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Robin Garr

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WTN /WineAdvisor: White Burgundy and ... fast food? (Verget 05 Côte d'Or)

by Robin Garr » Fri Mar 02, 2007 2:03 pm

White Burgundy and ... fast food?

Does fine wine demand an elegant setting? For many people, the idea of a glass of quality wine seems locked in with white tablecloths, china, sterling and crystal, and candles on the table.

Barring the standard exceptions of crisp pink rosé for summer picnics or rough country reds with spaghetti and meatballs, the association of wine with fancy food and formal dining seems fixed and enduring.

But where it it written that wine must not be consumed with casual fare ... even fast food? You certainly won't find this wisdom written in my book of sermons. After all, humans fermented grape juice in the first place in an effort to come up with a tasty drink that would go very well with food, and our ancestors have been fine-tuning the formula for 5,000 years or more. It's hard to think of <i>any</i> dish that can't find its ideal wine match.

To pursue this line of inquiry, we dropped by a new local pizzeria the other night and picked up a stack of boxes to bring home. We got a traditional pie topped with Italian sausage, onions, green peppers, mushrooms and olives. We tried a wacky new-wave pizza topped with grilled chicken and crispy bacon and, in place of the usual tomato sauce, a tangy ranch-style dressing, a concept that sounds mighty bizarre but that holds a distant kinship with an Alsatian <i>flammenkuchen</i>. And, to put the icing on the cake, so to speak, we added a Philly cheesesteak the size of a rugby ball.

The obvious choice for pizza would be something stereotypical yet delicious in the Italian fashion - a simple Chianti, for instance, or a modest Montepulciano d'Abruzzo.

But we're pushing the envelope here, so I went off in a completely different direction. Focusing on the "white" pizza, I checked out the wines I had lined up for tasting and came away with a thoroughly non-stereotypical choice: <b>Verget 2005 "Terroirs de Côte d'Or" Bourgogne</b> from the redoubtable Jean-Marie Guffens, a Burgundian producer whose white wines are quite popular if sometimes gently criticized for a fat, not-quite-dry style that the critics love.

As it turned out, this modest ($15) white Burgundy wasn't "Parkerized" at all. Simple but fresh, its appley, yeasty aroma profile could serve as the dictionary illustration for the type. Its clean, fresh flavors are versatile and food-friendly, making it a very fine match indeed with the white pizza, very good with the cheesesteak and even, surprisingly, more than adequate with the sausage-and-peppers pie.

While I don't expect most fast-food restaurants would be accommodating about BYO, the next time I bring home a sack of White Castles or fish sandwiches, I'll be a little more willing to consider pulling a cork on something other than Coke or iced tea.

Have you tried offbeat wine pairings with fast food? I'd love to hear your stories and hope you'll take a moment to post them.

<table border="0" align="right" width="170"><tr><td><img src="http://www.wineloverspage.com/graphics1/verg0227.jpg" border="1" align="right"></td></tr></table>Verget 2005 "Terroirs de Côte d'Or" Bourgogne ($14.99)

Transparent straw color. Aromas display ripe apples and a more subtle touch of rising bread dough, simple and fresh. Flavors are consistent with the nose, apples and a touch of roasted chestnuts; medium-bodied, dry and nicely balanced by acidity. As the name suggests, the grapes are sourced from vineyards in Côte d'Or villages, specifically Puligny and Meursault. Despite Verget's reputation for oaking its Burgundies "American-style," this one is discreet, half of the blend aged in used oak barrels and half in stainless steel. It's a benchmark example of basic Bourgogne Chardonnay. U.S. importer: Vintner Select, Mason, Ohio, North Berkeley Imports in California, and other regional importers. (Feb. 27, 2007)

<B>FOOD MATCH:</b> An easy, amiable match with a range of dishes from pork, veal, poultry and cheeses to the non-conventional matches featured in today's Wine Advisor: Bacon and chicken ranch pizza, sausage, peppers and onion pizza, and even a Philly cheesesteak.

<B>VALUE:</B> No complaints in the mid-teens, a price point at which it tops both white Burgundies and California Chardonnays for value.

<B>WHEN TO DRINK:</B> Well balanced if simple Chardonnay, protected by a sturdy modern screw cap, it will hold safely for a year or more, but it won't really gain anything with cellar time.

