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Wine and Food

Alexander van Dülmen

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USA

Mayacamas, Cabernet Sauvignon, 1979

Mayacama, Cabernet Sauvignon, 1979, Red wine from USA

7,5 points

The first thing my friend Grant said was that he doesn’t really like Cabernet Sauvignon and, in particular, the ones from California. The second thing he did was to put a bottle of a Cabernet Sauvignon of Mayacamas on the table. When I saw the vintage, I piped down for a moment: 1979. He had opened the bottle some hours before, so it had enough time to breathe.

I have never had such an old American wine. I also think that Californian Cabernet Sauvignon is vastly overestimated and certainly much too expensive. Most of the time, these wines are too heavy, too fruity, too oaky – plump and show-off wines. Continue reading “Mayacamas, Cabernet Sauvignon, 1979”

Sushi Girl, Street Food, Hanalei

Sushi Girl, Hanalei, Kauai, USA

5 points

This Sushi place really represents the attitude toward life in the northern part of Hawaii’s greenest island Kauai. Chilled, relaxed, stress-free and unbelievably friendly. The real Sushi Girl is Taylor Lowe who runs this very tiny place, which is listed in many guides and has an impressive internet presence. Actually, there aren’t even many restaurants, food shops, or fast food places between Hanalei and Wainiha, the last housing estate before the Hanea State Park and the start of famous Kalalau Trail. You either own or rent a house in this area – most  people are there on vacation – or else you pass the place on your way along the northern coast of Kauai.

DSC_0479.JPG Continue reading “Sushi Girl, Street Food, Hanalei”

Melisse, Restaurant, Santa Monica

Melisse, Restaurant, Santa Monica, USA

7 points

Let me begin with perhaps an unfair quote: This restaurant is cursedly expensive. This is quite a controversial statement since passionate chefs, engaged restaurant entrepreneurs, and audacious sommeliers all have to calculate very carefully: top quality, super fresh, preferably organic vegetables, fish, seafood, meat and other ingredients, and exotic or rare fruits. Regional does not automatically mean less expensive, since the work and desire of farmers, fishermen, and cultivators is the same almost everywhere on the planet. Raising organic shrimp in Vietnam is probably cheaper than in Louisiana – but causes pollution due to long transport distances. And how many hours does a chef spend just on thinking, testing, and creating a new dish? And to what end? Isn’t it well known that salaries in the field of gastronomy are rather low? In the US, tips are a crucial part of the income of any server.

Continue reading “Melisse, Restaurant, Santa Monica”

Michael’s Restaurant, New York

Michael’s Restaurant, New York, USA

5 points

If you like to see expensive, ugly outfits and dresses, go to “Michael’s” in New York. Tasteless but certainly posh combinations of grey and light blue, unsuitable suits, tight rose sport coats with beige trousers…  and most of the guests aren’t young and beautiful either – wealthy bankers, elder show hosts and politicians – a sophisticated New York cosmos which, as an outsider, you might not experience very often. “Look, there’s the former Secretary of the Treasury! And he’s having lunch with …” Michael’s restaurant is a sort of institution in New York, which most inhabitants have heard of but perhaps have never been to. As a foreigner, you wouldn’t even know about it. It is located in a midtown business district. Continue reading “Michael’s Restaurant, New York”

Freakshow, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013

Freakshow, A „Michael David Joint“, The Strongest Man on Earth, Lodi, California, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013, Red-wine from USA

3,5 points

I began my last review of “The Seven Deadly Zins” with this note: “Art and design are certainly a question of taste.” (The Seven Deadly Zins, 2013, Lodi Old Vine, Zinfandel) I certainly didn’t expect anyone to top that last label!  And it’s the same winemakers who have created this – let me say – impressive label. You can call them courageous or perhaps just possessing a strong instinct for kitsch. In any case: another remarkable wine label, it’s unforgettable!

