Thursday, August 7, 2008

Appreciating what you've got

A very nice dinner at Lantern in Chapel Hill with my parents and family friends from Philadelphia. I realize how much I took for granted the restaurants we have in the area, but living in the OC (and eating tons of high priced, uninspiring meals, even at restaurants with Michelin stars) cured me of that. These restaurants have access to such amazing ingredients grown and raised within 10 miles. A tremendous resource for them that many “big city” chefs would love to have. It makes a mockery of “slow food” in New York and San Francisco.

2006 Karlsmühle Riesling Kabinett Kaseler Nies'chen

Always a favorite little wine of mine, even in a year like 2006, when this couldn’t be a true Kabinett. This showed excellent cut and balance, not to mention delicacy. I was very pleasantly surprised by how it showed. Was a big hit with the Philly contingent.

1993 Domenico Clerico Barolo Pajana

My last bottle of this and a wine I haven’t bought since the 1996 vintage. My parents still have fond memories of when they joined me on a visit to Clerico. He was a fantastic host, speaking to us at great length about everything and then taking us to dinner with a comparison of his Ginestra 1990 with the Grasso Casa Matte of the same year (which he humbly suggested was far superior to his own). As much as I admire the man, I found the wines were becoming a bit too extreme for my conception of Barolo. I have stated in the past that maybe the “modernist” methods are at their best in years like 1993 and 1995 as Clerico’s 1993s have always shown remarkably well. 1993 is a vintage that is drinking very well right now, so well, that I have almost none left.


Florida Jim said...

First, I want to comment how very lucky you are to have so many nice times with your folks. Living close and taking the time serve you well.
And that they are sophisticated diners makes trips to such places much more interesting and fulfilling than if they had no appreciation of such things.
Very lucky, indeed.
Second, how about putting together a list of the restaurants in the Chapel Hill area for me? The good ones; the ones with fresh ingredients; the ones that don't require coat and tie. Forget about wine list and just concentrate on the food, the room and the service.
Best, Jim

slaton said...

"1993 is a vintage that is drinking very well right now, so well, that I have almost none left."

I hear that. I'm like hey, where did those bottles go? And 1993 as a vintage was so undervalued as recently as a couple of years ago.

the vlm said...


No doubt, I'm very lucky to have the relationship with the parental units that I have.

I'll start working on that list for you.

the vlm said...


A few years back, you could get Giacosa Santa Stephano and Falleto for ~$35.

Pity I didn't grab tons.

Joe said...

May I say, fuck you about the SF/NYC food scene? Particularly in SF, how long does it take to go down 280 to Half Moon Bay and get exceptional artichokes? Not as long as it takes to prep them, I promise. Ditto lettuce, ditto other crops that need cool climes. Try to match that at home.

If you're in Berkeley, the drive into the central valley for corn or fruit or what have you is quite close as well.

When I was last in RD, it took me that long to get anywhere.

Cliff said...

Just saw the note on Clerico pop up on CT. Did you decant this? I tried it a couple of years ago and wasn't impressed. I have one or two left and hope it has turned some kind of corner.