Villa Sparina Montej Bianco Piedmont Italy 2004. 13% alcohol. Andrea Robinson Wine Club, about $12.00.
There are some wines that it is wise not to review, especially if Janet hates them. Robinson carefully and amusingly describes the various tastes, especially those in the finish. Janet found every single one of those tastes, and hates them all, individually in their pure form at the 7-Eleven and all clumped together as they appear in this wine.
Janet's reaction reminded me of a classic book review by Dorothy Parker of Now We Are Six
: "Time was when A. A. Milne was my only hero, [but] when Mr. Milne went quaint, all was over. Now he leads his life, and I Iead mine."
Regards, Bob [3*, but hush, don't tell anyone, especially Janet].
Notes: Andrea Robinson:
Everything about this wine is unique – from the squat-shaped frosted bottle, to the source (the Gavi region in Piedmont), to the grape blend, to the taste. The grapes: the wine is a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Muller-Thurgau, which is a cross of the Riesling and Sylvaner grapes that’s widely planted in Germany. That is an unusual mix to be sure (especially for Italy), and the wine is unoaked to let the distinctive character of this blend really shine through.
IMPORTANT: to get the full benefit of that character, when you are tasting it, you must pay attention. The wine is very exotic and yet subtle so if you drink it the way you would a 7-Eleven Big Gulp and don’t laser in with your senses, you will miss the detail. Where the layers really come through powerfully is in the finish: pineapple Dum-Dum lollipops (remember those?), Juicy-Fruit gum, creamsicle, almond brittle. Speaking of 7-Eleven, maybe that description sounds like a quick-mart junk food haul rather than a wine, but I am telling you this wine is very complex and lip-smacking yummy (and a lot better for you).
All those flavors made me want Asian tastes, and the hot weather made me want something cool, so I paired this with a dish originally created for the “Asian Flavors” episode of my Pairings television show. The nutty-sweetness of the sauce for these noodles dovetailed perfectly with the flavors of the wine.
COLD SESAME NOODLES Serves 2-4 1 lb. spaghetti 3 Tbsp soy sauce 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter (unsweetened) 2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil 1 clove garlic, minced 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth.
Instructions: Cook spaghetti in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool and set aside. In a saucepan combine remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat until smooth. Cool slightly and toss sauce with cooked pasta. May be served immediately or chilled until ready to serve.
Dorothy Parker: Dorothy Parker, under her pen name, Constant Reader, reviewed A. A. Milne's The House at Pooh Corner in the New Yorker. The first Winnie-the-Pooh episode had appeared on Christmas Eve of 1925 in the Evening News, and was radio broadcast throughout Britain on Christmas Day. Over the next three years, Milne's children's books -- When We Were Very Young, Winnie-the Pooh, Now We Are Six -- had dominated the best seller lists. Parker had panned Now We Are Six the previous year, even while acknowledging that "to speak against Mr. Milne puts one immediately in the ranks of those who set fire to orphanages." The House at Pooh Corner proved to be one pot of honey too many, especially when Pooh revealed that he added the "tiddely pom" to his Outdoor Song "to make it more hummy": "And it is that word 'hummy,' my darlings, that marks the first place in The House at Pooh Corner at which Tonstant Weader fwowed up."
Today in Literature.