April 2006
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Month April 2006

2004 Chablis comparison and new Washington rose

I’m trying the 2004 Servin Les Pargues Chablis and 2004 Fevre Champs Royeaux Chablis side by side tonight, since both have arrived in Seattle and are reasonably priced (each is retailing in the low 20’s hereabouts). In years past I’ve done the Servin (2002 and 2003) as house white during the spring and summer, and the Fevre AOC Chablis in the past has been a fairly good bargain. I’m looking to repeat that in 2004 since most people end up enjoying it instead of the oaky buttery domestic chardonnays and I love the stuff. At first taste, the Servin is what I enjoy about Chablis – the steely, mineral-heavy aroma like the dusty metallic scent of warm rocks on a hot day. The Fevre is also good, perhaps a “darker”, more slate-like aroma, but both wines are pretty darned good for 22 bucks. There’s a flabbiness in the finish of the Fevre that I’m not enjoying as much as the laser acidity and tartness of the Servin’s finish, but both wines are a good value and worth the money. I may just have to snag a bit of both to serve over the next year.

This week I also tried the 2005 Syncline rose, which unlike last year is a blend of their various roses. I thoroughly enjoyed their 2004 Grenache rose, and still have some in the cellar. This is fuller, being a complete southern Rhone blend, but with plenty of that ripe domestic juiciness. Syncline is contining the experiment of using screw caps with this wine, which I think is fabulous, having had another year of corked wines with my tasting group.

I recommend all three of these wines as low-cost alternatives to the expensive, over-hyped stuff everyone else is chasing. Just let me get my order in first. :)

Allrecipes.com purchased by Reader’s Digest

Last Friday, Reader’s Digest announced that they are acquiring Allrecipes.com, a Seattle based business providing food and recipe community on the Net. I’ve been on the board at AR for the last couple of years, and thus I’ve been keeping a very low profile during the sensitive period before we announced the deal, but now it’s public knowledge.

Allrecipes is a project whose history you can read (or will read) elsewhere, and I won’t rehash it except to say that my co-founder Tim Hunt did an extraordinary job over the years providing not only technical, but conceptual and business leadership — firmly understanding what the site’s users wanted (which is sometimes distinct from what the business’s actual customers want) and making sure they get it. Bill Moore, the company’s CEO, also has done an outstanding job driving our execution and helping the company capitalize on the growing return towards valuing successful internet content businesses. Bill, Tim, and the whole team continue to demonstrate community interaction creates long-lasting loyalty in a medium where “stickiness” is usually measured in seconds or minutes, not months or years.

As you can read in the various press releases and newspaper articles, Allrecipes will remain in Seattle and the team will stay together, which was an important goal for many of us. And it will continue to provide a great food and recipe experience in the years to come, now enhanced by its association with Reader’s Digest and Rachael Ray.

Congratulations to my original co-founders and to the entire Allrecipes staff on an outstanding accomplishment!