Looking forward to the week ahead in San Francisco- January 21st, 2019

Friends of Flatiron,

We hope everyone started their week off right with an enjoyable MLK Day. We have got two very interesting and very different tastings lined up this week and some exciting offers planned for the newsletter. Here is what we have on the docket:

In-Store Tastings:

Wednesday 1/23, Tasting of Turkish wines with Blue Danube Wine at 5pm:  Our favorite arbiters of taste in the world of Eastern European wines return! We will showcasing a few new additions to our selection including a Georgian Rkatsiteli from Wine Thieves as well as a few others from Slovenia and Hungary. $5/tasting 

Friday 1/25, Bordeaux tasting with Wilson Daniels at 5pm: Arguably one of the most important importers in the game, Wilson Daniels is a company that brings some of the world’s most sought after wines to our shores. Join us for a jaunt to both banks of Bordeaux with a tasting of wines from Chateau Clarke from Listrac-Medoc, Chateau Malmaison from Moulis-en-Medoc and Chateau des Laurets from Puisseguin-Saint-Emilion. $5/tasting

In our weekly newsletter we’ve got the hotly anticipated 2016 Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays from Lioco Wine Company, the 2nd to last vintage for legendary winemaker John Raytek. Also on offer are a number of cuvees from Cote-Rotie stylistic contrarian Jean-Marie Stephan as well as an opportunity to purchase the cellar staple 2014 Oddero Barolo, a must-have for any Italian wine lover.

Cheers!

Your Friends at Flatiron Wines SF

Don’t want to miss a beat? Sign-up for our newsletter already!  As loyal subscribers already know, the newsletter is not only the best place to get first crack at your favorite, hard-to-find wines at special discounts but it’s also where we go in great depth about the producers, vintages, regions and trends in the world of fine wine.

We send it once a week on Wednesday, unless, you elect to receive more. You can do so by using the form below or, here, if our site’s sophisticated technology isn’t functioning as described. 😉

Looking forward to the week ahead in San Francisco, January 14th, 2019

Friends of Flatiron,

If the weather starts getting you down this week, fear not. We’ve got some tasty wines lined up for you to enjoy at the store and available for you in our newsletter. Here’s what we have planned this week:

In-Store Tastings:

Wednesday 1/16, Portuguese wine tasting with Obrigado Vinhos at 5pm: Already a legend in the modern Spanish wine industry, Patrick Mata took a bold step in 2010 when he founded Obrigado Vinhos, a truly comprehensive and game-changing Portuguese wine company. From Alentejo to Vinho Verde, Obrigado Vinhos represents some of the finest Portuguese wine makers. Join us for a tasting of a selection of sensational Iberian wines. $10/tasting 

Friday 1/18, Natural wine tasting with Amy Atwood Selections at 5pm: There’s a woman taking the American natural wine movement by storm and her name is Amy Atwood. Not only is she the winemaker for Oeno Wines, but she also created a company that represents some of the coolest natural small producers around. Donkey & Goat, Cruz and Dirty & Rowdy all work with her plus MANY more. Come taste a selection of wines from the portfolio for a truly natty experience. $10/tasting

In our weekly newsletter lovers of tasty and non-interventionist Beaujolais will rejoice with an offering of wines from Marcel Lapierre. For something a little closer to home we also be featuring the fascinating wines of Thomas Fogarty based in the Santa Cruz Mountains. However if you’re craving something a little more muscular we’ve got a deal on the 2016 vintage from Domaine Saint-Damien that you simply cannot miss.

Cheers!

Your Friends at Flatiron Wines SF

Don’t want to miss a beat? Sign-up for our newsletter already!  As loyal subscribers already know, the newsletter is not only the best place to get first crack at your favorite, hard-to-find wines at special discounts but it’s also where we go in great depth about the producers, vintages, regions and trends in the world of fine wine.

