Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Quest to Quench: Beer vs. Wine

Enduring Wine/Beer Stereotypes:

Wine = swirl; sip; savor
Beer = gulp; knock back; down

Not having any Sapporo or the like in the house this afternoon to pair with our seared tuna on soba with dashi broth and seaweed salad, we opted to open a bottle of white. Oops, the ignominious discovery is made that we have only two chilled bottles to choose from: A kick-ass value Chenin Blanc or an Italian Riesling. So, wanting to reserve the Chenin for more serious consideration, I opened the Riesling.

This was one of those wines where, upon initial sampling, one's first thought is that this 56 degree wine would benefit from further chilling. This kind of observation is often linked with having served a wine which is on the plonky side. Out came the trusty cooler sleeve, and the heaps of of big mushy apple crisped to more refined honey, pear, and lemon. Not an unpleasant wine overall, but one which left a lot to be desired when compared to the memory of a clean Alsace.

I should probably be embarrassed to even mention that I used my glass of wine to wash down a vitamin pill: Hey, now... What ensued was a fulled-bodied palate cleansing sensation with a rear-palate echo of the flavors of the meal; namely sesame and the richness of the tuna. Now, I'm familiar with the concept of quaffability but, this was something new: A wine that is actually best gulped--not so as to lessen the duration of it's influence on the palate but, to accentuate it!

With a rather dull attack which faded almost instantly to nothingness when sipped, this wine found a higher calling as a substance to be swashed willy-nilly between the back molars and over the gullet. Truth is, I could have had a beer, but the house beer is Sam's Summer Ale; too sweet and hoppy for this meal. In a sense, this so-so wine took the place of a beer but without the carbonation or bothersome "too-full" feeling.

I'm not particularly recommending this wine, but I do recommend opening up to the possibility of discovering the best in a wine by experimenting with how it's swallowed, swigged, swilled, or guzzled.


Taster B said...

p.s. a very light PN with lots of bright cherry notes would have been a perfect pairing with this time.