I know all the other DJs did their 2006 Top 10 lists in January, but I was kind of overwhelmed right then and didn’t get mine done. I planned to post it for the Lunar New Year, but then that came and went without my having the time to rassle with blog posting. I kept thinking there’s got to be another New Year, and it turns out there is: New York State’s fiscal year begins on April 1. (How appropriate!) So here’s my list, in no particular order. I was surprised to see how food-related it was once I trimmed it down to just 10 items. I was going to speculate as to why that’s so, but I decided that if I started thinking about that I might never post the list at all.
1. Juan Gil 2004 Jumilla—The first time I sipped this, I thought, “This is what red wine should taste like!” It’s a deep, dark color, with some body to it, and tastes like fruit sitting on top of flinty old rocks. Plus it’s not terribly expensive. I keep going back and buying more, and wish I’d just bought a case when it was on sale at my local discount dive. I’m not a big wine connoisseur or anything—I usually drink my Juan Gil out of an old Welch’s Grape Jelly “Flintstones” glass—but I really like this. And it got, like, a 90 or 91 from one of those fancy guys, in case you don’t trust me.
2. e.l.f. eyelash curler—Only $1.00 at Jack’s 99¢ Store! It’s a long story, but about three years ago I got scammed into buying one of those $20 Shu Uemura eyelash curlers. When the pad wore out I went to the store to buy a replacement, and guess what? They don’t sell replacements—you gotta buy another goddamned $20 curler! Not me, pal. When I spotted the e.l.f. at Jack’s I bought one, took it home, and tried it. Not only does it come with a replacement pad, but it works way better than the stupid overpriced one. I went back and bought two more, so I figure all my eyelash-curling needs are covered for at least the next six years—for just three dollars. Every time I use the e.l.f., I think, “Nyaah, nyaah, Shu Uemura!”
3. “Taste This!”—This is my favorite TV cooking show ever. I’ve seen it only a few times, and it seems to have disappeared from the channels we get on our craptacular Basic Cable set-up, but it was so much fun to watch the main chef, Joe, bust on his hapless assistant, Bryan. They reminded me of Spike and Chester, the big dog and the little dog in the old Warner Bros. cartoons, except that Joe, the boss, would be Chester the little dog, and Bryan, the slower and sometimes hung-over one, would be Spike the big dog. They’re such New York guys (even the name of the show is neighborhoody) that it’s really entertaining to watch them, although I never paid any attention to what they were actually cooking and probably wouldn’t want to make the dishes they demonstrated. The program is still showing nationally on various cable systems, and you might be able to find it in your area by checking www.tastethistv.com. It’s worth looking for.