Last Thursday night I dropped by Pastiche Bistro & Wine Bar’s second-floor wine bar for one of its laid-back – but very educational – tastings. How it works is you walk up a flight of stairs via a side door on East Rusk Avenue, pay at the register and saunter over to a table where wines are a-flowing. In a back room there is always a spread of hard and soft cheeses, crackers and spreads.
Last week the tasting’s theme centered around turkey- and vegetable-friendly wines, with a nod to Thanksgiving’s rich foods. Here were my favorites.
- 2011 Champalou Vouvrey Sec/Chenin Blanc (Loire Valley, France, $18) features a nose of wet pebbles before winding into an earthy, well-balanced palate marked by honey, lime and apples.
- 2012 Loimer “Lois” Gruner Veltliner (Kamptal, Austria, $15) is a grassy, acidic white wine with excellent vegetal qualities.
- 2009 Copper Hill Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley, Oregon, $17) is made from sustainably grown grapes, resulting in a smooth, velvety profile with raspberry notes.
- 2011 Ridge Vineyards Geyserville Zinfandel (Sonoma County, California, $36) is a big, bold Zin but sure to please anyone pairing it with fruit-forward foods like cranberries or even desserts such as pumpkin pie.
WINE DEAL OF THE WEEK
Still curious about Thanksgiving wines? Discount Liquor's two stores in Waukesha and Milwaukee have 11 wines on sale right now, all earmarked for Thanksgiving Day foods and at $16.99 or less. They include A to Z Pinot Noir (Oregon), Robertson Winery Late Harvest Gewurztraminer (South Africa), Gascon Malbec (Argentina) and Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand). The best part is that Discount Liquor is keeping Thanksgiving hours: it’s open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.
WINE EVENT OF THE WEEK
It isn’t often that Tosa’s Le Reve Patisserie & Café hosts wine events and frankly, I’m not sure why as this French-focused eatery’s wine list is magnifique. On December 4, wines will be paired with sweet-minded eats inspired by Alsace, France-born Jacquy Pfeiffer – co-founder of the French Pastry School in Chicago and the meal’s guest of honor – and cooked by Le Reve chef Patrick Murphy, Kurt Fogle (SURG restaurants) and Matthew Haase (Rocket Baby Bakery). Cost for the dinner is $125 and includes a signed copy of Pfeiffer’s latest cookbook (The Art of French Pastry). To snag a spot at the table, phone Le Reve at 414-778-3333.
WINE OF THE WEEK
This time of year I adore a light-bodied, fruit-forward Pinot Noir packed with notes of baking spices (cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg). The 2012 Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($46, California) delivers all of that. Its 25th vintage boasts notes of black cherries, raspberries and brown sugar too. (patzhall.com)