Thursday, August 19, 2010
Considering how obsessive and anal I am about some things in life (the cleanliness of my sheets and the orderliness of my dish cabinet for instance) it is perhaps odd how much influence I am willing to cede to third parties in other areas of my life, most notably when it comes to food and drink.
I am that irritating person who, in restaurants, asks the waiter what he recommends, whether he likes the steak or the fish, or perhaps the risotto is better? My feeling is that having most likely eaten everything on the menu, the waiter is probably in a better position to choose than I, a mere visitor, would ever be.
I subscribe to the same theory when it comes to wine. I love love love a glass of wine. But, although I've occasionally tried to learn something about the stuff, my interest tends to wane when the tasting ends and the lecturing begins. It just feels too much like school to me.
So I have to rely on great wine stores for advice instead. One of my absolute favorite spots is Italian Wine Merchants, located conveniently enough just down the street from my office. I went in there the other day in search of a red to go with sausage and pasta, and attempted to describe a bottle that I thought would be perfect that I had bought there some time ago and enjoyed immensely but the name of which I had of course forgotten.
The always helpful staff looked it up. We honed in on the correct bottle using a combination of approximate date of purchase and my description of the label, only to learn that they were out of it. As it turns out this was a blessing, because the woman told me she had a much better option.. She promised it drank like a $30 bottle, despite the $12 price tag. Quattro Mani Montepulciano d'Abruzzo it was then.
And as I found out once I was home and cracked open the bottle, she had not steered me wrong! The wine was smooth, mellow and the fruit was just lovely. It is exactly what I want to be quaffing in the early evening with simply Italian food with a laid back group of friends. Or in the early evening on the couch watching bad TV. It's not only delicious but also versatile.
Posted by Laura at 7:57 PM