Lettie Teague on "Good" versus "Great" Wine with some WB Board Members

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Lettie Teague on "Good" versus "Great" Wine with some WB Board Members

Post #1  Postby WvanGorp » March 11th 2010, 10:43am

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Re: Lettie Teague on "Good" versus "Great" Wine with some WB Board Members

Post #2  Postby Todd F r e n c h » March 11th 2010, 10:45am

I read it, and enjoyed it. Chris Freeman, in particular.

Someone remind me never to bring wine to Scott Manlin, lest I 'embarrass' myself... [whistle.gif]

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Post #3  Postby Scott Manlin » March 11th 2010, 11:04am

Todd F r e n c h wrote:I read it, and enjoyed it. Chris Freeman, in particular.

Someone remind me never to bring wine to Scott Manlin, lest I 'embarrass' myself... [whistle.gif]

Wilfred, you are everywhere, man!


Ha Ha.. it was the context... I swapped out the Usseglio "classique" for a Cuvee de Mon Aieul.. it was all good...
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Re: Lettie Teague on "Good" versus "Great" Wine with some WB Board Members

Post #4  Postby Roberto Rogness » March 11th 2010, 11:04am

"'These guys don't drink Austrian wines. For them, it's Burgundy or Bordeaux." Phil had thought about bringing a Pinot Gris from Alois Kracher, the late, great Austrian winemaker, saying, "The wine screams terroir for $16 a bottle." Why didn't he bring it? Phil shrugged. "Not in this crowd.'"

One of the saddest things I have EVER read on a wine board.
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Re: Lettie Teague on "Good" versus "Great" Wine with some WB Board Members

Post #5  Postby Scott Manlin » March 11th 2010, 11:06am

Roberto Rogness wrote:"'These guys don't drink Austrian wines. For them, it's Burgundy or Bordeaux." Phil had thought about bringing a Pinot Gris from Alois Kracher, the late, great Austrian winemaker, saying, "The wine screams terroir for $16 a bottle." Why didn't he bring it? Phil shrugged. "Not in this crowd.'"

One of the saddest things I have EVER read on a wine board.


Also not entirely true... I have been drinking Austrian wines (thanks to my good friend Klaus Puck) since 98... love Austrian Riesling and Gruner Veltliner... though for me, they are more summery or "fish" and "poultry" wines...
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Re: Lettie Teague on "Good" versus "Great" Wine with some WB Board Members

Post #6  Postby Brian G r a f s t r o m » March 11th 2010, 11:23am

Well, that certainly does not represent someone’s finest hour; the question is whose? Ms. Teague's? Manlin's? the others'? or all of the above?
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Re: Lettie Teague on "Good" versus "Great" Wine with some WB Board Members

Post #7  Postby mike pobega » March 11th 2010, 11:33am

A couple things come to mind:

Is Ms Teague not wine savvy? She sure does many wine articles, but each one reads like her first, or second.

If Mr Manlin were to leave Chicago, would the lights go out on Ms Teague's future wine articles? It seems he is her 'go to' subject, when she needs to go to.

Other than that it was a fun read. Mr Freeman should sign up here. newhere

cheers!
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Re: Lettie Teague on "Good" versus "Great" Wine with some WB Board Members

Post #8  Postby G. D y e r » March 11th 2010, 11:45am

With all due respect to Scott and Wilfred, this article reinforces the stereotype of the stuffy wine collector. I mean a guest brings a pair of not just highly regarded but quite expensive wines, and one is embarrassing and the other is cooking wine? It might be one thing to suggest they aren't an ideal fit given the more mature wines being poured and the apparent narrow spectrum of appreciation of the crowd. But the way it's phrased by Teague (and maybe that is a non-trivial point), it comes across as rather pretentious and insulting.

