Author Topic: Texas Pizza Summit  (Read 9020 times)

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Texas Pizza Summit
« Reply #20 on: July 30, 2012, 12:30:57 PM »
It was an honor for me to be invited to the 2012 Texas Summit. I suspected that Craig would not have expected me to accept the invitation, given my predilection for privacy, but I knew that Craig was an enormous talent (he is truly a Renaissance man) and a master pizza maker. When I learned that tscarborough (Tom, the anarchist) and Gene (whom I had met before) were also going to be there, that iced the deal. I would make the pilgrimage to Pizza Mecca. I was also pleasantly surprised to hear upon my arrival at Craig's home that wheelman (Bill) was flying in from Alabama for the event. That made the event even better. Bill is a true Southern gentleman.

As for the wines, there had been a fair amount of discussion on other threads on the merits of beer versus wine for consuming with pizza, but I knew from some of Craig's photos of the bottles of wine that he regularly consumed, and also that he had drunk Bordeaux wines, that he would be unlikely to turn away an old first growth Bordeaux. It isn't very often that one gets the chance to sample an old first growth Bordeaux. But I also thought that maybe the other guys would like a chance to sample one if they hadn't before. I also wanted to see how the Mouton (and the other wines) would pair with the pizzas. The 1985 Mouton Rothschild was one of the oldest Bordeaux wines in my collection. The prices shown on the tags for the Mouton and for the 1988 Lynch Bages are 1985 prices. As one might expect, today's prices for those wines are much higher. In fact, I did some quick calculations when I got back home that showed that today's average price for just the Mouton (ex taxes and shipping) is more than it cost me to have breakfast at DFW airport, fly to Houston Hobby, rent a car, stay in a very nice hotel, pay for gas for the rental car, and pay for SuperShuttle to and from DFW. Needless to say, the Mouton was a delight. In fact, all of the wines we had, which spanned types and dates, were very good.

The Herradura tequila was one that my daughter-in-law selected for me during a recent trip to Guadalajara, Mexico. She spends a fair amout of time in Mexico and is becoming the family expert on tequilas. What is not generally well known is that in Mexico tequilas are commonly drunk alone, without anything. Just out of a tequila glass (I brought four of them that I picked up in Tlaquepaque for us to use at Craig's place). So, for strictly drinking purposes, you want the best tequilas. Of course, the same tequilas can be used to make Margaritas, but you usually will use cheaper tequilas. I am not much of a drinker but I thought the Herradura tequila was very good.

As for the Craig's pizzas, they were exceptional. They were as good as they look in Craig's photos. I especially liked the Margarita pizzas, the pepperoni pizza (with the Vermont smoked pepperoni slices--the first time I tried them), the sopressata pizza and the cauliflower pizza. Bill also made a killer Margarita pizza, and Tom made some of his exceptional anarchist pizzas using dough that he brought with him by car from the Austin area to Craig's place. And Gene showed his ample pizza making skills. He will be in hog heaven once Tom finishes the oven he is building for him.

There were also a few surprises. One was that I felt that I had known all of the guys for years. There were no hesitancies or fumbling around to make conversation. As one might expect, we covered a lot of ground, not only about pizza and wine and beer and the forum but many personal matters also. Another surprise is that Neapolitan style pizzas are waistline friendly. When I go on trips and consume more food that I would normally consume, I expect to cut back on my food intake when I get back home. That was not the case this time. We went through a lot of pizzas, and drank a fair amount of wine, but when I got back home my weight was the same as when I left. I think the Neapolitan pizzas are perhaps the healthiest pizzas to eat, most likely because the toppings are not overdone, they are used rather sparingly, and can include vegetables, and everything is of the highest quality. In a way, the Neapolitan pizzas seem to fit the Mediterranean diet quite well.

I had a great time and hope that there will be future events where we can have another chance to eat and drink and get to know each other even better.

Peter
« Last Edit: July 30, 2012, 12:35:19 PM by Pete-zza »


Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Texas Pizza Summit
« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2012, 12:31:21 PM »
I post this with some hesitation, as I would not be surprised to hear that Craig, Tom, Gene, Bill, Java and the previous repliers have all "disappeared" for posting pictures of and responding to said pictures of an intelligence-community sensitive top secret asset. They should have known better than to have taken a picture of the entire group (Hi Peter)!  :-D

Now, the faint human voice you hear on the wind is the echoes of my envious yelling from Maryland. I wish I could have been there!