<B>PRONUNCIATION:</B>
<B>Verget</B> = "<I>Vehr-zhay</I>"
<B>Côte d'Or</B> = "<i>Coat door</i>"
<B>Bourgogne</B> = <i>Boor-gon-yuh</i>

<B>WEB LINK:</B>
The Verget Website is attractive and deep, but it appears to be published only in French:
http://www.verget-sa.com
Here's a long if rather sales-oriented importer's review of Verget's Jean-Marie Guffens and his 2005 wines, including a short tasting report on the "Terroirs de Côte d'Or."
http://www.northberkeleyimports.com/articles/index.php?id=265

<B>FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:</B>
Compare prices and find vendors for Verget "Terroirs de Côte d'Or" Bourgogne on Wine-Searcher.com:
[url=http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/Verget%2bTerroirs%2bCote/-/-/USD/A?referring_site=WLP]http://www.wine-searcher.com/
find/Verget%2bTerroirs%2bCote/-/-/USD/A?referring_site=WLP[/url]

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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: White Burgundy and ... fast food? (Verget 05 Côte d'Or)

by Rahsaan » Fri Mar 02, 2007 2:38 pm

Nice note and very interesting pairings, quite the eclectic meal, but such is the Joy of Being a Free Adult.

I must admit I haven't had a wine from Verget in years, but do people know if there has been any change in the oak treatment? Did the basic cuvees receive heavy oak in the past?
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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: White Burgundy and ... fast food? (Verget 05 Côte d'Or)

by Kyrstyn Kralovec » Fri Mar 02, 2007 2:39 pm

A friend of mine had a pinot grigio w/ a white pizza w/ sausage the other night and said he was amazed at how well they paired.

We used to have a weekly Wednesday night tradition called "Burger Night", where we would go for 1/2 price burgers and draft at the Saphire Lounge in Bethesda. Except I always ordered red wine w/ my burger. Drove my husband, who is an avid Miller Light drinker and very money conscious, crazy.

The only food that I almost never drink wine with is Mexican; I usually stick to a cold beer or margarita.

I even found a website that tells you what wine goes best w/ what type of frozen dinners (I'm a disaster in the kitchen, so unless my husband is cooking or I'm hitting the Whole Foods deli, it's Lean Cuisine for me).
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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: White Burgundy and ... fast food? (Ver

by Bob Henrick » Fri Mar 02, 2007 5:02 pm

I haven't tried it with pizza, but have been drinking this delicious generic burg for a few vintages now. My only complaint is that I can only get it when I go to the Party Source in Norther Kentucky. Your Louisville price is about the same as the PS. I am sure you didn't get it at the LB? I sometimes buy a white pizza at Sam's and next time I will try a glass of Fiano or Greco with it.
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Robin Garr

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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: White Burgundy and ... fast food? (Ver

by Robin Garr » Fri Mar 02, 2007 5:20 pm

Bob Henrick wrote:I am sure you didn't get it at the LB?


Bob, this one came from Old Town, which usually has a pretty good selection of Vergets. I tend to shy away from the higher-end Vergets for fear of their reputation for spoofulated oakiness, but as I reported, in fairness, this one is nicely balanced, and sees only older wood for only a portion of the blend.
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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: White Burgundy and ... fast food? (Ver

by David M. Bueker » Fri Mar 02, 2007 5:21 pm

I once opened a bottle of Chateauneuf with a McDonald's Quarter Pounder with cheese.

I frequently have wine with grinders (those are hoagies or subs to you non-New Englanders). If I get an order of deep-fried mushrooms as a side then Burg works well, white or red.
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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: White Burgundy and ... fast food? (Ver

by Alan A. » Fri Mar 02, 2007 6:20 pm

My favorite "fast food" with wine is Lebanese/Middle Eastern Gyro-shop take-out with a red from either southern Rhone, Spain, or Portugal. Especially if the take-out is kafta kabobs.
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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: White Burgundy and ... fast food? (Verget 05 Côte d'Or)

by Gary Barlettano » Fri Mar 02, 2007 6:47 pm

I don't know how offbeat it is, but I can chow down on some KFC and wash it back with a local white field blend (French Colombard, Muscat & Chenin Blanc in proportions which change from batch to batch). In fact, this wine is so tastily neutral that I can pair it with almost anything (Carl's Jr., Round Table, El Pollo Loco, Los Panchos, Hop Sing's Kitchen, Goldilocks, and similarly elegant cuisine from other such fine eateries).

At $4.00 a bottle, it's a better value than Coke!