In fairness, the generosity in sharing that is shown is laudable. It's just a bit disheartening that folks can't appreciate wines based on their individual merits.
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Re: Lettie Teague on "Good" versus "Great" Wine with some WB Board Members

Post #9  Postby Jorge Henriquez » March 11th 2010, 11:57am

Guys, let's try to remember.....it's ALL subjective AND relative. grouphug

Although this particular line did catch my eye:

In fact, I've had good wines for under $15, although according to Dan Posner, a wine merchant in White Plains, New York, they couldn't have been good, not at that price. A good wine costs $20 to $100 a bottle, said Dan. And a great wine? "Over $100," he opined.
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Re: Lettie Teague on "Good" versus "Great" Wine with some WB Board Members

Post #10  Postby WvanGorp » March 11th 2010, 12:08pm

One of my greatest wine memories is a $15 white from Spain that Josh Raynolds brought to my home when I lived in NYC and we all tasted it blind. It was stunning. I said "This proves one doesn't need to spend a fortune for a fine bottle of wine." Anyone can pick a great First Growth; it takes a special quality to find a gem that's not famous or expensive.
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Re: Lettie Teague on "Good" versus "Great" Wine with some WB Board Members

Post #11  Postby Todd F r e n c h » March 11th 2010, 12:18pm

WvanGorp wrote:One of my greatest wine memories is a $15 white from Spain that Josh Raynolds brought to my home when I lived in NYC and we all tasted it blind. It was stunning. I said "This proves one doesn't need to spend a fortune for a fine bottle of wine." Anyone can pick a great First Growth; it takes a special quality to find a gem that's not famous or expensive.

I think in a group setting almost ALL wines should be served blind at first, so there is no pre-judgment like this. Assumably, each person brings a wine that TRULY is good, though, at least to their own preferences.
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Post #12  Postby Loren Sonkin » March 11th 2010, 12:21pm

Interesting article. I do agree that great wines help to put wines in context.

The Huet, however, can be a great wine although 06 is not the vintage. 02 or 05 are both great wines that will age wonderfully and for my tastes, compete with the best Burgundies of a comprable vintage.
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Post #13  Postby Lyle Fass » March 11th 2010, 12:29pm

WvanGorp wrote:One of my greatest wine memories is a $15 white from Spain that Josh Raynolds brought to my home when I lived in NYC and we all tasted it blind. It was stunning. I said "This proves one doesn't need to spend a fortune for a fine bottle of wine." Anyone can pick a great First Growth; it takes a special quality to find a gem that's not famous or expensive.


Amen.
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Post #14  Postby Alan Rath » March 11th 2010, 12:30pm

A fun article. And it points out something that has in many ways turned me away from most offlines and wine gatherings in general: More often than not, it's about the price of the wine, not the quality of the wine. The Huet that Lettie brought is, in my mind, every bit as great a bottle as anything else on the table that night. But it was pushed aside, mainly because it's a $30 wine, not $300. Or the Pichler, though a relatively expensive wine, is well under $100, so it can't possibly be considered worthy of "greatness" in the company of so many $500-1000 bottles. A good article, interesting, but also a bit sad in a way.
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Re: Lettie Teague on "Good" versus "Great" Wine with some WB Board Members

Post #15  Postby B Stucker » March 11th 2010, 12:46pm

Todd F r e n c h wrote:I read it, and enjoyed it. Chris Freeman, in particular.


Yes. Never has a description been more apt than " Chris, the amateur".
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Re: Lettie Teague on "Good" versus "Great" Wine with some WB Board Members

Post #16  Postby Rick Gregory » March 11th 2010, 12:47pm

"Great wine is something else altogether. Great wine is produced in small quantities and commands big prices, especially in the much-hyped vintages. Great wine can only be experienced once in a while. But, as great wine only gets more and more expensive and good wine gets cheaper and cheaper, I've been wondering lately if greatness is overrated. "

I stopped at that point.
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Re: Lettie Teague on "Good" versus "Great" Wine with some WB Board Members

Post #17  Postby Brian G r a f s t r o m » March 11th 2010, 12:48pm

Rick Gregory wrote:"Great wine is something else altogether. Great wine is produced in small quantities and commands big prices, especially in the much-hyped vintages. Great wine can only be experienced once in a while. But, as great wine only gets more and more expensive and good wine gets cheaper and cheaper, I've been wondering lately if greatness is overrated. "

I stopped at that point.


