One of the hardest wines to pair, in my opinion, are with various Asian cuisines. Not only because it can are range from beef, chicken, vegetarian or fish, but the spices and sauces also have such a bandwidth. Last night with Udon noodles prepared with teriyaki stir-fried chicken, broccoli and mushrooms. This also included a fair amount of garlic and assorted spices. The suggested wine pairings were: Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Grüner Veltliner or even Gewürztraminer. They also steered one towards a Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre (GSM) blend. The difficultly was I had none of these varietals in the cellar as I tend to have “meatier reds” or Chardonnays on hand.
The basic suggestion with Udon noodles was a light wine. I had remembers I had picked up a light Grenache Noir from a visit with Casino Mine Ranch last summer. This wine is made by Jessica Tarpy under tutelage of Andy Erickson of Napa Valley. Andy who today is one of the top 5 winemakers in Napa with a resume of making wines for Screaming Eagle, Harlan Estate, Staglin Family Vineyards, and Mayacamas Vineyards. See a previous written story to find out how Andy got involved with a winery located in Shenandoah Valley in Amador County (Sierra foothills) at: https://californiawinesandwineries.com/2019/07/23/casino-mine-ranch-a-tale-of-family-friends/
This 100% Grenache proved a superb pairing. The light and crisp purple coloring of the wine lead one in a different direction once in the mouth with lively fruit flavors of black cherry, bramble, cocoa, fresh ground coffee and wet stone minerality. The layers of depth and minerality which are not normally seen on what appeared to be a lighter wine. The Udon noodles danced in the mouth with wine and was “light enough” not to overpower the chicken. The upside was so good, I will re-order this wine with its remarkable pedigree as soon as possible, especially at $35!