Monday, July 9, 2012

Please Don't Order That Cabernet with Your Fish

I want to scream when someone orders a heavy red wine with their fish. I like being this dramatic for a very good reason... it destroys your experience. Besides the obvious hesitation to pour the wine, its not me that will ruin your meal, rather its the actual chemical reaction going on in your mouth.

The iron in red wine in combination with the fatty acids in fish produce a very unpleasant odor. Whats sad about this is that a guest would blame the restaurant for the bad meal. Whenever I have someone order the two I always try to talk them out of it and it works. Heavy wines such as Cabernet, Zinfandel, Chianti, Montepulciano, Merlot, and Barolo are only some to avoid. Let me just say that Pinot Noir is your safest choice if you absolutely don't want white wine.

I know its simple to say "well, I like cabernets" and "I really want fish tonight" where thinking about the pairing is the last thing on your mind or even if you care at just want your dinner!! Well, don't go off ruining your meal if you all you have to do is change the wine.

Food and wine pairing is so important and it took me a long time to learn that. It wasn't until I did a wine pairing at Degustation in NYC. It was ten courses with ten different wines where they weren't only focused on the dish itself but the sauces and herbs they were garnished with. I never thought that a spanish rose can bring out the lemon in a butter sauce more than any other wine I would have probably ordered with friends who "just want anything". I had dinner there twice and both have been a religous experience.

So, this will be the first step in pairing : Be careful with fish and red wine!! Science says so. So there.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

I Am Not As Empty Inside As I Thought I Was

So, I started a blog so people can get some quick wine news, humor, gossip, recipes, etc. I didn't think my thoughts or opinions mattered so much that I had to give details on everything I posted about. I have kind of kept to myself but did bless you all with my dark humor, sarcastic attitude and shared my passion about cooking. At one point of my life, I was a sommelier at a three-star New York City restaurant with a celebrity chef...I have multiple certificates in wine from respected facebook name for three years has been "Vino Gal"....I have been to Barolo, Italy....I MEAN can anyone possibly resist hearing anything I have to say on wine & food??

So I am taking the advice from everyone who reads my blog and making it more personal. There is no time like the present so I will start with stories starting with where I am in my life right now.

Moving from Manhattan was very rough for me because I really don't know what to do with myself. There isn't really a need for sommeliers up here in Westchester and the one time I interviewed for the position at BLT in White Plains, the general manager seemed to be more concerned I was a female. I have an amazing resume, live across the street from the restaurant and had a very successful restauranteur I once worked for personally call him to talk about me. Nope. Not hired. I found out a few months later that "he doesn't like to hire chicks"....and a few months after that he saw me in a parking lot and introduced himself to me as if he has never seen me before.

Now, I work as a bartender. Its something I love to do and always will and really the one thing you can always go back to working for extra cash whether you're 22 or 45. I come alive behind the bar. I love the attention from all the guests and most of all I love that I am creating something for them to enjoy. Sitting behind a desk is not for me. I get too antsy...or maybe I crave attention too much and need people around all the time. I don't know....its one of those.

I did notice that not a lot of people up here like to order wines by the bottle. This is very much a "by-the-glass" area and I assume thats because its very family-oriented. It would be nice to see more half-bottles of wine being sold on lists of better quality that the plonk we serve around here. Also, there really has to be a better reply than a shoulder-shug when I ask what region the chardonnay is from. I think I am already asking for too much. Just get a decent wine can only get better from there.

Baby steps.

Lesson: Learn your favorite grape first and stick with it. (You'll notice the differences in what region it was grown naturally over time)

Throwback to when I was on the cover of Beverage Media Magazine

Everything about this was fun! It was a highlight of my career in this business!