GDP on Wine

Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz

Looking for Great winelists and people to review them!

Posted by Gregory Dal Piaz, May 20, 2011.

Ever look at a winelist and say WOW?
Finding great deals, and laughable ones as well?

Well, I am looking for people to review their favorite and most despised wine lists.
Highlighting great wine friendly dishes, or disasters in the making would be welcomed as well!

Let me know if you're interested.

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Replies

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Reply by dmcker, May 21, 2011.

I see a potential minefield here! ;-)

A friend who is the owner/chef of a famous Italian restaurant in Tokyo had an overly ambitious manager when he opened this most recent of his restaurants (in the past my friend had his name on restaurants, or was the well publicized head chef, but someone else had put the money up). This manager had put together a solid B winelist but also stated on it (both on the paper version in house, and on the electronic version on the website) that it was one of the best winelists in the world. NO. Not even the best in Italian in Tokyo, much lest one of the best in the world. When I called my friend out on this the manager didn't like me much. He then insisted on putting RP ratings next to all the wines as he upped the ante. Bottom line, however, he's no longer with the operation, and the wine list has changed. It's better now, and it has no RP ratings, and it's one the three best winelists in Italian in Tokyo.

I've always enjoyed the lists at Chez Panisse, at Gary Danko, and at French Laundry in Norcal. They all take different approaches, though. Certainly the lists in Paris are fun, even at La Tour d'Argent and Plaza Athenee and such ilk. Then there are local restaurants in locales like Alsace or Austria that specialize in the wines of their regions. And what was that place down in Florida? ;-)

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Reply by JonDerry, May 21, 2011.

Cool story about the restaurant, what's it called?

Just checked out the French Laundry's wine list.  Pretty amazing...123 pages total, with about 20 or so dedicated to Burgundy. 

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Reply by Stephen Harvey, May 23, 2011.

GDP

Definitely interested

Stephen

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Reply by Girl Drink Drunk, May 23, 2011.

Dino, a fun neighborhood spot in DC has a great, mostly Italian list.  We go there every time we visit. 

Dean, the owner, knows his shit and has added notes to the whole 53 page list.  It's not a ginormous, formal, First Growth vert-type list, but it really works for me.

http://www.dino-dc.com/wine_list/

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Reply by JonDerry, May 23, 2011.

GDD - Really nice, unpretentious list. Like how the wines are seperated by tastes and flavors over regions, i'm sure that really helps people get what they want out of the wines. I'd be all over that place if it were local.

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Reply by dmcker, May 23, 2011.

Here's a useful thread from the past with several starting points for further inquiry:

http://www.snooth.com/talk/topic/be...

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Reply by Stephen Harvey, May 24, 2011.

www.blancbistro.com/?page=wine_list

Blanc is one of my favourite restaurants and they do BYO without a fuss for $20

As you can see the wine list has a good selection of Australian and International wines

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Reply by outthere, May 26, 2011.

I've always liked the list at Madrona Manor in Healdsburg. So Greg, I'd be happy to drink through it and give my impressions. Who's buying? ;-)

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Reply by dmcker, May 27, 2011.

If Snooth's sponsoring, I'll be happy to review the top halfdozen winelists in Tokyo... ;-)

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Reply by Richard Foxall, May 27, 2011.

A Cote in Oakland is one you have to check out.  They actually used to sell wine via website because their stuff was hard to find. http://www.acoterestaurant.com/menus/wines.shtml Can't find a link to do that right now, so maybe they stopped. When up in wine country, I really enjoy TraVigne, although I don't see their list on the web.  The reason I like it is because many wine-industry folks eat there, often at the bar, so you can see what they are drinking (not usually their own).  My recollection is the list is not daunting and not super-high-end, but extremely reasonable.  Lost of half bottles if there are two of you and you want to mix it up a little or have a cocktail first... or after.

I also like BayWolf for its compact list--your server knows the wine and isn't guessing at what will pair well.  Oliveto does Italian wine really well, IMHO.  I'm not an expert, but many reasonably priced bottles were plowed through last December at my wife's holiday party.  Commis, our new Michelin starred restaurant, has a pairing with the chef's menu that would probably expand even the horizons of dmcker and the two Gregs.  Dry furmint, anyone?  And that's just for starters... The restaurant is teeny.  Don't know how they do it.

I haven't even left Oakland yet... heck, these are all walking distance from my house (except TraVigne).  Pay my tab and I will visit them all! (And then move on to Adesso, Dopo, Pizzaiolo... all with lots of N. Italian reds, like Lagrein, Schiava...)

