From France to Texas . . . to Oblivion

Brent and I had an all-star line-up last week. Monday started with a “Synergy of French Wines & Cheeses” class at VinoVenue (feel it, Porkchop). And Brent not only drank Sancerre and Gewurztraminer and really enjoyed it (scandalous!), but we both learned a great deal about the remarkable concept of “terroir” and how it relates to the pairing of wine and food. A “terroir” is a group of vineyards (or even vines) from the same region, belonging to a specific appellation, and sharing the same type of soil, weather conditions, grapes and wine making etiquette, which contribute to give its specific personality to the wine. That’s why the French label their wines by the region as opposed to the varietal (so “Loire” instead of “Chardonnay”) . . . and that’s why only true “champagne” can come from Champagne, France and all others made outside that region should be called “sparkling wines.” And pairing a wine and cheese from the same terroir (a goat or cow that shared the same territorial conditions) makes an enormous difference not only in the taste of each, but also accentuates or elongates the taste of the cheese when paired with a wine from that region. All snobbery aside (it’s probably too late for that now), the pairings in this class were incredible.

I’ll list them here for all the Y’s trying to impress the ladies this Valentine’s season:
1. Piper-Heidsieck Brut with Pave d’Affinois (Cow, Rhone)
2. Domaine Cherrier Sancerre 2003, Loire Valley with Crottin de Chavignol (Goat, Loire Valley)
3. Trimbach Gewurtraminer 2001, Alsace with Munster (Cow, Alsace)
4. Maison Leroy Bourgogne Rouge 1998, Burgundy with Epoisses (Cow, Burgundy)*
5. Etienne Pochon Crozes-Heritage 2002, Rhone valley with Fleur de Maquis (Sheep, Corsica)*
6. Chateau de Cosse Sauternes 1999, Bordeaux with Roquefort (Sheep, Southern France)

*can also be paired with Comte (Cow, Jura Mountains – Eastern Bourgogne, Champagne and Rhone-Alps)

On Friday, we saw Lyle Lovett, Guy Clark, Joe Ely and John Hiatt at the Fox Theatre in Redwood City. Just the four of them and their guitars, and a lot of great stories about where they grew up and everything they’ve seen as songwriters. Really made me miss Texas . . .

And on to oblivion Saturday with KU’s blow-out over Texas at Allen Fieldhouse. This is a tough day in the Baker household, as it is the one and only where I have to root against KU in favor of the mighty Longhorns (’cause the football match-up isn’t really anything to alienate a spouse over). I certainly went into the game knowing that gloating over our two wins last year would be ill-advised given the loss of Tucker and Aldridge, but wow . . . I had no idea KU would blow us out by 35. Also being a KU fan, my feeling after the game was that at least this big win would reignite their confidence and boost them in the rankings. UT’s season is shot without Tucker anyway, so at least this could help KU. We’ll see what happens in the polls next week, but a sad, sad day for Rick Barnes with the newly distinguished stat of “his biggest loss in the Big 12.”


2 Responses to “From France to Texas . . . to Oblivion”

  1. 1 Hammer
    February 3, 2005 at 5:07 am

    You forgot #7 on the list…

    7. High Life and a Barbara Lees’ Kitchen Cheeseburger

  2. 2 Y
    February 10, 2005 at 9:21 am

    Brovo RObert….”Bartender….Jobu needs a refill?

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