Unlike any other wine in the world, Madeira will remain virtually unchanged from the time you open the bottle until the time days, weeks, months, years later when you decide to finish it. This is a long-term relationship.
'weird wine grapes' on Serious Eats
"I brought you a Juhfark," a friend announced when she arrived at a party. "Umm, what??" I asked, unsure if she'd just said something inappropriate.
In many people's minds, the wine world dead-ends right around the eastern borders of Germany and Austria. What lies beyond is just a hazy tangle of Eastern European countries and, somewhere beyond that, Russia, the Middle East and Asia. No wine there.
There's more to the story of Ribolla Gialla, particularly in the Napa Valley.
Rent control, shment control, it seems. I have to find a new home. In less than 30 days. So I "celebrated" one of my last leisurely days (a.k.a. drowned my sorrows) in my near-and-dear Dolores Park with a bottle of Assyrtiko.
Finding a perfect wine to drink with with pesto is a real challenge. You need something punchy enough to stand confidently against sharp herbs and garlic, yet textured and salty to complement all that Parmesan and the creaminess of the pine nuts.
I'd been hiding this quirky, slender, delicious looking bottle in the fridge for a special occasion. I don't mean a fancy dinner or holiday, or even an evening with important company. I mean a special occasion... Enter: the northern California coast, where there are fresher-than-fresh oysters available just footsteps away, doled out by the bag-full with little accompaniment besides sunshine and a shucking knife.
Basque locals traditionally drink the stuff out of a bulbous, pointy spouted, awesomely crowd-friendly pitcher called a porrón held high above one's head.
"Semillon is not a fashionable variety," announces Wine Grapes. "Nowhere outside Sauternes," the book continues, "does there seem to be a groundswell of enthusiasm for this noble variety." Time for a re-write, Wine Grapes.
Confession: I love a recipe from the Campbell's soup website. It calls for simmering chicken breasts in creamy stock, balsamic vinegar, sundried tomatoes, oregano, and kalamata olives. You sprinkle the whole thing with feta cheese and serve it up over orzo. I've eaten this dish with plenty of different wines that were all... fine. California Pinot Noir was overwhelmed; a northern Italian Barbera was bright but not bold enough; New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc made it feel like everything was fighting. But last week, I found the perfect match.
I was sure that Pascaline Lepeltier would share a great new Chenin Blanc with me—she's obsessed with the grape, and she shares a hometown with its native stomping grounds in the Loire Valley in France. But she giggled over, eyes ablaze with a sense of mischief and excitement. A small, somewhat oddly shaped bottle appeared, and out poured the most incredible, fascinating, beautiful and bizarre wine I've had in a long while.
It was Valentine's Day. We were having "girls' night in." And we hadn't realized until that moment how clever we were to make sausage stew for dinner. The punchlines were flowing, and we hadn't even really begun drinking yet.
A while back, I mentioned having met my 'sexy bartender boyfriend' at my old waitressing job. Seven years later, the sexy bartender and I got married. And so with Valentine's Day looming, I thought I'd tell you about one of our most perfect recent dates and suggest to you one of the most perfect date wines.
If you happen to fall in love with wine, you should prepare to spend most of your life confused, constantly humbled, relearning over and over again what you thought you'd already grasped. I suppose, in some ways, this is similar to falling in love with a person.
The end of a twelve-hour workday calls for a glass of wine, a quesadilla made in the microwave and the TV remote at the ready. Don't bother me, and please don't force me to think about anything. Every grape has its occasion, and Bianchello is perfect for exactly this.