Sounds and looks like a fantastic event. Great crew, delicious looking pizzas and some fine drinks. Left bankin' harder than a motherf*@ker ....Pauillac in the house for sure! That's a nice bring Peter.

Craig, you are a man after my own heart. Tequila Herradura is our "house" brand and it is too blurry to tell for sure, but I spy a bottle of Tito's in the background of the pic where you are giving Java a slice.

That Acunto sure can put out the goods.

Thanks for sharing!  :) --K

"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Texas Pizza Summit
« Reply #22 on: July 30, 2012, 12:45:48 PM »
I have not had that vintage, but I have had a very old Mouton before, but I am curious what everyone thought of the '88 Lynch Bages (the 85 Mouton is just a crazy bottle to bring....ditto for the Lynch Bages. Wow!) Was it perhaps the more pizza friendly of the two Left Bank Bordeaux on the table?

The Herradura tequila was one that my daughter-in-law selected for me during a recent trip to Guadalajara, Mexico. She spends a fair amout of time in Mexico and is becoming the family expert on tequilas. What is not generally well known is that in Mexico tequilas are commonly drunk alone, without anything. Just out of a tequila glass (I brought four of them that I picked up in Tlaquepaque for us to use at Craig's place). So, for strictly drinking purposes, you want the best tequilas. Of course, the same tequilas can be used to make Margaritas, but you usually will use cheaper tequilas. I am not much of a drinker but I thought the Herradura tequila was very good.

You are correct. Tequila is commonly drunk alone, which is how I usually do it. It varies by region, but another delicious Mexican concoction is the sangrita from the Jalisco region. One glass is high quality 100% agave tequila and the other glass is juice from a mixture of fresh squeezed oranges, limons (limes) and pomegranates, with either chile pepper or hot sauce added to the juice. The oily texture of the 100% agave in one sip, followed by the cutting acidity of the juice is a real pleasure of the palate. I have been adding Aleppo chiles to the mix and it is ratcheted up another notch now.

Great description of the event. Cannot think of anyone better to affirm how excellent Craig's pies are. --K
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Texas Pizza Summit
« Reply #23 on: July 30, 2012, 12:49:50 PM »
Peter, if I may ask, in what fashion are you storing your wines?

A wise man once mentioned that after a certain point, "there are no great wines, only great bottles". --K
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Texas Pizza Summit
« Reply #24 on: July 30, 2012, 01:04:46 PM »
Gene, what are you, some kinda rock star diva? It seems that you are changing shirts more than the outfit changes at a Madonna concert.  ;D

Good to see your face again and you manning the sticks in the garage.

Just looks like a killer day for all involved. --K
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

Offline Mmmph

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Re: Texas Pizza Summit
« Reply #25 on: July 30, 2012, 01:11:25 PM »
Wow...Party time! Excellent!
Sono venuto, ho visto, ho mangiato

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Texas Pizza Summit
« Reply #26 on: July 30, 2012, 01:17:46 PM »
Craig,
Did you work your magic on any desert item?
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Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Texas Pizza Summit
« Reply #27 on: July 30, 2012, 01:22:16 PM »
Absolutely fantastic!  I am insanely jealous over here.
Who designed the shirts?  Serious skillz.


I hired forum member pizzaneer (Brian) to take a vague idea that i had in my head and turn it into what you see.  It was great that he is into pizza, i didn't have to explain or re-explain things a hundred times, because he already knew.  He did a great job, sent me the file and I had the shirts printed here.  I am thinking of selling a few at cost + freight, if anyone is interested.  Send me a pm.

