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

Thursday, October 14, 2010

More Knives, Forks & Stars

Baci reminded me of other great bistros in wine towns. Artisan in Paso Robles, also saved the day for us after a long hard day. We arrived late and were treated to outstanding food, service, and wine. Our underground winemaker friend, Jacob Toft touted us onto Artisan as one of the few places to taste his excellent Rhone style blends. Artisan is a good place to taste Paso wines including other underground wines. In McMinnville, Oregon, we so miss the old Nick's - a place where you could get fabulous Pinot Noir with only an $8 markup above retail to bring it to the table. We still fondly remember the 2006 Panther Creek wine from Bednarick vineyard - the nuance, the complexity! The new Nick's not bad, but the price list ( oops, slip, I meant wine list) is pricey.The  new kid on the block is Thistle. First trip to this funky, sustainable, organic, holistic, biodynamique hole in the wall was fabulous. There, we tasted the amazing Westrey Chardonnay. Second time around, a New York Times review seems to have gone to their heads. While most French chefs can be very accommodating, at a middle level a certain Gallic stubbornness is exhibited - "How would you like your lamb, Messieur? Saignant, merci! Bien, rose, donc. Medium rare! Fine, medium, then! So the Thistle in The Crown or is it The Crown in The Thistle decided that the Hanger Steak should be " bien cuit, that is to say, "well done," perhaps thinking that this version was more like a stew, which it was. Everybody else enjoyed their dinner. Walla Walla - home of wheat, onions, wine, banks, and two great bistros. Although Saffron tends to be crowded and noisy, the small plates are great. Brasserie Four has a simple bistro menu and a great wine selection. Last time around we had  a great 2008 Premier Cru Chablis from William Fevre at a very reasonable price. All four venues get one knife and fork and one star.

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