Continue reading “Freakshow, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013”

The Seven Deadly Zins, 2013, Lodi Old Vine, Zinfandel

The Seven Deadly Zins, 2013, Lodi Old Vine, Zinfandel, Lodi, California, Red-wine from USA

5 points

Art and design are certainly a question of taste. Once you’ve seen the label of this wine, you’ll definitely be able to find it again. Personally, I find it really ugly. From a marketing point of view, it’s quite successful — since you can be sure that everyone will recognize it the second time around. This should also apply to the name of the wine also, shouldn’t it? Isn’t it funny? No! It is not! You can read the back label about the wine and its motto. Perhaps it’s only to sell more bottles, or whatever they think encourages people to drink. In any case, the only comment I can make is this: even in America (or: particularly in America) the Catholic Church and good wine seem to have a close connection.
Continue reading “The Seven Deadly Zins, 2013, Lodi Old Vine, Zinfandel”

Dolphin, Restaurant, Hanalei

PlDolphin, Restaurant, Hanalei, Kauai, USA

5,5 points

Housed in one of the few older buildings in Hanalei, Dolphin is a combination of restaurant, tavern and sushi bar. Fame and legend – both expressions are connected to this fish restaurant — which feels like it’s almost at the end of the world. If all ends of the earth are as beautiful as Hanalei Bay, I would travel more. Jonathan Deckter, who strongly encouraged me to go to Dolphin, was completely right about it. It is a great place: rather easy, half open-air, since it’s never cold at Kauai – and a half-open kitchen, plus some outside seating on the surrounding grass. Continue reading “Dolphin, Restaurant, Hanalei”

Providence, Restaurant, Los Angeles

Providence, Restaurant, Los Angeles, USA

7 points

Simply put: this is the best restaurant I’ve encountered so far in Los Angeles. How many years have I been coming to Los Angeles and eating bad or what I’d call just decent food? Even when friends have invited me out somewhere – and of course they always mean very well – they’ve brought me to loud either show-offy event places or simply to uninspiring restaurants.

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Continue reading “Providence, Restaurant, Los Angeles”

Peters, Riesling Auslese, 2007, Martha’s Weinberg

Peters, Riesling Auslese, 2007, Martha’s Weinberg, White wine from Germany

7,5 points

Some time ago I posted two reviews about Johannes Peter’s Scharzhofberger Riesling. You can find a lot of information about the winery at: https://avdwineandfood.net/2015/05/11/peters-schwarzhofberger-riesling-spatlese-2007/ and https://avdwineandfood.net/2015/08/01/peters-scharzhofberger-riesling-spatlese-2012/.

This particular wine, Martha’s Weinberg, actually does not appear on Peter’s website. Johannes Peters writes: Continue reading “Peters, Riesling Auslese, 2007, Martha’s Weinberg”

ink., Restaurant, Los Angeles

ink., Restaurant, Los Angeles, USA

6,5 points

There it is! A really scrumptious restaurant in Los Angeles! It is called Ink and located at Melrose.

To begin with the only but substantial concern: the acoustics of the dining room is horrorable. It isn’t something new that a restaurant in USA usually is much louder than a restaurant in Europe, but it really can kill atmosphere and flair of a place which offers so delicious and inspiring food as ink. I needed to become an expert in reading lips to understand what my counterpart told me while we spent some hours some weeks ago at Melrose Ave. I would prefer reading on lips the experience of good food than the content of my conversation since it would be totally understandable that visitors of ink smack one’s lips because of the exceptional taste experience.

Continue reading “ink., Restaurant, Los Angeles”

Jacobs & Co, Steakhouse, Toronto

Jacobs & Co, Steakhouse, Toronto, Canada

7 points

My favored steakhouse in Toronto always has been Barberian’s (http://www.barberians.com/). Not only because of its great name, but because of some very good steaks, great wines and some personal stories which are related strongly to this place. Everything I thought is more or less unique as for instance the impressive huge wine selection and of course the meat. But, I need to be honest; the Barberian is a very vintage and even conservative place.

Continue reading “Jacobs & Co, Steakhouse, Toronto”

Newton, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012

Cabernet Sauvignon, Newton, 2012, Red-wine from USA

5 points

Out of three categories of vinery Newton there are two wines belong to the “red” line, which is actually the affordable one (or the lowest one). Probably Pinot Noir, Syrah, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon are the most present red sorts of wine at California. In my point of view the most relevant is Cabernet Sauvignon. Napa County or any other Northern Californian wine area provides appropriate soil and weather conditions for all mentioned sorts of wine for sure, but if I consider how hot it can become in these areas I guess Cabernet Sauvignon is very appropriate.

Continue reading “Newton, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012”

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