It’s a good thing you did; it only got worse after that.
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Post #18  Postby Keith Levenberg » March 11th 2010, 12:51pm

Someone needs to send you guys to Huet Reeducation Camp.
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Post #19  Postby Bill Tex Landreth » March 11th 2010, 12:53pm

B Stucker wrote:
Todd F r e n c h wrote:I read it, and enjoyed it. Chris Freeman, in particular.


Yes. Never has a description been more apt than " Chris, the amateur".



....or that Mr. Freeman has the palate of a yak.

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Re: Lettie Teague on "Good" versus "Great" Wine with some WB Board Members

Post #20  Postby Richard T r i m p i » March 11th 2010, 12:54pm

Lyle Fass wrote:
WvanGorp wrote:One of my greatest wine memories is a $15 white from Spain that Josh Raynolds brought to my home when I lived in NYC and we all tasted it blind. It was stunning. I said "This proves one doesn't need to spend a fortune for a fine bottle of wine." Anyone can pick a great First Growth; it takes a special quality to find a gem that's not famous or expensive.
Amen.
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Post #21  Postby Bill Tex Landreth » March 11th 2010, 12:55pm

Keith Levenberg wrote:Someone needs to send you guys to Huet Reeducation Camp.



Is that better or worse than band camp?

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Post #22  Postby Phillip F r a n k s » March 11th 2010, 12:57pm

Only thing I could think of to sum up this article and it's participants.

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Re: Lettie Teague on "Good" versus "Great" Wine with some WB Board Members

Post #23  Postby Todd F r e n c h » March 11th 2010, 1:00pm

+1 Franks.

I would challenge anyone who thinks that way to spend some time drinking wine blind. Look at some recent notes about a Dehlinger syrah that blew (I think it was Loren Sonkin) away!

Great wines are NOT priced at a certain level - they can be at any price. I've had many an expensive wine that was incredibly disappointing.
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Post #24  Postby G. D y e r » March 11th 2010, 1:01pm

Alan Rath wrote:A good article, interesting, but also a bit sad in a way.


It's the end that's the saddest, and probably not by accident. Teague opens up that CdP, which should have been an enjoyable experience, but it has been made dull not because of what it is, but because of what it isn't.
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Post #25  Postby Jorge Henriquez » March 11th 2010, 1:08pm

Bill Tex Landreth wrote:
B Stucker wrote:
Todd F r e n c h wrote:I read it, and enjoyed it. Chris Freeman, in particular.


Yes. Never has a description been more apt than " Chris, the amateur".



....or that Mr. Freeman has the palate of a yak.


Wait wait wait, are you saying that Chris "Amateur" Freeman is in reality our very own lovable Freeker, A.K.A. Yak-man?!?!?!?
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Re: Lettie Teague on "Good" versus "Great" Wine with some WB Board Members

Post #26  Postby Keith Levenberg » March 11th 2010, 1:09pm

Scott Manlin wrote:Also not entirely true... I have been drinking Austrian wines (thanks to my good friend Klaus Puck) since 98... love Austrian Riesling and Gruner Veltliner... though for me, they are more summery or "fish" and "poultry" wines...
Can't get on board with that one at all. What makes Austrian riesling summery but white Burgundy profound? I have had far many more profound, great Austrian wines than profound, great white Burgundies. And I think the world is divided between people who know this (and, indeed, figure it's so obvious it's not even debatable) and people who just don't feel like wrapping their heads around the esoterica of another wine region...
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Post #27  Postby M A T T H A R T L E Y » March 11th 2010, 1:13pm

WvanGorp wrote:One of my greatest wine memories is a $15 white from Spain that Josh Raynolds brought to my home when I lived in NYC and we all tasted it blind. It was stunning. I said "This proves one doesn't need to spend a fortune for a fine bottle of wine." Anyone can pick a great First Growth; it takes a special quality to find a gem that's not famous or expensive.


