I’ve always said that “wine country” is where you find it. I’ve also said that it need not be limited to a beautiful valley of vine-covered hills.
If you’re enjoying a glass of wine with a good meal or a good friend, you are in “wine country” — because “wine country” truly is a state of mind.
Here are three wine experiences you may wish to seek out sometime in the future that are not in the Napa Valley, Sonoma County, the Willamette Valley, Bordeaux, Tuscany, or some other more famous “wine country”…
- BUENOS AIRES. Argentina’s capital city is home to a cutting-edge dining scene, but a number of its traditional steakhouses survive. And none is better than Parrilla Don Julio, where the specialties include chorizo (sausage), asado (barbecue) ribeye steak, thin skirt steak and rump steak. The wine list is impressive, and many of the bottles are displayed in wall cases in the dining room.
- CEDAR CITY. What is it about wine and communities that host annual Shakespeare festivals? Perhaps the most famous is Ashland, Ore., which is known for its productions of plays written by The Bard, and also is just a few miles away from several southern Oregon wineries.
And then there’s Cedar City, which concluded its 2015 Shakespeare Festival season on Halloween. Just west of downtown Cedar City, Instant Gratification Winery has a tasting room (tucked behind the Iron Gate Inn) that’s worth a visit.
- PITTSBURGH. “Wine country” in a city once known for steel mills? Cure is a restaurant that showcases Justin Severino’s culinary vision of the seasons in western Pennsylvania.
By tapping local purveyors for most of the ingredients, he creates “local urban Mediterranean food,” complemented by a well-selected wine list. The go-to white for many of the dishes: a Gruner-Veltliner from Austria, priced at a restaurant-reasonable $48.