The Free Range Gourmet Free range thoughts on the finest ingredients, cuisine, and fine dining in Hawaii.

Range Gourmet

  Local Hawaii ingredients used with an international flair

        ^BNanette^K^H (Gone but not forgotten) 1946-2020


Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Recognition for Koko Crater coffee and our favorite wine

I love it when some product that I use is recognized as the "best" by Consumer Reports or other authority. Of course, I hate it when I learn that something else I've selected is a lemon, the thing that everyone on is giving negative reviews.

I felt validated twice last week. The first time was when I learned that Koko Crater Coffee Roasters made Honolulu Magazine's "Best of Honolulu" edition. We buy our espresso beans from them at the KCC Saturday Farmers Market and have even suggested to the Grand Café that they might improve their coffee by switching to Koko Crater (no go on that, they're happy with what passes for coffee in their air pots).

The second revelation blew my mind. When we lived in Japan I used to travel frequently to Australia, and each trip I would bring back a dozen or more bottles of Australian wine. It was quite a learning experience since Australian wines weren't very well known then. Among the dozen were often a few of our favorites, including Henschke Hill of Grace.

So at one of the twice-weekly HASR wine tastings we often go to, I wandered off with my glass in hand to look at what was on the shelves. There were several bottles from Henschke so I was reminded of our old favorite, Hill of Grace. But there was none to be found. Even on my third trip around I couldn't find any (it's a guy thing). So I asked. It turns out that this beloved wine now goes for $350 or so a bottle, and Hawaii is allocated exactly one (count 'em, one) bottle a year.

Well, I feel validated in my good taste, but disappointed that I'll never taste it again. Sheesh.


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