In the 1960s the idea of Oregon wine was laughable. But winemaker David Lett knew better when he planted the first Pinot Noir grapes in the state's Willamette Valley. Some 40 years later his Eyrie Vineyards are legendary. We'll hear his story. It's the aristocrat of ice cream for Jane and Michael Stern at Ici in Berkeley, California. Tea expert Bill Waddington is just back from Asia with new teas America's never seen before. Our food guy in New York City, Mike Colameco, talks the hard-to-find Japanese Izakayas in the Big Apple, and reporter Edward Dolnick, author of The Forger's Spell, examines how much hype influences what we think we taste in foods.
The Sterns have discovered that not all of the great ice cream in America is in New England. Some truly superior, even aristocratic, ice cream can be had on the opposite coast at Ici in Berkeley, California. It's not a fancy place and there's usually a line out the door, but when you finally reach the counter you can sample any and all the flavors before you decide. And what luscious, vivid flavors they offer: mocha salted almond, sesame praline, molasses gingersnap, Earl Grey and cookies, brandied cherry, Santa Rosa plum, peach habanero sorbet! Then there's the surprise of a dab of chocolate at the bottom of the cone. It's truly ice cream worth the trip.
There was a time when you would have been laughed out of the room if you told a wine expert there would one day be superb Pinot Noir wines coming from Oregon. Today, those wines are compared to the great Burgundies of France and one man started it all. In 1966, David Lett, affectionately called Papa Pinot, and his new wife Diana spent their honeymoon planting the first Pinot Noir grapes in Oregon's Willamette Valley and the first Pinot Gris grapes in all of America. It was the start of their Eyrie Vineyards. Today, the winery holds cult status. Visit their Web site, www.eyrievineyards.com for more information on their fabulous wines.
Jason Lett with Lynne at Eyrie Vineyards in Oregon.
Jason Lett and Lynne tour the fields at Eyrie Vineyards in Oregon.
Bill Waddington, owner of the TeaSource stores in the St. Paul, Minnesota area, is just back from Asia where he bought teas for his shops that America has never seen. Lynne sampled Blue Beauty Oolong and Assam White, a leaf-and-a-bud. For more information on these and many more wonderful varieties of teas visit www.teasource.com.
Mike Colameco, our go-to guy for good eats in the Big Apple, loves the Izakayas - Japanese bars where you sip sake and munch on special snacks. But you have to be in the know about these places because some of them have no signs. Here are some of Mike's picks - with addresses. All are in New York City.