Wow. When it gets hot, there is nothing worse than a warm glass of red wine. It almost makes me gag. I would rather drink a cool glass of water than a tepid red. Or worse, a hot red. It’s happened to me so many times, and restaurants are probably the worst offenders.
So don’t be afraid to ask for a bucket of ice, or to have a bottle of wine placed in the fridge for 10 minutes, if a warm bottle of red arrives at your table this summer.
Last night, while on assignment for our sister publication Cigar Aficionado, I was at a tiny private restaurant with three tables that serves the best raw fish on the island. I am not sure if the place is even legal. But last night I had some of the best sashimi of fresh yellowfin tuna, as well as seared pieces of the same fish with a sesame seed teriyaki sauce. A red snapper seviche and a fish soup full of lobster and big prawns followed it. What a dinner. Forget about St. Tropez!
My friend Rodrigo Silveyra, one of the top people with the Melia Hotel group in Cuba, made a joke about how this restaurant is better than Nobu. But I'm afraid it’s not there yet. I had dinner last week at Nobu Berkeley Square in London, and it was amazing. But maybe we can say that my secret place in Havana is the Nobu of Cuba. It’s all relative.
Anyway, another friend brought a bottle of 2000 Torres Penedès Mas La Plana Black Label, and it was warm by the time we opened it. We also had a bottle of warm 2001 Feudi di San Gregorio Irpinia Serpico. I tasted both and almost spat them out! So I asked the owner of the tiny eatery for a bucket of ice and water, and they were cool and fresh in 15 minutes or so.
We were happy diners, even though sweat was running down our backs. But the combination of beautiful reds and that seared tuna was to die for. And thinking that we were in the Nobu of Cuba made it all the more special.
Rob Lentini — Alexandria, Virginia — June 6, 2008 8:08pm ET
Brad Schier — Texas — June 6, 2008 10:24pm ET
Dusty Smith — Bozeman, Montana — June 9, 2008 1:42am ET
James Suckling — — June 9, 2008 9:18am ET
James Suckling — — June 9, 2008 9:40am ET
Daniel Backal — Mex City — July 3, 2008 10:58pm ET
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