Archive for wine


Posted in BYOB Restaurant Reviews, Philly BYOB Reviews, Teresa's Restaurant, Wine Dinners with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2009 by ballymote

It had been awhile since I had gotten together with my wine-loving friends, Gerry and John for our Thursday night dinners at Teresa’s, one of our favorite wine-friendly BYOB’s located on Philly’s Main Line in the charming town of Wayne, PA. IMG_2441

We have been there so often that we don’t really need to see a menu and the waiters immediately provide multiple wine glasses for each of us. The way this outing usually works is that we spend the days prior to the dinner insulting each other about what cheesy wines the other will probably bring. The deal is that we are each supposed to bring two bottles from our “premium” collection. The first few visits we actually finished all the wine we brought with us but after I somehow ended up in the Jersey Pine Barrons on a less than memorable trip home we have cut back somewhat and usually have the good part of our second bottle to take back home with us. For instance, last night’s line up included a 97 Kendall-Jackson “Stature” which is one of my favorite cabs; a 98 Heitz Cellars “Bella’s Vineyard” Cabernet; a 2006 Ramey “Larkmead Vineyard” Cabernet; a 2000 Freemark Abbey “Bosche” Cab; a 99 Chappallet Cabernet; and a 2004 Capa Blanco Cab from Paso Robles. The Chappallet and the Freemark Abbey did not get opened and are again resting comfortably in their familiar surroundings. Everything we did open was excellent with perhaps the Heitz Cab edging out the K-J Stature for “wine of the night”.IMG_2442

The food was excellent as it always is but I think I may have made a less than stellar selection of 

Penne Arrabbiata

Crushed Plum Tomatoes, Jalapeños, Garlic, Basil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil   14.Add to your pasta Chicken for 3

The jalapenos simply overpowered my wines and although the taste was intriguing I found it necessary to keep my water glass within easy reach. It just wasn’t the right choice for a night of good wines. Other than the burning sensation on my tongue the evening was most enjoyable as the three of us are never at a loss for words.

Teresa’s is an excellent BYOB and for those of you who prefer beer as your beverage of choice Teresa’s has another location with a massive selection of beers from all over the world. This second location is very close to the first and is aptly named Teresa’s Next Door.  If they ever let us bring our own wine there I will be able to report on the food there. Until then we will stay at our window table at Teresa’s Not Next Door.


Posted in Info on Wine with tags , , , on July 16, 2009 by ballymote

blog pics 002One of my co-workers, a guy named Michael, related the following incident to me last week. He and his wife were dining at a restaurant in Margate, NJ and their table not quite being ready decided to have a drink at the bar. Michael ordered a glass of red wine. The bartender brought him  his drink and he stared at what he felt was a rather small serving that barely filled one third of the large wine glass.  Michael asked the bartender for more. The bartender replied that what he had was the standard 5 ounce serving. Feeling that he was being ripped off Michael insisted that he wanted a full glass just as he would be given a full glass of beer had he ordered a glass of beer. The bartender tried explaining why a wine serving did not fill the entire glass and I, while listening to this horror story, was feeling embarrassed without even having been present to witness it.  I tried my best to explain to Michael that he was not being ripped off, that he received the correct pour but he wasn’t buying any of it.

When you order wines by the glass in a restaurant or bar you should be prepared to pay roughly 50% of the retail price of what that bottle would cost. There are many reasons for the high mark-up but the primary one is that the establishment has to compensate for spoilage. A bottle of wine, once opened will last, at best, 48 hours. If it isn’t sold in that time span oxidation will result in the bottle being unfit to drink. Each 750ml bottle contains five (5) glasses of wine and unless the wine is popular enough that it will be consumed quickly there will be the possibility that spoilage will occur.

Wines by the glass are a nice way to get to try something new without buying a bottle. They offer a great alternative at lunch and hardly a week goes by that there isn’t more news of the health benefits associated with a glass of red wine. I will expound on these health benefits in a future post.

For now, swirl that wine, stick your nose into the glass and savor the bouquet then sip the nectar of the Gods and enjoy your glass of wine.


Posted in Wine Dinners with tags , , , , , on July 9, 2009 by ballymote

Apologies for this cheap, tawdry attempt to capture readers but the three provocative words above are simply names of three different Thumbprint Wines.  Scott Lindstrom-Dake is the proprietor/winemaker of Thumbprint Cellars in Healdsburg, CA and he made a brief visit to South Jersey bringing his wines to share at an excellent dinner this past May at Manna Restaurant in Margate, pics 021

Manna, owned and operated by chef John Merlino and his wife, Vicki, provided the perfect setting for a wonderful night of food and drink with guest speaker, Jonathan Newman, ex-Chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Newman used the dinner to promote his new company, Newman Wine and Spirits, which markets specially selected wines from all regions to retailers who have signed up with the company.

I can still taste the delicious baked scallop in a buttery chardonnay sauce that went so well with the Thumbprint Chardonnay. All of the wines were very good and diners were permitted to buy bottles of Thumbprint for $17.50 which was way lower than the $45.00 price for the same wines at the winery in Healdsburg. Our friends, Gerry and JoAnn split a case  with my wife and I of the 2005 THREESOME  (cabernet, merlot and cab franc) which we picked up the next day at Circle Liquors in Somers Point. Total cost for the six course dinner with seven different wines was $65.00 per person which included tax and gratuity.

An enjoyable evening of food and wine!