In the end, choosing wine with unfamiliar food always is a crapshoot. Just when you think you have it figured out, the perfect wine doesn't work. At lunch the other day at Bong Su, the hot new Vietnamese restaurant in San Francisco, Australian exporter John Larchet brought a bottle of his new Hill of Content sparkling red wine.
An importer and exporter who were in on the beginnings of the Australian wine surge in the United States visited me in San Francisco last week. By coincidence, they both stopped by on the same day, suggested the same restaurant for lunch, and made the same telling comment about the state of Australian wine here.
You taste a wine. You love it. You buy a few more bottles, pop one open a few weeks later, and... where has the magic gone? Or, conversely, you taste a wine. You're not impressed. A friend serves it a few weeks later, and.
It's a question that dogs all of us who review and rate wines for a living. Are the wines we taste the same ones you can buy? After all, how easy would it be for an unscrupulous winery to keep a small lot of extra-specially good stuff to bottle up and submit to reviewers and wine competitions? Plenty easy, as a recent scandal in New Zealand proves.
What does a restaurant do when the fast-growing wine world has rendered its once-glorious wine cellar less of a big deal than it used to be? It could give up, figuring it's not worth it to stay in the game.
My colleague Jim Laube sounds like he had a great day crabbing (as he described so vividly in his blog ). I'm lazier. I buy my crabs, although I do prefer them alive and kicking (literally). Fortunately, an Oriental market opened recently in my San Francisco neighborhood that sells live crabs, which are kept in seawater-filled tanks.
From the beginning in 1983, Eric Rindal always focused on producing good value wines at his Waterbrook winery. Only the fourth winery bonded in Walla Walla, it didn't even have a public tasting room until recently.
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