User ID:

Remember me
Lost password?

The Blog Launches with Notes on Riesling and Food

Welcome to the new Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine. Subscribers to the Guide and new friends will find us here, on the Connoisseurs’ Wine Blog every day of the year with news, views, commentaries, recommendations and even the occasional rant about everything wine, including wine and food. It is somehow appropriate that we start the Blog on Wine and Food Wednesday because of our love of wine grew out of our interests in food. The more we discovered about the fine foods of the world, the more we wanted to know about the fine wines of the world. Living in the San Francisco Bay area put us smack in the middle of both the 1970s wine boom here in California and the food revolution spawned by folks like Alice Waters at nearby favorite Chez Panisse. If you are new to Connoisseurs’ Guide, have a look around. Click on the ABOUT button for more about the Guide and TAKE THE TOUR to learn why our three decades and more of providing independent, unbiased wine commentary has made us the authoritative voice of the California wine consumer.

Notes on Riesling and Food

One of the more talked about varietals in food circles these days is Riesling, and there are good reasons why. Slowly but surely, folks are discovering that good Riesling is at once a remarkably versatile wine at the table and is often a success with dishes that offer real challenge in matching most wines.  First, Riesling is rarely a wine of bombast and drama. It comes with no swagger and speaks with a comparatively quiet voice. It will not overpower delicate foods and comfortably accompanies complex, finely composed dishes whose seamlessly fit elements are lost when paired with blockbuster wines. Dry Rieslings are ideal with mildly smoked trout and freshwater fishes, while Riesling that is made with a measure of residual sugar is the first choice when looking for the right match with foods that incorporate some degree of sweetness.  While not an immutable law of food and wine pairing, a good rule of thumb is that sweeter entrees will show best when paired up with wines that are just a bit sweeter than the food itself. Entrees that play to sweetness such as fish served with fruit salsas and a wide range of Asian fare, most notably Thai cuisine, will make bone-dry wines appear to be bitter and stiffly acidic but shine in the company of the off-dry versions. The same can be said of foods that intimate sweetness such as scallops, plump prawns or fresh Dungeness crab (one of our absolute favorites with Riesling), and the slightly sweet/slightly tangy elements of Japanese sushi find real affinity with the varietal as well. Riesling is unrivaled among all wines when it comes to balancing sugar and acidity, and slightly sweet Riesling is justifiably gaining a new following of converts as the wine of choice with cuisines of the Pacific Rim. Coming soon will be our recipe for hoisin-flavored duck tacos that turn out to love Riesling even more than the original intent of pairing it with Pinot Noir.

Notes on The Wine News

As reported today by Business Week/Bloomberg: “Sipping one to two glasses of wine, beer or cocktails per day helped older adults live longer than teetotalers in a study that confirmed the health benefits of moderate drinking. A study of 1,824 adults ages 55 to 65 found that moderate drinkers were less likely to die than abstainers over a 20-year span, according to researchers at the University of Texas in Austin and Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Moderate drinkers were defined as those who have one to fewer than three drinks daily according to the study to be published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.”

To which, we can only add: Hallelujah. Along with most everyone in the wine industry, we have always championed moderate consumption. We feel better already.

Wine of The Day

We are pleased to start this daily feature with one of our “house wines”. The Morgan Côte du Crows 2008 is a Syrah-Grenache mix whose fruity, tasty flavors make anything from burgers to barbecued brisket even better. At $18.00, it is not the least expensive recommendable wine around, but its depth and versatility make it a wine that we buy in quantity and enjoy in all kinds of settings. We like it and can recommend it to your enthusiastically--and it is our very first Wine of The Day.


You blog launch
by Jo Diaz
Posted on:9/1/2010 11:24:00 AM
Greetings, Charlie, and welcome to the wonderful world of blogging! It looks like you're about to go off on a whole new adventure... The most fun you've had so far writing about wine! Best of luck, but you don't need it... Still, best of luck!
The Launch
by Charlie Olken
Posted on:9/1/2010 6:44:00 PM
Hi Jo. Thanks for visiting. In fact, thanks for being the first visitor.I love the idea of the blog because it extends Connoisseurs' Guide into wine-related areas that never found room inside the Printed version of the Guide.
by Samantha Dugan
Posted on:9/1/2010 6:57:53 PM
Congratulations on your launch Charlie! Welcoming to blogging love, prepare to lose your mind. The biggest loss I fear will be your sane and rational voice in the comment section of every other blog, (ahem all 3 of them) that I read. Well least now I have a new place to come and annoy people.Big hugs to you,Sam
You can edit me
by Jo Diaz
Posted on:9/5/2010 9:25:01 AM
That would be "Your" not "You"...I was so excited to be commenting, that I lost it ;^)

Leave a comment below, but please limit your comments to 1,200 characters or less. We find it helpful to make a copy of our comments to be sure that they fit. In that way, you can edit them if they run long.

(Please note: your e-mail address will not be visible after posting)



Note: Refresh your browser to see your latest comments.

Having technical problems with the comment system? Click here.