Wine Pages

Mike Steinberger's Wine Diarist


Whence I Came - A Baer Family Thanksgiving

My interest in wine has really always been about my interest in food. I first started drinking wine at the dinner table, and have found it much less appealing as a cocktail proxy, being slowly slurped on its own. My first wine affair was with the wines of Germany, soon followed by wines from the Loire, and reds from Burgundy. I'm an old-world kinda guy, when it comes to wine, finding a lot of wines from modernists in Europe, the Americas, down-under, and elsewhere to tend in another direction from my tastes (many exceptions exist, of course).

As my wine exposure has broadened, I've been lucky enough to taste LOTS of different grape varieties and styles of production. A few years ago, I even joined Steve De Long's fledgling Wine Century Club, where, in a blind tasting at one of their events, I inexplicably tied with the venerable Robin Garr for first place. I've become a fan of Fresia, benefited from more than one Bobal, and taken many a dip in the Picpoul. But for tomorrow's family gathering, it's back to my wine roots.

This year, we are preparing a pan-Asian themed feast as designed by the kitchen at Gourmet Magazine. The labor has been divided between a few parties. The meal's centerpiece will be an Indian-Spiced Roasted Turkey surrounded by various side dishes from pickled vegetables to Japanese Sweet Potatoes with scallion butter. With all the Asian spice in the air, this meal is gonna be screaming for some honest, food-friendly, slightly perfumed wine... and I can't think of a better pairing than some Riesling, Chenin Blanc, and some simple, juicy Pinot Noir.

Have a Happy Turkey Day Everyone.

Postscript (11/23): The wines we drank...
1) Villa Rinaldi Rose Rosa Metodo Classico Brut NV - a deliciously crisp 100% Pinot Nero from Itlay's Veneto
2) Eugen Muller Forster Jesuitengarten Riesling Kabinett Trocken 2005 - dry, beautifully spiced wine from Germany's Pfalz
3) Paul Anhaeuser Kreuznacher Krotenpfuhl Riesling Auslese 2001 - richer, sweeter, but, alas, corked... from Germany's Nahe
4) Kalin Cellars Sonoma County Chardonnay Cuvee LD 1994 - that's right, 1994, the producer's current release
5) Jacky Truchot Morey-St-Denis 2005 - this Cote d'Or village wine is from a producer we love, who makes pure, traditional, delicious Pinot Noir. Sadly, as his children are not interested in taking over the family business, 2005 was Truchot's last vintage.

(I never did break out that Chenin I had promised)