Tag Archives: Gary Pavlis

Grilling for Dad’s Day; Guest Blogging; Grabbing Recipes

Grilled Chicken with Orange Soda BBQ Sauce is a fun recipe that’s perfect for Father’s Day. It comes courtesy of Jeremy Stahl, who teaches culinary classes at Mercer County College. Check it out in my latest In The Kitchen column in the Princeton Packet.

Accessing Past Recipes

Speaking of that publication, last week Sumi left a comment here asking where, without paying for it, she might find my recipe for Rani’s Sri Lankan Chicken Curry.  The recipe had run in my column several weeks back and I had linked to it. The Packet’s policy is to charge for access to anything over two weeks old. But I retain rights to my recipes, so I printed the full version in my response to her at dinewithpat. If that ever happens to you, just let me know and I’ll do the same for you.

Hey, I’m a Guest Blogger!

Earlier this week I posted a blog with the results of the Judgment of Princeton wine tasting. Check out my expanded version – including quotes from judge Francis Schott, NJ wine authority Gary Pavlis of Rutgers, and George Taber, the author of The Judgment of Parishere, as guest blogger for Sharla Blanz’s On the Vine column, at www.njmonthly.com. (That’s the nifty On the Vine logo at the left.)

I’m off to the Fancy Food Show this weekend!

…and will report back next week on that and on dining around DC.

Breaking News: NJ Wines Go Head to Head with France’s Finest

…and you will not believe the results of what is being called the Judgment of Princeton. It was, to say the least a bold gambit: A restaging of what has come to be known in the wine world as the Judgment of Paris, a landmark blind tasting held in 1976 wherein Napa Valley wines beat out French wines. Only this time, New Jersey bottles would go head to head with those very same French wines.

A collage of several producers who competed in...

A collage of several producers who competed in the historic 1976 Judgement of Paris wine tasting event. From top left clockwise: Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars (California) Chateau Montelena (California) Chateau Haut Brion (Bordeaux) Chateau Mouton-Rothschild (Bordeaux) Chateau Montrose (Bordeaux) Chateau Leoville Las Cases (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The tasting was held and the results announced Friday afternoon at the annual conference of the American Association of Wine Economists, held at Princeton University. The tasting was mounted with the participation of none other than George Taber, who wrote famously about the game-changing Paris event which, he told the group, “showed for the first time that great wines could be made in places other than France.”

But does that, could that include New Jersey? Taber and the conference organizers had carefully structured the tasting to replicate the original as much as possible. The French wines – four whites and four reds – were the very same Chardonnays and Bordeaux blends as in Paris. (Different vintages, of course, and some different makers, but of the same caliber.) These were pitted against six each NJ whites and reds, since those were the original numbers. Prestigious judges in both tastings included a winemaker, a restaurateur, wine critics and journalists, and wine scholars. Both times, French wine experts were among them. The nine judges at the Princeton event also included two Jerseyans: John Foy, wine writer for The Star-Ledger and Francis Schott of New Brunswick’s Stage Left and Catherine Lombardi restaurants.

The results, you ask? New Jersey whites took the numbers two, three, and four slots, scoring higher than, for example, Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 2009. Among the reds, New Jersey’s Heritage 2010 Brix came in at third place, ahead of Chateau Montrose 2004 and Grand Vin de Leoville-Las Cases 2004. As if these results are not astounding enough, it was pointed out by conference attendee Dr. Gary Pavlis of Rutgers University, considered the leading authority on New Jersey wines, that “the French wines are about a factor of ten times more expensive” than their Jersey counterparts.



J. Drouhin Beaune Clos de Mouches 2009

Jean Latour Labille Meursault-Charmes 1er Cru 2009

Domaine Marc-Antonin Blain Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2009

Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 2009

New Jersey:

Heritage 2010 Chardonnay

Bellview 2010 Chardonnay

Amalthea 2008 Chardonnay

Silver Decoy 2010 Black Feather Chardonnay

Ventimiglia 2010 Chardonnay

Unionville 2010 Pheasant Hill Single Vineyard Chardonnay (block 1A Row 1-12)

THE CONTENDERS: REDS (Bordeaux & Bordeaux varietals)


Chateau Montrose 2004

Grand Vin de Leoville – Las Cases 2004

Chateau Haut-Brion 2004

Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2004

New Jersey:

