Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Hi ya'll who read this. I just wanted to tell you that I had a few California wines that were quite good.

Well, I've had these wines plenty before, but I'm getting ahead of myself. I'm about three quarters through Joly's book on Biodynamics, and a vineyard manager frm Grgich Hills stops by work to chat with us. Mind you, I've always been amorous towards the Grgich Chardonnays--no malo super-balance and age-worthy, a few almost reminding me of Chassagne-Montrachet. Primarily I was pleased with the care and thoughtfulness of the vineyard management and minimalism in the cellar, and the stance of the winery to convert all of their wines to Demeter certification by 2007. A fantastic old (for California) winery that is not a few ex-bankers or ex-investors who have a few bucks to kill and want to make overpriced, cult Gob wine at any cost and utilize labs and chemicals to fix "problems". The Fume Blanc (although I detest that made-up varietal for S.B.) was very very balanced, subtle and delicious with a touch of fennel on the nose that brought complexity. Very nice, and very restrained. The Chard. was great as well, not as good as the previous vintage I had, but awesome for Cali. No malo, so acids are kickin' and totally in sync with the oak, which is a lovely addition, making for the breadth and Chassagne-like spread, along with touch more ripeness, think yellow apricot and yellow apple with some light baking spice on top. Nice. I'd love to see this much later. The '03 Cab, for me, is the least impressive, but sublte, very Cabernet (with a great fruit supported by a very very slight herbal savor). The '04 Zin was showing very, very well that day. The nose picked up tiny oolong tea notes, no heat on the palate, and great fresh (not sun-dried) fruit, with a surprising density--this would make a fabulous food wine. The Merlot, often my favorite red, was corkie-dorkie.

Anyway, seek out the locals who are doing their thing with some heed to nature and letting the dirt do the work. Also Grgich has some BioD bees, chickens, and veggies. BioD fennel anyone? Sign me up!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Pork and honestly Alsacian

Damn it, I need to find my camera. Hold on. I'm going to go look for it now. So I scoured my apartment and it was sitting next to me on my desk. I'm awesome.

Anyway! Yesterday I had a few fantastic gastronomic experiences.

1. Spring onions. I bought a bunch because they looked pretty. I just chopped them until they were about 5" long and roasted them in the oven for about 20 minutes with some oil and salt and they tasted like candy! (I love the onion.) New spring favorite!

2. Pencil thin asparagus--raw. When asparagus is good, you can eat it like a carrot.

3. Brining pork. My pork muse, Carl, told me to brine a pork roast. I did, only for about 6 hours, but goodness, it was tasty and moist. The first time I avoided dryness! I also coated it with a cider vinegar/mustard/molasses glaze. Mmm.

4. Albert Boxler Chasselas 2005 Alsace --Amazingly, it paired perfectly with the pork. I really wanted a bottle of 2002 Roederer Rose Champagne but my friends were like, "Not the rose." so I grabbed the Boxler. Wowza! For a wine made from a so-called less-than-noble variety, it was f-ing tasty! You could taste the heat of '05 and the typical richness of Alsace (which I've been craving lately), with some lovely ripe yellow apple, yellow apricot/peachy notes, and a perfect texture, that sort of weaves itself between sublte acidity and a lightly creamy medium body. It flirts with richness but keeps itself under control. Boxler, seriously, you rock. Pork, you rock, too.

Although it's not so sunny here in ChiChi today, I am going to head afoot to find some shopping, friends, and some lunch.

Cheers to the weather in the 70s!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Summer, Beer, and Barolo

Welcome to Summer In Chicago! You may think it's early August with these temps in the upper 80s, but you are mistaken! It's early June! I am drinking lots of beer! I should say, was. I looked down at my gut and said, you are why too much beer is bad for me (even though it tastes oh so good).

Anyway, Andersonville's Hopleaf bar/gastropub is fantabulous. Amazing encyclopedic beer seleciton, heavy on the Belgians. If you're eating, get the mussels. I won't tell you about the secret upstairs bar. Oh, and this place gets busy.

Secondly, Riesling rules. (But we already knew that.)

Third, the ladies at Lush rule because they have a fab selection (Will someone PLEASE buy me a bottle of 1996 Philipponnat Clos de Goisses for my birthday?! It'll look PERFECT next to the bottle of 1996 Salon that someone will buy for me!)

Finally: Happy Birthday CASEY! You should check out some of her work because she is supertastic!

Friday, June 06, 2008


OMG. I have been a super-slacker when it comes to updating for the past month! No worries, I have been pestered for the past few days to keep up with things, so, even though I'm the only regular reader, I should keep writing!

Er. Um. I have lots of things to write about. Recent wine-related informations:

1. I purchased a ton of absurdly low priced Champers (ex. Aubry NV Brut $10).
2. It's suddenly August in Chicago--which means I go from drinking riesling 3 out of 7 days a week to all 7.
3. I have had a pinot noir epiphany. (And I also bought some redonkulously priced red Burgs.)

Mainly #1, and I have been addicted to the one of the most interesting, informative, and supremely focused vini-blogs out there. Read it now. Peter, you are my hero.
I also watched Mondovino for the first time. I just started reading Joly's new book (after reading Alder's fantastic review of it). I have the Alice Feiring's book to read after that. (Sorry, Alice, I adore you, but I have to read Joly first--the book is a little more dense than yours appears to be. and I got two bottles of his '04 La Roche Aux Moines for $12/each. What?!) And Eric's latest NYT article and blog post really brightened my day on Wendesday. I love working in an industry where I am surrounded by some of the most talented, intelligent, passionate, interesting, and humorous people EVER. This is a rockin' community. I am corny.