Every Monday, discover new wines, regions, and ways to understand this fermenting sea.
Munching Vidal Blanc on Keuka Lake, New York
The theme is “translation” for this, the thirty second Monthly Wine Writing Challenge.
Luckily, my Aunt surprised me recently.
She hosts near-monthly dinners, cooks great food, and pours copious amounts of sparkling wine. I bring good bottles that survived my workweek. Well, at our last powwow she had something new from Oregon.
Now, most American wine is an act of translation. Why? Because we try to conjugate European grapes with American soil, climate, and palates. Results taste familiar but different: like speaking French with a Texan accent. But with today’s wine, America forgot the encyclopedia. Continue reading
Sick of winter already? Me too. Let us draw the shades, turn up the thermostat, play Hawaiian music, don shorts and a t-shirt and grab a pair of sunglasses. Our wine glass might as well play pretend. I say send it to the hot iron tip of the heal of the boot of Italy: Puglia, specifically Salice Valentino DOC: Continue reading
We itch for soft cheeses. But we hold strong and only buy two. Each is a French, triple crème cheese (I won’t go into why I can’t call them Brie, just know they are over 75% butter fat and magic). Delin’s Le Crémeux de Bourgogne and Saint Angel’s cheese. A range of wines from Champagne, Cava, to Alsatian whites all would work. Yet I don’t feel like being very creative. Continue reading
My wife craves black pasta: an Italian specialty dyed dark with squid ink. Coastal Italians call it “pasta al nero di sepia”: black squid pasta. Instead of mixing it with seafood, she wants it simple. So I clash cultures by browning it in butter and shaving Greek Mizithra cheese atop (Spaghetti Factory frequenters will sympathize). Continue reading
Let me level with you. Do not fret over pairing wines with food this Thanksgiving. Most books, guides, magazines, or blogs will rehash the same tired rules: Beaujolais or Pinot Noir with pork or turkey, cab with steak, white with fish.
This advice overgeneralizes matters. What if your favorite producer decided to pop their Burgundy into new barrels one year? What if you went all Martha Stewart on the bird and brown sugar-glazed it instead of brining, or got completely “rebellious”: Continue reading