What’s In a Burgundy?

Chapter Sixteen. Part Eight.

Real Conversation Overheard in a Fine Wine Store:

CUSTOMER: Can you recommend a Chardonnay to go with pan-seared scallops?
ME: I highly recommend this Pouilly-Fuissé from Burgundy.
CUSTOMER: But I asked for Chardonnay.
ME: Yes, white Burgundy is made from Chardonnay.
CUSTOMER: White Burgundy? I thought you were a wine expert. Everybody knows Burgundy is red. Why do you think it’s called Burgundy?

“I’m very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.” - Ron Burgundy

“I’m very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.” – Ron Burgundy

As the customer turned to leave it dawned on me that in many circles Burgundy is synonymous with world-class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and in other circles people are a stupid pain in the ass.

It’s understandable that most Americans don’t know what’s inside a Burgundy bottle because so many things bear the Burgundy name. First there’s the place Burgundy, then there’s the wine Burgundy, of course there’s the color Burgundy, and most famously there’s anchorman Ron Burgundy.

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Bordeaux Grape Varieties; Comfort Food For The Oenophile.

Chapter Sixteen. Part Five.

Left Bank vineyard at Chateau Margaux.

Left Bank vineyard at Chateau Margaux.

California winemakers like to imitate the French. No, they’re not on strike. In an attempt to mimic the classic wines of Bordeaux, they often blend Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec (the main varieties found in red Bordeaux wine), then they take a 3-hour lunch and go on strike.

Hey, I’m kidding. It’s what I do. I poke fun at my friends which probably explains why my Facebook page only has unfriend and unlike buttons. Seriously, many of these Bordeaux imitations are very elegant, feminine wines – in an unshaven sort of way.

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Super Bowl; Because We Need Another Reason To Drink Wine

Don draws the short straw.

Don draws the short straw.

My family always drinks wine during religious observations, whether it’s a baptism, Easter, or Super Bowl Sunday. This year is no different even though the Giants are not playing (I guess God found the New Jersey tithes a little light).

The congregation is meeting at my house this year. That’s what happens when you draw the short straw (see illustration 1). We will gather around the 60″ LED 1080i high-definition altar with a glass of wine and watch colossal men try to maim and kill one another. It falls on me to pick the perfect wine to pair with this joyful occasion.

What is the calling, the hidden force, the innate primal drive that makes violent sports so appealing to men? Can anyone explain the macho impulses that drive men to create life threatening competitions like the Super Bowl, cliff diving and beer pong?

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The Cancellation Effect In Food And Wine Pairing.

Chapter Nine, Part Five.
sole fishMatching food and wine by weight will put you in the ballpark when choosing the proper wine, but taste is the key to hitting an astronomic-gastronomic home run. Sweet, sour, salt, bitter, umami and piquance interact with one another in predictable ways and once you understand how these principles apply at your dining room table you’ll be able to create some major league food and wine combinations. I lump these interactions into three categories I call the cancellation effect, the cumulative effect, and the neutral effect.

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The WineSnark Academy for Sensory Testing, Evaluation & Debauchery (W.A.S.T.E.D.) On Food & Wine Pairing Principles.

Chapter Nine, Parts Two & Three.
Wine and cheeseShortly after WineSnark began its detailed research into taste perception it became apparent that an undertaking of this magnitude required a research team of dedicated, compassionate wine professionals, or as they’re known in the trade, drunks.

And so was born the WineSnark Academy for Sensory Testing, Evaluation and Debauchery (W.A.S.T.E.D.). We WASTED professionals do not take our research sitting down, as getting back up is often difficult, and because thousands of grapes have given their lives to further our understanding of human physiology, biochemistry, sensory perception and stuff.

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