Wine Obscenities

Drink up with lower mark-ups

Like many from Dallas' wine royalty—Van Roberts (Lola), Drew Hendricks (upcoming Charlie Palmer restaurant) and Kyle Kepner (once of Luqa, once of Kenichi, now representing Republic National Distributing Co.)—Paul Pinnell has a fruit fly up his Bouchard Chassagne-Montrachet over Dallas wine list prices. "The prices are obscene," he says. "Our prices are going to kick people in the butt." Pinnell, who will open Dali Wine Bar & Cellar in One Arts Plaza this fall after 14 years at Nana atop the Anatole, says Dallas' fine dining restaurants have priced themselves out of the market. Thus diners make annual visits to these places instead of the three monthly visits he hopes they will make to Dali. Pinnell also says Dallas wine bars put the accent on bar instead of wine, highlighting un-noteworthy food and conventional wines in lieu of exploratory pours (no argument there). Dali will eschew wine flights (Pinnell: They're pointless and overworked). Dali will serve wine country cum contemporary urban cuisine (not sure what breed this hybrid will yield). He'll be militant about temperature control. (What? No more Pinot toddies?) Dali will sell its exploratory pours both at retail and on the Web. Says Pinnell: "We're going to knock some people in the dirt with our champagne pricing."


In a humane gesture, Norway will no longer castrate piglets. So says Monday's Wall Street Journal. Boars with jewels intact make for unpleasant-tasting meat (known as boar taint) it seems. "I was told once that if you cooked one that hadn't been castrated, you'd run out of the house as soon as it hit the frying pan," says Tim Roseland of the Roseland Family Farm in Iowa. Roseland made his way to Chipotle Mexican Grill on McKinney Avenue with his family the same Monday that article appeared. He was there to tout the virtues of "sustainable" pork farming, or fattening up hogs without antibiotics, hormones or confinement pens. Conventional pig farming is nasty business, confining pigs to horrific conditions for life as it stinks up the neighborhood. Yet to call "humane" pig farming (Roseland still castrates) "sustainable" seems counterintuitive. It consumes roughly twice as much land and requires more feed than conventional pig farming. But it sure makes for some unbelievably tasty burrito pork. What happens to those piglets that don't become eunuchs? They're bred and purchased for $600 a head to seed sows. These boars sire hundreds of piglets from a dozen sows who birth a couple of litters each until the boars get so big the sow's hips collapse under the weight. At that point the boars are sold off at $50 a head and transformed into pepperoni. The wages of debauchery is Domino's.

 
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