The Foodie Report
Ruminations on food, cooking in and eating out in our area.

It's entirely possible to be a vegetarian in Porkopolis. Pop culture reporter Lauren Bishop blogs about products, recipes and restaurants she's tried for others who eat meat-free. E-mail her at lbishop@enquirer.com.

Nicci King is an unabashed foodie and the Lifestyle/Food editor in The Enquirer's features department. She loves to discover new food faves, and she's on a daily quest to answer one burning question: What's for dinner? E-mail her at nking@enquirer.com.

Enquirer Weekend editor Julie Gaw tends to order the same dish every time she eats at a restaurant, but periodically ventures out to discover something new and fabulous. After living in China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Thailand for more than 8 years, she craves tasty Asian food. E-mail her at jgaw@enquirer.com.

Food/dining writer Polly Campbell loves every quirk and secret of Cincinnati's food personality, and is on a constant lookout for something good to eat. Keep an eye out for her restaurant picks, or see how she's progressing toward becoming famous for her apple pie. E-mail her at pcampbell@enquirer.com.

Communities reporter Rachel Richardson is on a mission to prove vegetarians eat more than lettuce. She shares both her graduate work on American food culture and food-related news.. E-mail her at rrichardson@enquirer.com.

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Wine Festival winners

A visit to the Cincinnati Museum Center's "Bodies" exhibit and celebration of Union Terminal's 75th anniversary kept me from attending the Cincinnati International Wine Festival late last month. But wine lovers might want to check out the list of 2008 medal winners. I'm printing it out and stashing it in my purse for my next trip to Liquor Direct . The Gold Medal winners are:

Domaine Chandon 2006 Pinot Meunier, Carneros
Folie a Deux 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Louis M. Martini 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County
Napa Ridge Winery 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Napa Ridge Winery 2003 Syrah, Napa Valley
Pine Ridge Winery 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville
Robert Mondavi 2005 Private Selection Vinetta, Central Coast
Solaire 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles
Toasted Head Winery 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, California
Toasted Head Winery 2005 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
Veleta 2007 Tempranillo Rosé, VT Contraviesa Alpujarra Granada, Spain

Glad to see that Louis Martini in there. I've tried that by the glass at Carlo and Johnny and always been a fan. Lots of other fun ones to try too.

I'm less enthused that the Joseph Carr 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, only got a bronze medal this time around (the Carr 2004 was gold last year, and one I bought by the case...except that vintage is sold out).

I don't know much about wine, but I know what I like... and then bummer, it changes from year to year. But I guess that's part of the adventure.


at 4:22 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a sad collection of large production corporate wines.

Of course that's all you will find at Liquor Direct. They are a low rent operation.

at 11:50 AM Anonymous Mary D said...

'corporate wines'. Ha! That pretty much sums it up.

do yourself a favour Julie. Go to the Cork & Bottle or the Party Source the next time. They offer truly interesting wines, and each carries great producers that they have exclusives on. Liquor Direct is alright if you want an overpriced, overexposed, pedestrian wine like Santa Margherita, but for something more interesting, as well as a better value, go to the Cork or PS.

The Cork offers the better service of the two, by the way. ;-)

at 12:47 PM Anonymous lauren said...

Why can't everyone play nice on this blog? It is a shame to see so many negative comments. I would rather see Anon 4:22 and mary d's suggestions on what great, "noncorporate wines" they suggest. I'm always in the mood to try something new!

at 1:24 PM Blogger Julie Gaw said...

I've been to both Party source and C&B, and find that I get better service - and, more importantly, like the recommendations that I get from Liquor Direct better. I'm also a fan of City Cellars but am closer to Liquor Direct a lot of the time, so that's where I end up. I guess I'm a snob if I want to save money on wines in an economic downturn. So snob I am.

And I, like Lauren, would love to see some of the suggestions for "noncorporate" wines.

at 2:48 PM Blogger WestEnder said...

I don't think anon or mary d were taking potshots at JG, so don't take it personally. It was about the wines and wine stores, so fair enough.

However, it's also true that 'corporate' wines can be just as good as anything else, and, as JG pointed out, if you like it, then isn't that the most important thing?

A few recommendations would be nice, yes, but... you are the Foodie Reporters, aren't you? You should tell us about smaller wineries!

at 8:28 PM Anonymous vudutu said...

Hummm, I agree wit Mary D, I am by far no expert but in general Calif wines seem to me to be over oaked, or as a friend puts it 'Big plastic t*ts", I have not been able as yet discuss this with more knowledgeable friends but the list seems to heavily weighted towards Calif. I don't as yet get it. Wish I had taken the time to go.

For me French, Spanish, Italians, South Americans, New Zealand appeal more and the Australians are coming on strong. The Euro and US dollar battle are going to drive us home and to the SA wines I believe. It's going to get interesting.

A to where to shop, the Cork recently took a great hit when the lost a long time salesperson who by far had the best food/wine matching sense in the city, Liquor Direct does have the best prices overall and Alfonse is pretty good but they don't have the selection of Cork or Party Source. Now you either have to do your own research or mine for a sales person whose taste works with yours. Smaller wine shops like The Dilly Delly are great resources but are a little more expensive. In light of fuel prices it may benefit you you to haunt you local merchant.

Here is one tip, get to know your importer, find someone you like, when in doubt narrow down your wine choice to what you think works for you the grab one of their selections, for me a Robert Kacher works just about every time.

at 5:00 PM Anonymous Mr. Mxyzptlk said...

The guy who got fired from the Cork n Bottle was increadibly rude and snotty to their customers. The owners recieved a lot of complaints about him, and had to let him go. He was costing them customers.

at 5:02 PM Anonymous Mr. Mxyzptlk said...

The guy who got fired from the Cork n Bottle was incredibly rude and snotty to their customers. The owners received a lot of complaints about him, and had to let him go. He was costing them customers.

at 7:46 PM Anonymous overexposed and pedestrian said...

Liquor Direct has amazing prices on wines, a helpful staff (go talk to Alphonse at the Covington location), and an excellent selection. Mary D, I have no idea where your are getting the notion that Liquor Direct is overpriced--their prices are consistently less than any other place in the city. As for the overexposed, pedestrian comment--what the?? Are you this pretentious in your everyday life, or did you save it up just to post on this blog?

at 10:30 PM Anonymous Mary D said...

I never said that they were overpriced. On the contrary, they do have good prices, however they pretty much sell big-production wines, which the big distributors carry. The Cork & Bottle and the Party Source bring in their own wines from importers that they each have exclusively. Vudutu mentioned Robert Katcher, who is a great importer and can only be found at the Cork and Bottle (in Kentucky at least, where the prices are better). These importers all bring in tiny production wines that are not only great quality, but are also exceptional values as well.

at 7:54 AM Anonymous vudutu said...

Mr. M. Yes, retail will burn you out but he is one of the best in town on pairings, awesome palette. JG is right there are some good finds at LD and Alfonse is always helpful. I think MaryD's point is LD has good prices but limited space and selection. PS is almost too big. Dilly Deli has a nice selection.

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