Heritage 2010 Brix

Bellview 2010 Lumiere

Tomasello 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Oak Reserve

Almathea 2008 Europa VI

Silver Decoy 2008 Cabernet Franc

4 JGs 2008 Cabernet Franc



  1. Clos de Mouche
  2. Unionville
  3. Heritage
  4. Silver Decoy
  5. Puligny-Montrachet
  6. Tie: Bellview & Batard-Montrachet
  7. Tie: Bellview & Batard-Montrachet
  8. Amalthea
  9. Ventimiglia
  10. Meursault-Charmes


  1. Mouton Rothschild
  2. Haut-Brion
  3. Heritage
  4. Chateau Montrose
  5. Tomasello
  6. Leoville- Las Cases
  7. Bellview
  8. Silver Decoy
  9. Amalthea
  10. 4 JGs

About 100 bottles had been submitted by NJ wineries. The whites had to be 100% chardonnay; the reds, any of the Bordeaux blend grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot. The grapes had to be grown in New Jersey, and only one red and one white wine from each winery would be allowed. A tasting panel of association members selected those that would become part of the Judgment of Princeton, and Mark Censits of CoolVines wine shops in Princeton and Westfield obtained the French wines.

The wines were scored using a widely-accepted 20-point scale developed at UC-Davis. The tallied scores were converted to rankings, from one to ten. The results were further analyzed for statistical significance by two prominent members of the Wine Economists, Orley Ashenfelter and Richard Quandt – both professors of economics at Princeton and both of whom had analyzed the results of the Judgment of Paris along with George Taber in 1976. In his remarks to the group, Taber himself said, “Clearly, a lot of very good wines are made in New Jersey.”

We can all drink to that!

A Blind Tasting of NJ Wines & Results of My Llama Meat Experiment


The March issue of NJ Monthly is all about wine. As part of it I was invited to be a judge in and to chronicle a blind tasting of NJ wines. The heady group of experts I was thrown in with were:

*Sue Guerra, marketing director, Gary’s Wine & Marketplace

*Nicholas Harary, chef/co-owner, Restaurant Nicholas (and, btw, former sommelier at Jean Georges)

*Brian Hider, wine director, The Pluckemin Inn

*Tim Hirsch, wine consultant, The Wine Library

*Dr. Gary Pavlis, NJ wine expert & specialist, Rutgers University

*Sharon Sevrens, proprietor, Amanti Vino

*George Staikos, wine consultant, educator & proprietor of The Educated Grape

Click here to find out how we rated 50-plus white, red, and fruit wines submitted by 25 wineries from every corner of the state. The good, the bad, the ugly. And feel free comment here with your own opinion on the state of our state’s wines. Salute!

 As I reported in a previous post, I recently purchased two pounds of ground llama meat from WoodsEdge Wools Farm in Stockton. I cooked it three different ways over three nights, the upshot being that while some experiments worked better than others, I’m happy to make llama meat a part of my life. Why, you ask?

Well, it’s a tasty, lean red meat. As Jim Weaver of Tre Piani had told me, it does indeed resemble pork in texture. But it has its own unique flavor – pronounced but not overpowering, simultaneously tangy and sweet. The first night I made two versions of pan-fried burgers, one with only truffle salt and pepper. It was OK, but when I topped it with First Field Jersey Ketchup, the flavor rounded out beautifully. For the other version I smeared a plain burger (regular salt & pepper) with some herb butter I had left over from a salmon dish the night before. When the butter melted into the cooked burger, it was a match made in heaven.

The next night I created a quick-and-dirty Stroganoff of the llama, sauteed onions and sliced portobello mushrooms, and sour cream. The richness of the sour cream proved a perfect foil; I will never use ground beef for this weeknight go-to dish again.

With the remaining llama I made mini-meat loaves in muffin cups, adding bread crumbs, fresh herbs, minced red onion, an egg, a squirt of lemon juice, and (I’m a bit embarrassed to admit) one finely diced mozzarella stick. This was my least successful dish – bland and a bit dry – although more of that Jersey ketchup helped.

In the end, I realized that any recipe I now have for pork can be substituted with the same cut of llama. (I’m particularly keen to try stew.) Since llama has tons more flavor than most pork, while being leaner, I think it’s a win-win. And here’s a scoop: Plans are in the works at WoodsEdge for offering yak meat by the end of March.