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Mark Sommelier

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Everything posted by Mark Sommelier

  1. Just the name would put many people I know off. FYI, French people HATE cilantro. Coriander seed is a whole different thing.
  2. Mark Sommelier

    Plastic corks

    I don't call them "slugs", I call them "plugs". When I open a bottle with one of these at work, I never present it like I would a cork. Bonny Doon winery does them in many colors. Kinda cool.
  3. As an outpost of a "chain" Coastal Flats is legitimately good. Wildfire and Shaw's are from Lettuce Entertain You and both extremely successful in the Chicago area. Morimoto's will be his second in the U. S. preceding his Manhattan opening. Overall these four are strong anchors for Tysons. Still, there is nothing from a "homebased" chef and I agree with you on this. My guess is that it is only the national companies or those with national reputations that can afford the exhorbitant rents that are being charged. What Tysons/Reston/Herndon/Vienna need is an area a couple of blocks off of the main drag where Donna/Jeff Black/Kinkead/Buben/O'Grady and others can open in an anchoring "cluster" such as an old town type of ambience where they can afford the kind of operation and overhead that we want to find down the street from where we live. Old Town Herndon does have this as does part of Vienna a block in from 123. Both have yet to be discovered by these and other chefs looking in the NoVa suburbs. Hint to those who read this board. ← Joe, You are describing the same thing that makes M St. in Georgetown so awful. Chains everywhere. Barnes and Noble, Pottery Barn, Benetton, Adidas, Pizzeria Uno. The great used jeans place just closed. Woe.
  4. Turley Hayne Vineyard Petite Syrah wholesales for $60 a bottle. $120 is a good price. I sell it for more.
  5. Mark Sommelier

    drinking chalk

    Most white wines don't show much tannin unless they are young white Burgundies. Red wines show the most tannin. Bordeaux always tastes tannic when young. Burgundy too, with exceptions. Most California producers have learned how to "mitigate" the tannincs. The wines are forward, fruity, light tannin.
  6. Mark Sommelier

    drinking chalk

    I have tasted certain Coteaux de Layon which had a defiinite chalk and mineral flavor, much more than I ever encountered before. These vineyards sit over chalk, flint and granite deposits. In this case, they definitely flavored the wine.
  7. In the restaurant that I work we pour a 6oz. glass into a 24 oz. glass. That's a quarter of a bottle. My cost is adjusted for that. That's a good pour: it looks like a good glass of wine. Many places use 4 oz. glasses with a 3oz. pour. Thats 8 glasses to a bottle!!
  8. Mark Sommelier

    Corkage fees

    Chefzadi, The restaurant I work in does not offer corkage. I can recall many customers abusing this when we used to do it. 8 guys at a table on Saturday night bring 10 bottles of wine and want fresh glassware and my full attention. To the line they always give "We always share the wine with the sommelier" I answer "A sip is not a tip". In the "olden" days, you brought a bottle you bought a bottle of equal value. Just to make clear the details about markup: the wine is bought at the source from the broker or importer for $2, he sells it to the national supplier for $4, he sells it to the local distributor for $8, the distributor sells it to the restaurateur for $15, the restaurateur sells it for $40. Europe does not have this kind of multi-tier system for distibution of wine and liquor. I have been in many arguments about retail price versus restaurant price. Most wine stores have 4-10 employees. My restuarant has 85. Liquor stores do not have to buy 400 dozen glasses a year. I do. Liquor stores do not have to pay a dishwasher $11 an hour, I do. Everyone, including me, hates egregious markups. Feel free to google the winelist at ADNY in Manhattan for a great example ($500 for Dom Perignon ($105 cost), $1000 for Krug Clos le Mesnil ($220 cost), $105 for Chateau Montelena chardonnay($23 cost)). Its all about context.
  9. Mark Sommelier

    Corkage fees

    One thing I always like to add to the markup discussion is that the restuarateur is merely the 4th or 5th guy in the line to markup the wine, yet no one grouses about the importer, supplier or distributor the same way. Why is that?
  10. No. She is now a "legacy participant". Ask Rocks what that means.
  11. Joe, I have mentioned this before. When you sign on to the board, click VIEW NEW POSTS, and the software will show all posts since your last visit. If you check the board once a day, you can stay current.
  12. Any store can order these wines for you. Kacher wines are distributed by Washington Wholesale Liquor, Kermit Lynch wines are distributed by Winebow. Ask the store to call the distributor. They can get you one bottle or a case. It should take 2 days to get the wine.
  13. Mark Sommelier


    I have been told by winemakers that the only grape that really tastes like the wine it makes is gewurztraminer.
  14. My favorite all-purpose term (once used on me by a salesman many years ago) is "compelling".
  15. Mark Sommelier

    Corkage fees

    MaxH wrote: "Corkage is occasionally even an opportunity for a restaurant to make a statement. A menu I have on file from a spirited, inventive bistro in silicon valley a couple of years ago states an unusual house policy: Corkage fee: Silver Oak $500, everything else $17" That's pretty funny, actually.
  16. What happens at the BdC stays at the BdC.
  17. You mean Kupi Luwak coffee? No. I don't. I don't deal with gimmicks in my business. (except for one ) ← Nick, Come on, lighten up! Wouldn't it be fun to order a "double cat crap latte with 2% milk"? You could charge a lot for that.
  18. James Beard puts his seal of approval on that one. ← Psssst!!..... Word! If you are an eGulleter and "in" at the BdC, you know to squeeze the nose of the Santa on the way in. Smack him on the way out.
  19. You would know. You're a real sommelier. I only play one on TV.
  20. I'm guilty. Sometimes when I'm in an evil mood, I tell people that pinot noir is red chardonnay. (Sure beats white merlot! )
  21. That's a different club. Rolling Chefs on Motorcycles.
  22. <Cryptic, spooky voice> "Go to Ray's the Steaks"
  23. Yes, but fero, you live here in DC, too. How do you train waiters to do that? Tell me that and we can both open the best restaurant in America.
  24. Gee, and all this time I thought it was called a "barrista".
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