Tag Archives: Wine

Ask a Wine Guy: Sushi and Wine?

Well, the Grub Club is heading out to Sushi Ii this weekend. It is a fun little sushi joint, but it is also BYOB! What do you bring for sushi? Sake, usually.

However, what about Wine with Sushi?

Here are some thoughts from our HGC sommelier:

 . . . Sushi eh? Personally, and this is very personal because there are several trains of thought when pairing wine with sushi, I prefer Champange. More specifically, those Champagnes that have been brought up in oak barrels and thus, impart a nutty, rich, and very full mouthfeel. However, because this information is not written on the bottles, you have to trust your memory and trust your sommelier. Krug is famously raised in oak barrels and left to “mature” for about 6 years when other Champagnes are bottled much sooner. There is no question of Krug’s superiority in the market and amongst wine geeks, but a more affordable wine with a similar style could be had in Bollinger. If you are looking for something off the wall and want to try one of the new “grower” champagnes – the H. Billiot Laetitia is a fantastic wine and full of complexity. Yeah, okay, so the prices on these wines are all around $100, but well worth it for an unforgettable meal. $40 range?- try Billiot’s regular Brut. My wife’s and my personal favorite for a middle of the road styled wine, but still with enough gusto is Taittinger. Oh Taittinger.

On a side note, please note that heaps of wasabi will literally obliterate the wine being paired with it. This is where you must rely on the skills of the chef and his ability to use wasabi as an accent to bring harmony and balance to each piece. In a way, the sushi chef’s role in relation to his fish is not so different from that of a winemaker and his grapes. Both try to let their raw material speak out and act only as a means to translate what is good and natural, taking what they have and transforming it to what will be most pleasurable to you.

Or beer. Suntory Premium Malts from Marukai is sooo good. When you pour it into the glass make sure you do a little splash to get the head nice and foamy. 2 inches maybe? Just like the Stella Artois Commercial, cut the big bubbles off from the top and savor the creaminess of a perfectly poured beverage.

Some of the conversation between us has been reddacted. However, what do you think? Are you willing to try sushi and wine? Let us know.

Getting Back into the Swing of Things

As I extend my self pretty thin with all the projects I am working on let’s add back a task to my full plate. Let’s talk about food news and events again (albeit with less regularity than less year).

Anyway, as I mentioned in the prior post La Tour Cafe is up and running. If you are more curious about the Bakehouse read about it here at the Honolulu Weekly. I highly recommend the cafe’s macaroons (Yuzu especially), mint water, and their French dip.

Jade Dynasty is now open at Ala Moana Shopping Center. This Hong Kong-style eatery replaces the Kyoto Ohsho location with a $3.5 million dollar renovation price tag. Read more about it at Honolulu Magazine here.

Love food? Love trucks? Love food trucks? Well, Honolulu is having its 1st Food Truck Rally. Sounds fun, delicious, and cheap (well, not with the way I order plate lunches) . . . check out the flyer here for more info.

Roberto Viernes, over at Midweek, writes about how snobbery can ruin the wine experience. I think he has much truth for someone who is an expert in wines. He would rather learn to improve himself and his experience. I enjoy how he ends his piece:

So let everyone enjoy it [wine], and if you have something that will add to the experience, I’d love to hear it. Otherwise, please fill your glass and mouth with wine.

I think some food writers are like the critic in Disney’s Ratatouille and may need a swig of wine or stew to remind them that snobbery can ruin anything.

Personally, I love Izakaya food and I recently noticed two that I have been hearing about. Izakaya Naru, near TCBY and Sushi King and Izakaya Shinn. Both sound pretty tasty and if anyone has suggestions what to order drop a line.

Anyway, last thing, Art After Dark is coming up and the food at this always fun event is being down once again by Town and Downtown. For more information click on this link.

Until next time have some good eating!

Hawaii Restaurant Week and Other News! Oct. – Nov.

Ok, I know I have been deliquent with the posts about Hawaii Food News, but I got plenty stuff to do nowadays. Anyway, I’d like to share some foodtastic news with you all now!

It is Hawaii Restaurant Week (starting today, so yeah, I missed one day), but anyway Nov. 15 – 21, some 50 plus restaurants across the state will be having special menus. If you are interested, and I highly recommend taking advantage of the deals this week if you have free time, check out the listing here

In more fantastic restaurant news Honolulu Magazine has released its 2011 Hale Aina Award Winners list. You can check out the listing here. Soul, by Chef Sean Priester, won Gold for the “Best New Restaurant” category. Whats more is the HGC participated in Off-Menu’s Catering Service’s Off-Premise 2 with Chef Sean as the host chef of the night. Curious about how it all went down check out the following links:

In addition, Honolulu Magazine had an October write-up on Morimoto Waikiki. Hopefully, I can get my act together and post a review from the HGC’s Dinner last month there on One More Plate. However, in the meantime enjoy the HGC’s Flickr Photostream, as the latest pictures are from our meal there.

Korean Restaurants are also a highlight in this month’s Honolulu Magazine. Check out all the restaurants that they take a look at here. I for one love Korean food, and am a late night visitor to Sorabol and Cafe Duck Butt. May be when I get to that Morimoto’s review I’ll throw in a review on a Korean restaurant as well!

Lastly, let me mention Roberto Viernes interesting discussion of the concept of “paying it forward” as applied to the process known as Solera in winemaking. It consists of blending wines from consecutive harvests. Want to know more? Read it in his Midweek article here. I’m thinking of starting a post series here on the HGC known as “What Wine Do I Bring?” or something to that effect. As some of you know one of the HGC members is a sommelier and I always turn to him for the perfect wine to bring to house warmings, gifts, and just simple get-togethers. So look forward to it in the future!

See you all next time!