We send it once a week on Wednesday, unless, you elect to receive more. You can do so by using the form below or, here, if our site’s sophisticated technology isn’t functioning as described. 😉

Looking forward to the week ahead in San Francisco, January 8th, 2019

Friends of Flatiron,

We hope everyone had an amazing New Years! Hopefully you haven’t done anything crazy like make a resolution to swear off drinking or anything like that. Here’s what’s in store to convince you to keep your January as wet as the weather.

In-Store Tastings:

Thursday 1/10, Tasting with Frenchtown Farms at 5pm: Aaron and Cara Mockrish quickly became one of North Yuba County’s rising stars when they established Frenchtown Farms. Under the tutelage of Gideon Beinstock, of Clos Saron fame, and with fruit from the vineyards of the inactive Renaissance Winery it’s easy to understand why. Join us for a tasting of their wines. $10/tasting 

In our weekly newsletter we’ll be featuring a selection of Burgundies from Michel Gros from the 2016 vintage, the must-have Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Santa Cruz Valley icon Thomas Fogarty and a truly classic Alsatian Pinot Gris from Famille Hugel.

Cheers!

Your Friends at Flatiron Wines SF

Don’t want to miss a beat? Sign-up for our newsletter already!  As loyal subscribers already know, the newsletter is not only the best place to get first crack at your favorite, hard-to-find wines at special discounts but it’s also where we go in great depth about the producers, vintages, regions and trends in the world of fine wine.

We send it once a week on Wednesday, unless, you elect to receive more. You can do so by using the form below or, here, if our site’s sophisticated technology isn’t functioning as described. 😉

What to Drink this Weekend in San Francisco- Volume 2, Issue No. 6

Dear Friends of Flatiron,

I am compelled to write about what special wines I’ll be drinking over the Holidays as Christmas approaches despite the fact that you have, no doubt, already read a great deal on the topic. But what makes my musings a bit unusual is that this is my first time actually making such choices not just for myself. As a professional retailer, and someone who is loosely Jewish, I’ve always volunteered to work for my gentile co-workers on Christmas Eve. Christmas Day has always been a lazy day of watching movies (specifically Home Alone and Die Hard), drinking a nice red Burgundy and slowly devouring an entire Peking duck. Some may think that sounds lonely, but I love it. That being said, I am truly excited to be spending this Christmas with my wife’s family up in Napa. Here’s what I snagged from our shelves to share with my family during my first Christmas.

I’ll use any excuse to drink Champagne and Christmas is an easy one. My recommendation is to choose a Champagne that is a little rounder and fruitier so that it can easily be enjoyed with or without food. Lean Extra Brut wines can be a bit too sharp right off the bat and oxidative/savory versions might be a bit too esoteric for infrequent drinkers to fully enjoy without food. I’m bringing Jean Vesselle’s Brut Prestige Millesime 2008, a grower champagne from Bouzy. Made of 65% Pinot Noir and 35% Chardonnay and a dosage of 7 grams/L this is a perfectly fruity and floral champagne for everyone to enjoy. It’s filled with remarkable homey flavors of creamy lemon, cloves, cinnamon and wildflower honey and finishes silky with notes of raspberry and red apples.

We’re all traveling on Christmas Eve so we’re keeping dinner pretty simple with a casual make-your-own taco bar. This was always one of my favorite dinners when I was a kid. As an adult I’ve added Mezcal to the table as an essential fixture. I’m making a big batch of Palomas for a Mexican-inspired libation filled with local and deliciously ripe ruby red grapefruits and Cara cara Oranges. When we got the Mezcal from Verde Momento, which is the best value Mezcal I’ve ever come across, I knew this was something I had to make for the my family. This Mezcal is produced using 8 year old Espadin agave and roasted using three different types of wood. The smokiness is strong, but extremely pleasant with a musky grassy, peach pit quality that makes it great for cocktails. It also has a variety of quirky labels which make it a creative gift and affordable one at only $29.99.

