Monday, August 20, 2012

The Wine List at Restaurant Gougé

Welcome to Restaurant Gougé (please, we prefer that you pronounce it Goo-zhay) and our Wine Spectator Finest of Top of Best of Ludicrous Award of Excellence Wine List. We are honored to have been allowed to pay $75 dollars to Wine Spectator so that some junior member of their editorial team who normally places wine bottles in brown bags, being careful to be certain the foil gives the important wines away, would approve of our list, a list that was carefully curated from the most highly overrated and obscure wines on the planet. Our award-winning sommelier, Rajat Anosmia MS, MW, M&M MJB, MP, MFer, guarantees that no matter which wine you select to accompany your meal this evening, it is unlikely you will ever remember what it is, or even want to. This is part of your Gougé experience.

Our sommelier has made every effort to ensure that the wines are complementary to the outstanding cuisine of Chef Juan Toque Oberdelein. However, the deciding factor in choosing the list is, as one would expect from a top sommelier, ego. Rajat Anosmia WSET, WKRP, WTF is widely regarded among the wine elite of the world as having the greatest palate since the late Robert Parker, combined with the nose of a bloodhound. This would explain the ticks. If you have any questions about the wines on the list, please ask our highly trained wait staff; Rajat may be on the trail of a criminal. Our wait staff has tried most of the wines on our wine list, primarily from wine left behind in unfinished bottles. They will be happy to point you in the proper direction when selecting a wine, keeping in mind the ultimate importance of their gratuity.

We understand that most of the wines on our James Beard Award Should Have Been Nominated wine list will be unfamiliar to most of our customers. This is strictly intentional. Our standard wine list markup is much easier to swallow if our guests are unfamiliar with the retail prices of the wines. You will find that each wine is accompanied by a brief description. Here it is:

“From a rare variety and an artisan producer, this is a wine worth nearly half its price.”

We pride ourselves that, unlike the vintages, our prices are always accurate and up-to-date.

Much like our award-winning sommelier on one of his usual junkets, our wine glasses are handblown. Yours may not be, but ours certainly are. We are happy to provide fine crystal stemware upon request, though only for wines with triple-digit prices starting with 5. We feel that our wines are crafted by the finest producers from all over the world who regularly taste them in cheap stemware. If it’s good enough for them, we feel it’s good enough for our guests.

Please expect delays of up to twenty minutes after you order wine. Our Certified Sanctified Sissified sommelier insists that our servers take a few extra minutes to worship each bottle he’s chosen for the list and express their gratitude for his wisdom, guidance, and mere existence. This should give the women in your party the time they need to prepare for the wine by applying lipstick. If you would like your wine decanted, we are happy to do so, but don’t blow out the fucking candle like an asshole.

Our wines are priced completely randomly with markups aimed at making you order a lesser wine you don’t really want, or at moving a wine that is essentially past its prime. This just seems like fun to us. The wines at Restaurant Gougé are also stored throughout the restaurant at completely random and fluctuating temperatures. Temperature-controlled wine cellars contribute significantly to climate change which is ruining many of the great vineyards of the world, none of which is represented on our list, but we care, dammit, we’re Restaurant Gougé! We are honored that Michelin saw fit to ignore their usual Stars and award us their rare and coveted Two Black Holes. Both have dined here.

We do have a generous corkage policy if you wish to bring your own celebratory wine to Restaurant Gougé. For each bottle of wine you bring to the restaurant we simply ask that you buy three extra entrées in order to satisfy the ungrateful pig that you are.

We do have a large list of Wines By-the-Glass. These wines are carefully selected by our Sommelier of the Year (Kazakhstan) from the greatest importers in the world’s closeouts. In addition, we are happy to pour you a glass of anything from our extensive wine list for no more than the price of the bottle.

And, finally, Restaurant Gougé believes that comfort has no place in the dining experience. In pursuit of excellence, our tables are close together, our chairs could give Mike and Molly hemorrhoids, our wooden floors and ceilings magnify the noise level, our menu choices are esoteric and inexplicably described, and our wine list obscure and baffling.

Bon Appétit!


Thomas said...

I've eaten there many times; so many times that now I stay home at supper time.

I counted three lines from this post that made me scream with pleasure, which made my wife wonder which porn site I was on today.

Alfonso Cevola said...

if you havent had the brown wine from Kazakhstan, you havent lived

Andy Perdue said...

Isn't this place in Stockton?

Jimmy Schnipke said...

I think the GOP candidate from Missouri best summed up Restaurant Gouge yesterday. He mentioned something about "legitimate rape."

Anonymous said...

Good to know that missing out on a Poodle didn't destroy The Hosemasters will to blog.

Kathy said...

I've been taking a course Gouge offers. I am glad you highly recommend it, this means my tweets will be more authentic, if not correct. But who knows.
Thank you, Master Hose.

