This week, I had the pleasure of attending (yet another) amazing wine pairing dinner at the fabulous Teikoku restaurant in Newtown Sqaure, PA. I know that you’re already sick of hearing about how much I love Teikoku, so I will mention only this:
If you ever find yourself there and you notice “Pan roasted tilefish with Chestnut risotto and tempura style matsutake mushrooms” on the menu, immediately close the menu and order this dish with a bottle of Chardonnay. Immediately. You will thank me later.
The wine pairing theme of the evening was A Tour of California, and we couldn’t have had much of a better guide than wine educator Michael Walsh of Majestic Wine & Spirits. Michael had total recall of his CA geography; in fact, his level of knowledge was downright scary without being too pedantic or at all intimidating.
This got me thinking about the difference between a wine geek (who loves wine passionately and wants to share that passion with others) and a wine bore (who gets off on intimidating others with his/her wine smarties). For more detail on what makes a wine bore, check out Michael Broadbent’s excellent treatise on the subject…
Anyway, what struck me was how Michael Walsh casually used his impressive wine smarties to enhance our table’s enjoyment of the event, and not to try to overpower it. Case in point: during the event, I was chatting with fellow press guest Mary of WC Dish about a tasting of some excellent German QbA wines (more on those in a future post) that I’m currently working my way through. Michael noticed the confused look on the faces of my table mates, and chimed in (with perfect timing I might add) to clear up the confusion and quickly explain the QbA concept and pronunciation (Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiet or “quality wine from a specified region”).
I was impressed – rather than recite the entire WSET Advanced Certificate study material on the subject, he offered the perfect amount of wine info., at the perfect time, without being stuffy or overbearing. It was a style that I consider the hallmark of what constitutes the best in a wine geek!
As for the wines – here are my reviews of Michael’s picks:
06 Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc (Monterey): Cooler climate grapes for CA. Grapefruit & lemon grass, but the minerality still eludes hot CA.
05 Forestville Reserve Chardonnay (Russian River Valley): Butter & oak, but somehow acidity, creaminess, & caramel save it from oak disaster
06 Esser Vineyards Pinot Noir (South Central Cost, CA): So much cherry, you might mistake it for Gamay. Spice on the nose makes it a winner.
04 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa): Cassis, currants, leather straps & – bam! – olives! A tiny bit overextracted, but who cares!
NV Merryvale Antigua (Medera, CA): Late harvest fortified Muscato. All toffee with an almost glycerin punch. Tasty, but clear your schedule.
And before I go, let me alert you to yet another fine food & wine pairing event happening at Teikoku on October 23, 2008!
Join Matthew Esser, wine educator and cellar consultant from Shiffrin Selections for an evening of Autumn wines along with Innovative food pairings from Chef Takao Iinuma to complement them
$35 Per person, reservations required.
Space is limited, RSVP now
For information and RSVP
Contact Christine Olmsted, Teikoku Restaurant Events Coordinator
@ 610-644-8270 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheers! (images: winecompliments.com)