I don’t usually pay too much attention to serious top 10 or top 100 lists, especially for wine and food. However, the lists that I do look forward to each year are those from the San Francisco Chronicle. I’ve found over the years that my tastes are usually pretty well in line with these critics; it’s pretty rare that I’ve had a sub-par experience going off one of these lists.
On Christmas we were invited to a friend’s house to join their family and friends celebration, and we brought a bottle of Winemaker B’s Armida 2012 Chardonnay, Stuhlmuller Vineyard, Alexander Valley. I had last tasted this in the barrel nearly 2 years ago, and had been waiting to taste this from the bottle, since another winery’s Chardonnay – same vineyard, same year – had made this year’s Chronicle top 100 wine list. Well, I haven’t tried that Chardonnay, but I can tell you that the Armida Chardonnay was delicious. And the Christmas party was great fun, with some great food. And wine.
The next day Lori and I went into San Francisco to see a matinee showing of the musical Kinky Boots. We love live theater, we had enjoyed the movie when it first came out 8 or so years ago, and the musical (by Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper) had won multiple Tony awards. It was a lot of fun, with the audience even clapping along to a couple of the songs.
Afterwards we wandered around wasting time before our dinner reservation, and found a wine bar and shop, Arlequin, where we could sit outside and have a glass. Lori had a Sangiovese blend from Tuscany (La Mozza, Morellino de Scansano, 2012), while I had a Melon de Bourgogne (Luneau-Papin, Loire 2012). When I think of white wine from the Loire region, I’m thinking of Sauvignon Blanc, but this is not anything like that. Melon de Bourgogne is the grape varietal used to make Muscadet wines. (Interesting side note: Muscadet is the only wine made in France that is neither called by its region nor by its grape varietal.) I found it to be closer to white Rhone wines, like Viognier, than to Sauvignon Blanc, but with a less floral nose and more acid. Quite nice actually. Lori seemed to enjoy her wine as well, which was a blend of 85% Sangiovese with Syrah and Alicante, with a few percent of others thrown in. Very much a Sangiovese to be sipped while sitting on the sidewalk and watching the world go by.
For dinner we had reservations at Lers Ros, a Chronicle top 100 restaurant that does Thai food. Wow. We like Thai food, and there are a few good restaurants in our area. But nothing like this. The soup, the prawns and asparagus, the green papaya salad took this cuisine to a new level for us.