Showing posts from February, 2010

The $200+ question

To spend or not to spend? That is the question! Last week I drank Grand Cru white Burgundy - Corton Charlemagne, Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet, Bâtard-Montrachet, and Chevalier-Montrachet. A couple of great vineyards were missing from this exalted line-up, but believe me - it was exalted alright! We (as in "wino crowd") all know that 3 things matter - vineyard, vintage, producer. You leave out one of them, and you are as good as a sitting duck. 2006 - a vintage for white Burgundy that had received mixed comments from the aristocrati, though personally I found many brilliant wines. For the tasting lineup organized by a local wine shop, they picked the absolute top examples from the extensive portfolios by Girardin, Pernot, B. Morey, Boillot and Bouchard, ranging from $78/bottle to $235/bottle (and those were bargains at a 40% discount!) For reference, here are the wines I enjoyed: 1. 2006 Corton-Charlemagne (Vincent Girardin) $78 2. 2006 Bienvenue-Bâtard-Montrachet (Paul Perno

Douce France

Hidden away in the Town & Country Plaza at the entrance to Stanford University in Palo Alto is a little gem of a cafe called Douce France. The type of place which to me embodies everything best about Palo Alto - quality without pretense, sophistication so subtle that you'll never see it, yet it's in the relaxed air all around you. At first, it may look like any other cafe, until you sit down, relax, watch and listen. You start hearing French, Italian, Spanish... you are in Europe. A perfect savory crepe arrives, and a panini, and a latte so good you've never had it this good within 6000 miles of here. Chef Donato stops here every morning on his way to Donato Enoteca for that perfect cup of espresso. From behind the counter comes Victor, his pale face tired of sleepless nights - he just had a baby. A face of an immigrant who escaped, a face of an angel who has seen hell, and is here now to give the rest of the world a little piece of the sunshine emanating from his soul