Since our family isn’t bound by any particular tradition, on Christmas we’ll be feasting on dry-aged steaks and a version of potatoes au gratin that is truly an homage to the dairy gods. I’m going with a bottle of Francois Carillon Bourgogne Blanc 2016 for my white wine, a round and supple Chardonnay filled with flavors of candied citron, apple and distinct grilled pineapple note that doesn’t come across as over-oaked. For the red I chose a 2016 Rosso di Montalcino from Conti Costanti for the red. If Biondi-Santi is outside your price range, Conti Costanti is a great alternative. Their history in Montalcino dates back to 1555 and you can taste that fact in their wines. Their Rosso displays deeply pitched and brooding notes of leather and cigar box which often fools experts into thinking it’s a fully-fledged Brunello. This wine is young, but I’m going to decant it in the morning to let it open up.

But probably the most festive wine I’m bringing is a bottle of Palo Cortado sherry. The first one I ever had, Valdespino’s Calle Ponce Palo Cortado, immediately transported me to a warm antique rocking chair in front of crackling fireplace in my mind. Few wines can take you on a journey like this one, with flavors and scents ranging wildly from mushrooms, leather and tobacco to butterscotch, maple candy and dates. Our family eats ice cream by the bucket and this is a sensational wine to have with it, especially a really good vanilla version. Having something sweet and creamy in the background lifts all the nuanced flavors the wine has taken on from over 25 years of aging. Buy this for yourself as a Christmas treat.

Happy holidays to everyone!

Looking forward to the week ahead in San Francisco, December 17th, 2018

Friends of Flatiron,

We’re exactly one week out from Christmas Eve and two from New Years and the excitement is reaching a fever pitch! If you haven’t already fully loaded up on bottles from us yet then be sure to stop ASAP. For any of you last minute shoppers, here’s our Holiday Hours:

Christmas Eve: 9am-6pm
Christmas Day: Closed
New Year’s Eve: 9am-9pm
New Year’s Day: Closed

Here’s what we’ll be pouring in the store as well as what we’ll featuring in our newsletter this week:

In-Store Tastings:

Tuesday 12/18, Meet the Winemaker: Dan Petroski with Larkmead at 5pm: $10/tasting Established in 1895, Larkmead is as iconic of an estate as they come in Napa Valley. The vineyards they own are some of the most diverse geologically and topographically. That is exactly what famed winemaker Dan Petroski aims to capture in every bottle he crafts during his tenure. Join us for a memorable tasting with him and an array of Larkmead’s wines.

Wednesday 12/19, Tasting with Tess Bryant with Natural Australian wines at 5pm: If it’s been a minute since you’ve tried an Australian wine now is absolutely the time. Australia has gone through a natural wine revolution that has put it back on the radar of somms and wine geeks everywhere. Tess Bryant saw the writing on the wall as well and, in 2008, opened her own wine import company focusing on natural Aussie wines. Come and join us for an exciting tasting of the most exciting wines from Down Under. $10/tasting

Thursday 12/20, Tasting of California Reds for the Holidays at 5pm: Holiday wine choices can be tricky. That’s why we decided to put together a tasting of great California wines that we think are the best for your celebration. We’ll be tasting:

Occidental, Pinot Noir ‘Freestone’, 2016
Ramey, Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, 2014
Chappellet, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Signature, 2016

This is your opportunity to try before you buy and, even better, it’s FREE!

Friday 12/21, Tasting of More Champagne at 5pm: In case you haven’t gotten your fill of Champagne tastings at the store the past few weeks here’s one more event to sate your thirst for bubbles. Come join us to taste the following Champagnes:

Janisson-Baradon, Champagne Brut Selection, NV
Paul Laurent, Champagne Brut, NV
Louis Roederer, Champagne Brut Premiere, NV

And guess what? This event is also FREE!

In our weekly newsletter we’ll be featuring a selection of library releases going back to the 1980’s from historic Chinon producer Couly-Dutheil, new releases from cult hero Giuseppe Quintarelli and Champagnes for the much sought after Cedric Bouchard.

