Cape Gazette


The internet makes finding delicious food simple

Mar 16, 2011

Want to know critics’ opinion of the 101 best restaurants in the United States and their names? Go here: or here: or here:

I just love the internet.  When you are traveling you are no longer lost in the dark or relying on the gas station attendant to recommend a good place to dine. I have found that use of “dine” avoids recommendations of McD’s or the King.

I’m traveling to Kearney, Neb., to the NCAA Division II tournament, leaving Thursday and will fly into Omaha. Try the oldest Johnny’s Cafe in the Stockyard and Vivace, which I think is the best. Will avoid Omaha Prime. It is a business credit card restaurant like Ruth’s Chris. Pretty good food, service and ambience, 15 percent overpriced. When you go over $30 per entrée, the food and service have to be perfect for me.

Ever hear of Mernet Reserve from Michael Keenan? Usually this stuff disappears on release. Parker loves the wine and often gives it very high marks,  97 for the 2007 at $80 and 96 for the 2006 at $90. It is half Merlot, half Cab, cellars well and is wonderful.

I prefer you try the 2006 Keenan Merlot, 91 points and $375/case of 24 half bottles. I’m guessing a partner at a wine store could get you three vintages, eight each of halves for the same $375/case and still make a fair profit. Try for 2003 and 2005, all 90-plus points. These are perfect for couples or singles who enjoy great merlot, where a bottle is too much at one sitting, or for those who prefer to serve several wine courses with a meal. Halves are 373 ml, a shade under 14 ounces or four 3.5-ounce servings. The premium for halves is very reasonable. The 2006 shows a very complex nose of blackberries, cherries, currants, violets, cocoa, smoke and minerals with a tad of oak. The nose is picked up through the palate and finish.  Keep in mind halves age more quickly than fulls.

Another bargain being shopped around is a six-pack of 93-point reds for $180. Here is the listing: 2005 Poggio il Castellare Brunello di Montalcino (WS 93); 2007 Ramey Napa Valley Claret (WS 93); 2008 Oregon Ken Wright Pinot Noir Carter Vineyard (WA 93); 2009 Chateau Puech Haut Cuvee Prestige from Languedoc (RP 93); 2007 Washington State Rasa Vineyards QED Syrah (WS 94, WA 93) and 2007 Quinta do Vallado Douro (WS 93).
These are being sold below shelf with shipping included. I have reviewed all but the Chateau Pusch during the past year. The Ramey, Rasa and Wright were particularly good value. A terrific package for folks with diverse palates. I’m guessing your local store would put a case together, two each under $375, and the value would still be fair.

To paraphrase RP on the Pusch 2009. A blend of old vine Grenache and Syrah planted in limestone soils and aged completely in concrete tanks. A naked expression of the vivid terroir and excellent fruit of the region. Incredible aromatics of forest floor, spring flowers, sweet black currants, raspberries, licorice and incense. With a pure, velvety, seamless, full-bodied texture and a finish that lasts 30-plus seconds, this wine possesses a stunning integration of acidity, tannin and alcohol, suggesting this 2009 will age nicely for three to five years. Kind words indeed. See you next week.

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