Ridge Monte Bello 1999, California, USA

Ridge Monte Bello California 1999Appearance: Very dark red in the core with brick-red rim.

Nose: Strong dark fruit (berries), jammy and perfumy with some savoury aromas of dried, cured meat. Hints of green olives can be found too after the wine was allowed to breathe for awhile.

Palate/ Flavour: Tasted a lot of wood on the palate balanced by the fruit forward profile high on dark cherries and blackcurrant. High alcohol content with good acidity and a medium (+) finish. Tannins are very well integrated too.

Comments: Very pleasant a wine, and beautifully crafted but I don’t think it’s about time to drink it yet. The lushness that is still has would give it sufficient time to develop in a few more years. The cork was brittle when the server opened this bottle, so be prepared with a sieve and a decanter 🙂 Went wonderfully well with a charcuterie platter at Cafe Claude.

Red Door Cafe, San Francisco

Red Door Cafe, San Francisco

By the time I got to the Red Door Cafe on 1608 Bush Street, I was starving. It didn’t help that there were 3 couples before me who were still waiting for their tables. It’s a quirky little cafe run by Ahmed, who’s charming and friendly. Service was swift and personable with a great breakfast selection. Well, it was rated at #1 spot on Yelp.com, so I guess that speaks a lot about the cafe. And in fact, they had just re-opened yesterday after a week’s break and the crowd was already back!

I was told later that the wait can be 2-3 hours long on weekends but like Ahmed, I don’t think I would have the patience to queue on the streets for my weekend brunch. My friends were quite surprised to hear that I waited over 30 minutes to be seated yesterday morning 🙂

Red Door Cafe’s French Toast Josephine, one of their house specialties, is delish. Drizzle the maple syrup served on the side on top of the icing-sugar-powdered toasts, strawberries & caramelized bananas, and you’ll be guaranteed a sweet start for the day. The girls who were seated on the table adjacent to mine couldn’t resist asking me about the french toast after I polished everything down in a jiffy. I smiled and said, “need I say more?” 😛