Sunday, October 28, 2007

Chinese Dinner

Saturday, October 27, 2007

After a long hiatus, due to Henry's wife Evan having back surgery, we returned to our favorite Chinese restaurant "Duong Son" in the Little Saigon area of Westminister. There were 8 of us tonight and two were newcomers to the scene. This dinner was bittersweet. Cora who finally started to get her taste buds back after her neck surgery and enjoy what life has to offer will have to go through another round of chemo & treatment. They found another mass in the area where she had her mastectomy a few years ago. But on top of that, treatment cannot begin until after she has surgery on her shoulder which has a large tear that needs to be repaired. It makes you wonder about the luck of the draw. Time to get out the offerings to the gods.

Henry always does the ordering. I kept a list of the wines but did not write down all the dishes that we had. We had salt & pepper calamari, lettuce wraps, garlic green beans with white sea bass, shrimp with chinese broccoli, crab with soft noodles, barbecued pork ribs, and for the life of me I cannot remember the other dishes. Senility is starting to rear its ugly head I think.

The wines tonight were all outstanding except for some mango wine which we all agreed needed ice cubes and vodka to enhance it.

The wines we had were as follows and there was very little left at the end of the evening.

2001 Poggio Le Coste Barbaresco
2006 Oyster Bay Chardonnay
2002 McKeon-Phillips Nebiollo Reserve
2002 Sanford, Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, Pinot Noir
2000 BV, Rutherford Cabernet
2006 Pine Ridge, Clarksburg, Chenin Blanc/Viognier
2004 Nickel & Nickel, Branding Iron, Cabernet
2005 Alma Rosa, Chardonnay
2004 Chateauneuf de Pape
NV Pierrer Joulet , Champagne
Procesco Inloudo

I think there was another wine but I was writing the list on a napkin and I cannot read what I wrote. (senility again) And the napkin is falling apart.

Hope we can get another dinner together before the end of the year. We try to do these every two months. With the holidays it gets very busy and I will be away for 10 days in December. Taking a trip to the wine country around Sonoma. That I will take copious notes on.

Burgundy Tasting

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tonight Wine Country,, had a Burgundy tasting with Michael Sullivan of Beaune Imports. There were 10 wines being poured tonight along with some very good cheeses to accompany the wine. These wines are all made to go with food, unlike our big California Pinots that we consume as a cocktail wine.

A couple of the standouts for me were the 2003 Domanine de Montille. Pommard 1er Cru Les Pezerolles at $80, the 2005 Cahtrau de Puligny-Montrachet Meursault @ $52 and the 2005 Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet @ $61

Monthly SAWG Gathering

Sunday, October 21, 2007

This was the monthly gathering of the "winos". Today's theme was " California sparkling wines from French houses and a red wine that you would drink with a meat lasagna. Naturally meat lasagna was the main dish. The red wines turned out to be quite a selection, mostly Italian but others from California, Argentina and Germany. A few of the stand outs were 2000 Cersi Chianti Classico, 2001 Querceto Chianti Classico, 2001, Poggio Barbaresco-Foggio Le Coste and a 2003 Marchesi di Barolo.

There were 5 bottles of sparking brought and 1 bottle of Tattinger Brut Champage which did not conform to the theme as it was from France not California. But it was the first bottle bubbly to be finished. All together there were 24 bottles of wine opened that day.

Delius Passport Tasting

Sunday, October 14, 2007

This was the first passport tasting at Delius' new location. I was anxious to see how they would accommodate people since they are now having walkin dinners along with the prix fixe dinners. Since this was at 4:00 in the afternoon the brunch crowd had left and the passport tasting was held in the walkin dinning room. Anyone coming for dinner after 4:00 was seated in the prix fixe dinning area. A treat for them.

There were 36 wines being tasted that day along with a nice buffet. On the buffet were Louise's excellent vegetable lasagna, civiche, a pork/black bean cuban stye dish, a crab & cheese dip, cheeses, fruits, Italian meats and several types of cookies for dessert. The waitstaff came around with trays of lamb chops, mushroom stuffed pastry cups, salmon on cucumber rounds, satay's, and mini cream puffs.