Happy Holidays!

Your Friends at Flatiron Wines SF

Don’t want to miss a beat? Sign-up for our newsletter already!  As loyal subscribers already know, the newsletter is not only the best place to get first crack at your favorite, hard-to-find wines at special discounts but it’s also where we go in great depth about the producers, vintages, regions and trends in the world of fine wine.

We send it once a week on Wednesday, unless, you elect to receive more. You can do so by using the form below or, here, if our site’s sophisticated technology isn’t functioning as described. 😉

What to Drink this Weekend, San Francisco- Volume 2, Issue No. 5

Dear Friends of Flatiron,

Last week we embarked on a journey through symbiotic pairings with umami-rich foods. For shellfish and crustaceans, flor is the way for me, but what about the “deeper” umami flavors found in things like black olives or in gamey meat dishes and heavily spiced legumes?  The answer for me is skin-contact wines.  Join me as we delve deeper into these persimmon-hued beauties and what makes them the perfect partners for some of the most notoriously challenging food pairings.

Called either orange, amber, skin-contact or ramato, these are wines that are made by fermenting grapes normally made into white wines on their skins. Just like over steeping green tea, which leads a darker and not-so-green beverage, keeping the grape skins in contact with the juice yields a deeper color in the resulting wine. In turn, these wines display the floral, citrus and orchard fruit qualities of white wines, but the textural qualities and savory notes of reds. They are perfect umami-pairing wines because they amplify the inner sweetness of meats like pork and lamb as well with cheese and mushrooms while also being able to stand up to bold spice flavors in Indian, Mexican, Asian and Caribbean cuisines.

Don’t, however, be fooled into thinking that skin-contact wines are a recent trend. The way these wines are made has been practiced continuously for over 10,000 years. Fermenting white wine grapes on their skins to achieve a deep rusty amber color is standard in the Republic of Georgia where the oldest evidence of winemaking can be found. In 2015, I was fortunate enough to go on a wine trip to Georgia and was astounded by the cuisine.  Gooey cheese filled breads, fenugreek-tinted meats and vegetables take center stage along with sauces thickened with ground walnuts and mushrooms submerged in garlic and butter.  I quickly discovered on this trip that the best pairing for these types of foods is the traditional amber skin-contact style of wine that Georgia is known for.

We recently got in the 2016 Kisi from Doqi, located in the Kakheti region. A combination of golden plum, dried apricot, chrysanthemum and hazelnut are given depth and texture from the tannins imparted from the prolonged skin-contact and from the mineral notes of the clay vessels the wine is fermented and aged in. I drank a bottle of this with some chaat I got from Indian Paradox, a fun and authentic street food inspired restaurant on Divisadero and Haight. The interplay of sweet, salty, sour and spicy of the food are echoed in the wine and bring out the more subtle spicing underneath the more dominating flavors.

Skin Contact Umami Wines

What is tradition in Georgia is avant-garde to the rest of the world. Skin-contact, orange, amber. Whatever you choose to call these wines, the name seems always to fail to fully capture what the wine itself expresses. Legendary wines have risen from Georgian-inspired techniques like those from Josko Gravner and Radikon. But they were just the beginning. Skin-contact wines can now be found all over the world and from grapes that have historically never been vinified in that way. The 2017 Marsanne from Oakstone Vineyard by Purity Wines is one such wine. It is a full and rich, ginger-colored wine full of lush flavors of macerated orange peel, walnuts and Indian spices. A wine like this sings with exotic flavors and is possibly the only truly great wine pairing I’ve ever had with spicy jerk chicken.

As wine styles across the globe become more and more diverse it’s clear that the idea that some foods just don’t go with wine is false. Something as ancient and omnipresent as wine has a place at the table with every flavor. Tastemakers just might not have found the right style yet. But lucky for us, winemakers are an adventurous bunch who are happy to try just about anything. Skin-contact style wines are only one of the newest trends to gain popularity, but all signs indicated that there is much more excitement to be expected in the future.

