28 January 2011

29Jan- by-the-bottle inventory
i'm doing some restructuring on the wine list (adding the alcohol levels. at a restaurant last week i ordered a viognier which i probably wouldn't have if i'd known that it was 14%+. with that grape, at that alcohol level, i'd expect the alcohol to become really evident as it warmed, which it did, whereupon the orange blossom nose took on that heavy banana that i don't like)
anyway, i took everything out of the fridges to get a look at their labels and i thought it'd make a good photo-op.
everything in the photos should be on the updated by-the-bottle list.

25 January 2011

25jan- this. is an awesome blog.

some fantastically groovy songs

19 January 2011

19Jan- la traviata in charlotte
i don't know how many of you like opera and how many of you who do admit it to others and how many of those who do admit it frequent the opera and how many of those who do have been to the opera in charlotte in the belk theater but if you haven't seen one of their productions i highly recommend them.
and a good opportunity will be february 3, 5, and 6 when they'll be staging verdi's "la traviata" which, if their past productions are any indication, should be well done.

18 January 2011

18Jan- It's here! it's here!
the BrewDog Tokio*intergalactic fantastic oak aged stout malt beverage brewed with cranberries and jasmine! and it's astonishing. i confess i don't get the jasmine but the nose is like if someone crushed espresso beans to cover cranberries and then covered that with dark chocolate. and, while it's a touch boozy, it's so balanced. i can't believe it's 18.2%alc! it's full and lush and tastes like its bouquet. so sort of like a dark chocolate covered coffee/cranberry that's been soaked in blanton's bourbon.

at least, that's what it smells and tastes like to me...

~update~ i love, love, love that since tuesday (it is now friday) 4 different tables have shelled out the bit of cash necessary to experience this extraordinary brew. it makes me so happy and speaks so well of columbia.

14 January 2011

14Jan- random thoughts on glassware
i'm a bit of a sentimental cuss (which i believe lends to clutter, which explains the bar and my work area) and i have a tendency to save things related to fun experiences. show tickets, a bottle cap here and there. corks, certainly, and special bottles. I'm the type of person who has his lucky tie talisman from the night when et cetera.
but i have no sentimental attachment to my wine glasses. How strange, it seems to me, that this vessel that's key to some of the most wonderful experiences i've had tends to fall by the wayside in terms of sentimentality.
i'm a believer in appropriate glassware. I'm not a riedel buyer, however, since i can't afford to be but i like my bowls capacious, my rims thin, and my stems delicate-ish. if there's a touch of a tulip flare to the lip i'm especially happy.
but because I spent several years in an environment that lent itself to frequently broken glasses (not a violent environment but one filled with pets that like to bat things off of other things in addition to my own clumsiness.) i tend to expect the worse to happen so, like a rabbit or a frontierswoman, i'd buy many glasses (birth many kits/children) knowing that only a few would survive the treacherous surroundings. this probably accounts for my lack of sentimentality regarding my wine glasses.
now, living in a less populated house, i haven't stopped buying glasses and they've begun to pile up. everytime in a tj max or tuesday morning that i see a box of glasses that meet my nerdy standards i will buy them, if i have the money. it has become, evidently, a thing. and since i have these glasses i have often given or sold them (at cost, of course. i'm not a monster) to friends in a glassware bind. someone once identified my tendency as being like one who adopts and fosters animals. i have more wine glasses at home than i have at the restaurant now but, the way i see it, i am prepared. and of all the things i could be spending my money on it's not interfering with my relationship or my work so...could be worse.

lesson. some kind of moral here...

it would have to be on glassware. have more than you need, especially if you entertain. and have glasses in which you can comfortably swirl without getting wine on you or your tablecloth. i don't care if it's hand-cut crystal waterford if you can't get a good swirl and tuck your nose into it to inhale and appreciate your wine. i'd much rather drink out of my $3 tj max glass with the shape i like than an $80 glass with a design that's ideal to whip wine out of it like a defensive measure if you try to swirl in it.

13 January 2011

13Jan- Hmm.
i'd like to try it. but....

11 January 2011

11jan- closed tonight, tuesday the 11

since it's so darn cold and wet and slushy and icy out and we expect the temp to dip below freezing tonight after some of the snow has melted a bit all day (and since that big hill in our driveway is a big sheet of ice), we decided the safest thing to do tonight was to close and not invite slippery calamity.
we'll reopen tomorrow, the wednesday.

08 January 2011

07Jan- oof. busy night.
but finally one of those nice busy nights when you work your ass off and everything comes out, more or less, okay. from this end, at least. it's been so long since i've walked the tables proper as a server but as a bartender, gm, a beverage director or whatever i am it was a good night.
i put, i feel, a good bit of energy into the wine and beer program so that it plays well with our menu and i think i take a few chances here and there. so it's always incredibly gratifying when you reach and someone takes your hand.
we sold some lovely things tonight that, frankly, i was afraid would sit around for ages but are at least of the kind of solid quality that they can linger about without detriment. we sold one of my pet bordeaux, the 1999 chateau carbonnieux rouge (to the same couple who bought my pretty, opulent pichon-longueville 2004 the other week.) like many people who learn wine on their own, i was weaned on bordeaux so some of these things sit around the house. on a whim i put them on the menu and, to my surprise and pleasure, they sold. ah, columbia! my growing town with its flashes of vinous perspicacity.
there are a couple of movies that mean a good deal to me. movies that speak so cleanly to my soul that i hesitate to show them to people lest their persistent and inspired flicker fall upon indifferent to bored eyes. these movies become markers, of sorts, and when i find myself enjoying someone's company i might eventually ask if they've seen so-and-so movie. when that happens and, extraordinarily, someone has and enjoyed it there's a warm moment of understanding. a moment of meaningfullness that assuages that underlying fear of solitude that many of us carry with us like a badge that we've read enough to teach us that we are, in so many ways, quite alone.
that moment, however brief, of completion is what i feel when i see someone order a bottle of wine that i have put on the menu because its bouquet and its weight and it flavors and its finish and whatever i was thinking and feeling when i first drank it moved me enough to want to try obtain another bottle so that, if conditions were right, that same magic could be captured again.
maybe the customer understands it, maybe they don't. i like to think that drinking one of these bottles on a night like tonight plants the seeds of nostalgia and appreciation. that they might think, "oh... the eyrie pinot gris! i remember drinking that at baan sawan and so and so was there and this was on the radio and they had the seared scallops with green curry and everything just fell into place that night."
hopeful, perhaps. optimistic, perhaps. (my therapist in college would be proud, at least, that my leisure time fabricating scenarios has, at least, the tinge of optimism. i wonder what she's doing now...)
and, as i sit here in an empty restaurant drinking old vine semillon, i try to try to hold on to that satisfaction before the hyenas of everyday reality close in and i'm reminded of the numbers and the margins and the insurance and how the damn philodendron is cringing like someone whose grammar is corrected .

05 January 2011

05Jan- some pretty basil
this came in earlier and alex was moved enough to have me take a photo of it. i do love basil, no matter how much i work with it. i don't think i could ever tire of its wonderful, rich aroma.
tonight we're going to have some lovely scallops in green curry, which will be using some of this basil. also, the scallops and just pad basil would be something i'd be likely to recommend. either with the eyrie pinot gris or pinot blanc would be a solid match, i think. the pinot gris is by the glass but, if you ask, we can do the pinot blanc by the glass for the same price.

02 January 2011

02Jan- good article on champagne

this is an argument i've made many times over and an idea that i practice with some regularity, though i do tend more toward non-champagne region sparklings for my everyday drinking.