Next years passport tasting will be on Sunday, October 12, 2008. This is an annual event for me and I'm never disappointed.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Dinner at S

Friday, October 12, 2007

Met friends at MAWL wines for a quick tasting and then ventured forth to a restaurant called "S"., David at MAWL wines had hosted a dinner at this place last week and unfortunately I was having a medical procedure preformed the next day so I could not attend. Everyone that went to the dinner that I talked to raved about it, so I was anxious to try it.

This restaurant is at Westminister Mall. It faces Bolsa and is a separate building from the mall. It basically in front of the Macys/Target area.

I thought the ambiance was really good and they also had a piano player for your enjoyment. I pictured this place in Saigon, before the war. A place where the upper class would go for a fine dining experience.

I had only had Vietnamese food once before and that was at a wedding, so everything was pre-ordered . The Vietnamese wedding and reception was a great experience. Different from our traditional western weddings.

So five of us ventured forth and took a look at the menu. Its a good thing that a couple of dishes had been highly recommended, because the menu was very extensive. But it did have very good descriptions of the dishes and they all sounded great.

We settled on an appetizer plate to start with, two types of spring rolls, one fried and one wrapped in lettuce. Some type of shrimp batter on a sugar cane stick that was fried, spicy meatballs (very good), shrimp, chicken and beef skewers and two great dipping sauces, one peanut and one fish sauce.

We decided to each order one dish and then we could share the meal. Our waiter was top notch (naturally a wanna be actor - in California is there anything else ?), he had the kitchen separate the dinners and put each item on a separate plate. The spinach was on one, the rice in a bowl and the salad also separate. Each of the meat/fish dishes were also kept separate which made for a nice "family style" dinning and a lot less messy than trying to take portions off everyones dinner plate. We had lamb chops, halibut baked a banana leaf, shaking beef (recommened), Chilean sea bass with black bean sauce (also recommended) and duck breast.

All the food was very good, the service and the ambiance was good. Its definitely worth going back again. It is not he most inexpensive place to eat. Most entrees were in the $18 to $22 range and corkage was $12 a bottle which they waive for us which was nice because we had 6 bottles of wine. So the waiter did get a generous tip. I did not look at their wine list but Terry did make a remark about it "You don't want to see it". High priced

I did not keep track of the wines everyone brought, but there was a Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Blanc. I brought a 2002 Saxum Broken Stones Syrah, which was outstanding, and a 2005 Federspiel Rhein Reisling which someone brought back from Austria for me. This wine was dry with a little spice to it and light fruit. It was a nice drinking wine. There also were 2 other red wines and a French white wine. Cannot remember what they were and I did not take notes. I was too busy eating and drinking.

I feel that I am a very lucky person to have good friends and be able to enjoy their company along with good food and wine.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wine Country in Long Beach,, hosted a beer tasting this evening. All imported German beers. It's always curious to me that foreign beers taste so much better than the mass produced American beers. American beer is like drinking water, no flavor and dull.

Tonight we tasted 14 beers and they were served with, naturally, sauerkraut and sausages, warm German potato salad and the must have large baked pretzels with mustard. The mustard had a sweetness to it. This is a mustard that I will definitely buy.

Among my favorites of the night was Ayinger Jahrhundert-Bier, a larger from Bavaria, Ayinger Brau-Weisse (this beer was voted one of the top 50 in the world, ) the Spaten Optimator (we were calling it Arnold's beer) and the Kostritzer Schwarzbier, a very dark, almost black, larger.

Everyone got to take home a Pilsner glass or a tankard. They unfortunately did not have enough of each kind (3) to give everyone one of each, so it was mad scramble at the end to grab the one you wanted.

Next month is Stone Brewery tasting at The Wine Country and I am attending that also.

I believe in being a equal opportunity alcohol beverage consumer. As long as its good quality.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Beer at BBC

When I pulled up my blog today to post I realized that the comments I typed in on the beer dinner at BBC were deleted. Since this is a month later, I no longer have my notes. It was Belgium beer, most of which I liked and If I remember correctly the food was good except for the dessert. The chef obviously is not a dessert person. The dessert was some store bought mini eclairs. They have better ones in the frozen food section of Costco.

