Thursday, January 13, 2011

Chefs Have Awful Taste in Wine

It's true.

I've worked for a CIA-trained chef in California who drank 375's of Port like a little girl - yeah, he drank 10 at a click and would end up shooting someone in the ass with a BB gun, but still.

Your Pegasus called, little girl, it would like you to brush its glorious mane.

Another chef, a nationally acclaimed sushi savant, favored Rosenblum Zinfandel when I met him. He's since graduated, but with a slow and painstaking babystepping that he probably never, ever had to endure in his Japanese food training.

Just because you've got a preternatural sense for fish doesn't mean you're ready for Burgundy, Daniel-sahn.

The third chef...forget it. Beer. I love good beer, but this is about wine.

So when I come across shit like this:

"Chef Kent (Rathbun, of Dallas fame and Austin jeering) Recommends"

I wet myself with glee. Let's look at the flavor/texture profiles of his favorite wines, yes?

Amayna, Chardonnay, Leyda Valley, Chile 2006
Domaine Chandon, étoile , Rosé, Sonoma-Napa County
MacMurray Ranch, Pinot Gris, Sonoma Coast
Patz and Hall, Chardonnay, Alder Springs Vineyard, Rutherford
Roederer Estate, Brut, Anderson Valley NV
Rubicon Estate, Roussanne-Viognier-Marsanne, Blancaneaux, Rutherford
St. Supéry, Sémillon-Sauvingnon [sic] Blanc, Virtú, Napa Valley

So from this, I take it this guy's bag is a giant bucket of buttered popcorn topped with oak chips and a copy of Wine Spectator with which he can wipe his glistening craw.

Not a single Old-World-style wine among them, which has become, for me, synonymous with a lighter, better balanced, often subtler experience.

If I had more time and weren't just writing this to blow off steam between tasks on my steps-to-fucking-Shangri-La-sized to-do list, I'd thoughtfully consider the notion that chefs' palates suffer from an eventual blanding - a phenom that explains why so many guests find things saltier than the chef can taste. Anyone out there know the results of studies done to this effect? Like I said, I'm busy with an actual job. Let the geeks do the work and spittle all over my shirt while they tell me about it.

His red selection is even worse. I won't go into it.

The point of this instruction today is: Don't give a fucking rat's ass what the chef likes to drink. If it were up to him, he'd be passed out in the walk-in with an empty case of cherry Robitussin and an underaged Thai hooker.


  1. Heh-this is the same chef that got called out publicly by the AA-S during a beer/food pairing at Central Market (during 'Brewtopia') for not knowing shit about the beers he was talking about.

  2. Rathbun? That's awesome - based on his never-changing menu of haphazardly executed Greatest Hits from the '90s, I'd venture he doesn't know shit about food, either. It's especially funny when chefs brag about beating Bobby Flay in any cooking contest that didn't include duck breast and a barbecue-citrus mole.