Cheers!

Looking forward to the week ahead in San Francisco- December 10th 2018

Friends of Flatiron,

With all the ugly sweaters and Santa-ware around it’s obvious that the parties are everywhere this year. Here too! Check out what we’re pouring in the store and featuring in our newsletter this week to get your party to the next level:

In-Store Tastings:

Tuesday 12/11, Meet the Winemaker: Chris Cottrell from Bedrock Winery at 5pm: From humble beginnings in a converted chicken coop, Bedrock Winery has risen in the ranks of new Californian wineries, celebrating and rehabilitating old vineyards and proselytizing Californian terroir via noninterventionalist winemaking. Join us for a fun and informative tasting with winemaker Chris Cottrell and taste an assortment of their wines. $10/tasting

Thursday 12/13, Tasting with Champagne Billecart-Salmon at 5pm:  When perusing a restaurant’s wine list, seeing Billecart-Salmon listed in their Champagne section is usually a solid indicator that Somm knows what they are doing. Always one of favorite houses, Billecart-Salmon is class incarnate. Taste with us a lineup of Champagnes that will not disappoint and stock up for the New Year and beyond! $10/tasting

Friday 12/14, Tasting with Champagne Dom Perignon and Champagne Ruinart at 5pm: Two legends that need little introduction come together in a single night of Champagne tasting! Come taste the 2006 vintage of the one and only Dom Perignon as well as Ruinart’s 2006 vintage along with their non-vintage Brut and Rose. $20/tasting

In our weekly newsletter we’ll be featuring two vintages Roagna Rosso, 2012 and 2013, which showcases delicious Nebbiolo from a classic producers. We will also be offering the 2017 vintage of Keller Riesling “Von der Fels” as well as wines from the fun and funky Californian producer Las Jaras. In addition to our weekly newsletter, we are also featuring an offer on the 2016 releases from Michel Lafarge and a not-to-be-missed special holiday spirits newsletter featuring a number of Flatiron single cask bourbon selections, rums from mythical rum-bottler Velier and, of course, a collection of rare whiskies you’ve all been waiting for (Pappy, Weller, Suntory and more!).

Cheers!

Your Friends at Flatiron Wines SF

Don’t want to miss az beat? Sign-up for our newsletter already!  As loyal subscribers already know, the newsletter is not only the best place to get first crack at your favorite, hard-to-find wines at special discounts but it’s also where we go in great depth about the producers, vintages, regions and trends in the world of fine wine.

We send it once a week on Wednesday, unless, you elect to receive more. You can do so by using the form below or, here, if our site’s sophisticated technology isn’t functioning as described. 😉

What to Drink This Weekend, San Francisco – Volume 2, Issue No. 4

Dear Friends of Flatiron,

I’ve had umami on my mind lately. It started when people began asking for pairings with cracked dungeness crab, a naturally rich source of umami.  The question seemed easy to most. And, it is, if what you’re going for is a nice contrast between the savory ocean-flavored quality of the crab with the bracingly mineral and citrus notes of a vermentino or albariño. But a great symbiotic pairing, one that meets those rich, brothy flavors beat for beat, is less obvious.  

Having now had a chance to reflect upon this more, if what you want is one of the best symbiotic umami pairings, you really need a wine that’s spent some time under a veil of top fermenting yeast commonly called flor

Umami Wines on a Window Sill

Usually found as part of the winemaking process of biologically-aged sherries or sous voile white wines from the Jura like Domaine de Montbourgeau’s l’Etoile Cuvée Espécial, flor is starting to be added to the stylistic palate of many avant-garde producers both here and abroad.  By utilizing this indigenous and spontaneously occurring collection of microorganisms winemakers are able to not just capture the essence of fruit and flowers, but also those deeper notes of salt, nuts, dried herbs, and even varnished wood. 

