Is working in a restaurant cool?

Not long ago Jen Agg mused on twitter if  maybe the restaurant business is not that cool     It used to be cool to work in a restaurant. Like the first few months of a passionate relationship. Fun, exciting, with new experiences, and cool to tell your friends you worked in one of the best restaurants in the city. Then reality sets in. Common themes start to emerge and the reasons you got out of the last restaurant relationship start to make themselves known. Things aren’t as cool as they once seemed. It could be the long hours but any work that is done well and with consideration takes time and hard work. However, the hours of the day are very different than most people and getting home around midnight or later most nights is not for everyone. But the time spent there is very social and you get to hang out with cool people and secretly judge costumers with your new friends in an attempt to fit in. Then that stops being cool, or owners may tell you to wear sweaters in the summer, and there is nothing cool about that. Perhaps it is the lack of management in most […]

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Has this ever happened to you?

You order a wine at a bar or restaurant and when it is served, you only nose it to confirm that the wine is clean. Everyone else gets their pour and after the cheers, you taste it for the first time. You’re not sure if the wine is corked, but aren’t not sure that it’s not corked. You taste again. Fuck! Corked. Just a hint, but enough to notice now and keep you from enjoying it. Trouble is you’re the only one who has noticed and your friends are having a grand time laughing and telling stories. You have to get the waiters attention and tell them that even though you confirmed the wine, it wasn’t until after tasting it you realized that it was corked. And because three quarters of the wine is in the glasses, it can’t be returned. How do you try and tell the waiter that you want a new wine? Do you even mention it? If you’re the waiter, how would you react?    

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Wine and Music

Wine & Music Winemaking is an art. It takes a very special person to have the ability to take a raw material like grapes and transform them into wine. There are hundreds of choices to be made at each step. One person can look at a vineyard of Pinot Noir and make something completely different than the next person. Similarly in music, many people can play guitar, but all of them play it very differently. So it is not uncommon that many artists enjoy wine. The hidden aromas, the subversion, the practice and patience it takes to produce a bottle. But the big difference is that there is only once chance a year to make that wine. There are no formulas, there is no template, and there is no sheet music. However, like any live performance, each day, the same wine changes. Many in the music industry have followed their passion for wine and have become involved in a winery. Some musicians own the winery outright, while others lend their name and work with a winery to create a label. Les Claypool Les Claypool has the aptly named Claypool Cellars with a wine named, Claypool Cellars’ CHAMPAGNE Pachyderm. I am […]

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Is Pigato Vermentino?

You say Pigato. I say Vermentino. Pigato. Vermentio. Favorita. Piccabon Lets call them all wine grapes! Last year I came across two Italian wines from the same producer. Nothing new there, but one was from a grape I had never heard of, Pigato. When I came home I looked it up in Jancis’s book Wine Grapes and the entry said, Vermentino. WTF? So I reached out to the producer who was kind enough to respond. Dear Jay, Concerning your question about Vermentino and Pigato, it is a debated topic and in the last years in there were different studies about that. (for example Carlone 1962; Romisondo 1963; Shneider Mannini 1990; Fregoini et al.) Vermentino and Pigato belong both to Malvasia family and they are two different clones. The border between clone and cultivar is a subtle difference. In according with my personal experience, in the vineyards if you compare leafs and clusters you can see some differences: Pigato leaf is bigger and it has dark green colour, Vermentino leaf is smaller and less dark, and Pigato cluster is more compact compared to Vermentino cluster. Pigato it is also considered a clone more aromatic. The confusion about Italian grapes grew. A little more digging and […]

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Gorgona Wine

  Gorgona, is both an island off the coast of Tuscany, and the name of the wine that is made on that island. The island is home to a small prison, which houses about 50-60 inmates. The white wine is a blend of Vermentino and Ansonica (a.k.a. Insolia or Inzolia in Sicily) grape varieties. The project is headed up by one of Italy’s oldest wine making family’s, Frescabaldi. It all started when Carlo Mazzerbo, the Gorgona penitentiary director, put out a call to find some help with the vines that they planted. The Frescabaldi family jumped on a boat and went directly to see how they could assist. Most of the inmates have been transferred from other prisons and are at the end of their sentences. To combat recidivism and help to integrate inmates once released, the prison planted a vineyard and even pay the inmates to grow the grapes and make the wines. Since then three former inmates have found work in cellars in Italy and a fourth is soon to be hired by Frescabaldi. The 2015 vintage of Gorgona wine, is the fourth vintage produced from the 1.8 hectare vineyard which was planted in 1999. There are roughly roughly about 2,000 bottles and […]

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Writings about my passion for wine, and the people, places, and stories connected to it.