PolarBear (aka the other Dave) said...

Andy Perdue said...

Isn't this place in Stockton?

Yes, and I'm pretty sure Juan's brother, Sweet Jesus, owns the sister restaurant in Fresno. Just be careful, that's not NaCl in the salt shaker. BTW, Yelp! recommends the Bloodhound tacos.

I Have A Beard, But Its Name Is Not James Daddy said...

I have a fondness for the Anosmia family. I miss Larry, but I am glad to see that his brother has survived.

Thomas said...

Yeah, the Anosmia family's crap doesn't stink.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hi Gang,

There's been lots of grousing about restaurants and wine lists lately, well, actually, forever, and this was my way of burning off some steam. Sommeliers and restaurants are constantly accused of being arrogant, by, guess who, fucking arrogant assholes, mostly. So it goes.


Oh, yes, Larry Anosmia may have passed, but, in the wine business, Anosmia is always with us.


Stockton? They have restaurants in Stockton?


"Legitimate rape"--isn't that what elections are?


If you want authentic Tweets, eat a meal at Restaurant Gouge--the indigestion will make you musical. And I think they're now serving Splooge Estate by the glass!

Samantha Dugan said...

Cut Restaurant Gouge some slack! I've been, had the Braised Bloodhound Cheek & Epoisses Agnolotti In Split Grape Tuna Sauce paired with a warm glass of Savagnin...made me throw up but I did find the place in both Wine Spectator AND The Anorexic's Guide to Fine Dining was what I expected.

PaulG said...

Can't stop myself... this has to be Chef Juan's favorite tune of all time:

BTW, sincere condolences upon learning that you too had been scarred by the near-miss on the Poodle. I haven't slept in days, and I am pretty sure that STEVE! had to get 1) another tattoo and 2) more dog treats as some compensation for not even being nominated. Oh well... there's always next year... and beautiful Penticton is calling.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

You should have told me you were going to Gouge! I'd have gotten you my regular table next to the Ladies Room--shortens the trip.

I love you!


Awesome video! Wow.

Yeah, what a shock I didn't win a Poodle. At least you lost to Alfonso; I lost to Alderpated. Where the hell is Penticton? Is that where the Generals hang out?

PaulG said...

Señor Hose - Penticton is the location for next year's Poodle-a-thon. Located somewhere in the wilds of British Columbia I am told. Glad you liked the music video. It should come with a warning - it inserts itself into your brain through a kitsch wormhole and is virtually impossible to remove. Sorry about that...

Thomas said...


Wondered how you would take losing to Vornography. If it were I, the Brooklyn Bridge would beckon.

Thank you, Paul. That was too good to be missed...I hated that song back when it was played on the radio, but loved the syncopation spot near the end of the tune by the two Welk discoveries.

Dave (aka BiPolar Bear) said...

@ Paul and any Penticton bound poodle honors seekers next year:

Samantha Dugan said...

Ohhh, you do have the prime table. Hey, how's about for our next date you get us a reservation, nothing says internet romance like obscurity and vomit. I love you!

Ron Washam, HMW said...


That video took me back to my childhood and my grandmother never, ever missing the Lawrence Welk Show. I am way too versed and brainwashed in the Lennon Sisters and Myron Floren and all the schmaltzy gang. And it also reminded me of the great SCTV parody with John Candy and Eugene Levy, the Schmenge Brothers, with their polka show.


I said over and over that I knew I would never win a Poodle. I don't rally FakeBook friends or Tweet or send out emails begging for votes. That said, Alderpated won fair and square. But it beggars the imagination, truly and deeply, that anyone, anywhere, who has read them both, decides he is a better writer than Randall Grahm. But I'm certain that the only person alive who cares less about the Poodles than I is Mr. Doon.

My Gorgeous Samantha,

I'll bring the obscurity if you provide the vomit. Match made in Heaven, Baby, Samantha and Ron.

I love you too!

Thomas said...


Who are you kidding? You haven't any friends on Fakebook. Your friends are all here, all six of us, except for maybe one or two who are here just to feel superior.

Ron Washam, HMW said...


I'm not even on FakeBook, and most of my "friends" here are characters I made up to fill up my comments section. And one of my imaginary friends, Alfonso, even won a Poodle. So, you see, I actually beat Paul Gregutt!

Thomas said...

Alfonso deserves an award. I'm not sure that it should have been a blogger award but hey, take what you can get, and get, and get in Italy.

Marcia Macomber said...

OMG. I used to have to watch lots of "A one, and a two..." of Mr. Welk flapping his elbows away with my grandpa. He loved that show and the Lemmon Sisters.

Thomas said...

Marcia: the Lemmon Sisters was a perfect name for them.

My mother, who was no slouch in the tarantella market, for some strange reason was wedded to the Lawrence Welk hour. I believe that as a teen, that fact is what drove me out of the apartment and into the clutches of debauchery...