So, a bit by way of explanation. The prevailing internet logic regarding blogs is that one should focus subject matter, thereby establishing a stronger fan base sooner. For example one will peruse the web and find fashion blogs, book review blogs, music, sports. political, movies, you pick a topic. I get the wisdom there, I really do. It’s just not something I’ve been able to achieve, or for that matter, even aspire to. There’s too much fun stuff out there.
That’s why you’ll find this blog to be… eclectic, changeable, down right flighty at times. I am fairly consistent with the Musical Mondays and the Wine on Wednesdays, but I do author interviews, political rants, restaurant reviews, and odes to bacon or chocolate… sometimes both. The odd short story has also been published on this site.
Why do I bring all this up when, clearly, you’re waiting to hear about wine? Simple. This little column takes some of my favorite things puts them together in one fabulous evening. Sort of like one of my favorite lines from the sit-com Friends. Joey is asked, “Joey, if you had to choose between homemade jam in one hand and a naked girl in the other, what do you pick?” Joey nodded sagely. “Put your hands together, my friend,” he said. I paraphrase, of course.
So on April 2nd I went with two dear friends, Monica and Michelle, to see the band Y & T with opening act Don Dokken at San Francisco’s historic Fillmore. Back in the day when we went to concerts we’d grab a bite at some fast food place and drink a beer in the parking lot. These days our tastes have gotten a tad pricier. (I’m okay with it.)
On this evening we went to Izakaya Kou at Geary and FIllmore in SF. It has the notable serendipitous combining attributes of being a half block from a well-lit parking garage, fifty yards from the Fillmore, and serves amazing Japanese small plates. Does it get any better than that? Yes, yes, it does. They serve good wine. Many Japanese restaurants sort of skip that part of the experience in favor of beer and sake. That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t light up my evening.
Seeing as we were doing Asian- a white seemed indicated. Sauvignon Blancs and Rieslings both pair well with a wide variety of flavor profiles so we ordered the 2014 Domaine de la Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc out of Loire, France. While I am a California wine girl at heart, let me just say, it’s good to visit other locales. Now this lit up our evening.
The wine has the usual citrus acidity that one expects from a Sauvignon Blanc but also brings green apple to the table. It’s crisp, layered, with a great finish, and accessible. (Followers of this blog will understand that it is a “gateway” wine- perfect for someone just becoming acquainted with wine drinking.) And it only gets better with food.
The very interesting thing about the Sancerre is a note I don’t detect very often. (I can lay claim to loving wine, but I am far from an expert.) That lack may be more due to my palate’s limitations and not the wines I’ve tried. Remember, it’s all a matter of taste. The note in question is one of minerals.
Really. Minerality is a funny thing to define. Let’s start with what it is NOT. It is not floral, fruity, spicy, or herbal. It CAN be detected in aroma, taste or both. It takes on different forms: chalky, sandy, even gravely. One online description I read likened the smell to wet concrete, not exactly, but approaching that sense. It’s that earthy almost intangible taste called umami. Mushrooms have, many Asian dishes have it. It’s not sweet, bitter, sour or salty. Umami is the fifth taste.
Why are mineral notes something one even wants in a wine? They provide a complexity, a rounding of flavors that is extremely pleasing. Sort of like how a back rub is lovely, but add a little oil and you’re really happy. Or the finishing salt on an exquisitely prepared meal. Everything is heightened. Fittingly, our Sancerre with mineral notes paired perfectly with the Japanese cuisine.
Of course, wine is like heavy metal- it’s not for everyone.
You can purchase your own Sancerre online- it’s around $22-25 a bottle depending upon the site. Try Wine.com, Wine-searcher, or Garyswine.com (which currently has the wine on sale for $19.99 a bottle). ENJOY!
This post was written by Erika Gardner. She’s a native Californian, lifelong lover of fantastical adventures, and a dedicated Whovian. If you enjoyed it, please sign up to receive updates on www.erikagardner.com Or you can follow Erika on Twitter @Erika_Gardner, “Like” her Facebook page Erika Gardner- Writer and Storyteller.Or check out her contributions to the BBB Blog.