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Straight from the Vine -- Archives : January, 2010

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    Visit Argentina

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    Posted by Mr. Bruce Cass on Jan 24 2010 11:48PM | 0 comments

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    ZAP: Zinfandel Advocates + Producers

    Ribald annual Fort Mason fun 30 Jan with 10,000 party-goers, close to 1,000 wines. Take a taxi.
                                        
    Zinfandel is so very California. It’s an immigrant, like so many other residents. It has flourished here, like so many other immigrants. It’s unique, yet it can appear in many guises: from chilled, blush-colored quaffers to inky black, semi-sweet after-dinner head-bangers which just invite everyone to leg-wrestle. For decades its most prevalent form was cheap, honest, workingmans’ red wine sold in half-gallon jugs (big discount if you brought your own jugs). Zinfandel goes great with slow-cooked pork, and even better with the blues. In Europe Zinfandel has done for American wine what Levis did for pants.
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    Posted by Mr. Bruce Cass on Jan 18 2010 1:39PM | 0 comments

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    Bodega Bistro, Little Saigon, S.F.

    Vietnamese, but with meat. Very sophisticated food. Break out a quality French wine. Red Burgundy would be especially useful.

           Bodega (website, 415-921-1218, on Larkin – two doors uphill from Eddy, medium-priced with a couple temptations to splurge) may sound like a noteworthy California seafood place. That’s actually Hayes St Grill, about eight blocks away (owned by the very talented food writer, and Stanford alumna, Patricia Untermann). When I tell you BoDeGa is a Vietnamese restaurant, you may immediately think of plates filled with vegetables. That’s not entirely untrue, but it’s helpful to know the translation from the Vietnamese language: Bo = beef; De = lamb; Ga = chicken. Vegans can eat at Bodega, but they can’t get uppity.
           Let’s not mince words here. If you insist on ordering beer to drink w...

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    Posted by Mr. Bruce Cass on Jan 11 2010 12:07PM | 0 comments

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    2006 Marquis d Angerville 1st cru Volnay (Les Cailleret)

    From the Côte de Beaune. Modest color, but tightly refined nose w/ floral highlights. Beautiful oolong-like finish. Good value for around $80. Duck leg confit in a salad with pomegranate seeds.
                                        
          Both Volnay and Montelie can represent pretty good bargains in a Burgundy market which seems to be continuously hyperventilating. This wine from an under-hyped vintage, nevertheless comes from a very highly-regarded 1st Cru vineyard, and perhaps Volnay’s most illustrious producer. Like a tall, slim woman on a Parisian boulevard, this wine is both elegantly understated and eye-catching at the very same time. It makes you feel grown up, at a young adult price.
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    Posted by Mr. Bruce Cass on Jan 8 2010 3:20PM | 0 comments