What resonates between these flavors and that of seafood is a combination of heightening some flavors and canceling out others. The sharp angles and salty quality of the food and wine are neutralized while the sweetness and somewhat bitter quality inherent in both are heightened.

These are the flavor experiences I love in pairing the Fino from Bodegas Rey Fernando de Castilla, a perfectly balanced example of traditional biologically-aged sherry, with foods like shellfish and strongly flavored fin fish such as mackerel. The air around the bodega in Jerez smells like flor and salty ocean breeze, a quality reflected in all wines from this port city.  When paired with crab, oysters or sea urchin the flavors seem to open up completely leaving behind briny flavors and revealing a rich creamy sea-sweetness and earthy notes of the deep sea. Next time you go out to sushi take a bottle of sherry with you and get ready for a whole new experience.

Fernando de Castilla Fino

Of course flor aged wines aren’t the only wines that symbiotically pair with foods rich in umami. There are many different styles that work with savory flavors, not just clean up after them. But let’s take this one bite at a time and enjoy discovering what’s behind the veil of pairing seafood with wines aged under it.

Cheers!

Looking forward to the week ahead in San Francisco – December 3rd 2018

Friends of Flatiron,

Happy December! The chill is on and the celebrations are well underway everywhere you look especially if you happen to be stopping by and visiting us this week! Here’s what fun festivities and special newsletter deals we’ve got for you this week:

In-Store Tastings:

Tuesday 12/4, Meet the Winemaker: Sean Thackrey at 5pm: For all you natty wine lovers, this is a tasting you won’t want to miss. Sean Thackrey is as OG as you can get in the natural wine movement in California. Since 1980 he has been shaping the Bay Area wine and food scene by making noninterventionist wines from tiny parcels of unique and organic grapes. He doesn’t stop at vinifying without additives or commercial yeasts, but goes beyond by employing ancient techniques or experimental methods based on ideas from antiquity.  $5/tasting

Wednesday 12/5, Tasting with Tenuta San Guido- Sassicaia at 5pm: This is truly a special opportunity to taste this year’s #1 wine from Wine Spectators Top 100 and more! Taste an astounding lineup of 6 wines from the seminal Super Tuscan producer, Tenuta San Guido, from both their Tuscan and Sardinian estates. From Tenuta San Guido we will be pouring Sassicaia 2015 (#1 of Wine Spectator Top 100 2018), Gudialberto 2016, Le Difese 2016. From Agricola Punica, located in Barrua, Sardinia, we’ll be pouring two reds, Barrua 2014 and Montessu 2016 as well as a truly special white made of Vermentino, the Samas 2016. $20/tasting

Thursday 12/6, Tasting with Champagne Henriot at 5pm: For over 210 years the Henriot family has symbolized the innovative approach and high standards of a champagne house that has remained independent. Henriot is a Chardonnay dominant Champagne house, producing some of the finest blancs that are precise, elegant and luminous. The Henriot family nurtures a special affinity for these wines grown on soils where the chalk is purest and which gives the wines an intriguing and iodine minerality. These terroirs also convey the promise for outstanding longevity. Come and join us for a tasting of a selection of their truly expressive champagnes. $10/tasting

Friday 12/7, Aliane Wines Portfolio Tasting at 5pm: Founded in 2006, Aliane Wines has built a reputation for discovering and representing a thoughtful selection of some of the best independent vintners and family-owned, premium estates in France. We will be pouring a whole assortment of wines from their portfolio from Burgundy, the Rhone, and Champagne. $10/tasting

In our weekly newsletter we’ll have two Burgundy offerings: the fabulous Fixins from Domaine Berthaut,and the much awaited 2017 Chablis release from Patrick Piuze. Additionally we will also be offering a selection of wines from the unparalleled Peay Vineyards out of the Sonoma Coast.

Cheers!

