There’s only one cocktail I ever truly crave- a Negroni. A perfect blend of equal parts sweet vermouth, Campari and gin. Recently I had a variation on this classic at Seattle’s Bar Ferd’nand that has become my new favorite iteration. Replace the Campari with Cardamaro, a bitter-sweet amaro tinted with citrusy undertones and a lovely fennel finish- and you get a Cardagroni. The boys at Bar Ferd’nand really know how to improve on a good thing.
Gin, Sweet Vermouth, Cardamaro.
One other thing to love about Bar Ferd… they have the best bar snacks. Ever.
MusI am writing this because I need a place to record the delicious details of the last lunch I ate at Matt’s in the Market. This restaurant redefines comfort food for me- and comfort is what you need when you’re out running around a city like Seattle, getting drenched by the perpetually chilly rain and fighting traffic while trying to keep on top of a day full of appointments. Regardless, Matt’s in the Market is a little bit of home away from home, especially when you begin your meal with a superlative Bloody Mary. Continue reading
Old wine is fascinating. Bottles with some age are like singular little time capsules, message in a bottle from a specific place and time. So what happens to these sleeping beauties when you have to replace old corks with new closures? Continue reading
My favorite discovery from my last trip to Seattle was a new restaurant from Ethan Stowell, proudly waving the flag for regional Italian cuisine.
Roman cuisine, specifically. Rione XIII is inspired by Trastevere, one of my favorite Roman neighborhoods. Filled with the sleek, modern lines of a classy Seattle restaurant, Rione XIII is still warmed by truly Italian touches like the open kitchen and comforting splashes of color. And then there’s the food. And the wine list. Enough already!
The rest of this post is guaranteed to make you hungry. Continue reading
One of my favorite parts about working for an Italian wine importer is that I am able to spend time with Italian winemakers while they are visiting the US. It’s a fantastic study in cultural differences and similarities- and really, it’s just a lot of fun. One theme I have noticed recently is that our visiting winery representatives are always excited about one thing. Sushi. Continue reading
I am always impressed when I have the chance to visit a local market like PCC Natural Makets. In classic Seattle-fashion, this small chain of cooperative-run markets is fueled by the desire to build a community that offers local, healthy, sustainable food choices to its members and customers. This is the kind of progressive,self-governing attitude you’d expect from a Seattle institution. However you might be surprised to find that PCC has one of the most interesting and compelling wine selections. Ever. Continue reading
I once heard a statistic that 10% of every wine bottle produced with a natural cork closure is “corked”. 1 out of every 10 bottles is destroyed by TCA (trichloroanisole), a harmless, but truly unpalatable chemical compound.
On one hand, that seems unreasonably high. And as somebody who regularly opens 10 or more bottles at a time, I can tell you this certainly isn’t my experience.
However on the other hand, when you do get a bad bottle, TCA can be seriously disappointing. Continue reading
I tasted this Tre Fili Pinot Grigio at Sullivan’s Steakhouse the other day in Seattle, where my colleague Vittorio Marzotto and I stopped for a glass of vino and a bite to eat. Sullivan’s Wine Director Jeffrey Dorgan is also a fellow Italian Wine Geek, who peppers his classic American steakhouse wine list with gems like this Pinot Grigio.
The Tre Fili Pinot Grigio is bright, fruity, and everything you want in a cold glass of Veneto sunshine. This Pinot Grigio also happens to be (deliciously) organic. The wine paired exceptionally well with a locally inspired dish: smoked salmon-topped flatbread, smothered with an herbed crème fraiche and then finished with a scattering of delightful micro greens.
Sullivan’s has my vote for one of the best Happy Hour scenes in the city- beautiful people, delicious, honest food, and a wine list to keep even the most jaded wine guys intrigued… what else could you ask for?
There are so many reasons to love this delicious pink wine from the Pasini family at the San Giovanni estate. It’s truly gorgeous, fresh and alive with a needle-sharp acidity. The wine just swells with fresh strawberry fruit, and a backbone of singing minerality that leaves your mouth feeling like you’ve just sucked on a couple of river rocks.
Yes, this is a good thing. Especially when food is involved. And at Bar Ferd’nand, where I discovered this treasure of a wine, food should ALWAYS be involved… Continue reading
One of the best things about travelling the Pacific Northwest is the seafood- most specifically, the oysters. There’s something so rich and decadent about these simple little bivalves. I love the way that soft, velvety texture explodes in your mouth and releases all the oyster’s briny, cucumber-y flavors.
We also recently discovered the virtues of pairing oysters a Vermentino from Sardegna at one of Washington’s most famous Oyster Bars, off Chuckanut Drive. Continue reading