Wednesday, March 17, 2010

i'm just an innocent bystander, i swear!

So I've got some pretty exciting news. Through a random series of events, Julien and I were invited to bartend at this year's Pebble Beach Food and Wine for the celebrity chef golf tournament and after-hours parties! Our payment, other than an equal share of the tip jar, are 2 tickets to one daytime tasting event of our choice AND 2 tickets each for the Lexus Grand Tasting! The event is April 9-11 and Julien and I are so excited. It's going to be an amazing event with fantastic wines to taste and unbelievable food as well. There will be some late nights (the after-hours parties go until 2am), but it will definitely be worth it. Don't worry, I'll be taking more pictures and shooting more video than you can handle.

To celebrate this fantastic news, as well as the many other great things going on right now (did I mention I was accepted into San Diego State University, my first-choice school ... because I totally was!), I purchased a bottle of wine I'd really been intrigued to try. It's a 2008 Innocent Bystander Pinot Gris ($16, Whole Foods), a blend of Pinot Gris/Grigio from Yarra Valley, Australia. I'm sure you may remember my very favorable review of the 2008 Innocent Bystander Moscato, which was what primarily convinced me to try this other white. I figured I might as well follow the success of the label and see what else comes of it.

Well, for the most part I wasn't disappointed. The color on this wine was very, very light yellow with a slight greenish tint. There were visible tiny bubbles so I knew there would be a hint of acidity or spritz to it. The nose on this wine was floral with a bit of acidic tang, smelled a bit of alcohol. The fruit on the nose was white pear and light apple. It was one of those whites that smelled very, how shall we say, clear. It opened up the nasal passage quite a bit, almost like eucalyptus ... which oddly enough wasn't in the nose at all.
The taste of this wine opened with immediate green apple, and loads of it! There were also notes of white pear. Just as predicted, there was a light spritz on it - there was also an acidic tang on it, which didn't surprise me one bit, given the nose on this wine. The wine finished with a touch of banana and tropical fruit. Overall, this Pinot Gris was very refreshing but a little too acidic to enjoy more than one glass at a time.
I'd probably give this wine a few more months, up to 1 year, in order to smooth out those flavors a bit. But I would definitely recommend picking up a bottle and holding onto it until then! This wine shows a lot of potential. With luck, it might even be ready to go by the end of summer - a perfect summer backyard soiree wine!
I enjoyed this wine with some sauteed vegetables in a mango chutney sauce and boiled fingerling potatoes with a homemade sundried tomato aioli. I was feeling saucey, no pun intended ... oh who am I kidding, it was totally intended! I modified the recipe from one on the Food Network. Here's a link to the recipe  - but just remember to add about 1 large tablespoon of sundried tomatoes (either freshly made or soaked in olive oil) when you add the garlic ... and only do up to 2 garlic cloves, since you don't want the garlic to compete with the tomatoes. Oh ... and do what the recipe says and pour the olive oil in SLOWLY while blending. I went through about 3 different failed attempts at making the aioli because I didn't follow this vital part of the recipe.


  1. The food sounds amazing, and congrats on getting tickets to two great events.

  2. Thanks so much, I'm pretty psyched!