28 October 2011

28Oct- hm. i wonder.
.
i think people have been very patient with me and my wine list so far and i wonder how far i can push it. i've taken away a number of standard varietals and replaced them with what i think are fun alternatives. we have no cabernet sauvignon by the glass (i think so many of them are more tannin-fueled than our cuisine can handle) and instead i have a surprisingly food friendly merlot/malbec blend from new zealand that achieves weight, fruit, and spice without sacrificing acid or balance. i'm beginning the process of weaning everybody off of pinot noir (though oregon pinots have been so important to me i feel as though i'm still supporting the region with my eyrie pinot gris by the glass and my st christopher sauvignon blanc, both beautiful examples of the grapes and the sense of oregon) and edging towards replacing the grape with a gamay, currently a serious and minerally morgon from beaujolais.
i'd replace chardonnay entirely if it weren't for being super charmed by jim kopp's visit to the restaurant and his crisp and clean unoaked chardonnay that goes quite well with our food. i've frankly been expecting more of an uproar with my not offering an oaked chardonnay by the glass so i'm gratified, albeit perplexed, by the smoothness of the transition.
so i'm almost wondering what i could get away with now.
i'm currently at home enjoying green curry over udon noodles (not something we offer at baan sawan but something i wish we would) and it's pairing extraordinarily well with a grenache gris/carignan blanc catalan white wine from david shiverick called "cuthbert". could we push such a pairing on to every customer? absolutely not; what about free will? but can there be free will when the menu is structured to guide forcefully the hand of the customer? should i also offer a big cab or an over-oaked chardonnay, a veritable sin, so that the choices made are more meaningful?
that went in a weird direction.
at the end of the day my desire isn't to manipulate the choices being made for no reason or for hubristic jollies but to maintain the integrity, as much as possible, of the spirit of both food and wine.
so if you come to the restaurant and see that there's no pinot grigio it's because our fuller bodied, spicier-finished pinot gris is an expression of the same grape that's more consistent with our food's anima.
if there's no shiraz it's because they tend to plod over our delicate balances and the more structured but at times equally powerful lirac, a blend of grenache, syrah, cinsault, mourvedre, and carignan , simply plays nicer while achieving a similar effect.
and when there's no pinot noir by the glass we invite you to try the gamay.
we think you'll be pleased.

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