Posting hastily from LAX today…
Last night Jayne and Jon surprised me with this killer bottle of 1970 Château Grand Pontet last night at Jaynes to thank me for all the work I put into the San Diego Natural Wine Summit. I am no fan of tasting notes but I swear it tasted like Salt Lick bbq sauce! It was all tar and minerality, delicious.
Night before last David Schachter opened some fantastic 2000 Chablis Les Clos by René et Vincent Dauvvisat. It paired stunningly with mozzarella di bufala from Campania and tomatoes plucked from his tomato garden. Damn, I LOVE that wine.
On my way to San Diego yesterday, I stopped by the Squirrel Colony at the Las Flores View Point at Camp Pendleton and snapped this picture of another gorgeous day in squirrel paradise.
Heading to Sacramento today to catch up with Darrell Corti… Stay tuned…
Above: Did I mention the girl can cook? Tracie B’s “Potato, tomato, mozzarella Napoleon.” We paired with Laurent Tribut Chablis 2007.
Tracie B and I have been on a bit of an au naturel bender this week after we attended a highly classified and thoroughly delicious dinner the other night in East Austin at an undisclosed location.
Above: Tracie B’s stuffed braised zucchine. She moved on to a glass of awesome Langhe Nebbiolo 2007 by Produttori del Barbaresco (that I had in my wine bag from a tasting I did earlier in the day in San Antonio) but I thought the Chablis — with its tongue-splitting acidity, as Tracie B likes to say — paired beautifully with this dish as well.
One of the guests at the “underground dinner” we attended over the weekend turned us on to Farm House Delivery, a locally based website that brings a small farmer’s market to your doorstep.
Above: Tracie B returned from work yesterday to find the this crate full of yummy stuff at her doorstep.
We had actually missed the cutoff for ordering this week but Tracie B managed to place an order anyway: seems the ladies who run Farmhouse Delivery are from Beaumont, a stone’s throw from Orange, Texas where Tracie B grew up. “We’re everywhere, aren’t we?” they joked with her.
Above: Miso Risotto, Rhubarb, Bok Choy, and Red Chard at the “anti-restaurant” the other night. I had brought a bottle of 2006 Touraine Cabernet Franc by Clos Roche Blanche to the BYOB event (always such a great value and such a great wine).
I first read about “underground dinners” or “anti-restaurants” last summer in the Times: the vegetarian menu last Saturday night featured locally and organically grown produce (including the excellent dish above). Thanks, again, JP and RdB, for including us! Your secret’s safe with me!
Read Tracie B’s reflections on bread crumbs and the secret to her excellent fried chicken here. Did I mention that the girl can cook?
Above: They crowd last night was like putty in our jazz hands.
It’s still not clear to me why our manager booked us at an all-ages show at a video arcade in San Jose but he did. The other one of life’s little ironies last night was the fact that technically we were in “wine country” California (a stone’s throw from Santa Clara and Santa Cruz) and despite the abundance of wine bars revealed in a google maps search, there was very little wine I could find to drink. The venues closest to the video arcade where we played (who knew video arcades still existed?) were Barra di Vino (a would-be Italianate temple of Cabernet Sauvignon) and UnWined, a cleverly if perhaps inaptly named but clean and smart operation nonetheless.
Above: The domestic charcuterie plate at UnWined wasn’t bad and the very reasonably priced Vocoret 2006 Forêt really hit the spot.
Somehow we ended up at UnWined (don’t trust Google maps to get you there, btw) where I found an impressive list of big, bold barriqued California wines and two bottlings I could actually drink: the Vocoret 2006 Forêt Premier Cru and the Venica 2006 Collio. We opted for the former because it was already chilled since they are also currently serving it by the glass. (Check out Eric’s article on Chablis. I wish Raul at UnWined would take Eric’s advice: “Because good Chablis is subtle, it is crucial not to serve it too cold, which will mask the flavors. Barely cool is just about right.”)
Feeling compelled to drink something local, I also asked for the “least barriqued” Pinot Noir by the glass on the list and was served a Candela 2006. The staff at UnWined was very friendly and knowledgeable about the list (they told me they decant nearly every red wine served by the bottle, the “Cabs” and “Zins” needing extra time to open up, said our server).
Above: Céline Dijon (aka Verena Wiesendanger) did the dance of the Momie last night. For a change, I played Jean-Luc Retard’s (aka Dan Crane’s aka Björn Türoque’s) killer 70s-era SG instead of my John Carruthers custom Sunburst Tele with mint-green pickguard.
It was just one of those nights: the gig was strange but fun and we ended up back at the hotel drinking beers and laughing too loudly. I’m lucky to be in a band with folks whose company I really enjoy sharing. Ryan (aka Morris “Mars” Chevrolet) reminded me that — on stage and off — the music is ALWAYS fun.
You might have heard I run with a dangerous crowd
We ain’t too pretty we ain’t too proud
We might be laughing a bit too loud
But that never hurt no one
Tonight at Spaceland in LA is sure to be a fun one, too. I can’t wait to see all my old friends and be reunited with that gorgeous lady of mine.