Ever wonder why your favorite pizzeria can make a perfect crust one time and disappoint you the next? It might be the fickleness of the dough, says Nancy Silverton, whose Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles ranks as one of the best.
Like the authors of an excellent new book on the subject, it drives me nuts when I read or hear recommendations for a single wine to go with "Chinese food," or Japanese or Indian food, for that matter.
Two old Washington hands, Mike Hogue and Bud Mercer, have joined forces for a new winery. It's called Mercer Estates. Hogue sold the winery he owned with his brother Gary to Vincor in 2001, but now he's ready to roll out some new wines, which are being made by his longtime winemaker, David Forsyth.
More than a month after its grand opening, Palazzo Las Vegas will finally have all of its star-chef restaurants in place by the end of the month. Construction delays forced the hotel to put Charlie Trotter, Wolfgang Puck and Emeril Lagasse on hold during the festivities in January.
It would be interesting to know how many new wineries start out by making and bottling their wines in somebody else's winery. My guess is maybe one-third of all new wineries, based on a cursory survey of the fresh labels I've tasted in the past couple of years.
The outstanding Oakland restaurant Oliveto has started offering a special collection of older Italian wines, even serving some by the glass. The prices, eminently fair for wines from the mid-1990s and before, make it possible to drink 12-, 15-, even 25-year-old Barolos, Barbarescos and Brunellos sometimes for less than current vintages.
Chef Daniel Patterson deserves applause for the food he made for the Washington wines at the dinner I organized last week.(See Part I of this blog for what the dinner was all about, and my comments on the wines I plucked from my cellar.
Every year I donate my presence, and wines from my cellar, to a dinner in San Francisco offered at the Central Coast Wine Auction. Wine collector Archie McLaren and I host the top bidder and friends at a restaurant of my choice.
I lived in Miami for seven years in the 1970s, and still have friends there to visit. So when my travels took me there last week, I phoned my friends Rich and Wendy to schedule a dinner out. Turns out one of the restaurants with the biggest buzz is only a few blocks from where they live, just off Biscayne Bay in a quiet northeastern neighborhood.
Aside from California Cabernets (which James Suckling, James Laube and James Molesworth have all commented on in their blogs), we also tried some Chardonnays on our editors' retreat last week, courtesy of tasting director Bruce Sanderson.
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