A Pre-Spring Cleaning of Miscellaneous Wine Notes

When you’re a writer/blogger, you tend to hang on to unused notes — sometimes for a long time.

So in honor of the beginning of spring 2021 this Saturday, allow us to do a little spring cleaning of miscellaneous wine notes…

* Noted chef Jacques Pepin once made this wine-and-food pairing observation: “When I think about wines for winter meals, luscious, solid, robust reds come to mind. Earthy soups and stews would be complemented particularly well by a Cotes du Rhone, a Cahors from southwestern France, a Rioja from a Spanish bodega, or a California Zinfandel from Sonoma County.”

* Good news for lovers of the grape from the American Journal of Epidemiology. Drink beer, get a beer belly; there’s now proof. But University of North Carolina Chapel Hill researchers found a surprise in their study of 15,800 men and women. Drinking wine, though there are some calories involved, thins the waistline and sends the fat elsewhere. “You drink a lot of beer, you are more likely to have a protruding abdomen,” said Myra Carpenter, co-author of the study.

* A six-liter bottle of Garfield-adorned 1992 Merlot from The Hogue Cellars brought $3,950 at the 1995 Auction of Northwest Wines. It’s not known whether the person who made the winning bid opened the bottle to drink with one of Garfield’s favorite foods: lasagna. But it probably would have been a nice match.

* The Australian wine industry dates back to 1788 when the First Fleet settlers arrived in Sydney Cove. There were no natural grapevines in Australia, so the estate owners brought their own. Today, the country’s winemakers bottle some truly outstanding wines in a wide range of styles.

* The key to really appreciating wine involves matching it with just the right food. When it comes to food pairing, sparkling wines are among the most versatile. Here’s a seemingly unlikely pairing: sparkling wine and potato chips. Salty foods rarely match well with wine, but the clean, fresh personality of sparkling wine makes the pairing work. That’s also why Champagne and caviar match so perfectly.

* Did you know it’s possible to pair a Marinated Tomato Salad, made with two different kinds of vinegar, with hearty red wines? We’ll reveal the “secret” in this blog on Thursday.

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