One night last fall at a wine dinner at Chez Panisse, Alice Waters got up to address the dining room and made a surprising confession. “Shame on me,” she said, “for paying so little attention to California wine. I had no idea what was going on underneath my nose all this time. And to think that it was through my daughter, Fannie, that I discovered something so important around me.”
I've been hearing about the difficulties at the House of Shields for some time now. As reported in SFEater a couple of days ago: "The historic bar's lease runs out in June and word on the street is that at this point in time, the landlord has no intention of renewing it, meaning the current team is definitely out. This development, of course, leaves the bar's future very much in flux. "
The scuttle I've heard is that the owner isn't even sure if he wants to continue having a bar there and is tired of owning a dive that is swarmed by bike messengers. Personally, I'm not sure what the problem with bike messengers is, but this is what I've heard.
Michael Broadbent, the famous wine guy and Christie's auctioneer, kept a note on every wine he tasted and eventually published this epic book of all them. That's pretty cool, as I often neglect to take notes on many of the wines I tasted and you know how the memory goes when you've had a glass of wine...
It's happened too many times to remember, and the disappointment is always piercing, but you learn to move on. A bottle of wine--a special one, maybe it's very old, maybe you carried it back in your suitcase from France, maybe it's very expensive. You save it for a special occasion. You dust it off and present it to your guests. You remove the foil, savoring every moment of the process, licking your lips in anticipation. And then you pop the cork and get a whiff. Damn, it's corked. Nothing you can do about it. Have to move on.
Must have been a slow news day up in Napa. Because when I saw this headline, I didn't know if I was reading the Onion or the Napa Valley Register. Might have just used the stock "Hometown Boy Makes Good," instead. I'm not complaining about the content of the headline--I have no horses in the Napa vs Bordeaux race--but more about the style of article.
The big games in the waning days of football season are coming up, college basketball is revving up, and baseball is just around the corner. But no matter the sport the markup on beer at stadiums is criminal, and any (not mention anything decent) booze is hard to come by or completely unavailable.
If you're going to the game—I must confess I was lucky enough to get a ticket through a friend to Thursday night's BCS Championship in Pasadena; go Longhorns!—here are some diabolical strategies to help you sneak in your own drink and avoid getting that expensive flask confiscated or being humiliated at the gate when they take away your beer.
Okay, everybody, you can relax now. Your Manhattans and Old Fashioneds are going to be okay. If you didn't know it, we were in the midst of an Angostura bitters shortage due to a strike in Trinidad & Tobago where the stuff is manufactured. People had been worried. Evidently, the US is the world's biggest consumer of Angostura bitters, drinking the equivalent of about 750,000 four-ounce bottles or equivalents annually. I know that Duggan McDonnell, proprietor of Cantina, had gone around the Bay Area, buying up the remaining bottles he could find at Bevmos, in case the shortage was to be prolonged.
Though you gotta have bubbles, there's no rule that says that Champagne is required to ring in the New Year. Rather, the imperative is to open something which has a cork that pops and to drink something refreshing and bubbly at 12:01 January 1. So, why not save the money that you would have spent on Champagne and instead buy yourself something nice to kick off 2010. In that spirit, here's three picks from local stores that will get you a loud cork and a mouthful of delicious sparkling wine. Cheers!
After a spate of great weather, it looks like we’re in for a chilly and wet New Years. The return to cold weather got me thinking of a subject I love—ice. We were perhaps the first to chronicle the emerging ice mania of SF cocktails bars over a year ago, and it hasn’t stopped. Around town bartenders, in passionate belief that the ice seriously impacts the drink experience, are still obsessing over their cubes and chunks and spears of frozen water.