Sometimes, We Get Touted

Periodically, we get touted to try a restaurant, and a most of the time it happens to be a chain and I just don’t get that excited.  I guess it was all the years of being an independent retailer, so chains operations are not my cup of tea.  Some people feel very comfortable with chains, because there won’t be anything novel, in fact a lot of them are cookie-cutter designs, just like as if they are a fast-food carry-out joint.   Eventually that may be the way of the world, as when we travel, I do like to eat at local restaurants to get the flavor of the city, but just like nowadays most retail establishments are the same from city to city, so are most restaurants.  It also gives me a point of reference, so that I can see if there are any trends that I may have missed, and there are plenty, because of my avoidance of chains of any type.  My Bride does say that I can be a real pain-in-the-arse, and she probably is telling the truth.  I think that I have done quite well, considering that for decades, the City of Lincoln Park, was designated back in the Fifties as the perfect cross-section of America by a survey conducted by Amy-Joy Donuts and then for years every chain attempted to win over the populace of Lincoln Park, but I digress and ramble as I am wont to do at times.

My Bride surprised me and decided to get a “tower” of “BLT sliders.”  I know that sliders are all the rage now, but I think of them as a student’s cure for hunger when I was a kid, and some local establishments would sell like a dozen sliders for two dollars.  Granted, I used to joke that sliders were concoctions of little buns heated on greasy grills, sprayed with essence of meat, chopped and fried onions with a slice of American cheese and pickle slices.  My Bride got this elaborate dish (tower) where the BLT sliders were impaled on a built-in spear perpendicular to the dish that was covered with well-done and spiced French-fries.  The sliders were Brioche buns slathered with Lemon Aioli, Roma Tomatoes, Lettuce and their “Millionaire” bacon which was thick, spiced and candied. It was a very nice dish and she enjoyed it.  She had a glass of McManis Family Vineyards Pinot Grigio River Junction AVA 2021.  McManis Family Vineyards is a family-owned wine producer based in Ripon, near Modesto and founded in 1990.  The estate has thirteen-hundred acres all in the River Junction AVA, one of the smallest AVA designations in California and the designation was awarded in 2001 with only one winery.  The fruit for this wine was night harvested on the estate.  The grapes first have a gentle crush and then the must is pressed again and is cold fermented in Stainless Steel.  The wine is a blend of seventy-six percent Pinot Grigio and twenty-four percent Chenin Blanc.  This straw-colored wine offered notes of lemon, lime and grapefruit.  On the palate the citrus fruits were crisp and had a nice medium finish with some terroir thanks to the sandy loam of the AVA.   

As for me, I was debating between a burger or ribs, but when I heard that the meat falls off the bone, I had to have the ribs, with the well-done and spiced French-fries and Cole Slaw, which is just the perfect combination for me.  I went with a Pinot Noir for some fruit in hopes that it would pair with the barbeque sauce.  I had the Imagery Estate Winery Pinot Noir California 2020 which was designed for experimentation in winemaking.  The original winemaker was Joe Benziger and the second winemaker is his daughter Jamie who took over the reins in 2017, as she grew up between her family’s two Sonoma wineries and she also went away to learn at other wineries as well.  In 2019 she was named Best Woman Winemaker in the International Women’s Wine Competition. The wine is Pinot Noir, except for five percent Petit Verdot.  The deep colored wine offered notes of strawberry and cherry and on the palate, it offered tones of a blend of jammy red fruits, a touch of oak, soft tannins and a soft finish of fruit.  I did enjoy it with the ribs.    

About thewineraconteur

A non-technical wine writer, who enjoys the moment with the wine, as much as the wine. Instagram/thewineraconteur Facebook/ The Wine Raconteur
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