What was the wine!?!?!?!?!?!
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Post #28  Postby Loren Sonkin » March 11th 2010, 1:13pm

The other problem with this kind of thinking is that it ignores the single best part of drinking wine and that is sharing bottles with others. Lettie's CdP, shared with her friends, is infinitely more enjoyable than any bottle of wine drunk alone. I think we all agree on that or most of us anyway. Way too much emphasis on price (and the tradtions that created the pricing structure) in this article.

I am not a fan of blind tasting in general, but one thing it is good for is to get rid of these preconcieved notions that price equal quality.
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Re: Lettie Teague on "Good" versus "Great" Wine with some WB Board Members

Post #29  Postby Bob Kaminski » March 11th 2010, 1:21pm

Well, if I had not been a wine BB participant reading and exchanging TNs and comments with the people listed in the article, I might conclude that they were pretentious wine snobs. I know that not to be the case due to that interaction, but the article does lead to some interesting debate about why many are intimidated by wine in general.

Why are the great wines great? Mostly because we have been taught that they are great by fancy classifications from centuries past and the omnipotent and infallible professional wine critics where many have reduced the totally subjective quality of wine to a numerical score.

As Yoda says to Luke..."you must unlearn what you have learned"

I guess that mean we must think outside the box! [stirthepothal.gif] [rofl.gif]

We have been trained to equate greatness with numerical score or label pedigree which directly correlated to price of admission. So, is it any wonder why people tend to perpetuate this paradigm?

The simple brown bag, into which the expensive and the moderate priced (OK so that is a relative scale right there) wine is placed, is the great truth teller. deadhorse

In the end regardless of the price, be it $10, $100, or $1000, you just pee it out anyway. neener


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Post #30  Postby Bill Tex Landreth » March 11th 2010, 1:24pm

Bob Kaminski wrote:
In the end regardless of the price, be it $10, $100, or $1000, you just pee it out anyway. neener


Not necessarily....
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Post #31  Postby Bob Kaminski » March 11th 2010, 1:25pm

Keith Levenberg wrote:
Scott Manlin wrote:Also not entirely true... I have been drinking Austrian wines (thanks to my good friend Klaus Puck) since 98... love Austrian Riesling and Gruner Veltliner... though for me, they are more summery or "fish" and "poultry" wines...
Can't get on board with that one at all. What makes Austrian riesling summery but white Burgundy profound? I have had far many more profound, great Austrian wines than profound, great white Burgundies. And I think the world is divided between people who know this (and, indeed, figure it's so obvious it's not even debatable) and people who just don't feel like wrapping their heads around the esoterica of another wine region...


Hey Keith, don't you know that premox adds complexity. [berserker.gif] [rofl.gif]
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Post #32  Postby Peter C. » March 11th 2010, 1:35pm

Rick Gregory wrote:"Great wine is something else altogether. Great wine is produced in small quantities and commands big prices, especially in the much-hyped vintages. Great wine can only be experienced once in a while. But, as great wine only gets more and more expensive and good wine gets cheaper and cheaper, I've been wondering lately if greatness is overrated. "

I stopped at that point.



It got worse, good call.
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Post #33  Postby Alan Rath » March 11th 2010, 1:44pm

Loren Sonkin wrote:The other problem with this kind of thinking is that it ignores the single best part of drinking wine and that is sharing bottles with others..
You can't say that the group (and I mean no disrespect to the group of folks at the dinner, they are all fine, upstanding wine geeks) didn't share these bottles with others. But I agree with what I think the underlying sentiment of your comment is: too many wine-themed dinners end up with a dozen or more great bottles (regardless of how greatness is defined, either by quality, rarity, price, you name it), flashing past all of the participants at high speed. If this had been a dinner where any single one of those bottles was the only wine on the table (or at most 2-3), and it was savored and discussed at length for the evening, then I think you'd have something worth talking about. But this kind of event (again, not to single out this group, it happens everywhere, over and over) is almost more a display of ostentation then of wine appreciation.
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Post #34  Postby Bob Kaminski » March 11th 2010, 1:48pm

Bill Tex Landreth wrote:
Bob Kaminski wrote:
In the end regardless of the price, be it $10, $100, or $1000, you just pee it out anyway. neener


Not necessarily....


