What kind of wine goes with roasted crickets?

Dinner Saturday night after the MS Board meeting in LA was at a fantastic Oaxacan restaurant called Guelaguetza (guelaguetzarestaurante.com).  The food was outstanding–simply delicious. Someone at the table went for the roasted crickets, a regional specialty. I’ve never had crickets before. They don’t taste like chicken; just crunchy-chewy and vaguely earthy with a long strangely piquant finish. Pairing wine with roasted insects of unusual kind? Probably not. The right answer was Del Maguey Tobala Mezcal. I’m definitely not a Mezcal aficionado by any means, but this is by far the most complex and (dare I say it) elegant Mezcal I’ve ever tasted.In fact, it’s one of the most complex spirits of any kind I’ve had for a long time. Tobala is the rarest of all mezcals, made from wild mountain maguey only found growing in high altitude canyons in the shade of oak trees like truffles. It’s not inexpensive at $125 suggested retail but definitely rare and worth it. A must try. 

A great $15 Bottle is the True holy Grail of Wine

One of the great truths of the wine world. Throughout my career, finding the next great deal has always been a prime directive. That hasn’t changed. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than finding that new delicious bottle in the $15 price range. Hint: most are from countries with less labor and land costs than the U.S. as in Italy, Spain, Argentina, and Australia.

Nature Always Bats Last

This in reference to my ten hour travel day yesterday, getting from LA to Albuquerque in order to teach an MS Intro Course in Santa Fe. It usually takes about two hours. High winds in the Albuquerque area created havoc on the air travel grid, shutting the airport down completely for several hours and making for delightful side trips to Salt Lake City and Lubbock. It made me stop and think that no matter how much we think we’re in control, or the level of our technology and skills, nature always bats last.