Posts Filed Under wine tasting
Teikoku Restaurant, sitting just outside Philadelphia, is fast becoming my favorite dining spot in the known Universe.
I’m not a food reviewer, so I’m not going to try to do justice to the stellar dishes they whipped up for their last food & wine tasting event.
I will, however, tell you about the wines that Heather Wright (wine educator and consultant from Cellar Door Imports) chose for the event, since they’re all great budget-minded picks for your next Asian food dining sojourn:
08 Arabella Sauvignon Blanc (W. Cape, SA): Tropical fruit dominates even over the acidity. Bit too much bod for lil’ ol’ me but it’s cheap!
07 Banyan Gewurztraminer (Monterey County, CA): Somehow it’s 1D despite lychee, lime, rose petal, & melon. Still, hard to beat for the price
07 Banyan Viognier Madera (CA): Fat & oily, with a crazy banana nose that’s all over the place. Not “pure” by any stretch – but damn fun!
07 Hyatt Chardonnay (Rattlesnake Hills, WA): Vanilla syrup & pears, good balance, but a tad astringent on the finish. Decent pick, nice $.
06 Hobo Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley, CA): Ripe as hell but red berries, licorice, & pepper keep things interesting. Good pick for BBQ beef.
If you’re in the Philly area and want to join in the next Teikoku wine event, details are below…
Tuesday, September 23 2008 Teikoku Restaurant
5492 West Chester Pike
Newtown Square, PA 19073
Michael Walsh, Wine Educator,
will showcase five of California’s most celebrated wine growing regions,
along with the innovative food pairings from Chef Takao Iinuma to complement them!
For reservations, contact Christine Olmsted @ 610-644-8270.
And finally, from the “Damn, wish I had a tech support staff!” Department: I’m way sorry for the lack of video feed from last night’s live twitter tasting. It worked when we tested it several times earlier in the week, but at show time there was no sound. Since we were right in the thick of the event kick-off, I decided to abandon video rather than try to address it then and there (which would have been a big distraction during the tasting – not to mention during my dinner!). I’ll make sure it’s working before the next event!
It’s that time of month again here at 1WineDude.com.
That time when we hip you to some way cool events going on in the wine world (what were you thinking I was going to say?):
1) First up is a local Philly-area shin-dig. Teikoku Restaurant will be having their next wine & food pairing event on Thursday, August 14, 5:30-7:30 PM ET.
Iron Chef Takao Iinuma will be cooking up some delectable small bites to pair with “off the beaten path pours” of wine selected by Heather Wright of Cellar Door Imports. I know that chef. And I know that Importer. And both of them kick ass.
2) Next, after a fun and successful inaugural twitter tasting event, BinEndsWine.com will be back LIVE on August 21st for twitter tasting #2. This time around, they will be featuring Etienne Hugel, of Hugel & Fils.
For those of you who aren’t yet familiar with Hugel, the name is practically synonymous with fine Alsace wine. BinEndsWine & Etienne will be joined live via twitter by yours truly, as well as a host of other fine wine bloggers, as we taste through a selection of Hugel’s finest.
The last twitter live tasting event was a blast, so head on over to BinEndsWine.com, order yourself a tasting pack of Hugel wine, and join in the twitter fun on the 21st. The details of how to follow the live event can be found there as well (be sure to friend me up at 1WineDude before the 21st!).
When it comes to me and Iron Chef Takao Iinuma, well, we’ve just got to stop meeting like this.
Because that guy is so skilled, he’s going to ruin me for all other Japanese cuisine. With the exception of cuisine in Japan itself, presumably.
I’m not going to recap the food from my recent sake tasting at Iinuma’s fabulous Azie restaurant in Media, PA. I’ll let my good friends over at WCDish.com do that. You can read up on the details of the Azie tasting in my previous post shamlessly plugging the event.
But I will tell you about the sake I had the pleasure of tasting that evening. Because it’s gone a long way into making me a convert in the temple of all things sake. And a yummy, tummy-warming temple it is…
What’s great about events like the Azie tasting is the high probability of running into other ‘foodies’. In this case, I had the pleasure of hanging with Christine Olmsted of Teikoku, Mary and Sugendran of WCDish.com, and Gino Razzi, the Penns Woods winemaker who is starting to skae things up in the world of east coast wines (see inset pic of Gino, me, and Mary). Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that one of the best chefs in the eastern U.S. is whipping up the fare, either.
The sake samples on display at Azie were selected by Matt Palmer of Star Cellars. the man knows his sake, and since I am a complete sake novice, I took advantage of the opportunity to bend Matt’s ear and ask him a seemingly endless serious of questions about each sake, and the process of making sake in general.
Sake is often referred to as “rice wine” since at its most fundamental it is an alcoholic beverage made from rice. However, the process used to make sake is actually somewhere between those used to make beer and those used to make wine. Specifically, sake is made with a special type of rice with a high starch content, with a mold called koji used to convert the starch into sugars that can then be fermented into alcohol. From there, many techniques are used to create sakes with different characteristics. Like wine and whiskey, sake from different areas of Japan are noted for their distinct styles. You can learn more by checking out Sake.com.
The samples that we tasted at Azie really show the depth, range and breadth possible with sake. We started with an accessible, fun & sweet sparkling (yes, as in ‘with bubbles’) sake, and ended with the complex, powerful, and deep “Mountain Flowers” – a drink that requires (and deserves) as much concentration as a decent Burgundy.
As for the specifics on the sake that we had for our pairings at Azie, I’ve reviewed them in ‘mini’ form on twitter, and included the wrap-up below:
- Harushika Tokimeki Sparkling sake: *Very* sweet n’ fruity for sake; CO2 is added but integrates well, and that acidity rocks the house.
- Bishonen “Beautiful Boy” Ginjo sake: Lots of grain (duh!) and dairy, & good acidity. Maybe a bit too delicate, but beautiful nonetheless…
- Ohyama “Big Mountain” Junmai sake: Pear, peach, minerals, lemon, flowers… isn’t that supposed to be Riesling? Wow. I think I’m a convert!
- Masumi Sanka “Mountain Flowers” Daiginjo sake: Grains, herbs & floral notes. Like a crouched panther – graceful, but ohhh the *power*!
If you’re new to sake… let me tell you, you need to give this stuff a fair shot. Because it is definitely going to surprise you.
Consider this oenophile a convert.
(images: courtesy of Sugendran.net)