You got a closed-loop system there Tex?
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Post #35  Postby Bill Tex Landreth » March 11th 2010, 1:49pm

Bob Kaminski wrote:
Bill Tex Landreth wrote:
Bob Kaminski wrote:
In the end regardless of the price, be it $10, $100, or $1000, you just pee it out anyway. neener


Not necessarily....


You got a closed-loop system there Tex?



I was thinking more along the line of reversal of fortune if you consume too much.
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Re: Lettie Teague on "Good" versus "Great" Wine with some WB Board Members

Post #36  Postby Bob Kaminski » March 11th 2010, 1:50pm

Bill Tex Landreth wrote:
Bob Kaminski wrote:
Bill Tex Landreth wrote:
Bob Kaminski wrote:
In the end regardless of the price, be it $10, $100, or $1000, you just pee it out anyway. neener


Not necessarily....


You got a closed-loop system there Tex?



I was thinking more along the line of reversal of fortune if you consume too much.


Ah, different exit...got it. [rofl.gif]
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Post #37  Postby Faryan Amir-Ghassem¡ » March 11th 2010, 1:57pm

Cheers to Scott, Jim and Wilfred for opening up some fantastic wines for a neophyte reporter. I don't know why people are lambasting them. Blind tasting is a great leveler, but honestly, the ratio or frequency of profound to cheap is far less than the ratio of profound to expensive, as long as one is looking in the right places.

I agree, that anyone can buy first growths. What impresses me about one's cellar is a diversity of selection that doesn't adhere to critical ratings, prestige or anything of that like; rather personal stylistic preference and knowledge.
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Post #38  Postby Bob Wood » March 11th 2010, 2:00pm

Leroy Chassagne in the risotto may be the ultimate act of the insufferable wine snot.
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Post #39  Postby Bob Kaminski » March 11th 2010, 2:04pm

Faryan Amir-Ghassem¡ wrote:Cheers to Scott, Jim and Wilfred for opening up some fantastic wines for a neophyte reporter. I don't know why people are lambasting them. Blind tasting is a great leveler, but honestly, the ratio or frequency of profound to cheap is far less than the ratio of profound to expensive, as long as one is looking in the right places.

I agree, that anyone can buy first growths. What impresses me about one's cellar is a diversity of selection that doesn't adhere to critical ratings, prestige or anything of that like; rather personal stylistic preference and knowledge.


No one is lambasting them that I can see - there are no ad hominum attacks. That event described in the article is the antithesis of your final comment. Just saying......
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Re: Lettie Teague on "Good" versus "Great" Wine with some WB Board Members

Post #40  Postby Andrew Hall » March 11th 2010, 2:07pm

Bob Wood wrote:Leroy Chassagne in the risotto may be the ultimate act of the insufferable wine snot.


There are plenty (actually a huge amount) who would view your putting a 10$ bottle of Soave into your risotto just as equally incomprehensible and insufferable. It is all relative.

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Re: Lettie Teague on "Good" versus "Great" Wine with some WB Board Members

Post #41  Postby M A T T H A R T L E Y » March 11th 2010, 2:10pm

Faryan Amir-Ghassem¡ wrote:Cheers to Scott, Jim and Wilfred for opening up some fantastic wines for a neophyte reporter. I don't know why people are lambasting them. Blind tasting is a great leveler, but honestly, the ratio or frequency of profound to cheap is far less than the ratio of profound to expensive, as long as one is looking in the right places.

I agree, that anyone can buy first growths. What impresses me about one's cellar is a diversity of selection that doesn't adhere to critical ratings, prestige or anything of that like; rather personal stylistic preference and knowledge.


