Anna over at Everyday Wine Pairings tagged me with the question: What is the best food and wine pairing you have had in the last month? Or at least--I think that was the question. This was a moment of high drama for me, because despite my love of wine and desire to learn more, I have been anything but adventurous with wine lately. So I thank Anna for finally getting me to act on my curiosity!
That day I walked in to Trader Joe's and was attracted by the label of this lovely "Honey Moon Viognier". (Yes, I have a wine label fettish--but that is a topic for another post.) My first thought was "What the heck is a viognier, and how is it pronounced?" In my mind, silently, so as not to embarass myself, I say "voyne-yay", as if I were offering congratulations to a......voyne. The label says it is a "rare and stylish grape". So this is a "varietal", I presume. But I digress.
Anyway the sign said this 2004 California wine was the gold medalist at the state fair, earning 95 points by the wine
snobs judges. The price was very affordable (five bucks maybe?) and it looked like I had found my low-risk candidate for a wine tasting.
I paired the wine with Chicken a la King, which was good but perhaps not the most interesting companion. Nevertheless, the wine was a very pleasant surprise: highly aromatic, light and fruity, mild sweetness and a very long and delicious finish. This was an excellent choice for my first official "I am actually going to pay attention and make note of this" wine tasting.
Looking back at the Everyday Wine Pairing blog, I see that Maureen also reviewed this wine. (I think I saw it before but had forgotten!)
But there is more, people. Behold the other pretty wine label (and I swear that is not my only criteria):
This is another offering from the same winery: "Old Moon (Old Vine) Zinfandel, 2004." This was served with a steak, walnut-parmesan dressed brussels sprouts and some left over lemon pasta. The zinfandel was bold and not too much tannin was in evidence, and I enjoyed it. The same sign at Trader Joe's informed me that this was the Bronze medalist at the fair, earning 85 points. This was also a bargain wine, good for hearty dishes as the weather begins to turn. I would buy it again.
Anna, this was fun! It is a challenge for me to build a working vocabulary for wine. I raise a glass to you and look forward to exploring many new wines in the years ahead.