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Reply by Richard Foxall, May 27, 2011.

Geez, how could I forget Slanted Door, which practically revolutionized pairing wine with Asian food in the Bay Area?    When we ate at one of Charles's other restaurants, they looked up what we had the last time we ate at SD (I was drawing comparisons to an auslese that was a little too sweet) and found the right wine for us.  For Rieslings in the bay area, they probably can't be beat. http://www.slanteddoor.com/wine_list.html They also explain pairings on a separate page. If you get the somm at your table, he's extraordinary.  (The place is getting too big for everyone to get him without asking.) [Full disclosure: My wife if friends with the owner.  But anyone can order off that same wine list or get somm help.]

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Reply by lingprof, May 30, 2011.

I'm probably not qualified to actually review, lol.  But from a novice-type perspective, I really enjoyed the list at Watermarc restaurant in Laguna Beach. 

It's pretty vanilla (no rare vintages or anything), but the big deal for beginners (and me) was that they offered a bunch of wines in each group by the 1) bottle, 2) carafe, 3) glass, or 4) half glass.  So lots of room to try a number of things, even for one person alone or a couple.  That's not very common around here, at least where I go to dine....

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Reply by lingprof, May 30, 2011.

oh, and the food at watermarc was really delightful at a very reasonable price, playful and charming, esp. the "grazing plates" (in my "not very gourmet, don't hang out at french laundry" opinion.... lol, dmcker!)

 

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Reply by dmcker, May 30, 2011.

That's OK, I don't hang out there much, either. I'm currently trying out a series of wine 'izakayas' (Japanese-style eats and drinks, oldskool--except for now the pairings with wine) around this half of Tokyo. Certain dishes are a yes, certain definitely a no, and the wine's condition is a crapshoot depending on the establishment, but it's all good fun....

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Reply by Stephen Harvey, May 30, 2011.

Auge, is one of Adelaide best Italian Restaurants with a great wine list

www.auge.com.au/cms_resources/Documents/Wine%20list%2011%20December.pdf

Absolutely worth a try if you get to my home town

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Reply by Stephen Harvey, May 30, 2011.

Blanc, is my favourite Steak and Seafood Restaurant and Sam has a great winelist, he is also very accomodating with BYO

www.blancbistro.com/?page=wine_list

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Reply by Stephen Harvey, May 30, 2011.

And for Steak well you can't go past Gauchos

www.gauchos.com.au/Wine%20List.pdf

Originally started by an Argentinian but now in the hands of some great Italians

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Reply by Stephen Harvey, May 30, 2011.

Sadly, my favourite Restaurant Georges on Waymouth do not have a wine list online - will have to admoniish George for that

www.georgesonwaymouth.com.au

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Reply by Stephen Harvey, May 30, 2011.

My favourite over the years is Ambosinis, Paul and Remo have followed the path of their Hall of Fame father Amabile to continually rovide a great food experience at a very reasonable prices, great Northern Italian fare

www.ambrosinis.com.au/pdf/Ambrosini%20Wine%20List%20Sep%2010.pdf

I have been a regular at Ambosinis for over 20 years

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Reply by dmcker, Jan 21, 2012.

Never did hear from you, Greg, about whether you want any critiques of winelists in Tokyo or other towns in East Asia...  ;-)  Separately, I may have an opportunity for Foxall or NapaGirl here.

I was helping out a family member with something and we started talking about eats in the East Bay and wound around to GreatChina in Berkeley. I haven't been there in awhile, but by all indications it's still going strong. It has the best--by far--winelist I've ever personally seen at a Chinese restaurant. Extremely broadranging, with good depth in places as well, and I doubt I'd have any problem drinking there, well and with satisfaction about the matches, for a month or two in a row, never having the same wine twice. Plus the markups are extremely reasonable, as restaurant standards go. Those sound like good reasons why I hear stories of so many wine professionals eating, and drinking, at the place. Oh yeah, and though this is the kind of place that makes you question the desire to do so, if you want to BYOB, it's only $15 corkage, of which half goes to charity. There's a certain consciousness in many Bay Area endeavors that, at its best, well qualifies for the term 'englightened.' This restaurant gets my vote for that regarding their winelist policies, if not other things as well. I'd be curious if anywhere approached them in, for example, NYC.

So Greg, I suppose all you have to do is suggest you want a review of that restaurant's list, and someone may likely step forward....

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