I recently had the opportunity to have dinner at a fantastic restaurant that I’ve been wanting to go to for a very long time, okay, a long time in LA time is something like 6 months, so a very long time is a year. I’m glad I could explain that…although I’m sure you don’t understand – things are strange in Los Angeles.
I was invited to the dinner by Mirassou wines. Like me, you’ve probably seen their bottles in the stores (a pretty sunburst logo peering out at you from the label). I’ve walked past them countless times. For me, wine is a lot like a sushi place…unless someone recommends it to me I won’t just try some strange bottle or piece of raw fish. Call me a wine snob, trust me I’ve been called WAAAAY worse than that, but price per bottle isn’t my roadblock. It really is a matter of tasting and recommendations.
Mirassou held this get together with a very small group of media people (including 2 food bloggers – Matt Armendariz of Matt Bites and myself – squeee!) in the chef’s tasting room at The Bazaar restaurant that is owned by Chef Jose Andres. (Chef Jose Andres was named best chef of the year in 2009 by Esquire Magazine. His restaurant, The Bazaar, was named Top New Restaurant by Zagat in 2010. Chef Jose Andres is also a James Beard Award winner.) Mirassou’s spokesperson was also there – Aida Mollenkamp. If you’re not familiar with Aida, she can currently be seen on The Food Network hosting the show Ask Aida or on The Cooking Channel hosting FoodCrafters. This experience completely exceeded any and all of my expectations. Each course of the meal was specially prepared for our dinner and paired with one of the Mirassou wines.
David Mirassou is a 6th generation wine maker. His family came to California, like many did, to gain riches during the gold rush. The family never hit it big with gold, but decided they liked California anyway. They also realized that northern California had a similar climate to their native France. So when the rest of the family came to California, they brought cuttings. Pinot Noir cuttings. Those tiny little cuttings were kept alive through the long boat ride over by having one end stuck into a potato half.
Over the years, the Mirassou wines have enjoyed coming out of Monterrey County. Starting with Pinot Noir cuttings, the brand now has been built out with several varietals including: Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. Six of these seven wines were paired at our dinner.
The wine that stood out the most for me was the Chardonnay. It’s not overly oaky or buttery so it doesn’t have a tendency to overpower the food that you might enjoy it with. A lot of the chardonnay’s that are on the market now tend to have either one of these two traits or a bright astringent taste which usually means it’s been held in stainless steel. The Mirassou chardonnay has none of this. It’s just got a nice bright and fruity flavor that would pair well with cheese or poultry easily.
It’s really easy to pair wines with food if you’re an expert. It’s also easy to pick a wine to bring as a hostess gift or a birthday gift. But what do you do if you’re not an expert? Don’t freak out. Picking a wine can be as easy as knowing who you are buying it for. Mirassou did some testing and found out that people’s personalities are an excellent guide when trying to select a wine to give. Kind of like: you are what you drink…or you drink what you’re like.
So Mirassou has put together a simple personality traits test to help you pick the right wine to give. I know what you’re thinking…can a canned personality traits test really help me select a wine my friend, work colleague or (gulp) boss will like? Yes, it can. I’ve taken the test and it nailed me as well as the wine that is my favorite. Something else that’s nice about Mirassou is that the wine you buy today, can be enjoyed tonight. It’s also a very affordable wine (while the flavor will impress, the price won’t dent your wallet). Sure, the reds can be cellared, but they are ready to be enjoyed the day that you buy them.
What is Your “Wine Personality”?
- Sweet? – Riesling
- Energetic? – Sauvignon Blanc
- Sporty? – Pinot Grigio
- Sunny and Mellow? – Chardonnay
- A person of high standards? – Pinot Noir
- Earthy? – Merlot
- Adventurous? – Cabernet
Have fun taking the Mirassou® Winery unscientific “wine personality” quiz. Answer these questions to determine what your “wine personality” is, so you can choose the perfect wine for you and your guests!
1. Are you a real sweetheart or big softy?
2. Do you prefer sweet tastes over salty ones?
3. Do you run circles around your friends because you’re so energetic?
4. Are you constantly “on the go”?
5. Do you spend most of your free time on the golf course?
6. Do you tend to participate in sports rather than watching as a by-stander?
7. Is your disposition a happy one?
8. Do you “go with the flow”? Have you been described by some as being flexible or “mellow”?
9. Are you a perfectionist, never letting go of a project until it’s completely perfect?
10. Are you a “Type A” with extremely high standards for yourself and others?
11. