Without Reservations

Forget me not

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paulr@sfbg.com

The server who performs from memory is either a virtuoso or a show-off and more likely the latter, experience suggests, with muffs and miscues an almost certain result. Read more »

The fine print

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paulr@sfbg.com

"People will sleep better not knowing how their sausage and politics are made," Otto von Bismarck said and he might have added wine to the list, though one sees the Iron Chancellor as more of a beer man. Read more »

The gadget diarist

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Cuvee organica

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Organic wine is on the rise, and the French, no dopes as regards marketing, are on the case. A recent tasting of organic and biodynamic wines by the importer Louis/Dressner (at K and L Wine Merchants) included offerings from some small producers from the south and northeast of France and the Loire Valley and served as a reminder that (1) French winemakers do right by chenin blanc in a way that American winemakers, to my knowledge, cannot yet even crudely approximate, and (2) if you are going to buy French organic wine, you might be better off with a white than a red.Read more »

Shooting a pig

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A good deal of blood gets spilled in Michael Pollan's intelligently gory new book, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (Penguin Press, $26.95), but amid the accounts of chickens' throats being methodically slit and steers' assembly-line encounters with the so-called stunner, the shooting of a wild pig near Healdsburg commands a particularly dark fascination. Read more »