Now that I have your attention, I wanted to tell you a bit about one of my favorite hours spent at UC Davis in my Viticulture and Enology study days . . .
Tim Hanni is a real heretic in the wine industry – pure and simple. He championed the concept of ‘progressive wine lists’ before most people could comprehend what they were . . . He championed ‘umami’ as an integral 5th taste to go along with sweet, sour, bitter, and salty, understanding how it affected wine and food pairing ‘harmony’ . . .He is an avowed ‘anti-wine snob’ . . . AND Mr. Hanni was one of the first two Americans to ever achieve the level of Master of Wine.
I invited Mr. Hanni to come speak to our class about food and wine pairing and he gladly accepted. During his captivating talk, one brief topic popped up and has stayed with me until this day . . .
‘All of you soon-to-be ‘high end’ winemakers – do me a favor . . . When you graduate from this illustrious institution and you’re working for your ‘exclusive’ winery, go out to a very nice steakhouse, call the sommelier over, and ask for their best bottle of White Zinfandel’ . . .
‘Why are so many of you laughing? Because I said ‘White Zinfandel’? Because I suggested asking for this at a steakhouse?!?!?!?!
You may laugh, but I need all of you in this room to understand that one of the three top selling varieties (and true even now) is White Zinfandel. Beringer and the like are ‘laughing’ all the way to the bank , , ,
And White Zinfandel with steak? Are you crazy? Why NOT?!?!? Who made up the rule that you had to have red wine with steak and NOT white wine (or blush)? Is this truly a ‘rule’?
Talk about ‘eye opening’ . . . I loved it! Here was a guy working in Napa and consulting with some spectacular restaurants around the world giving us some great advice . . . .and you would not believe how many of my classmates came up to me after his talk and laughed and shook their head at his ‘white zinfandel’ comment. To a one, they said that they would never be so crazy as to order that type of wine in a steakhouse . . . .
HELLOOO! I think someone (or, in this case, MANY folks) missed the point here . . .who are WE to tell someone what they should and should not LIKE!?!?!? You are not WRONG for liking this type of wine, and if a white zin is what you want with a steak, more power to you!
Just a little food for thought today . . .
Your thoughts are welcome (-: