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15 December 2005

Senses Meme (Part 4) - Taste

As I have mentioned that good food is nothing without good company. As such, I shall, in this particular blog entry, assume that good company is a already a given.

I love food.

When it comes to enjoying a good meal, I let my tongue have the final say rather than follow our cultural norms. You know the saying that goes

"Red meat with red wine, white meat with white wine"?

I say screw that lah. If I enjoy my pittsburgh-rare steak with a bottle of Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, who is going to stop me?

And that brings me to a story of a meal with an acquaintance here in Ch1na. He was a retired local official and I brought him to a nice steak house nearby for some excellent New York cut. So there we were chatting while waiting for the main course to arrive. In the interim, we had our apperitifs, soup and salad. Then came a basket of garlic bread and he asked for jam (as in strawberry/raspberry/grape/etc conserve) to go with the garlic bread. This was quite a shock to everyone, myself included and what followed was a slew of apologies from the waitresses that they do not have jams for the garlic bread.

Initially, I rolled my eyes and started running condescending thoughts in my head about my guest. However, after replaying the scene in my head over and over again, I started to question myself who I am to judge how garlic bread should be eaten? I mean who died and made me the next Julia Child? Eventually, I let the whole matter rest but I was still upset with my guest about that incident on another matter. There he was letting go a tirade about how lousy the restaurant was on the grounds that they do not have the simplest of jam. Then he proceeded to give me a lecture of how widely traveled he was and he would like to "teach me" about garlic bread with jam. What insolence!

To sum everything up, the food was good but I had a lousy evening coz the company was crap. I haven't contacted him since.

Coming back to the main topic, I for one, am never a person to be swayed easily by the price tag. Just because a bottle is high up in the menu, doesn't mean that it is the ideal bottle for me. However, it must also be said that probability-wise, the chances of getting the lousy wine is lower when the price is higher. Well, most of the time lah.

We have our expensive champagne under the labels of Louis Roederer Cristal, Dom Perignon, Krug etc. but somehow my all time favourite is the little-known Bruno Paillard, one of the youngest independent (read: not commercialised... yet) Champagne Houses. Very yummy bubbly but without the over-the-top price tag, signifying that I am paying mostly for what's inside the bottle and not what's outside. Purists may be appalled by my selection for this is one Champagne House that has to buy grapes from other vineyards instead of growing the grapes on their own. Like most other mainstreamed labels, Bruno Paillard, is also a blended champagne using Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. As such, with that and without the "pedigree status" of the having their own grapes, the Bruno Paillard, takes quite a beating and is placed quite low in the pecking order.

However, as long as I like it. It is all that matters to me.

p.s. I first got to know Bruno Paillard, in a restaurant in Pasir Panjang Village called The Wharf more than 10 years ago before the restaurant closed its doors a few years later. However, I was presently surprised to see the reapperance of this bubbly at Les Amis outlets e.g. The Canteen and Sebastien's Bistrot. While the restaurants offers the champagne on their menu, I was delighted to discover that the wine shop attached to Sebastien's Bistrot (Greenleaf Road), sells them by the bottle. Check it out if you have the chance!
- Voxeros

1. akk left...
Friday, 16 December 2005 10:44 am
erm...i eat the sausages from mcdonald's hotcakes with syrup and pepper.... ahem...just my 2 cents....ahem.


2. JayWalk left...
Friday, 16 December 2005 11:52 am ::
akk: Syrup and pepper on hotcakes? Now that's an interesting combination. Must try it for myself when I get the chance.

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