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First Dinner in New Apartment



Christie and I promised to say no to all invitations and devote a full day to unpacking our boxes and buying the requisite furniture to store things in our new closet-drawer-and-cabinet-deprived apartment. When most was said and done, all we had energy for was to order our pizza from Escape from New York (which we found surprisingly delicious), pop in a video of the Wire (season three of which we’ve been trying to complete for about six months now), and drink a bottle of wine (De Loach 2004 OFS Pinot Noir—very good).

Another Winery, Another Party



We made another quick jaunt up to Sonoma last weekend for the grand opening of the Patz & Hall winery in Sonoma. Justifiably famous for their Pinots and Chardonnays, P&H worked steadily to become one of the premier brands for those varieties in California. There is excellence in the bottle, of course, but part of the charm, no doubt, is the traces of the personalities of owners Donald Patz, James Hall, Anne Moses and Heather Patz.


Sommelier Love Fest



Last week was the annual Peay Vineyards Sommelier Love Fest, an event in which the good family Peay—Andy and Ami, Vanessa and Nick—host sommeliers from all over for a relaxed tasting, tour, dinner and all-night wine fest.

 

O, Yes

A friend came to town for a visit, so we broke out some Champagne on a Sunday night. It was also an occasion for my wife and me to get into our recurring argument—the Riedel O Champagne glass.


No stem?

A Very Good Year

If you haven't yet heard, 2005 was a stellar year in Beaujolais, a great wine region that has largely been forgotten in the modern vinous rush. The reason this place has been overlooked might be because it makes a lighter style of wine from a grape that no one talks about. Anyway, in 2005 the wines are not light, but are perfect medium-bodied wine. They have some tannic grip and loads of dark plummy fruit. I like them slightly chilled.


New Chile



Chile is moving beyond its reputation as both the world’s leading supplier of cheap wine and top imitator of Bordeaux. Thanks to its coastal location on the Pacific, Chile gets a lot of cool ocean influence, just like California. Intrepid vineyardists are pioneering out into these coastal locations to bring us a whole new style of wine for Chile and classic “cooler climate” grapes like Pinot Noir and Gewurztraminer.


A Legendary Lunch



Since I’m moving from the Financial District to Cole Valley, I thought I’d spend one of my final lunches in my soon-to-be-former neighborhood trying out the café everyone’s been raving about: Myth Café.

Port of Call: Farina



I visited this new Italian outpost in the Mission yesterday (just one block from that classic but still vibrant Italian outpost, Delfina).

The design is gorgeous. I loved the shelves of wines and wine glasses that separate the bar area from the dining room. The warm lighting and off-white walls suffuses the entire space in a gorgeous glow the color of fresh, organic cream. Tables and chairs have beautiful wood, and there is rustic marble placed throughout the restaurant.

Movers and Shakers

My move continues. After packing most of the night on Sunday, we greeted a couple of movers early Monday and proceeded to break our backs carrying boxes, bags, plants and any number of hernia-inducing objects.


Pierre Peters—one of our favorite Champagnes

Truth in Wine



Recently I had the privilege of interviewing Paul Draper, winemaker for Ridge Vineyards since 1969, over lunch. Without a doubt he is my favorite winemaker in America—not just for the wines he produces, but also for his views, his techniques, his beliefs and his inexhaustible curiosity and interest in wine. At age 71, he is as spry of mind and youthful of spirit as I could ever imagine anyone being.


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