the “all-chateau signac weekend” part-2

Sunday the clouds came in – a little too chilly for outdoor dining, so, back indoors with gorgeous veal chops from DiBruno’s, roasted potatoes, asparugus, and garlic bread (a little piece of nostalgia) – all washed down with the magnificent Château Signac Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages Chusclan “Combe d’Enfer” 2010 (which is easily the best ever produced on this estate).

Generous, ripe black fruit backed with fine, silky tannins and vibrant minerality. A perfect foil for the veal!

getting past generic “champagne”


Kleenex, Xerox, Jello…these have evolved to refer to a generic class of things (tissue, copies and copiers, fruit gelatin) rather than the specific brands for tissues, copies and copiers, and fruit “flavored” gelatin. Very early in my working at Moore Brothers, I came to realize Champagne was also a victim of this kind of “genericide.” (OK, that’s loosely using the term genericide; Champagne isn’t a brand, it’s a geographical indication). I was one of the major violaters in thinking Champagne was synonymous with sparkling wine. Now that I know how special true Champagne is I fight for its name to […]

on champagne…the “real” stuff

Bad news. Despite the fact that the governing board of the Union des Maisons de Champagne (UMC) voted unanimously in 2003 to end the practice of sur latte transactions beginning on January 1, 2004, the practice continues unabated.

Sur latte transactions are wholesale purchases of Champagne that is already bottled, ready to disgorge and label. In plain English, it means that members of the UMC, which includes G. H. Mumm, Moët et Chandon, and Veuve Clicquot, continue to sell Champagne under their own famous labels, that was made and bottled in other wineries. Many, both inside and outside of the Champagne […]

discovering sancerre

The other night, a customer walked into the store and brusquely stated, “I’d like two bottles of the Sancerre.” I had just finished restocking some, so to my relief, I knew where they were kept – but which Sancerre?

“We have a few of them. Do you know which one?” I asked.

“The white one,” he replied.

Errr…that didn’t help me. Luckily, Moore Brothers keeps an electronic record customer’s purchases, which comes in handy when someone doesn’t know what they’ve been drinking. So I was able to quickly look him up and find the exact bottle of Sancerre he wanted.

There was something in […]

“hood ornament” bordeaux

One thing I enjoy most in my work (besides drinking all this great wine) is hearing myself talk about it. I especially enjoy debunking the common wine-wisdom whenever I can. I’ve always been something of a wine guerrilla, but my subversive outbursts are rarely more satsifying than when I’m dumping on the Classified Bordeaux business. Don’t misunderstand me. In my twenty-five years of work in French restaurants, Classified Bordeaux were a cornerstone of the wine program.

My beef isn’t with the wines, but with the producers and exporters. Let me say flat out, at the risk of offending the “minor royalty” […]