Making a Meal of Appetizers and Wines by the Glass

    I’m not sure how restaurant owners feel about the practice, but when I go out to dinner, I often skip the entree menu and make a meal out of anywhere from one to three appetizers — and the number could be even larger, depending on how many are in my party.

     I like to try lots of different things — to mix flavors and textures — and to experiment with wine pairings while I do it. Chowing down on a 32-ounce Porterhouse steak always has seemed like overkill to me.

     A great place to mix it up is Roy’s restaurant — the Hawaiian institution that now has numerous outposts here on the mainland.

     During a recent visit, we ordered Roy’s Canoe Appetizer for Two, which includes Teriyaki beef satays, vegetable spring rolls, coconut crusted shrimp, and Ricotta and wild mushroom ravioli.

     That’s really enough food, but we decided to add another appetizer to our Hawaiian “smorgasbord”: crunchy golden lobster potstickers.

     Since we had both beef and seafood on the table, we had no choice but to order both red and white wines. We decided to have two glasses apiece, so the challenge was to pick two reds and two whites from Roy’s extensive and well-selected by-the-glass list.

     We finally opted for:

     * “Eroica” Riesling, produced by Dr. Loosen and Chateau St. Michelle, from Washington’s Columbia Valley.

     * Geyser Peak “Block Collection” Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley.

     * Ramsey Pinot Noir, from California’s North Coast region.

     * Rosenblum Zinfandel from California’s Contra Costa County.

     I’m known as “the wine guy” whenever I dine out, so the pressure was on to come up with some appropriate bottlings. Actually, it was no pressure at all, because once the food arrived and the wine started flowing, all was well with the world.

     The moral of this Journal entry: When you eat out, don”t overthink the food and wine pairings. Unless you’re just totally obsessed with determining the absolutely perfect matches, chances are you’ll have a good time just because there’s wine on the table and a good friend or significant other sitting across from you.

Posted in Editor's Journal
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