It was a great 3 days.  (I accidently showed up a day early, stupid me)Worth every second I spent there, especially the dough prep.  In the beginning of my pizza making, I though that I was underkneading.  Then with Chau's minimal kneading, i had decided that I was overkneading.  There are nine ways to skin a cat, but I got to see Craig's dough start to finish. (telling him that he was overkneading, and damaging the gluten.  Also that he was being to rough with the stretch and folds,  and that there was no possible way that it would be tender.) Yes, I was wrong. Pretty much invalueable, even if my dough is different.  I had been personally unable to use my GI Metal slotted peel to its ability, I think i've got it now.  I am over the fear of every launch being a calzone.  Kinda like one of those expensive pizza classes, except I didn't need an interpreter, and 'adult beverages' were being served.  I'll try to put some different pics up tonight.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2012, 01:23:51 PM by Jet_deck »
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Texas Pizza Summit
« Reply #28 on: July 30, 2012, 01:23:30 PM »
I have not had that vintage, but I have had a very old Mouton before, but I am curious what everyone thought of the '88 Lynch Bages (the 85 Mouton is just a crazy bottle to bring....ditto for the Lynch Bages. Wow!) Was it perhaps the more pizza friendly of the two Left Bank Bordeaux on the table?

Kelly,

I would say that all of the wines we tried, including the Italian wine that Bill brought with him, went well with the pizzas, although Tom went heavier with the beers. I had originally planned to bring a 1989 Lynch Bages. That wine has scored better than the 1988s--and is reflected in the doubling of price. However, for some reason, I mistakenly picked the 1988, of which I have several bottles. I was afraid that I was going to have to start drinking the 1988s more but the bottle we had showed me that there is still a lot of life left in the 1988s. I think that my family and I drank most of the 1989s because they are so good. Once the weather turns cool again, I plan to review all of my collection and organize them better. If I do that now, it can take too long to cool off the bottles again. I'm hoping that I still have some of the Lynch Bages 1989s left.

Craig told me that he preferred the 1987 Clos du Val Reserve over the 1988 Lynch Bages. I had also brought a recent Joseph Phelps wine and an inexpensive, yet pleasant, Joel Gott cabernet, but it is hard for those wines to compete with the old wines. That was actually one of the reasons why I brought the Joseph Phelps and Gott wines--to compare them with the other styles and vintages.

I might add that I had also originally intended to bring a 1988 Mouton Rothschild to the Summit. However, the tasting notes were better for the 1985 Mouton. But, as you know, that doesn't always translate into lower prices. The mere fact that a wine is a first-growth wine, along with limited supply, is enough to elevate prices. That has always posed a dilemma. What do you do with a wine that you paid say, $50 for and now sells for $500-1000? Do you sell it (and mine have had good provenance), leave it to your heirs, or just drink it?

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Texas Pizza Summit
« Reply #29 on: July 30, 2012, 01:34:37 PM »
Peter, if I may ask, in what fashion are you storing your wines?

Kelly,

I have a Vinotheque wine storage unit. Last year, I had to replace the guts of the unit but was able to use the same box with a little modification. The new unit is a WhisperKOOL unit that is made by Vinotheque. I keep the temperature at around 56-57 degrees F. The box can hold up to 300 bottles if I recall correctly. I no longer buy the futures because they can take forever to reach the peak point of drinkability. Also, because of the Chinese, Japanese and others who are coming into great wealth, the prices for the new futures have skyrocketed. For example, for the 2009 Mouton Rothschild, which is the current release according to Craig, the current pricetag (average) is about $1,157 per bottle.

Peter


Offline ringkingpin

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Re: Texas Pizza Summit
« Reply #30 on: July 30, 2012, 02:42:17 PM »
Hey that looks like a lot of FUN!  Great looking pies and I can tell that you guys were having a blast.  I'm jealous!

I'm not sure if I would have transported that wine and drank it the same day but I appreciate your enthusiasm.  I :heart: Lynch Bages!  It's an amazing wine and it always cracks me up that it's considered a 5th growth.  I have a hard time thinking of any Bordeaux's that are as consistent as the Lynch Bages are. 

Pete'za if you're going to go through your inventory, you might consider doing what I do and barcode (or not) but maintain your inventory on www.cellartracker.com

I think your estimates on the pricing are a little off.  I buy most of my collectible wine through auction and I have a little process for it where I go to www.winesearcher.com and see what it's going for and then figure out how much I'm willing to pay including the premium.

