I am in Manhattan and just got back from lunch with the senior editors of the magazine. We went to a place across the street called Blue Smoke. It’s a barbecue joint and always provides good-quality eats. I thought I wouldn’t have any wine for lunch because we had a heavy night with the editors last night, which included 2004 El Molino Chardonnay, 2000 Masseto in magnum, 2001 Aldo Conterno Barolo Colonello and 1996 Mouton-Rothschild.
I was on the wagon, as one might say. I had a slight headache, which I attributed to the change in the weather and certainly not drinking. I was sitting next to my buddy, James Laube, and he was not going to eat his pork sandwich with anything but a decent glass of red. So he ordered a bottle of 2003 Hendry Ranch Hendry Block 7 Zinfandel. It looked dark and yummy when it was served. I looked at his glass of wine as I was drinking a glass of iced tea. I took a couple of sips of the tea, and I soon realized why I never drink the stuff in Europe. Or just about anywhere else in the world.
I was off the wagon after about 4 minutes and 35 seconds. And the Hendry Zin was delicious with lots of blackberry and chocolate aromas and flavors, medium body and a soft, round, textured finish.
A good meal without a good glass of wine is always a letdown … even if it's a simple lunch of barbecue.