Archive for Wine Thoughts
One of our goals for 2014 is to show more & more tasters what is “good” wine. On this night, there was no serious agenda. It was just to show some of our wine friends, how blind tasting could help discern different attributes of some, what I think, good wines.
The Scherrer Vineyard is located on a bench in Alexander Valley, above the Silver Oak planting. The first vines were planted in the 1912. The “Mature” vines were planted in the early 70’s.. The best way, I can describe this SENSATIONAL bottling, is to say, this is a superb old vine Zin crafted by a Pinot master—elegant, suave, well textured, seamless & so impeccably balanced.
A co-worker came up to me yesterday to say, “Boy it’s a hot one! I think this is going to be a real hot summer”.
Yes, summer is just around the corner! The sun will be more glaring and the days are getting longer. It is a time to change–lighter clothing, lighter & fresher foods & also the kind of wines we drink.
The profile of wine conducive to hot weather sipping is also lighter in body, fresher, crisper, lower in alcohol content and usually less oaky.
So here are some recommendations on how to find such wines, especially those offering great value for the dollar.
More “small” plates & wine thoughts at Hiroshi Eurasion Tapas……..
Crab Salad with grapefruit, cucumbers & pickled wasabi
WINE: 2013 Birichino Malvasia Bianca–this winery made quite a big leap in quality with the transition from 2012 to 2013. They were able to source some malvasia grown in limestone soiled vineyards, which apparently added minerality & ethereal-ness to the blend. Furthermore, this wine’s innate aromatics just heightens the dish’s nuances in quite a magical way.
We looked to taste advantage of Easter Sunday at Hiroshi Eurasion Tapas, to do another night of “small” plates served on a cart. Not only are the small plates tasty & craete an opportunity to try a bunch of different tastes, it is also a golden opportunity to try out different wine pairings too. Here are some to think about–
The good news for lovers of California wine is that there is more quality wine being produced in California than ever before.
And where the headlines were previously dominated by the Napa Valley, today the geographic scope has widened to include many nooks and crannies up and down the state.
Many experts, for instance, are really lauding the Central Coast, from Monterey on down to Santa Barbara. The wine media is further supporting that thought with many high ratings and acclaim for the regions’ wines.
To be more specific, I am especially excited with the limestone/silaceous clay soiled pockets of Santa Barbara and Paso Robles.
Every year wineries release a new set of wines. As confusing as the myriad of labels can be to the average consumer, imagine trying to then sort through what the new vintage has in store.
The conditions of each growing season is always quite different which the resulting wines will showcase. For other fruits like tomatoes or pineapple consumers don’t really pay much attention. With grape varieties, however, we have many layers of aficionados who make a career in specializing on this very facet.
It wasn’t that long ago when Hawaii’s best restaurants featured foods from Europe, especially France. That was significantly changed when a group of 12 chefs, founded HRC (Hawaii Regional Cuisine).
From that day the concept of “fine” dining & high level foods changed. For HRC chefs like Roy Yamaguchi & Alan Wong (& later on “new generation” chefs such as my partner DK Kodama) their foods often feature a real dynamic Asian flair.
In terms of wine, this created an incredible, new learning opportunity of pairing wines to foods.
When I was growing up in this industry, southern France was thought of as producing a sea of mediocre wine. Then…..later on…. several larger companies looked to take advantage of the ample sunshine to produce value oriented Chardonnay, Cabernet & Merlot in sizable quantities. Some had succeeded but more have fallen by the wayside.