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2 Wine Pairing questions: [1] meadowood? [2] Best of the Bay Area?

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So, wine pairings can make or break a good meal.

In recent memory, the pairings at Momofuku Ko and Eleven Madison Park in NYC were exquisite and brought out the best aspects of the meal. The wine pairings at Alinea in Chicago were not up to the food, though of course that would be tough to achieve. . And the pairings here in SF at Coi were dreadful, like throwing darts at the wine list.

So...

[1] We have reservations at Meadowood at the end of April. Has anyone tried their wine pairings and what did you think?

[2] Where in the Bay Area do you think they do the best job at wine pairings?

Thanks!

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  1. Of extant restaurants, the best wine pairing I've had was at Manresa.

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    Manresa Restaurant
    320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030

    2 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      While the wine pairings I have had at Manresa were fairly abysmal... And agree that Coi was atrocious as well.

      I like the pairings at Meadowood. I can't remember a San Francisco pairing that has lived up to some pairings I've had in Los Angeles and New York, though.

      I liked MOST of the pairings at Saison and the crudo pairings at Ame, but am waiting for a 100% out-of-the-ballpark pairings *somewhere*...

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      Manresa Restaurant
      320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030

      Saison
      2124 Folsom St., San Francisco, CA 94110

      1. re: CarrieWas218

        Well, it sounds like our opinions match, so your endorsement of Meadowood carries (no pun intended) some weight with me.
        (I have not tried Saison or Ame, but find NYC generally better, and loved the wine pairings at Saams-at-the-Bazaar in LA.)

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        Saison
        2124 Folsom St., San Francisco, CA 94110

    2. [>>> 1] We have reservations at Meadowood at the end of April. Has anyone tried their wine pairings and what did you think? <<<<<

      Dined at Meadowood a couple months ago and had the Chef's Tasting menu with the wine pairings. I thought the pairings were very good but I'll admit I'm not particularly sophisticated about wines.

      To compare my palate to yours, you wrote "The wine pairings at Alinea in Chicago were not up to the food" ... I had the long menu last summer at Alinea with wine pairings (before he switched to a single menu, so about 15 wines) and thought that the wines matched the food very well, though they were fairly cheap wines at a higher than norm mark-up. But the matches were good (to my palate).

      I'm not particularly sophisticated with wines but FWIW I thought pairings at Le Bernardin in New York (famous Michelin 3* fish resto) had a couple of misses (but the 23 year old Guatemalan rum served with dessert was inspired ;) and pairings at Addison (Forbes 5* near San Diego) were very good, but the two best matches I've had at excellent restaurants were Alinea and Meadowood. Since you weren't impressed with the Alinea pairings maybe you won't like the Meadowood pairings either though ...

      The sommelier at M-wood, Rom Toulon, was a very good guy to work with. When I questioned one choice before trying it -- maybe an oaky Chardonay with meat, IIRC -- he explained the reasoning and said he'd just pour a sip and if I didn't like it he'd bring something else ... I liked it, so no problem, but I thought it was good service for him to offer. He also tossed in 2 freebie glasses of a sweet late-ripening white wine from the Central coast that was new to me (maybe a Cab Franc picked like a Sauternes, something like that) and that was interesting with the amuse-bouche. So I think if you express enthusiasm about wines he'll work with you a bit and give you some lee-way in what is served. Of all the sommeliers I've met at various restos he was the most out-going, though it was a slow night so maybe he was bored.

      One I do remember is a glass of Bond Estates Cab Sauvignon (with a blend of lesser grapes), which scores in the mid-to high 90's with Parker. Ideally they'd serve a glass of the $800/bottle Harlan Estates Cab since Harlan owns the restaurant but this was Harlan's 2nd wine, which sells for around $300 depending on the vintage, and it was most excellent.