Friday, October 17, 2008

Okey Dokey Artichokey

So I'm rushing home after a full day of tech consulting work, coaching soccer, driving kids from swimming and I get a call from the most Savvy of all Sommeliers. She lets me know that we have no wine - yes, it's true we have a lame wine collection at home (as we drink what we have) - and that we are having artichokes for dinner. Ahh, the dreaded California Artichoke - one of the most difficult foods to pair with wine.

Immediately, I think back to my food & wine pairing class and I know this one's going to be tough but I talk myself through it: "I know there is something that can work with artichoke - think, think." As I make my way to the supermarket and the 2 aisles and several end caps of wine, I realize I have a cheat sheet in my iPhone. Before I go there, I think crisp, acidic white. There, an independent, non-Sommelier, thought. But I best be sure, what does WineSnob think? They confirm - Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigrio - and they go one step further, unoaked. Aha, I have it.

Bolstered by my confirmed wine pairing knowledge, I select a Pinot Gris from Oregon. Now I'm showing off as I know that Pinot Gris is the same varietal as Pinot Grigio. Erath Pinot Gris.

As I bolt through the front door of the house, playing it cool by delaying the inevitable discussion about what wine I selected, I can't wait for Jennifer to ask me what I got. "I picked out an Oregon Pinot Gris." Instead of a smile, pat on the head or "good boy", I get a neutral look. Oh, oh, I stepped out too far. "I would have gone with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc . . . . " I stopped listening . . . something about a grassy, asparagus note . . . . But I thought we were having artichoke. "Well Pinot Gris could work but most of them from Oregon have been oaked." Ugh, a dagger to my ego. "Don't worry it should be OK."

Well, I was determined at this point to drink (and enjoy) my wine. While it was indeed slightly oaked, it turned out OK with our artichoke and my standing as the 2nd most wine knowledgable person in my house (for the time being) was reinforced.

Artichoke = sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio but make damn sure they haven't seen touched any oak!


Stacy and Brian said...

I for one am glad you chose an Oregon Pinot Gris! Well done! When will we see you guys again!?
Stacy and Brian

About The Savvy Sommelier said...

Hey Stacy & Brian - should be up in WA in Dec. How r u?