Eating and Drinking in Paris

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Robert Dentice
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Re: Eating and Drinking in Paris

#301 Post by Robert Dentice » February 26th, 2020, 7:48 am

Michel Abood wrote:
February 26th, 2020, 7:32 am

As for natural wines, I can tell you there are a lot of people following philosophy at the expense of taste (here in the US as well I might add), which is something that I detest. There's also a lot of chasing similar names which also drives me nuts. Especially as we import a fair amount of natural wines, but having been trained on the classics, I want our wines to taste like what they're supposed to, or at least good. And we've gotten castigated for it (my favorite was a buyer at a natural wine bar in Brooklyn telling me our natural wines were too clean [snort.gif] ). That said, telling the somm what you're looking for, as you did, should help them steer you away from the funk.
What I hate most especially since I have been drinking wine for 20 years is that when I am served a dull mousey wine and send it back I get the you don't understand natural wine look.

I hope others follow the path of Le Saint Sebastien which a nice mixture of natural and classic. I would also add that Maison Sota is also focusing on cleaner Natural wines and have even selected Austrian Zalto like glassware that they feel is best for the wines they serve.
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Sarah Kirschbaum
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Re: Eating and Drinking in Paris

#302 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » February 26th, 2020, 8:02 am

Robert Dentice wrote:
February 26th, 2020, 7:48 am
Michel Abood wrote:
February 26th, 2020, 7:32 am

As for natural wines, I can tell you there are a lot of people following philosophy at the expense of taste (here in the US as well I might add), which is something that I detest. There's also a lot of chasing similar names which also drives me nuts. Especially as we import a fair amount of natural wines, but having been trained on the classics, I want our wines to taste like what they're supposed to, or at least good. And we've gotten castigated for it (my favorite was a buyer at a natural wine bar in Brooklyn telling me our natural wines were too clean [snort.gif] ). That said, telling the somm what you're looking for, as you did, should help them steer you away from the funk.
What I hate most especially since I have been drinking wine for 20 years is that when I am served a dull mousey wine and send it back I get the you don't understand natural wine look.

I hope others follow the path of Le Saint Sebastien which a nice mixture of natural and classic. I would also add that Maison Sota is also focusing on cleaner Natural wines and have even selected Austrian Zalto like glassware that they feel is best for the wines they serve.

I sometimes wonder about the people drinking these wines. At Mokonuts, the first wine I was served was truly bad - not only was it mousey, it had shrieking acidity and zero body or fruit to support it. I was the first one in the restaurant served, so everyone there (it's a small place) watched me turn it down, meaning they knew they could do the same. Then she proceeded to offer it to everyone else who ordered a glass of white, regardless of what food they'd ordered, I might add, which was basically everyone, and everyone accepted it. I wonder if they actually liked it? Were too embarrassed to turn it down, even though they saw me do it? Or just don't have a clue what wine is supposed to taste like? Are just happy it doesn't cost very much?

The glassware at Maison was very nice, and variety specific. My theory on all the tiny glasses at most places these days is: who wants to smell those wines anyway?
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Michel Abood
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Re: Eating and Drinking in Paris

#303 Post by Michel Abood » February 26th, 2020, 11:12 am

Robert Dentice wrote:
February 26th, 2020, 7:48 am
Michel Abood wrote:
February 26th, 2020, 7:32 am

As for natural wines, I can tell you there are a lot of people following philosophy at the expense of taste (here in the US as well I might add), which is something that I detest. There's also a lot of chasing similar names which also drives me nuts. Especially as we import a fair amount of natural wines, but having been trained on the classics, I want our wines to taste like what they're supposed to, or at least good. And we've gotten castigated for it (my favorite was a buyer at a natural wine bar in Brooklyn telling me our natural wines were too clean [snort.gif] ). That said, telling the somm what you're looking for, as you did, should help them steer you away from the funk.
What I hate most especially since I have been drinking wine for 20 years is that when I am served a dull mousey wine and send it back I get the you don't understand natural wine look.
Mouse is something I am ridiculously sensitive to (the natural wine fairs are sometimes true torture, and I do appreciate well-made natural wines). So I love when they try to tell me I need to give it time to blow off, when mouse notes actually oxydize and get worse with air (it also reacts with the PH in your saliva from what I've read, which is why it generally shows up at the back of the palate after you've swallowed). My first words to the somm at Enfants du Marche were "I want a crisp, bright light bubbly with no mouse" and the guy delivered. Even Andrew liked the natural wines he served us.
Guess what? I'm ITB-> Vinotas Selections

