Breaking Out: Viognier, Mozzarella Company, Park Bar, ZAP Wine Event
GourmetGrrl.com: Food with ‘tude
January 19, 2005
While those New Year’s resolutions are still going strong, now’s the time to experiment with new food, new wine, new bars…quick, before you go back to what you used to do.
GourmetGrrl, aka Laura Holmes
Grrl with Corkscrew
Viognier. What did you say? Let’s start with the pronunciation: “VEE-own-yay.” No, it’s not a French swear word – it’s a white wine. Most of you are snuggling up to a bottle of red these days but for those of you who stick with white, try a bottle of Viognier. It’s interesting to drink and easy on the wallet – what more can a grrl ask for?
This sassy white wine smells like a basket of flowers and tastes like a bowl of peaches and apricots. It’s medium-bodied and is just the wine to serve with dinner. Try a glass with anything from the sea, or with spicy Thai or Indian dishes.
Traditionally grown in the Rhône Valley in France, some brave California winemakers have been playing around with it, too. Try Viognier from Iron Horse Winery, Preston Vineyards, Arrowood Vineyards, Jewel Collection, and Stag’s Leap Winery — they’re all excellent California producers. When shopping for French Viognier, labeled “Condrieu” (that’s “kon-DREE-euh” to you), look for these beauties: Côte Chatillon, 2000 Chateau St Cosme, 2002 Yves Cuilleron “La Petite Côte,” and the 2003 Domaine Grand Veneur.
Lotsa Mozza This grrl has had enough Brie to last her well into the next century. So what’s a cheese-loving grrl got to do to get her calcium? Easy: order a big chunk of cheese from Mozzarella Company, a Texas-based company founded by Paula Lambert that makes all sorts of yummy handmade cheeses.
Choose from goat’s and cow’s milk cheeses, including low-salt, feta, and caciotta, a Texas version of Monterey Jack. Scarmoza is one of their specialties – a mozzarella aged on pecan shells. We love the Queso Blanco with Serrano Chiles & Epazote (an herb similar to cilantro): tangy, spicy, and creamy all in one, it makes the most fabulous quesadillas on the planet. The minimum order is one pound, so invite some friends over and get out the crackers.
Grrl on a Barstool
Park It Looking for a new spot to meet the grrls (or boys) after work? Not really new, but new to you, is Park Bar. They have fantastic wines by the glass (and bubbly, too), as well as a full bar and beer served by bartenders in white shirts and ties. There’s one discreet TV and tons of little tables in dimly lit corners. It’s mellow and comfortable and even when it’s crowded you can still hear yourself think. Or drink.
15 E. 15th St. (between Union Square West and Fifth Ave.)
All major credit cards
ZAP Those three little letters mean a whole lotta wine. For you San Francisco Bay Area grrls and boys, don’t miss the best wine tasting of the season put on by the Zinfandel Advocates & Producers. Two hundred and seventy five wineries will pour the good stuff until your lips are a flattering shade of rouge. Tickets are $40-50. Grab your wine-o friends, get in a cab, and head for the city.
14th Annual Zinfandel Festival
January 26-29, 2005
Fort Mason Center, San Francisco