One of the really nice things about working for a really good producer of wine is … well … the wine.
Which means that lunch is a particularly nice time of day at work. Because it affords one a really nice and excellent opportunity to taste wine with food; a near moral imperative for those in this business.
Now, as I am particularly fond of, shall we say, rather more unorthodox wine pairings, it occurred to me that there was a new blog series in here somewhere, and I believe I’ve found it.
I launch it today:
What’s Up, Lunch?
The idea is this, every time I have something somewhat “interesting” for lunch, I’ll pour two Ridge wines as possible companions, to see which, if either, is the best pairing. I’ll then report my findings to you.
I began today’s debut episode with quite the oeno-culinary challenge (at least for red wine): Punjab Choley, a spicy tomato-and-chick pea Indian curry, served over short-grain brown rice. Our wine companions? Two of the new Fall Release Zinfandels, the 2009 Lytton Springs, and the 2009 Pagani Ranch.
Going into it, my money was on the Pagani. The inherently idiosyncratic spiciness of this singular old-vine field blend would seem rather perfect for a dish of this kind, but oddly enough, while the spices instantly co-mingled in rather rapturous fashion, the plumply decadent fruit seemed somehow left out; sort of a romantic third wheel, one friend of three still trying to concentrate on the movie while much necking ensues on the couch betwixt the other two.
Conversely, while with the Lytton Springs the spices didn’t necessarily entwine themselves in quite as erotic a fashion, they certainly and decidedly co-mingled, and unlike with the Pagani, everyone was invited this time. Tannins, acid, fruit, all got involved, and the end result was quite universally satisfying. And while the Lytton’s 14.5% ABV is not tame per se, the heat of the curry drew no heat from the alcohol; rather, all was in balance, all was in harmony. No one knows how the movie ended …
So, for our debut episode of What’s Up, Lunch?, I offer the following pairing:
2009 Lytton Springs, with Punjab Choley served over Lundberg short-grain brown rice.
What’s Up, Lunch?