Last night I made a wonderful wheat pasta kale and lentil dish that I served with a 2002 Raspay Primitivo Spanish wine that was delicious. It's wine with great food that began my love for vino, and nights like yesterday that sustain.
After a conference this week (Web 2.0 - which should be called the new mainstream event for web business neophytes), we met up with some work friends and prospective business partners at District. District is a wine bar in SF's SOMA neighborhood (bordering South Beach) on Towsend, a couple blocks from the train station and nearly ground zero for the residential and neighborhood changes that have gripped the city since PacBell Park opened in 2000. I like the wine bar a lot but by six thirty on a week night, it becomes a single scene like no other - and if you're looking for the cougar crowd, you won't be disappointed.
Tonight, hosting a small, small as in two couple dinner, I realized my wino voice has been stifled by this faux desire to be PC and poetic. The reality is I'm not such a good writer anyway, especially when I'm forcing it. No, if I want to be true to myself I need to be me.
Its hard to call this 'wine travel' because there are few (if any) vineyards in the United Kingdom but people definitely drink wine, though beer seems to be the prevailing drink of choice in this country. That said the UK is the #2 wine export market for France and an important export channel for other wine producing countries like the US & Australia. On Sunday we made our way to Brighton, a southwestern beach, university town that had pleasantly nice weather and a perfect scene for us to enjoy that week's big football match between Manchester United & Arsenal.
Finally read George Taber’s Judgment of Paris,
the book that chronicles the fateful afternoon of May 24, 1976 when nine French
judges, in a blind tasting, proclaimed a California Chardonnay & Cabernet
Sauvignon superior to first growth French wines. I flew to London for a week of work yesterday
and am visiting Paris over the weekend, so I wanted to read it before I get to France.
Last night was a weird one. It started harmlessly as a dinner with another couple and one after dinner drink. Following a strange sequence of events, a group of about a dozen folks ended up back at our house drinking red wine until nearly five am. Even odder (or more random) was that a fellow high school grad, albeit three years younger than I but friends with my sister, and now moviestar, James Franco, ended up at our house late night as well.
A close friend of mine asked me to organize (in the loose sense) a tasting
for his bachelor party this past weekend. He's getting married later next month wanted heavy reds, ideally Cabernet, wines that will leave a mark
so to speak. I went to K&L &
Beltramos wine stores (both local to the Bay Area Peninsula – Menlo Park/Redwood City
area) and picked up seven bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The wines came from Chile,
France and the United States (primarily California), all representing different
styles & regions to give everybody as much variety as a wine tasting at a
Bachelor party can handle.
Chateau Ormes De Pez
Saint-Estephe 2004 the first bottle in a seven bottle series global Cabernet Sauvignon tasting I did for a bachelor party recently. This is from the Bordeaux region of France but its a less known area of that region (Saint-Estephe).
The NY Times recently tasted a bunch of 2003 vintage french wines. Rare warm weather wrecked havoc of white wines which pushed their acidity too high but it left many of the reds in fine shape. According to NYT, its not an outstanding vintage but a very good one, particularly in the St. Emilion, a Bordeaux commune on the right bank of the Gironde River. They published a list of top wines from the tasting.
In an thirty year anniversary re-enactment of the "Judgement in Paris" this past weekend in simultaneous tastings in London & Napa, the results were surprisingly the same. California wines took the six of the top ten spots in the Bordeaux category, and each of the first five. Showing once again that not only could those wines hold up against the best France had to offer at a young age but they've held their ground over 30 years. San Francisco Chronicle had the details