List, please

I have a new brain today. I’m pretty sure I killed the old one last night at Brix. Great food, interesting wines, and then dessert and bourbon at my cousin’s place. That second stop was the deadly one. I wasn’t driving, so no worries there. But it seems the new brain is having trouble integrating with the old body – it hurts. Shocker.

The food at Brix was good, maybe very good. I had a super-tasty bison burger, one of the more modest of their entrees. Loved it. But their wine service was unique. They have a large and (allegedly) interesting collection, but no wine list. WTF? Their server indicated that they had great wines from every region and multiple price points, so just give him a region, a varietal and the price you’d like and he would pick something. My initial reaction was “Ummm, no”. My second reaction was to take him up on his offer and give him the instructions “any wine from the town of Maury in southern France, ideally a Syrah or Grenache, and if perfect, a bottle of D66 or Pertuisane at any price”. That was a total fail – they had nothing. But I kept playing their game, and we eventually wound up with a nice Spanish Cava, then an interesting Grenache from the Rhone river area (pictured below), and finally a very good Russian River old vine Zin. That’s for five people, so our per-capita consumption wasn’t unreasonable.

The no-wine-list thing is just not a good idea. I have no idea why they do this, but they should change the practice. Part of the fun of being a wine snob is being able to decode a complex, world-spanning list and select something from your personal experience and taste. Our server was a nice guy, but we just met him and I have no idea if he really knew anything about wine. I’m not a fan of outsourcing my judgement to an unknown person. And I had to check after the fact in terms of price – did we get a deal, or were we charged way too much for the wines our server selected? Turns out they gave us a fair restaurant price for the wines, about 2X retail, so at least that was legit. I’ll definitely go back to Brix, but I’ll bitch about the missing wine list.