Eric Asimov

posts displayed by tag

September 14, 2013 0 comments Articles & Reviews, By Jonathan Cristaldi

The Future of the 100-Point Wine System

100 points


The 100-point scale has dominated the critical discussion of wine since it was first popularized by Robert M. Parker Jr.’s Wine Advocate in the 1970s. Previously, UC-Davis, the premier school in the United States for wine education and research, had previously introduced a 20-point scale, which was also used in Britain. But Parker saw that a system… [read more on]

January 6, 2011 0 comments Articles & Reviews, By Jonathan Cristaldi

Jonny Cigar’s Top 9 Wine Things of 2010

While the rest of the flogging community is intent on divulging their top wine picks of 2010, I would like to present to you, good readers, a list of the 9 Best Wine Things of 2010.

1. Murphy-Goode Winery’s “A Really Goode Job” contest (even though this happened in 2009, it still bothered me in 2010): However, an AMAZING turn of events occurred at 12:48pm ET today in researching any updates to this contest… the winner of the whole shebang, unbeknownst to moi, is a friend: Hardy Wallace. Please first, go watch this 60-second video: Now that you’ve seen Mr. Wallace, a little background is in store: I talked about Hardy in a recent post whereupon he joined us in San Francisco to pour his wines for an event that ranks number 9 in my list of Top 9 Wine Things of 2010. Hardy works at the NPA, or Natural Process Alliance. He’s a rowdy S.O.B. who has a mean sense of humor.

2. “A Luxurious Bubble Bath.” In March of 2010 this was an evening of covert-wine-induced operations. The Noble Rot hosted an all-champagne-get-dressed-to-the-nines event in one of New York’s finest hotels.  The gals were cool, the gents were mysterious and the bubbly was all-too-toasty. Cocktails rounded out the end of the night from a 600-square-foot marble-lined bathroom. Debauchery was eminent and the morning after, well… reminds me of my favorite Sinatra toast: “We feel sorry for people who don’t drink because when you get up in the morning that’s as good as you’re gonna feel for the rest of the day.”

Luxury Suite – Parlor (Pamela Martinez at the Harp) Photo by: Brian Quinn

3. Jon Bonne’s article on “The Wine Blog Wars” from March 18, 2010. Mr. Bonne lives a fruitful life in California writing for the SF Gate and Chronicle about all things wine, and Mr. Bonne discusses Stephen Tanzer’s blog Winophilia (which is Latin for: “a degenerative disease of the wine.”) Mr. Tanzer is quoted as blogging:

“We’re not armchair tasters who pretend to speak knowledgeably about regions we’ve never visited. We’re not amateur bloggers whose coverage of wine is limited to a handful of random samples we’ve just received, a trade tasting we’ve attended, or a press junket we’ve just been treated to. We live wine.”

He goes on to say what he is however: “We’re cellar rats, with long tails and a mean penchant for wine-coolers. You think putting ice in your wine is for your grandmother? Guess again, mac, because we know that Jesus turned water into wine and so they go hand-in-hand.” He also demonizes Disney Land and accuses a tainted cork of ruining a family vacation to the tropics.

4. Saignee’s “32 Days of Natural Wine.” That’s right, 32-fun-filled days with nothing but the au natural. Natural Wine! What is it? What does it mean? How will it stain my carpet? Where can you buy it? Will it sue you for damages down the road? Does it pair well with Organic Oats? Alice Feiring is perhaps the most prolific writer and advocate of Natural Wine. She is a force of natural nature and I highly recommend reading her: The Feiring Line.

5. Jeff Morgan, winemaker and author-extraordinaire released a new cookbook: Domaine Chandon Cookbook; Recipes from étoile Restaurant. He even blogged about it on Winophilia! Jeff and winemaker David Ramey took part in an event in San Francisco with The Noble Rot and we served the very bubbly he discusses in the blog with the very same Gougères. Highly recommended:

Carla Ramey, Jonny Cigar, Jeff Morgan, Jodie Morgan, David Ramey, Brian Quinn

6. Eric Asimov replied to an email I re-forwarded to him on December 9th, 2010. I was honored and grateful for the reply. One day, perhaps our paths will cross and if I am lucky he will say horrible things about me in The New York Times. One of my life-long goals is to accumulate more negative press than any other living soul. So far, I’ve only written negative reviews about my own shows and events, and while wildly interesting and sophisticatedly funny, they lack an objective opinion, it turns out.

7. Kammerspiel! Dubbed “Jonny Cigar’s chaotic vaudeville/collage” by Martin Denton of, who goes on to describe the show as “100% goof and 99.9% completely serious” and boy he wasn’t kiddin’. It took me 35 years to produce the show and we ran for three weeks in a space called Dixon Place off Chrystie Street in downtown Manhattan. So each of the six performances was worth 2,129 days of rehearsal and mental input. During the run back in February of 2010, I drank nothing but Glenmorangie, while wine took a back-seat to my raging fits of lunacy and intense bouts of poetry-immersion, where I’d lock myself in a room with a pack of Lucky Strikes, two wedges of Cabot Cloth-bound Cheddar and a bottle of Nectar D’Or for three weeks on end. That, my friends, is the secret recipe that results in “Stardom.” I would encourage the reading of Mr. Denton’s review, even though it seems to be positive in nature.


8. Cathy Erway published: The Art of Eating In (Penguin Press) She’s simply a wonderful, terrific, outstanding gal who cooks up a mean dish O yum. Her book is the tale of her experience over the course of two years, cooking every meal—no take out, no restaurants. See this tasty YouTube video.

9. 2010 Michelin Guide release parties in New York City and San Francisco. Wine menu procured by The Noble Rot. I’d like to direct you to Heritage Radio Networks’ Snacky Tunes episode number 51, and be sure to also check out episode number 54.

Brian Quinn, Jonny Cigar, Jean-Luc Naret (Michelin)