Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Japanese Garden

Happy Holidays (Christmas, New Year, Kwanzaa, Hanukah, Winter Solstice, Festivus), Paradisiacs!

via Woodmore Village, photos of a Japanese Garden.

May the beauty of the season be with us.

Monday, December 26, 2005

It's a Puzzlement

Hi Paradisiacs!

I survived the Christmas Party season! But I came away with a distinct sense of frustration. Here follows the text of an e-mail I sent to Jackson's Bistro regarding our company Christmas Party:

Hello Jackson's,

I attended the ProVest Christmas Party at Jackson's on Dec. 17. It was a fun time for all of us.

Just one thing: I went to the bar that was set up for the party and asked if they were pouring a pinot noir. I was offered a Cabernet Sauvignon, a merlot and the Ravenswood Vintner's Reserve Zinfandel. I wound up going inside to the "regular" bar to order a glass of pinot noir. I would have gladly paid for it, but one of the ProVest Vice Presidents spotted me and actually bought me a bottle of Blackstone Monterey Pinot Noir - which I enjoyed immensely!

Please understand I am not carping, but I wanted to offer an honest criticism. I have been exploring the wine world for the last few years and the trend is away from Cab & Merlot towards Pinot Noir, Syrah, Grenache and Tempranillo. There are plenty of high quality, low price versions of each that are readily available.

Consider the foods that were offered: carving station with roast beef & turkey, bacon-wrapped scallops, cocktail shrimp, sushi, and Thai skewers of beef & chicken with a dipping sauce. Which red wine would match up? Pinot Noir - such as the Blackstone. Or maybe the Perrin Reserve Cotes du Rhone ( which is on your wine list). Or even an Aussie shiraz such as the Rosemount (also on your wine list). Probably not a Cabernet Sauvignon.

My question is simple: why can't somebody @ Jackson's figure this out?

This has nothing to do with money or profit. If I were asked to pick 4 red wines to serve at any Christmas party, I would choose a syrah (the Rosemount on your wine list which can be had for $7 retail), a grenache (Mas Donis, a Spanish grenache-syrah blend @ $10 retail, Marco Real, a straight Spanish grenache @ $7 retail or Las Rocas, another straight Spanish grenache @ $8 retail), a pinot noir (I would buy a few cases of Castle Rock Carneros @ $9 retail) and (OK) I would throw in a cab or merlot (even though I would rather serve Gotim Bru - a smooth Spanish blend of tempranillo, cab & merlot that retails for $10). Or if I chose a Zin, it would be the Cline California Zin (on your wine list) which is much better (i.e. food-friendly) than the Ravenswood.

Why wouldn't Jackson's - which has a well deserved reputation for being upscale & trendy - want to prove it by offering wine lovers the hottest, trendiest reds & whites out there? Even for the company Christmas Party.


Wayne Pearce

Hope they get the hint.

Update: They do! Here is a portion of an e-mail from Eric Litchfield, General Manager @ Jackson's:

We value each guests comments as they allow us to serve our future guests better. I was very excited to hear your excitement and vast wine knowledge. We work hard to offer a extensive and award winning wine list. I apologize that the wines you desired were not offered with your event. We offer a variety and selections to our guests and rely on the party host to make the appropriate selections for there guests. I have forwarded your comments on to our Sales staff to enable them to provide better selections to our future patrons. Thank you again for your comments. They are appreciated.


Eric Litchfield
General Manager

Jackson's Bistro - highly recommended!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Holiday Wine Party

Transit, 1980
oil on canvas, 38 x 50 inches

Hey Paradisiacs!

I just returned from a wonderful Holiday Wine Party at my friend Rick's house. Tony, Irina & Mike, Starr, Dave & Margy, Nick, Brad & Elizabeth, Bob, Tom & Derek all showed up and brought food. I brought the salmon, someone (Bob?) brought Italian sausage & bratwurst, Elizabeth made spinach salad, lots of cheese & bread & crackers. Rick supplied the wines for a blind tasting - 2 Chardonnays & 6 (!) Pinot Noirs!

Lots of good conversation & laughter all around. I found out that Brad & Elizabeth are the proprietors of:

Brad Cooper Gallery
1712 E. 7th Avenue
Tampa, FL 33605

Check them out when you can.

Friday, December 02, 2005

New Cool Pic

Hey Paradisiacs!

My friend Eugenio took this really cool pic while exploring the UT campus.