Hawaii Food News Roundup, Sept. 26-Oct. 2

Oahu

  • Want to find out what’s hot about dogs? Check out this article by Honolulu Weekly on Hank’s Haute Dogs.
  • Confused and scared of the maze-like Chinatown Cultural Plaza? That might be a good thing if you get lost and find yourself at Terry’s Place, a great hidden bar. Read about it here.
  • Out on Waianae side? Do you want something progressive and organic? Then check out Kahumana Cafe as reviewed by the Star-Advertiser here. Definitely, looks like good eats and is helping keep us keep green on the insides and out.
  • Midweek has the following articles from this past week:
    • an interview with Dylan Ching, General Manager of Duke’s;
    • want to overindulge in the city of sin? Then check out this write-up on Kokomo’s;
    • going to a polo match? bring some of the suggestions by sommlier Roberto Viernes; and
    • continuining with the eating local theme for this week’s Kanu Challenge, Jo McGarry comments about her experience.
  • In similar vein, Michael Levine of Civil Beat tracks his journey of eating local for the week here.

Neighbor Islands

  • The Maui News reports the following:
    • Chef Mark Ellman launched a new book talking the use of “aloha” and its meaning to various people, and plans to open another restaurant in Lahaina next year, for more info check it out here;
    • The Maui Beach Hotel will be experimenting with sit-down dinners, for more info on what this entails read it here; and
    • finally, this article details how Pizza Paradiso over at Honokowai Marketplace has added a Mediterranean Grill serving up lamb gyros on flat bread, hummus, dolmas and occasionally, kebabs.

HGC

  • Last, but certainly not least, Refridgeraider does a write-up about Off-Menu’s Off-Premise Dinner held at Manifest this past Monday (9/27), check it out here.
  • As always if you’d like to follow the Grub Club feel free to subscribe by clicking the appropriate option on the sidebar. If you are interested in joining us for a dinner, event, or just to find out what the club is up to send us an e-mail at Hnlgrubclub@gmail.com.

Hawaii Food News Round-Up, Sept. 5-11

Save things for secret eating! Sorry, inside dorky joke.

Oahu

  • Have an extra hour or two for lunch in downtown? Tired of seeing all the same people for those power lunches? Well, Honolulu Weekly dishes up some of the hidden downtown eats. Not so hidden after everyone reads about it here.
  • Curious about more secret eating? Check out Honolulu Magazine’s quick write-up on Secret Menus. Moreover, check back here as we talk about Off-Menu’s first exclusive dining event in the forthcoming weeks.
  • The Star-Advertiser catches up with a Hawaii restaurateur George “Cass” Castagnola and reviews his latest establishment, Castagnola’s Pizzeria.  
  • How does your emotions play on your wine? Find out with this MidWeek article and some recommendations for certain pairings.

Neighbor Islands

  • Honolulu Weekly talks tea in this article about natural farming done by Mauna Kea Tea on the Big Island. Incidentally, I (Refridgeraider) picked up “For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World’s Favorite Drink and Changed History” – I’ll let you know more about that on my site when I get to it.
  • If you find yourself not on the golden coast with Katy Perry and California gurls, but the Kohala Coast with local gurls and want some place nice eat, you might want to check out the following article from Honolulu Magazine.
  • Over at the Maui News:
    • On Maui and want to make a quick getaway? Head over to Four Seasons Resort Lana’i where they are now offering “Lana’i on your lanai” promotion, and it’s like room service, but done with a “private server, a fun musical playlist as well as extensive gourmet menu,” says the public relations manager. Find out more about it here.
    • Seems like Italian is the name of the game this week with the pizzeria and now this article on how the Hulopo’e Court at Four Seasons Resort Lana’i at Manele Bay has changed its menu; the Court now serves up fine Italian fare. The only thing that hasn’t changed is the gorgeous view.

Wine and Price

From Snooth.com.

Surprise, surprise. It’s a post with an infographic! Anyway, this one I think is quite helpful as I know a lot of you like to drink wine. (Yeah Wine and Cheese Party!) This nifty little infographic by Snooth shows us what goes into the cost of wine.

Next time you are at a Wine Party (preferrably a HGC one!) you can wow your fellow inebriated guests armed with the knowledge of how to pair wine and cheese and knowing the costs that go into making wine.

Tell them that the cork on wine is close to 6 times more expensive than the capsule.

That the average cost of printing and labeling costs almost as much as the average glass bottle. (0.83 cents to 0.88 cents)

How about that Australian Grapes are close to 10 times cheaper than Chardonnay.

And that Merlot is more than 2.5 times more expensive than a Malbec. However, if you were to tell me that I would a) tell you I know that already and b) I’m enjoying both too much too care . . . well I might sip the Merlot a little slower.  

Anyway, expect to see a beer infographic after the Oktoberfest: Beer and Wurst Party. Until then save a glass for me!

Wine and Cheese on your Phone!

How cool would it be if you could actually drink from it too?

Well, this past weekend’s Wine and Cheese Party was a huge success. However, what if you want to replicate it? Or what if you need a quick idea for a pairing? Or what if you want to remember what you drank that induced that nice, warm, tingling feeling?

Well, for you Iphone users there are several apps to help you with those problems. Remember, “there’s an app for everything.”

In terms of cheeses, Slashfood has rated several apps, which you can check out here.

For wines, MacWorld has reviewed the options for winos. I personally use Drync because when I downloaded it was free. It also allows me to keep track of what I have drank and make notes . . . if I ever get to that stage because I’m too busy enjoying my wine. They need an app that just automatically can tell if I’m enjoying my wine or not and does all the work for me . . . or a gourmet robot would be just as cool.

Anyway, if you like food apps for your Iphone also check out this old post. For those of you without an Iphone I have no idea what to tell you . . . get an Iphone? Borrow an Iphone?