I had one tasting announcement this edition and South African wines were at center stage. I obviously could not attend, because I need to stop being lazy and deal with a lot of things also, but it was a good reminder for me I have to learn more about new New World wines. The trend has been this sector aims to improve in anyway possible and some of the wines can be quite good. The problem is the ultimate goal will be to become another California. Once a strong and established market demand is achieved, the trend will be to make commercially viable wines and leaps in quality will be lower priority. At least, that is what happened in Australia, California and New Zealand. The bottom lines I need to learn more.
Boxed wines are becoming more marketable and I strongly believe the future for many users, including household drinkers, will be in box and not bottle. The strongest contribution boxed wine can make is become air-proof as 5-liter kitchen box wines are. If the smaller packages can be air-proof, they beat the glass bottle forever. Once the cork comes out, the bottle begins to die. In a restaurant bar, the rule of thumb is the wine CAN be good for as long as three days once the cork has been pulled. This rule is subject to change by nature. I guess it can hold for supermarket wines mostly consumed at home. If the small boxes can be air-proof as the big boxes are, the glass bottle will be gone from some consumer circles. The household box wine will be cheap and air-proof. One can have a wine bar of 10 different wines going in the kitchen because the wines are cheap and the air does not get in. That was a suggestion by someone and not my idea. I expect a bright future for the boxed wine in small sizes.
I worked a bar in San Francisco for a few years and the senior bartender has been there over thirty years. I used to introduce him such. I had to stop. It is no longer fashionable to have had a job for more than a few years.
New York Times Wine Club got my attention. I kept thinking about why it bugs me. I read a little online and as I expected not much available on wine clubs as an entity but definitions. I wrote something based on what a wine guru had suggested about buying the stocks of small winemakers and producers to keep them creating special wines. Nate Appleman left San Francisco in an incredible hurry leaving many aghast. Michael Bauer questioned if it is time to muddy Appleman’s reputation yet or he is still one of us? I think all he had said was San Francisco has a political attitude and choice of food is encouraged likewise. At least, the majority of readers took his side. I guess Appleman maybe puzzled but a lot of people are fed up with the FOOD CULTURE that has nothing to do with food.
Whole food has been a great supporter of good cheese at very yuppy prices. They are still strong on selling and being GOOD. I wrote about my little idea of turning Mexico into a giant dairy producing enough cheap artisan cheese to feed America. Someone told me my cheese plan will result in oceans of whey which feed pigs. That is even better and I agreed. They can become a cured meat capital also. Ship loads of high quality cured pork, sausages and of course artisan cheeses of comparable quality to the best of Europe going around. That is a great vision.
Beer can be a lot of fun. Purple beer? I have seen all kinds of beer and really hesitate to try many of them but they look cool. Craft beer is doing its job also. There is no going back. This is no fad. Craft beer will make beer drinkers out of most of those who are not. The idea is very pluralist. America has always been an elitist country and this has reflected in economy greatly. Beer is manufactured in unbelievable quantities but blandest personalities by dominant breweries. That is elitist. Craft beer allows for many many expressions without the involvement of the establishment. People who pass beer can now find something that matches the palate. It is only a beverage.
Carnelian Room is dying or pretending to die to pick up as much business as it can for the next four months before dying, being sold or surprising all by staying. Wine tastes different in more ways than you think is another topic this edition. Will WiFi make the typical coffeeshops into America’s living rooms? Coffeeshops were once not a place to visit for consuming coffee and tea. Everybody of similar interests huddled together in coffeeshops. The heart of community and therefore many coffeeshops for many interests. WiFi and portable office are building a foundation. Will it rise to what it originally was?
Cool Restaurants books have little to read but awesome photographs of the most interesting restaurants worldwide thus the dozens of volumes in print. I have learned much by studying the photos and found the biggest one yet last week.