Lyle Fass – Word on the Street - 3-12-09; Wine Lists

Re: Lyle Fass – Word on the Street - 3-12-09; Wine Lists

Postby Lyle Fass » Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:03 pm

abreaks,

We are all cheap bastards. Especially these days. I am psyched about the project and intend to bring up interesting stuff as the business is at a moment of re-assessment, where traditional business models are pretty sure to go out the window as we deal with the new "economy." Something has got to give in an industry that has so much to offer but is still figuring out how to offer it.
Lyle Fass
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:31 pm

Re: Lyle Fass – Word on the Street - 3-12-09; Wine Lists

Postby Keith Levenberg » Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:02 pm

The cheap wines I always wonder why you never see on restaurant wine lists:

Gruet Brut N.V. - a good sparkler that a restaurant could easily sell for $25. Why not this instead of Korbel, or for that matter $85 Veuve?

Vignoble Guillaume Pinot Noir - not easy getting drinkable pinot noir at this price let alone something as good as 1er cru Burgundy, as this is (and pretty vintage-proof at that). Why not offer this instead of a $14 glass of big-brand Cali yukiness?

La Sibilla piedirosso or Clos Roche Blanche cabernet - frankly, I'd be perfectly happy if the only thing on the wine list was a barrel of either of these and a funnel.

Comte Peraldi Ajaccio - OK, I wouldn't actually expect to see this on a restaurant list but I'm throwing it in here as another shameless reminder for Jon to get as much as he can.
Keith Levenberg
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 2:59 pm

Re: Lyle Fass – Word on the Street - 3-12-09; Wine Lists

Postby natecsd » Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:11 pm

Lyle, great to see you here. I've enjoyed RocksandFruit for some time. Overall, this was an interesting analysis. For those of us who have only a moderate level of knowledge, want to stay near the bottom of a list (generally), but want to make sure not to get the over-the-hill/crummy/spoofed bottles that you've shown do appear on lists that they probably shouldn't, do you have any pearls of wisdom (other than trust the sommelier - which is often the best choice)? Thanks
natecsd
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:08 pm

Re: Lyle Fass – Word on the Street - 3-12-09; Wine Lists

Postby Lyle Fass » Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:00 pm

Keith,

All good choices. There were some inexpensive sparklers on some of the lists. Namely Lambruscos, Cremant d'Alsace etc...but for some reason good, intreresting, cheap sparkling wine on restaurant wine lists is the hardest to come by. I'd love to see more Tissot Cremant de Jura, Plageoles Mauzac Nature or Pinon Vouvray Bru off the top of my head. All inexpensive and not nearly as polarizing as Lambrusco or boring as Cremant de Alsace.

Natecsd,

Glad I could help out . . .Navigating the bottom is the hardest part of navigating a wine list.
Lyle Fass
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:31 pm

Re: Lyle Fass – Word on the Street - 3-12-09; Wine Lists

Postby mobiusmodx » Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:08 am

Lyle, thankgod someone wrote about this. Most NYC restaurant wine lists are utterly incompetent. Could you go to Devi and Blue Hill and pitch them on how to improve their lists? Those are probably two of my five favorite restaurants in NYC and they engage in sommelier malpractice. I usually just pay the corkage fee at these two places and bring my own.

In following Keith's footsteps, here are some others I sometimes wonder why they do not appear on any lists:

2007 Keller QbA Trocken... could be on a list for $45 a bottle, easily and that's with a sick markup. Too bad there is not much of this wine around, but still. Same for the 2007 Keller Kabinett.

Nikolaihof Hefeazburg Gruner Veltliner... This is a great wine in every vintage. It's gotten pricier lately, but I think a restaurant could still be killing it with $50 pricing.

How about either Lapierre or Desvignes or Descombes Morgon from 2006 (I hear 2007 was disappointing), all of which could go for around $50 with a decent markup. Or maybe Descombes Regnie, Coudert Clos de Roillet, or like a dozen other Beaujelais.

