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Eureka Springs is known for its picturesque setting, eccentric celebrations, haunted stories, and mountaintop resorts. Let’s add to that list… extraordinary culinary experiences.
What is an extraordinary meal without wine? I love drinking wine but choosing the right one can be an intimidating experience. My interview with Resident Wine Spectator and Executive Chef of The Crystal Dining Room, Michael Jaschke, gave me confidence.
Michael, with your formal training and experience in the industry I know you have had the opportunity to try many wines and experiment with different varietals, regions, etc. What is your favorite wine and what advice would you give to someone who wants to choose a great wine?
Personally I enjoy a Late Harvest Wine or any of the lightly sweet dessert wine; it’s the German in me.
I recently enjoyed a cordial of B&G (Barton & Guesteir) Sauterne 2005. Now a Sauterne has to come from Sauterne, France to bear this label, this is a rich and regal region from which the some of the most famous sweet wines come from.
Leading up to Valentines Weekend I was reading a Thomas Keller’s cookbook and saw a pairing for a Sauterne and Foie Gras, so I ordered some of each up and paired them together as an opening plate when our guests ordered. It was just like he described, the Foie Gras was silky and luscious with just a few grains of Fleur de Sal and the Sauterne followed with a sweet lingering taste once it as all gone it was like a shudder went through you soul. It was as simple as it gets and amazing.
A dish and a wine do not have to be complicated to be enjoyed. Just like life, keep it simple.
Next time you are faced with choosing a wine whether it is for a party, the table at home or at a fine dining establishment remember…keep it simple!
1 Saxum james Berry Vineyard Paso Robles 2007
2 Two Hands Shiraz Barossa Valley Bella’s Garden 2008 http://bit.ly/ccj565
3 Peter Michael Chardonnay Sonoma County Ma Belle-Fille 2008 http://bit.ly/c0ZQKS