? Naw..........
  20. I have tasted these wines. When I saw them the first time, I noticed that no grape was mentioned. The wines are certainly not wimpy. I questioned the importer and was told that they were a "field blend". While I thought it was interesting, I also thought that I would have a hard time selling them. They are not cheap.
  21. Chateau Grillet used to have a regular importer. It has been many years since I tried to buy this wine because they were so disappointing, especially given the ridiculous prices. $80-100 wholesale. Guigal "La Doriane" has become easier to get. Retails for around $60. This is super-charged Condrieu. Try the 2001. The regular Guigal is flabbier, but much less expensive, around $30.
  22. This was the original rant posted on Tom Sietsema's chat: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/liveo...tsema043003.htm This thread has gone very far afield. The incident that sparked this response was a complaint to Tom about a dinner at Greenwood. The diner ordered the ice cream sundae and asked for the peanuts to be left off. She told the server that she was allergic to peanuts. She was told that the peanuts could absolutely not be left off , and to order a different dessert. When pressed, the chef stated that the ice cream sundae was a "signature dessert". How silly is that? This is very different from a customer trying to re-write the menu. This is not the sauce from the Ris-de-Veau on the Tuna, with the garnish from the Squab. It was a freakin' ice cream sundae. She should have tried the Five Easy Pieces approach. This is silly.
  23. There was a Chinese restaurant in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware called: Wonton Desire Chinese in Washington, DC on 14th Street (the old red light district): Good Ho There is also a new Thai restaurant in DC: Thai Thanic
  24. carpet bagger wrote: carpet bagger, you really should look for some '99 reds before they all completely disappear. There are many very fine bottles out there. 2002 has been touted as the "next great vintage". 2003 by some accounts is a disaster that will provide short supply and high prices.
  25. Luxury Condrieu: Georges Vernay Coteaux de Vernon Etienne Guigal "La Doriane Tasty and less expensive: Domaine Pichon Domaine Boissonet
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