Here is the wine searcher results for the '85.  I'm curious, did you bring it over that day and open it or was it there for a few on end or what?
http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/mouton+rothchild/1985/usa

The 09's are hovering around 1k a pop but I like to buy wines that come with a provenance, not just from wine stores
http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/mouton+rothchild/2009/usa


funny enough, I was at a wine dinner last week, an annual party of sorts a friend hosts where we do a pot luck of sorts and open oddballs and bin ends.  I was asked (due to popular demand after last year?) to bring my pizza oven so I packed up my 2stone and brought 32 balls of naturally leavened dough.  There were many, many great wines that I enjoyed.  Out of the whites, there were two chablis that stood out, an 05 Raveneau and an 08 Dauvissat.  For the reds, there were so many great wines to choose from...

Here I am buddying up to an Imperial of 1964 Pavie (6 liters!)

It's always fun to have some 100+ year old swill.

Call me next time, I'll make the flight and bring some juice and cigars!!!
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Offline PizzaPolice

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Re: Texas Pizza Summit
« Reply #31 on: July 30, 2012, 03:11:48 PM »
OK, kid.  Now you are just showing off.

Seriously, Geoff, we should think of doing something like that around these parts.  Other than Willard, who lives in this area?

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Texas Pizza Summit
« Reply #32 on: July 30, 2012, 03:25:27 PM »
ringkingpin,

The Texas Summit at Craig's place was for only two days. I flew in on Saturday and arrived at Craig's place at around 1 PM. We drank the two Bordeaux's around 6 PM or so, when Craig started making the pizzas. The other wines I brought were drunk the next day (Sunday). My practice when drinking the old wines is to sample them upon opening. If they are fine, I just drink from there. Sometimes I will just let the bottle sit opened for a while or else decanter it. Craig has several wine decanters, one of which he used for the two Bordeaux's. 

I always use the wine-searcher tool except that I exclude auction wines so that the prices only reflect retail level wine prices.

I told Tom that going through my wine box can be an interesting experience since I never know what I am going to find. For example, I had completely forgotten the 1985 Mouton because I only had one bottle of it. I also stumbled across a 1984 Heitz Martha's Vineyard cab. It most likely is past its prime at the moment, and its price has declined to a low of $184 a bottle, but that was a super wine in its day. Tom mentioned that there were online resources for keeping track of wines. There is some merit to using something like that. I'm sure that I have some wines that need to be drunk fairly soon if the wine-searcher's "drink-by-dates" are to be believed.

As you might imagine, there was a lot of discussion of the wines. In my experience, that is usually what happens when you roll out the really good old stuff.

Peter

Offline ringkingpin

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Re: Texas Pizza Summit
« Reply #33 on: July 30, 2012, 03:31:42 PM »
OK, kid.  Now you are just showing off.

Seriously, Geoff, we should think of doing something like that around these parts.  Other than Willard, who lives in this area?

I know we should!  Lets do this!
"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are."
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Offline ringkingpin

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Re: Texas Pizza Summit
« Reply #34 on: July 30, 2012, 03:59:31 PM »
ringkingpin,

The Texas Summit at Craig's place was for only two days. I flew in on Saturday and arrived at Craig's place at around 1 PM. We drank the two Bordeaux's around 6 PM or so, when Craig started making the pizzas. The other wines I brought were drunk the next day (Sunday). My practice when drinking the old wines is to sample them upon opening. If they are fine, I just drink from there. Sometimes I will just let the bottle sit opened for a while or else decanter it. Craig has several wine decanters, one of which he used for the two Bordeaux's. 

I always use the wine-searcher tool except that I exclude auction wines so that the prices only reflect retail level wine prices.

I told Tom that going through my wine box can be an interesting experience since I never know what I am going to find. For example, I had completely forgotten the 1985 Mouton because I only had one bottle of it. I also stumbled across a 1984 Heitz Martha's Vineyard cab. It most likely is past its prime at the moment, and its price has declined to a low of $184 a bottle, but that was a super wine in its day. Tom mentioned that there were online resources for keeping track of wines. There is some merit to using something like that. I'm sure that I have some wines that need to be drunk fairly soon if the wine-searcher's "drink-by-dates" are to be believed.