The ambiance was nice, sitting out next to the water at night and the people at the next table were entertaining. It was a friends daughter and she was with several people in her age bracket. They know how to party.

Sunday By The Sea

Sunday, September 30

Today I boogied on down the roller coaster road at Portuguese Bend in Palos Verdes to attend a fundraiser for the Trinity Hospice Foundation. This also was the second time I have attended this particular event. This was held at a very large (and expensive I'm sure) estate in Palos Verdes. The house (mansion) sits on a piece of land that juts out from the main area and has a bay on each side and the Pacific ocean right in front. Absolutely spectacular view, and no one on either side and in front of you. Their tennis courts are in the back along with some small out buildings and that keeps them from seeing their neighbors behind them. Seclusion at its finest.

Of all the wine & food fundraiser events I have done over the years, this one ranks the highest for the quality of the food. All the food is donated by local "South Bay" restaurants and every body was talking about the quality.

They may not have as many wines as others but its more than adequate and they also have "spirits". Tried a new drink make by Uluvka Vodka, They crushed fresh sage leaves in the bottom of a tall glass, added simple sugar, pineapple puree, ice cubes to the top of the glass and then filled it with vodka. It was a very refreshing drink similar to a Mojhito.

Their silent auction tables are filled with interesting and expensive items. The start bids on most of them is out of my league. But its always nice to be a "looky loo".

I definitely will be doing this fundraiser again next year.

Diapers to Dipolmas

Saturday, September 28

This was the second time I have attended this event which is a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Garden Grove. The weather cooperated and it was a nice fall day to be outdoors. The wines were donated by David Scales of MAWLwine., nice variety and I picked up a couple more varietals to add to my quest for the second 100 varietals tasted. The food was donated and served by Outback Steak House and there was plenty of cheese, crackers and fruit yo keep you nibbling. Towards the end they put out bags of cookies, donated by the Radission Hotel and since we had paid $10 extra to have a table to sit at, we were given a box of cookies to take home and also were allowed to take the small cheese trays and center pieces home. So for my $85 fee which is a tax write off, I more than got my moneys worth and had a really good time.

The only glitch to the day was that one of the items I bid on in the silent auction and won that bid, was mistakenly given to another person who bid on the package next to mine. They did take the charge off my credit card and are supposed to contact the person and have him return the package, which supposedly I then can get and pay for again. I will have to call the office next week to see what is going on as they have not called me. I'm not getting good vibes over this incident. That person knew the package wasn't his as he and I were talking at the auction table about the items and he had bid on the similar one last year the same as I did. The personnel that evening said he had about 12 items he won so he may not have been aware that he had mine also when he left, but when he got home he would have known. I hope he turns out to be a honest person and returns my bid item.

Wine Bottle Sizes & Names

I always find the names that they gave wine bottles back whenever they decided they needed names, very interesting. I can never remember any name except Jeroboam & Nebuchadnezzar and then I only know that a Jeroboam is 6 bottles and the Nebuchadnezzar is bigger. I recently came across an article about the subject, so for my own information I'm going to keep in my "musings".

Spilt or Piccolo....................... 187 ml
Half-Bottle.............................. 375 ml
Standard Bottle...................... 750 ml
Magnum .................................1.5 L equal to....2 bottles
Double Magnum ....................3 L .....................4 bottles
Jeroboam................................ 5 L..................... 6 bottles
Rehoboam..................... 4.5 / 6 L.............. 6 to 8 bottles
Imperial or Methuselah........ 6 L..................... 8 bottles
Salmanazar .............................9 L.................. 16 bottles
Nebuchadnezzar................... 15 L................... 20 bottles
Melchior .................................18 L................... 24 bottles
Solomon................................. 20 L................... 26 bottles
Sovereign.............................. 25 L.................... 33 bottles
Primat................................... 27 L.................... 36 bottles
Melchizedek......................... 30 L................... 40 bottles