Zhadi's Den

Random essays on wine, writing, moving to San Francisco, surfing, cats (exotic and otherwise) and zombies...depending on my mood.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


You know when you dream about taking a nap that you're suffering some serious sleep deprivation. Mind you, it doesn't take much to qualify as serious deprivation where I'm concerned. I need my eight (preferably) 9 hours in order to be a fully functional human worker drone.

I worked a 16 hour day yesterday...got up at 5am, got to work at 6:40 and didn't go off the clock till 10:20PM. Got home and to bed around 11:00, then up again this morning at 5am again. So the actual shortage of sleep was no doubt aggravated by the VERY long work day, as well as at least 1 1/2 to 3 hours overtime the three days prior. Today will be another long day, although not the marathon event of yesterday.

Upside to this is that part of my work duties yesterday included attending a dinner at
Jardiniere Restaurant, which is across from the San Francisco Opera House. We had a private room located in one of the restaurant's wine 'cellars' (it was on the second floor, so I'm not sure that 'cellar' is the right term). It would be a great place to get stuck for a few weeks if one had good company or good books and, of course, a corkscrew.

I had a glass of Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose for cocktail hour, a delicate bubbly that was just the thing to take the last edge of stress off after a long day of coordinating catering and cars. We were served hours d'oevres, which included tuna tartare, truffled mushroom tartlettes, and herbed chevre with garden vegetables. Yummy.

Tony, one of our visiting dignitaries was in charge of the wine selection (nice to have it off my shoulders for the night!). He chose one white and two reds, which were poured throughout the evening. The white was a French Chablis, a 2002 Collet Vaillons. It had some pineapple in the nose and an interesting mineralityy to it, along with a hint of vanilla. It went nicely with my first course: Maine Diver scallops with sauteed mushrooms, smoked bacon, Italian parsley and toasted almonds. The scallops were fat, rich and very satisfying. It's amazing how filling small portions can be when well prepared.

The first red wine was a 2003 Shea Wine Cellars "Estate" Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley. It had none of the bright cherry characteristics that I associate with most Pinots. Michael said that it smelled of 'sweaty saddles and dirt' (but in a good way), which he always associated with pinots. It required the sommelier's intervention to point out that Michael was thinking of Syrah. I know I looked smug at that point. Sweaty saddles aside, and while it didn't really strike me as a great example of a Pinot, the earthy, almost-past-their-peak raspberry flavors were very enjoyable.

The third wine was served with the main course. It was a Domaine Joseph Voillot "Vieilles Vignes" 2003, a French Burgundy (Pinot Noir to you and me), and it was delicious. I haven't had a lot of Burgundies (unless you count the ones that come in a box with GALLO on the label), but if this is a good example of one, I could get severely addicted. Lots of berry in the nose and the taste, a complex and delicate wine. I guess it's what they call a 'well-balanced' wine 'cause all of the components just...worked together. So much for my career as a wine writer, but I don't how else to describe it. And it went so well with my dry aged New York steak with slow cookedbroccolii, garlic and lemon, fingerling potatoes and nicoise olive jus.

I'm not sure what dry aged means, btw. I had visions of a withered hunk ofoctogenariann meat, but this was medium-rare, rich, juicy, and oh so satisfying...

Dessert, a bittersweet Mexican chocolate cake with a rich vanilla ice cream, along with a cup of very good decaf coffee, topped off a perfect meal. And a company-subsidized cab ride home ended what was a pretty damn good day, considering that it was 16 hours of work.

But I still need some serious sleep.


  • At 4:44 PM, Blogger Mr. Fabulous said…

    I order diet coke in restaurants. I don't have no fancy wine learnin'.

    Can't take me anywhere.

    Well, to Burger King. But that's about it.

  • At 7:12 PM, Blogger zhadi said…

    You are SUCH a barbarian...but that's okay. I'll let you order the burgers and I'll order the wine.

  • At 7:17 PM, Blogger Esereth said…

    God your blog makes me want to live in San Francisco.

    Went once at 17. Rode a schooner, threw up in the Bay, and very obviously took photographs of homosexual couples cuz there weren't any in Idaho.

    But if I went now, there would be much Mexican chocolate cake and "Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose" which is just about the most beautiful collection of words, ever. EVER.

    Go to Abyss's play, tell me how it was.

  • At 10:34 AM, Blogger zhadi said…

    Ah, Esereth, I too have thrown up in strange places, although i haven't yet done so in the San Francisco Bay. It's funny 'cause I would have totally pegged you for a west coast gal from your blog...you obviously have the taste buds of one! Come visit and we'll show you where ALL the best food and drink live here...

    I'll definitely be going to Abyss's play and will (if she'll let me) write about it on my blog. She will, of course, not know that we're in the audience until the very end of the curtain call when we shower her with rose petals and champagne. or Lambrusco, 'cause that's what Abyss likes to swill while the rest of us are drinking red wine...

  • At 10:29 AM, Blogger Redzilla said…

    Swayt Jaysus. You are an inhuman fiend. You know what I had for dinner--turkey sammich.


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