Thursday, May 24, 2007

New York Ratings Party

Manhattan - We finally got everyone together to celebrate the ratings of Jack-FM for reaching the top 10 in New York.

Tao was the choice, a Pan Asian restaurants featuring featuring Hong Kong, Chinese, Japanese and Thai cuisine and is a favorite destination for celebrities and athletes. Tao has 3 levels and we had hoped to be in the prized "Skybox" which offers unparrelled views. Our reservation was at 6 and by 7 the bar was quite the scene and overflowing onto E. 58th Street.
But the food was amazing from basic Edamame, to Lobster Dumplings, to Kobe Beef and Beef Ribs, Tuna Sashimi and more.

But for a celebration this big I had bought two magnum bottles of 1996 Bollinger Gande Annee Champagne - first bottle for top 10, next one for top 5! There was enough to go around and this Champagne scored scored 95 points in wine spectator. We discussed the grapes that make up Champagne and this consisted of 75% grand cru 25 % premier cru vineyards with 70% pinot noir and 30% chardonnay. It was fantastic and was gone in a matter of minutes.

For dinner almost ordered some Gevrey Chambertin, but went with Californina vino instead so we had a few bottles of 2005 - Flowers Pinot Noir - Sonoma Coast - when looking at California Pinots you can't go wrong with Sonoma - Russian River, Coastal, Napa - Carneros and of course Santa Ynez Valley. The Flowers was a deep ruby red with fruit aromas of cherry, blackberry and a hint of vanilla from the barrel aging. It was the perfect compliment to the Bollinger. Didn't realize at the time that it was really a Pinot Noir night from the Champagne to the red wine. Always a good choice.

No big celebrity sightings last night. But we all had a great much that I was still feeling it this morning...can't wait to the next ratings party.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Washington Wine Highway - Woodinville

This SAT-SUN Wine, food and travel extravaganza featuring over 70 wineries and 50 restaurants, all day Saturday and Sunday, Chateau Ste. Michelle, 14111 N.E. 145th St., Woodinville; $65-$110 (425-481-8300 or www.washingtonwinehighway

Monday, May 21, 2007

Trout Fishing in PA

Altoona, PA - Wow its been 20 years since I made it to opening day of Trout Season.

Why is this a good idea? its 27 degrees at first cast, the water is ice cold and I can't feel my feet.
But my friends are in town and wheter we catch fish or not it will be a party.

I head up stream and see guys catching trout right in front of me...I'm using night crawlers, but switch to wax worms (Yummy) and bam on 1st cast land a nice little Brown Trout. I throw it back. Couple more casts and a few Rainbow Trout, all released unharmed.

Now I can't feel my hands either so I head back to camp and where the party is underway.
Burgers on the grill, Middleswarth Potato Chips, Hoagies and ice cold beer.

But of course I did bring a couple of bottles of my old standards. 2003 - Franciscan Estate Merlot and when we eat the smoked Trout a 2003 Mt. Veeder Cabernet.

We've all put in $5 for big fish, but mine weren't keepers, but when I got back and saw this - its like OK who went to the store and bought a Salmon. The little ones in the picture are 12" - that Rainbow is a monster. Over 25 inches and 8 to 9 lbs!

After a couple of burgers and chips and a few cold ones I decide that to try out artificial baits. I know the wax worms are so enticing, but realize I've never caught a Trout on artificials.

This time I head downstream where that monster Rainbow was caught. I'm using a spoon and getting hits, but no hookups. Then I switch to a little Spinner and bam! 1st cast land a nice Rainbow...then a few more.

Our friend Carl has all the gear, he looks like a real fisherman...but no fish.
And at one point no one wanted to use this pink fishing rod they had. His girlfriend tries it and lands fish. So its not the equipment.

We've caught enough fish so its party time. Wow hoagies (a sub) are the best from PA, the smoked trout tastes great with the Merlot and Cabernet. And why not...I have another burger...sadly our party came to an end with the rain...but it was a good time and can't wait to do it again next year.