Your Friends at Flatiron Wines SF

Don’t want to miss az beat? Sign-up for our newsletter already!  As loyal subscribers already know, the newsletter is not only the best place to get first crack at your favorite, hard-to-find wines at special discounts but it’s also where we go in great depth about the producers, vintages, regions and trends in the world of fine wine.

We send it once a week on Wednesday, unless, you elect to receive more. You can do so by using the form below or, here, if our site’s sophisticated technology isn’t functioning as described. 😉

What to Drink This Weekend, San Francisco – Volume 2, Issue No. 3

Dear Friends of Flatiron,

Every time I move I make meatballs. It’s just something I have to do. Maybe it’s an aromatherapy thing, like homey-fumigating. My Mom taught me to make them when I was kid. The changing smells while I cook remind me of the stories my Mom would tell me about how her Dad would have her try pieces of the raw meat mixture before cooking to see if it needed anything. A little gross, but I sort of get it also.

But that got me thinking: what types of wines would work with such a unpretentious, yet emotionally charged type of home cooking? It needs to be something enjoyable on its own. Something affordable and not overly demanding of your attention. Something that works symbiotically with each of the ingredients and the “whole” so the entire experience is unified.

For my nostalgic meal of “Balls and Sauce”, as I’ve come to call it, our Italian wine specialist, Flori, recommended I grab a bottle of Dolcetto d’Alba. We just got in a bunch of Cascina delle Rose’s fantastic 2016 Dolcetto d’Alba “A Elizabeth”. Cascina delle Rose is a B&B as well as a winery and Flori has been lucky enough to stay numerous times. The wine tastes as I imagine the place smells. A mixture of dried and fresh roses along with piney herbs and juicy Morello cherries. A perfect companion to the dense savoriness of the homemade marinara and meatballs.

Cascina delle Rose Dolcetto d'Alba

But, as so often happens when I make my own childhood comfort foods, my wife starts feeling nostalgic as well and wants her turn in the kitchen. She’s half Taiwanese and what gets her feeling settled is a savory pile of soy-glazed and ginger-packed Sanbeiji, or “3-Cup Chicken”* as we more typically call it.

She always laughs telling me how her non-Taiwanese mom would frantically follow her grandmother around the kitchen, scribbling notes as fast as she could and pelting the old lady with questions she would never answer let alone even acknowledge. Like my “Balls and Sauce”, Grandma’s “3-Cup Chicken” is more of process that needs to be physically and sensually trained into muscle memory, not a recipe that can be written down. The amount of garlic and ginger is never the same simply because of the natural variation of the ingredients themselves as is the timing of when to add the other ingredients. It needs to be smelled, tasted and intuited to be perfected.

Michel Såvel (Herve Souhaut) Les Marecos Blanc 2016 and recipe for Three Cup Chicken

Usually a beer is our default for Chinese food, but I was feeling like trying a beverage pairing that would heighten the flavors more. When I pair with Asian foods I usually look to Southern Rhone whites. For me, the exotic spiciness of ginger and the umami-rich notes from soy work especially well with the floral richness of Marsanne, Roussane and Viognier. I chose Herve Souhaut’s delicious side-project white Michel Savel Les Marecos Blanc 2016, a Roussane/Marsanne blend from Collines Rhodaniennes. I was introduced to Herve’s wines by his daughter, Ludevine, who worked at Flatiron a few years ago. Juicy flavors of honeydew and pear offset the saltiness and ginger of the chicken dish, much like how melon and prosciutto team up to make a legendary duo.

Happy, warm and full we’ve finally been able to make our apartment feel like our new home. With familiar smells and great bottles of wine to match, we both feel like our roots are sinking deeper than they’ve been able to in a long time. Cooking up a pot of comfort, whatever that may be, is arguably the most essential part of unpacking.

Cheers!

* As I mentioned, both dishes are really not about following recipes to the letter, but rather getting the “feel” for them. That being said, I took the liberty of providing links to recipes that are similar to my own for both “Balls and Sauce” as well as “3-Cup Chicken” in case you need a place to start. Enjoy!