Pretty sure I would not characterize Lettie Teague as a "neophyte"....
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Re: Lettie Teague on "Good" versus "Great" Wine with some WB Board Members

Post #42  Postby Faryan Amir-Ghassem¡ » March 11th 2010, 2:12pm

M A T T H A R T L E Y wrote:
Pretty sure I would not characterize Lettie Teague as a "neophyte"....


She comes off as one in her article. It may be her speaking to her audience, of course.
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Re: Lettie Teague on "Good" versus "Great" Wine with some WB Board Members

Post #43  Postby Matt Latuchie » March 11th 2010, 2:13pm

interesting. just realized we both went to the same TINY college in rural Ohio. small world i guess.
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Re: Lettie Teague on "Good" versus "Great" Wine with some WB Board Members

Post #44  Postby Faryan Amir-Ghassem¡ » March 11th 2010, 2:15pm

Andrew Hall wrote:
Bob Wood wrote:Leroy Chassagne in the risotto may be the ultimate act of the insufferable wine snot.


There are plenty (actually a huge amount) who would view your putting a 10$ bottle of Soave into your risotto just as equally incomprehensible and insufferable. It is all relative.

A.


Agreed. While it may seem wasteful, others may find perceptible differences in taste by using a higher quality wine for cooking. Concurently, one may find you being wasteful for buying a $100 bottle that gets you drunk much the same as a $4 flask of rikalov. All of these judgments are scaled upon personal utility.
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Re: Lettie Teague on "Good" versus "Great" Wine with some WB Board Members

Post #45  Postby R@y.Tupp@+sch » March 11th 2010, 2:17pm

Looks like you've been pouring some fake champagne into your risotto.
;-)


Serge Birbrair wrote:Absolutely wrong. Me and my friends use only Crystal from special edition bottles and this is the highest respect we can pay to risotto.
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Re: Lettie Teague on "Good" versus "Great" Wine with some WB Board Members

Post #46  Postby Chris Freemott » March 11th 2010, 2:23pm

All I know is my 15 minutes of fame went to someone else.


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Re: Lettie Teague on "Good" versus "Great" Wine with some WB Board Members

Post #47  Postby Bill Tex Landreth » March 11th 2010, 2:26pm

Chris Freemott wrote:All I know is my 15 minutes of fame went to someone else.


[cry.gif]



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Re: Lettie Teague on "Good" versus "Great" Wine with some WB Board Members

Post #48  Postby Chris Freemott » March 11th 2010, 2:30pm

Yes. Never has a description been more apt than " Chris, the amateur".


Sigh.



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Re: Lettie Teague on "Good" versus "Great" Wine with some WB Board Members

Post #49  Postby R@y.Tupp@+sch » March 11th 2010, 2:38pm

Those pesky typos.
Krug Clos d'Ambonnay
Personally, I prefer a BdB in my risotto, so I only use Krug Clos du Mesnil from top vintages.

Serge Birbrair wrote:
Ray.Tuppatsch wrote:Looks like you've been pouring some fake champagne into your risotto.
;-)


Serge Birbrair wrote:Absolutely wrong. Me and my friends use only Crystal from special edition bottles and this is the highest respect we can pay to risotto.


darn typo! Cristal in risotto is never my favorite, every risotto eating oenophile knows that
1995 Krug "Clos Ambonnay" Brut Champagne is the ONLY proper way to go, but...we had to cut corners due to the prolonged recession.

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Re: Lettie Teague on "Good" versus "Great" Wine with some WB Board Members

Post #50  Postby Steve Ritchie » March 11th 2010, 2:45pm

With all due respect, that wine tasting and dinner sounds about as enjoyable and relaxing as a candlelight supper hosted by Hyacinth Bucket... Everyone in attendance may indeed be a very nice person, but snubbing a Huet Vouvray as a "cooking wine" is hardly the way I'd welcome a guest's sincere contribution.

But then again, I am just an enthusiastic, yet unwashed, amateur....
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