Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sacrificing the Basics for Babel

This weekend I listened to a panel of chefs from Texas who brought national attention to Southwest cuisine. They were Robert Del Grande, Dean Fearing and Stephan Pyles, and we were at the Buffalo Gap Wine and Food Summit at Perini Ranch in West Texas.

Robert Del Grande, who hails from Houston, said something that caught my ear. He said, “In the beginning, we were looking for ingredients that you couldn’t find in the supermarket.” Things like red bell peppers, chayote squash, heck, even cilantro, they couldn’t be found in the large stores. Here we were, a chef talking about a time 30+ years ago, telling us he was looking for something no one else had.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

What young Americans can learn from an old German ~ The Rudi Wiest register

Rudi Wiest will turn 79 this year. But as he likes to say, “I have a long ways to go to catch up with your mom. She’s going to be 101 this year, yes?” Older people have a different conception of time than younger ones. The younger ones have been young all their life, and they likely think they will be for the rest of their time on earth. “I used to think that too,” my almost 101 year old mom once told me. “And then I turned 40. And then 50. 60. 70. 80. And so on. And now I have been older for most of my life than young. That’s just the way it is.” And so it was this last week, I tooled around Texas in a very large SUV with two young guys and an even younger soon-to-be 79 year old

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Making the Case for Darker Rosė Wines ~ Countering the "Brangelina" Effect

In no small way, we all need to thank the Perrin family (and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie) for resuscitating the rosė wine category. Before the phenomenon of Miraval, rosė wines were in the crapper. More often than not, aged rosė wines sat in warehouses and on store shelves dying a slow death. No matter how many articles that came out, in blogs, in magazines, and in newspapers, the numbers didn’t look good.I know, because I was tracking them. And it wasn't pretty.

Then Perrin (and Brangelina) said “Let there be light.” And it was a game changer. Now wineries all up and down France and across to Italy, in Spain, in California and all over the world are chasing the ethereal, elusive onion skin color for their wines. And for good reason. Miraval is kicking ass in the sales department.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Meditations on the '51

Sooner or later we encounter the mirror. As much as we try, with makeup, with dye, with dark glasses and soft focus, time ultimately wins the race. The young ones look upon the older ones as something that is in the way or will ultimately be neutralized and discarded. Invisibility is a step along the way to annihilation. What the young ones don’t know (or don’t want to realize) is that they are on the same path as the elders who are taking up space in the cellar. So it goes.

We all have our ideas of what a unicorn wine is. That is, a wine that is rare, maybe not the greatest of the great, but when one encounters such a creature, it is a special moment. I had such an meeting last month in the Langhe, in Barolo.

Real Time Analytics