As you might imagine, there was a lot of discussion of the wines. In my experience, that is usually what happens when you roll out the really good old stuff.

Peter

I decant for one of two reasons, to aerate the wine if it's a little green or two get the sediment out.  I find that the sediment in old Burgs is fine to drink while the stuff in old Bordeaux's for whatever reason is like bitter mud.  I'm not sure why this is the case, but it is and most wine drinkers tend to agree.  I guess for me there is a third reason to decant too and that is with older whites. I find that if I decant an older white burg, the "funk" odor often blows off.  I have a variety of different decanters for different purposes.  I some some tall, narrow ones that are great for decanting for sediment and others that are very flat bottomed to help speed up the aging by giving the wine as much surface area as possible. 
If I have the luxury of planning ahead, I'll put an older Bordeaux on end for a week or two allowing the just to all float down to the bottom and then you can handle it pretty easily.  More times than not, I'm just pulling a wine out of the cellar and I treat it like nitro glycerin and keep it in a wine basket nearly vertical until I'm done decanting.  I don't pour it through a filter or a cheese cloth, just hold a light behind the bottle neck.  I have a special champagne flute that tapers down to nearly a needle point in which I pour my last bit of the wine including the sediment in.  By the time I've finished that, I'm usually able to pull another ounce or so out of that flute with all of the sediment totally separated from the good juice.  Just different things I've learned after drinking a lot of good wine.

Wine Searcher, I agree, don't look at the auction prices on wine searcher but it is a good resource!  I'm not even sure if they include the premium for the auctions on wine searcher.  I know when auction houses brag about how much they sold wine for, they include the buyers premium, I'm not sure if that's good practice or not. 

Cellar Tracker, you of all people would get a kick out of it.  You can slice and dice the info anyway you please.  I have so many bottles that it really helps keep me organized and helps me avoid falling asleep at the switch; nothing worse than opening a great bottle which should have been consumed years ago.  I keep most of my wine in a wine storage facility in the city and I pull almost exclusively from drinking ranges from Cellar Tracker and other sources such as burghound. 

"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are."
 Brillat-Savarin

Offline SinoChef

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Re: Texas Pizza Summit
« Reply #35 on: July 30, 2012, 04:42:59 PM »
My heart is warmed. Nothing better then sitting around with a group of your peers, enjoying what you love to do.

Offline ringkingpin

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Re: Texas Pizza Summit
« Reply #36 on: July 30, 2012, 04:48:50 PM »
No doubt Sino!  The one picture of everyone drunk fat and happy, kicking back pretty much sums up what this is all about!
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Offline SinoChef

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Re: Texas Pizza Summit
« Reply #37 on: July 30, 2012, 05:20:03 PM »
Quote
everyone drunk fat and happy, kicking back pretty much sums up

It's just that relaxed environment. When you are sitting with pros, bickering about absolute minutiae.

And some one says, "well i was saving this bottle of X for when my 3 year old daughter gets married. Buut as long as we are all here......"

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Texas Pizza Summit
« Reply #38 on: July 30, 2012, 05:29:23 PM »
It's just that relaxed environment.

It was very relaxed. Very fun.

Pizza brought us together, but it was much more than that. The whole was more than the sum of the parts.
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Online scott123

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Re: Texas Pizza Summit
« Reply #39 on: July 30, 2012, 06:49:48 PM »
I'm confused about something. Is this a pizza forum or a wine forum?  ;D

Seriously, though, WHAT an event!   Such a visible sense of comradery and rapport.  If you could bottle some of that, I think people would pay well more than a 1000 bucks a bottle for it. That's priceless.

Craig, were you nervous at all about cooking for the 'big guns'? Am I missing something, but is 63% hydration new? Are you trying to chase some of that Cane texture?  And, if so, did you succeed? I didn't mention it in the Cane thread, buy in my experience, as the water increases, generally speaking, the tenderness decreases.

Peter, where are you on Neapolitan pizza?  Ready to go WFO shopping?  ;D

Gene, is this your first time tasting Craig's pies? How do they compare to the other Neapolitan places you've been to? Does their vastly superior appearance translate into a vastly superior taste?