Monday, March 26, 2007

Romance and Wine or Lucky Pairings

Spring must be lurking around the corner, hidden away in the rainy Vancouver weather. For our friends in Toronto, the daffodils are up and the magnolias are starting to bloom – ignore the rain comment.

It is Friday and I’ve already received a couple of interesting phone calls for help with food and wine pairing. Perhaps I should say hopeful pairings of another sort.

First, a young gentleman in his early twenties who works with me occasionally called with, what for him, was an unusual request. “I need the name of a French wine – preferably with a cork and some sort of castle on it.” Before I could get over the idea that I may have finally weaned him off of his Molson’s, hundreds of bottles that could work for him were already flashing through my mind. I needed more information.

Apparently he was having a young lady over for dinner. Ah ha, the motives quickly became more apparent. His budget – $20 or $30 max but the wine had to be really good. The young lady in question must be quite something. “Okay, why a castle on the bottle, and why does it have to have a cork? And does the young lady like red or white wine?”

“Red or white? Oh shit. I’ll get back to you.” Click.

I was still processing that information as the phone rang again. Busy morning. This call was from a very interesting woman friend in her late forties. “I’m having someone over for dinner. I need to have a really good wine.”

“What food are you pairing with?” A simple question, or so I thought.

“I want a wine for pairing with me. I’m not worried about the food.”

Right. Now I had the facts straight, I suggested an Amarone and – knowing of her extensive music selection – some smoky jazz from Billie Holiday or Dinah Washington. Yes, I assured her, two bottles would be enough. In fact, I was pretty confident that in her current frame of mind two bottles would be more than enough.

Within minutes, the phone rang again. The young man was back on the phone. “My sister says she likes a white wine – one from New Zealand she thinks.” All right, the object of his affections is probably drinking New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Taking a step up, Chateau Sancerre sprang to mind. Same grape but it does have a castle on the label and a cork.

I asked him why the castle and the cork? “I want to look cool, and nothing out of a box like other guys. By the way, can I borrow a corkscrew and a couple of those nice glasses you have?” The idea of my Riedel glasses leaving the house with this guy in charge of them for a few days did not sit well at all. The corkscrew – maybe. The glasses – no way. After all, you can only do so much to aid in the cause of love and romance.

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