A few decades ago, most Chinatowns in America broadened to include a smattering of Vietnamese restaurants. There wasn’t much buzz about that food at first. Today, not only are there lots of Vietnamese restaurants in Chinatowns, with lots of buzz, but they are about to have on their hands a break-out dish; I know this, because in New York, in San Francisco, in Honolulu I have heard people say “let’s go down to Chinatown and get some phở.” No dish is more deserving of a break-out, I’m telling you.

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WINE WEDNESDAY: David’s Wine of the Week

2012 Marsannay, Les Saint Jacques, Domaine Bart, Bourgogne, France ($38)

Wow! This village in the extreme north of the Côte de Nuits (like, north of Gevrey-Chambertin) never used to make wine this good. But I love this Marsannay! And if you’re enthralled with the lightness of Red Burgundy, and the way complex Pinot Noir flavors can soar above the lightness…you may be enthralled too! Light-hued ruby-red in the glass. Gorgeous Pinot nose, with, if my guess is correct, lots of wood-inflected spice: nutmeg, clove, etc., with a little roast coffee to back up the wood barrel theory.

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Wine For The Weekend

2013 Frappato, Paternó di Vittoria, Sicily, Italy ($23)

Last November, I took a trip to Sicily, in search of Cerasuola di Vittoria…a little-known red wine that I have been coveting for about ten years. In fact…it is my favorite Sicilian red of all! It is made in the southeast corner of Sicily, around the town of Vittoria (the other part of the name, Cerasuola, means “the cherry-like one”). By law, the wine must have two grape varieties in it: Nero d’Avola (famous on its own as a Sicilian varietal), and Frappato. Over the course of my love affair with Cerasoulo di Vittoria, I started to notice that ones made by some producers are rather dark and heavy…these would be the ones made with a dominant percentage of Nero d’Avola! Some Cerasuolos, on the other hand, are much more graceful, fragrant, easy-to-drink…and these, of course, emphasize the much less well-known grape variety, Frappato.

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WINE FRIDAY: David’s Wine of the Week

NV Champagne Marion-Bosser, Blanc de Blancs, Extra-Brut Premier Cru, Champagne, France ($53)

Suddenly, here it is…Champagne season! Time to gather the bubbles! In the new Rosengarten Report, to be published on Dec. 15, 2014, I will bring you a complete tasting of the high-end Champagnes you might want to gather for New Year’s! For today, however, I’ve dug up a less expensive Champagne for the season “kick-off”…that’s a damned good value! And there’s a tender story behind it…

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Rosengarten on Forbes: The Curious Properties of Primary Flavors

Last week, I was enjoying a couple of dozen oysters with a friend, talking, of course, as oyster-lovers do, about…oysters! It wasn’t long before I began my habitual rant about the best oysters in the world, those harvested in cold weather on the west coast of France (preferably consumed either on the coast, or in a Parisian brasserie, with buckets of Muscadet). But my friend recoiled. “No no no,” she said. “Those oysters are too briny!” And the rift widened immensely…because it is exactly their brininess that makes them so devastatingly appealing to me!

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