OK, if I had no credibility before, it is really gone now.
And now what?
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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: White Burgundy and ... fast food? (Ver

by Bob Henrick » Fri Mar 02, 2007 6:49 pm

It is rumored that Malcolm Forbes once stated that a Big Mac and a Chateau Margaux was his favorite meal.
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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: White Burgundy and ... fast food? (Ver

by Brian Gilp » Fri Mar 02, 2007 7:01 pm

I hate that I know this but NV Champagne goes really well with a tray of nachos, especially the kind that comes with the fake cheese sauce made from a processed cheese food product.
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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: White Burgundy and ... fast food? (Verget 05 Côte d'Or)

by Bruce Dobrin » Fri Mar 02, 2007 7:07 pm

Interesting combinations? Well, we had our ultra-casual wedding reception in the infield of the horse-track behind the Bridlewood Winery in Los Olivos, CA, (a few years before they were bought by Gallo). We loved the location (a former medical recovery facility for racehorses) and had always liked thier Syrah's and wanted food that would match the casual atmosphere and the somtimes intense wines. So rather than have the typical overcooked chicken or steak, we decided hire a Taco truck that some Mexican musicians we know have used for thier CD release parties. The truck drove onto the racetrack and served Al Pastor tacos over the rail to the guests in the infield. We had the winery serve a flight of thier syrahs as well as selected other reds. The spicy Al Pastor (seasoned BBQ pork cut from a gyro-style spit) worked quite well with pretty much all of thier reds, surprising even then Bridlewood owner Cory Holbrook. I guess the success could be gauged at the end of the evening by most of the guests asking the on hand winery staff to open the winery and sell them a few bottles.
This has now become a bit of a tradition: Last Valentines evening found us sitting on the tailgate of our station wagon, in the parking lot of a closed autorepair shop in Pasadena, scarfing down Al Pastor Tacos accompanied by a bottle of 2005 Foley, Sta Rita Hills Pinot Noir. Though in the end th lighter Pinot probably was not a perfect match, it was still surprisingly enjoyable.
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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: White Burgundy and ... fast food? (Verget 05 Côte d'Or

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Mar 03, 2007 2:39 am

I think it was 2 weeks ago when I posted on a fast food/wine tasting. Mike B was so impressed he swears by Captain Highliner and Chenin Blanc!!!! Who said forumites have to have taste!!
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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: White Burgundy and ... fast food? (Verget 05 Côte d'Or

by Dick M » Sun Mar 04, 2007 2:13 am

I like wine (red or white, with red usually preferred) with most any kind of food, interchangeably. I have no problem with fast food and an expensive wine. Nor for that matter do I have a problem with an inexpensive wine and non fast food, as much as that may go against the grain of some folks!

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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: White Burgundy and ... fast food? (Verget 05 Côte d'Or)

by karenann8sons » Sun Mar 04, 2007 4:19 am

Not sure you can call it fast food, though you can pick them up almost anywhere in Texas pretty quickly... I love Beringer White Zin with Buffalo Wings.

Outside of that... Wendy's Chili with Red Zinfandel

Chianti with "Loaded" Pizza

and yes, I'll admit it -- Taco Bell ANYTHING with Reunite Lambrusco.

There, I've said it! I'm a bottom feeder and I like cheap wine with cheap food!

~ LOL ~

Cheers,
Karen
They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
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Our path emerges for a while, then closes
Within a dream.
Ernest Dowson (1867–1900)
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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: White Burgundy and ... fast food? (Verget 05 Côte d'Or

by Robin Garr » Sun Mar 04, 2007 10:20 am

karenann8sons wrote:yes, I'll admit it -- Taco Bell ANYTHING with Reunite Lambrusco.


Nothing to be embarrassed about, Karen! Although it's not exactly "fast food," I've often said here that Lambrusco - even mass-market stuff - is the one and possibly the only wine that will pair well with five-pepper Thai food and similarly fiery cuisines from other nations. It's something about the combination of sweetness, carbonation, acidity and simple, grapey fruit.
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Re: WTN /WineAdvisor: White Burgundy and ... fast food? (Verget 05 Côte d'Or

by karenann8sons » Mon Mar 05, 2007 3:56 pm

Thank you Robin! Reading that from you, I feel vindicated ~ LOL

Warmly,
Karen

P.S. last night, I had white chili for dinner. I opened a chardonnay - it had chicken in it and the no tomato sauce so I thought it an ideal match. Would you believe the wine overpowered it? I reached for a bottle of Savignon Blanc I had all but forgotten about (I'm not a huge fan of SB) and it was perfect! What made the difference? Was it higher acidity in the SB? There was cumin and lime in the chili, along with LOTS of onions and garlic. I'm still puzzling and DEFINITELY still learning!
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Ernest Dowson (1867–1900)

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