How about Muscadet by Luneau-Papin or Marc Ollivier. How about Clos de Briords or Granite de Clisson. All these bottles could go easily for around $40 on a wine list.

I second the Breton recommendation. How about Domaine de Rimbert's St. Chinian Mas Au Schiste from Languedoc.

I completely agree that sommeliers need to put more effort into finding value wines that are still good. Too many places just don't bother. One notable exception, I think, is Gramercy Tavern. Their list is loaded with great value wines and the high end stuff as well. It's easy to have a list full of Giacosa, Petrus, DRC, Leroy, Guigal, Mugnier, etc. It's hard to have a list with the wines I mentioned above. It requires, you know, actually doing your job.
mobiusmodx
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:20 am

Re: Lyle Fass – Word on the Street - 3-12-09; Wine Lists

Postby mobiusmodx » Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:10 am

Oh, one more thing... I think often times, value wines means some plonk from Chile, Argentina, South Africa, New Zealand etc (I know I just dissed whole regions... I'm sure there are some good wines made in those places, I just haven't seen them). And even that gets marked up 3-to-1. I think they should pay me to drink that stuff. Or maybe some spoofed out Spanish thing that got 9087 points from Jay Miller.
mobiusmodx
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:20 am

Re: Lyle Fass – Word on the Street - 3-12-09; Wine Lists

Postby Lyle Fass » Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:30 am

mobiusmodx,

All of those wines you mention, I would drink in a heartbeat. You make one really great point and that is about how somelliers and customers think of "value regions" like SA, NZ, Chile as value regions when they just make inexpensive wine that in general, are not very good, and often, a poor match for food. There are values in France, Austria and Germany and enouhg in NYC to fill a wine list and if people need their NW fix...Edmunds St. John, Sobon Estate to name just a few good inexpensive CA wines. Seems retailers are much more in tune with values than somms. I think that is a result of everybody and their mother going to a resto and ordering wine over $100. That was in the "boom." Boom over and know there needs to be re-vamped wine lists with value as the main thing.
Lyle Fass
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:31 pm

Re: Lyle Fass – Word on the Street - 3-12-09; Wine Lists

Postby Lyle Fass » Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:32 am

Oh and the whole Indian Restaurant wine list thing in NYC is a travesty. Rudi Wiest needs to personally just hit every Indian restaurant in town with Monchoff Estate, SF Halbtrocken and Von Buhl Jazz Med-Dry.

Blue Hill just mystifies me. I know Claire, but do not understand her list. I can find one or two things on most nights there but jeez i can never decide what I want on the menu..which should be the way the wine list is!
Lyle Fass
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:31 pm

Re: Lyle Fass – Word on the Street - 3-12-09; Wine Lists

Postby Judd » Sat Mar 14, 2009 12:18 pm

If interested, the link below from Food & Wine provides some wine list insight.

http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/how ... ive-bottle
Judd
Lord of the Board
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:55 am

Re: Lyle Fass – Word on the Street - 3-12-09; Wine Lists

Postby anthony44 » Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:41 pm

First- the comment about NZ, Chile et al screams of either ignorance or snobbery. There are fantastic wines coming from all of the regions mentioned there, and believe me when I say I've tasted more undrinkable wines from the Southern Rhone and South of France, not to mention Burgundy than I will ever taste from southern hemisphere or the new world.


As far as lists go, I'm in Seattle and the restaurant and wine scene coudn't be more different than NYC, so keep that in mind with these comments. I agree that the most difficult part of the list to craft is the bottom end. I also think that the sommelier has to balance a list that they can be proud to recommend a wine at any price point with a list that will sell. Adding white provencals, cru Beaujolais etc generally will not sell to the casual wine consumer as well as less expensive new world offerings. I know soms around here who sell delicate whites to pair with seafood as best they can, but the people at the table want their big oaky reds.


From the comments here, I think most of not all are in the BYO category.
anthony44
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 4:04 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Speaker’s Corner

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron