I’ve tried the el-cheapo Two Buck Chuck wine that Mike Steinberger ridicules on Slate. I couldn’t agree more with his key assessment, having recently tried the Charles Shaw merlot, I can unequivocally state that I would switch to beer or go on the wagon before making a habit of this plonk. This was the kind of wine that’s best dumped straight down the sink.
On the plus side, for about $15 a bottle, I picked up a few bottles of Syrah on my last San Francisco adventure. While I haven’t had the opportunity to finish them all, the ones that I have I enjoyed thoroughly. The extra $13 went a long way toward a product of quality, and one that was wholly worth drinking.
My friend Jess and I went to dinner last night at a Japanese restaurant in Somerville last night, and I was surprised by the quality of the food. I suppose, being in the middle of central New Jersey, I had low expectations, but it was good. If I had to rank my top three favorites, though, they would be as follows: Agathas, in Kyoto; a small yakitori restuarant in Los Angeles, where they spoke primarily in Japanese and the customers, with one other exception, were all Japanese as well (in fact, for an hour or so I forgot I was in the U.S.); and an inexpensive Japanese restaurant in Vancouver that had a friendly atmosphere.