Seattle Wine Blog

This blog is dedicated to commentary on all aspects of wine, especially short entries to help you find the best wines without the usual hype and spin. These are my frank, independent opinions, usually based on tasting wine at a public event, off the shelf or at the winery. "All creative acts must arise out of a specific soil and flicker with a spirit of place" -D.H. Lawrence

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wildflower - Tucson Arizona

To every appearance, an independent, free-standing, "real" restaurant that garnered a "23" from Zagats. A good wine list successfully attempts that delicate balance between pricepoint and quality in this case with the emphasis on price - all available as glass pours. Cousins Barry and Susan, preferring relatively sweet whites, ordered the Vouvray, but our waiter somehow got this mixed up with a dry Alsatian Gewurztraminer. When we told him we wanted the "Chenin Blanc" he got it. This French Chenin Blanc was clean, fresh, fruity and semi-sweet - a vast improvement over Vouvray of the past which usually had a dirty, oxidized taste. I tasted two Chards from California - both adequate and neither very interesting. The Volpolicella seemed too big and rustic, but the Vivier! Vivier! Tempranillo from Spain was great - big, full, flavorful.
and perfect with duck.

About the duck! It was tough, dried out, and semi - cold. When the excellent G.M. asked how our food was I said it was "good", not telling her that "good" was my lowest rating. Deborah Tannen lives! Even though I grew up in New York City, I spent enough time in the Midwest to develop a "High Considerate" style, whereas cousin Barry, despite his Midwest sojourn never shed the East Coast "High Involvement" style, so he said it was tough, dried out, and cold. Susan's salmon was too salty, Barry's creme brulee was too bland and creamy. The bottom line? A similacrum! A small corporate chain maquerading as the real thing. Not bad, but not good either and not what it purports to be. Give it a "19".


  • At 8:23 PM, Blogger Wine Limo said…

    Wow, sounds like a very "tough" night, big difference between a vouvray and gewurztraminer, but why would you order a chenin blanc after that? I would have gone straight for the Chardonnay, haha. Duck is the hardest for it takes a slow long cooking and being so fat it seems either to be under and fatty or over done and dry. Auberge Du Soleil in Rutherford does an excellent duck! Sounds like we have had mirrored lives, nice blog!
    I enjoy your honesty and your experience!

  • At 10:00 AM, Blogger SeattleWineBlog said…

    Thanks, wine limo, for your comment. We didn't order a Chenin Blanc after that. The wines were listed by varietal, then the full name. He didn't get that the "Chenin Blanc" was a Vouvray. Probably didn't know what a Vouvray was and probably had never really read the wine list. In my experience duck can be cooked either very fast and high heat or slow and low. This one had been pre-cooked and probably stored in the fridge or (horrors!) the freezer. How else could you get it warm on the outside and cold on the inside like baked ice cream. Perhaps it will become the next new thing in cooking, presented at, say, the French Laundry as "Canard Froid and Chaud." Ive never had tough Duck anywhere in Seattle,nthe Bay Area, New York or France. It seems to be a specialty of Tucson. This was my second tough duck in Tucson. Perhaps they are cactus-fed duck or the chefs' fathers were hunters and they think that duck should should be tough and full of buckshot like wild hunted duck. As for mirrors, I've had a pretty blessed life. Life is an adventure! May you never be confronted with a rubber ducky on your plate. BTW, do you drive he LImo or ride in it? Gene


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