It should stand to reason that a Foodie Sommelier like myself would have a Valentine’s story involving Food & Wine but this isn’t just any story…
The exclamation of:
HOLY CRAP THAT’S GOOD”
changed my life forever.
When The Yard Ape and I met he was a vegetarian, and well, I was not.
My favorite meal was greek salad, steak and a healthy glass of red wine. No kidding, I would happily have eaten it just about any day of the week.
Our first Valentine’s Day (which was 10 years ago) involved a very stressed out ‘yours truly’ trying to come up with a veggie meal for the new object of my affection.
We had met only two months prior and while I really liked Dave, I still had reservations about dating a vegetarian. In my mind I was thinking, ‘You know, this will never work, I don’t even think I like veggies all that much.’
Since I am wildly creative I decided to put it all out there and dazzle Dave with the one thing I that I totally could count on to WOW him.
I didn’t have to rely on gimmicks or marketing. I chose to forgo predictable and went with interesting and unique.
I had at my disposal the one thing that serves as an icebreaker, a social lubricant and the sure-fire way to any Yard Ape’s heart.
I was working at Angel’s Gate Winery, (which I mentioned here ) as a Winemaker’s Assistant. It was our practice that before we bottled any wine we had to take it outside the lab, forget all the facts we knew, the hard work we’d done and simply let our hair down and have the wine. No price tag, no fancy label, no poetic write-up or ranking. Just wine with food and a friend. No pretense or drama.
We had been working on three different wines right around this fateful Valentine’s Day. I had about 600ml of wine to drink as ‘homework.’ Hard life eh?
I invited Dave over for supper and set up three tasting glasses and poured about 2 oz. of each of the wines we were working on. I made a dish called Firecracker Noodles. I can’t imagine what Dave was thinking at the time, but let me tell you I’m the best ‘firecracker’ he’s ever met.Dave and I were talking, eating and drinking away, when all of a sudden he said,
Holy Crap That’s Good
Those words pierced my heart. HE GOT IT! He got me, my whole wine and food philosophy. Not by any great instructions from me. No, this guy got it, with his heart.
The wine he loved was Gewürztraminer. It’s a spicy little number that might be hard to pronounce and spell but is easy to love. It smells like perfume – roses and spice. It’s not too sweet and not too dry. It goes well with Thai food, especially lemongrass and ginger, honey ham (think Thanksgiving), Munster and blue cheese, and with apricots and curry dishes. There are a lot of many great G-wines (that’s what the hipsters say) out there, including the one from Angel’s Gate (oh, just a side note, when I told the winemaker about my Valentine’s, we got right to the bottling line with goofy grins on our faces). For Dave and I, our hands down favorite wine is Pierre Sparr. It always brings back that loving’ feeling, if you know what I mean.
Pairing food and wine is part science, but mostly art. It’s not about understanding laws, history or even geography. It’s about unity. That two things are quite simply meant to go together. That’s what Dave and I shared all those years ago and continue to pursue to this day. That’s our love story.
We get the greatest kick out of offering someone a bottle that doesn’t cost much but is brilliant with food. This is our Valentine’s to you.
Enjoy the Firecracker Noodles and if you can’t find a good Gewürz (you’ll sound cool if you use this term), send me a message and I will help you. Do it even if you are standing in the Liquor Store, I’ll help you find a great wine. I promise.
In Love & Wine, Kellie & ‘Holy Crap That’s Good’ Dave.