A Strong Case Made for the ‘Greatest Wine on the Planet’Articles about some well-heeled journalist’s quest for eating/drinking/smoking/owning the “best ever” usually leave us pretty cold, but Mike Steinberger’s Slate essay about trying to drink the legendary 1947 Cheval Blanc might be one of the most enjoyable wine tales we’ve ever read. The best part of the piece isn’t about the wine itself, a freak Bordeaux that somehow has only gotten better over 61 years or even that [SPOILER WARNING!] Steinberger gets to drink it (“The ‘47 Cheval I drank that night now ranks as the greatest wine of my life, a title I doubt it will relinquish”). Reading the essay, you actually get some feeling for what the wine is like and how it’s possible for a vintage Bordeaux to be accurately likened to Forrest Gump. A great read.
The Greatest Wine on the Planet [Slate]
RIP Jean-Claude VrinatThere’s a nice tribute to the late Jean-Claude Vrinat, the owner of Taillevent in Paris, over at Slate. Taillevent could loosely be called the Le Cirque of Paris, if Le Cirque had never moved and if the food had been utterly impeccable (if a little boring) for its entire existence. Though cited and even revered by the food world, restaurants like Taillevent seem to be fading into history — which is in itself a good reason to read the piece.
Remembering Jean-Claude Vrinat [Slate]
Back of the House
Two Sushi Scholars Knock the Scales Off Our Eyes
We’ve let the cult of sushi impose itself upon us long enough: The mystical reverence stemming from rice and knives, the reverent hush of the omakase bar, the meticulous manners required of every procedure. We just read an exchange on Slate between Trevor Corson and Sasha Issenberg, the authors of The Zen of Fish: The Story of Sushi, From Samurai to Supermarket, and The Sushi Economy: Globalization and the Making of a Modern Delicacy, respectively. Both men have studied the history of sushi and the burgeoning global sushi industry, and under their gaze some common myths about sushi simply disintegrate.