Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wine dinners and/or wine pairings: Just do it!

Just a reminder--don't be afraid to try something different. Recently we took a road trip (see my posting on my other blog) At Highlands Grill in Birmingham, we didn't look at a menu, we never saw a wine list. We did, however, have an enthusiastic server guiding us every step of the way and our meal was wonderful! Likewise, we had a similar experience at Carolina's in Charleston, SC (off the beaten path-more of a local kind of place rather than touristy). The wine guy was absolutely geeked to share some off the wall (and off the wine list!) pairings with our food. Enthusiasm again and a 'what the heck' attitude made for a great meal. Contrast that with our multi-course meal in Memphis... Sadly our 'marquee meal' of the weekend was lackluster to say the least. It was supposedly Memphis' best restaurant but it was not as great as in B-ham. Part of it was the food (good, but not great) but it was definitely the service. Their adaptation of fine French 'style' was to have servers scurrying about with little to no personality. With that situation, how could the food shine? For that matter, we've been to some 'big name' places in New York, Chicago and other large cities and have returned unimpressed. Atlanta has some great restaurants; you've just got to be willing to be open to something new (and unfortunately burn some expensive fossil fuels in some cases). I know, the economy stinks. No one is eating out as much these days, but save up (Just say NO to Starbucks) and splurge at least once a month-you'll be glad you did!


I recently made my way into that lovely yuppie 'grocery' known as Trader Joe's after hearing from a friend that a favorite sparkling wine was on sale. Lo and behold I was pleased to purchase 6 bottles of Segura Viudas Brut Rosé CAVA for only $3.99 a bottle! This wine is actually well rated by the wine gurus and is a STEAL for that price. I was told it's a one-shot buy so you better get there quickly! I might go back for 6 more : ) Cheers, Bo

For more info click HERE (Note: the rosé is not currently listed; that's probably the reason for the 'deal' at Trader Joes) There was also an inexpensive Paso Robles red for $4.99 (Tres Pinos) that was a bit of a fruit bomb but was a good buy. It was okay with meatloaf, but wonderful with chocolate chip cookies : )