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M.Kaplan
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Re: Eating and Drinking in Paris

#304 Post by M.Kaplan » February 26th, 2020, 11:18 am

Great notes, Sarah. I agree about the weird downstairs at Maison Sota. It screams to be a wine bar. I also loved the baby abalone at Enfants Rouge, as well as everything else I ate there. So much so that I walked 1.25 miles from our apartment for lunch 2-3 times a week. They do a good job with (mostly) natural wines there. Like you, I tell them (Clem, mostly) that I want something clean and not too oxidative and I've enjoyed what they've poured. Same with the Avant Comptoirs, which always have a bunch of interesting wines to drink.

Le Saint Sebastien is on my list for Sept. We eat dinners at "A" restaurants a couple of times a week while in Paris, preferring casual dinners at B+ restaurants most of the time. This trend continues to grow as we get older and can no longer comfortably eat endless tasting menus.

I wonder how much of the proliferation of natural wines at often newer restaurants operating on shoestring budgets is due to stylistic preference and how much is due to the comparatively low cost of building a list with wines that don't require long cellaring and, conversely, require early drinking.
---Mark

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Re: Eating and Drinking in Paris

#305 Post by Andrew Kotowski » February 26th, 2020, 11:29 am

Michel Abood wrote:
February 26th, 2020, 11:12 am
My first words to the somm at Enfants du Marche were "I want a crisp, bright light bubbly with no mouse" and the guy delivered. Even Andrew liked the natural wines he served us.
For me, it boils down to trusting whomever is picking the wines to understand what your tastes are and then deliver.

I've had some really, really bad natty wines a couple of wow wines and then a long middle that were pleasant to drink. Was at a GTG last week and one of the guys said "you know, technically D'Angerville is a natural wine!" That's something I can get behind! flirtysmile
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Robert Dentice
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Re: Eating and Drinking in Paris

#306 Post by Robert Dentice » February 26th, 2020, 11:47 am

M.Kaplan wrote:
February 26th, 2020, 11:18 am

I wonder how much of the proliferation of natural wines at often newer restaurants operating on shoestring budgets is due to stylistic preference and how much is due to the comparatively low cost of building a list with wines that don't require long cellaring and, conversely, require early drinking.
In my opinion it is 100% stylistic and many Chefs I know and love think they have to have natural wines because all of the peers have natural lists.
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Jerry Hey
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Re: Eating and Drinking in Paris

#307 Post by Jerry Hey » February 27th, 2020, 2:20 pm

Thanks for your list of restaurants. I haven't been to any of those but Septime has been on my list but the reservations are impossible to get. I too have an aversion to natural wines as the only choice in many restaurants. We got back last week from 6 days in Paris and had some good meals, especially at Les Climate and of course Epicure.

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Robert Dentice
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Re: Eating and Drinking in Paris

#308 Post by Robert Dentice » September 29th, 2020, 11:46 am

Devastated to report that Chef Taku Sekine of Dersou and Cheval d'Or has passed. He was so unbelievably talented and a gentle soul. R.I.P.
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Michel Abood
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Re: Eating and Drinking in Paris

#309 Post by Michel Abood » September 29th, 2020, 11:50 am

Robert Dentice wrote:
September 29th, 2020, 11:46 am
Devastated to report that Chef Taku Sekine of Dersou and Cheval d'Or has passed. He was so unbelievably talented and a gentle soul. R.I.P.
What? What happened? I saw him at Cheval d'Or in February, such a lovely soul. So sad, sincerest condolences to his family and friend. I am in shock.
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M.Kaplan
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Re: Eating and Drinking in Paris

#310 Post by M.Kaplan » September 29th, 2020, 1:50 pm

Oh man, that's terrible.
---Mark

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Andrew S.
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Re: Eating and Drinking in Paris

#311 Post by Andrew S. » September 29th, 2020, 4:01 pm

Horrible. According to this he ended his own life.

https://www.eater.com/2020/9/29/2149429 ... %20stories.

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