I think that sometimes we get a little too precious about our wine pairings. Too focused on the ‘perfect’ pairing. Too fussed on which days are ‘ok’ to have a glass of wine (or two!) with dinner. Blah blah blah. Now I’m not saying I drink every night—sometimes one wants a break; sometimes one wants to drink something not wine (*gasp*) and that’s all a-ok too. But I recently cleaned out my wine cellar and dedicated one whole section to ‘weeknight drinking.’ Meaning, any day of the week either I or the man should be able to walk in and choose something and it should be fine. Choose something based on the food, the mood, the weather. Close your eyes point and say ‘ok.’ (Um…maybe not that last one…).
The following is a list of some of our weeknight pairings. These are not reviews of specific wines/wine brands per se. More my/our comments on styles of wines that, for us, seem to par well with classic Briscoe mid-week meals. The perfect pairings? Probably not? But, isn’t the perfect pairing the pairing you’re enjoying at the moment anyway? (Answer: yes.)
When I was a kid I was a frequenter of Panda Express. I remember one day hanging out at the mall with my friend, each of us with a plate full of “Chinese” food and looking at the back of my soda cup, which read, “You ordered the orange chicken, didn’t you?” Yeah, I did.Of course I did. You can’t go to Panda Express and not order the orange chicken. Ok, flash forward to the Stacy of today, and I’m always looking for healthy alternatives to childhood pleasures. Enter this baked orange-glazed cauliflower dish…
I don’t know how I came up with this flavor profile. I think I literally looked at the ingredients in my fridge and thought “hey, these will go together.” The only thing I had to run out and buy was the halibut. This dish could work with any white fish — or even chicken. Recommended wine pairing? Bubbles of course!
John and Carrie Komes and Julie and Pat Garvey established Flora Springs in 1977, though the vineyard has history dating back to the early 1800s, when Napa was just forming its roots as a California wine region. So the families already had a jump start on success by purchasing fertile land perfect for crafting what they’d soon be known for — Bordeaux blends. But John Komes admittedly has had a “long love affair” with Chardonnay and it was, in fact, the first Flora Springs varietal he produced 40 years ago. And though he’s seen Chardonnay styles go in and out of fashion — from the classic Cali butter-bomb to the sometimes scandalous 100% stainless steel — current winemaker Paul Steinauer maintains the winemaking methods that expresses Chardonnay in the same way that enraptured John from the very beginning.
Downtown Healdsburg has turned into a foodie’s haven. Critically-acclaimed restaurants with top chefs are found, often, right next door to each other. So how does one choose? Sometimes it’s a matter of booking your table for two months in advance. Other times it means settling for an awkward 5pm or 9:15pm dinner rez. And, yet, my favorite maintains the secret third option: walking in to the least crowded restaurant when your stomach tells you it’s time to eat. Welcome to Cafe Lucia.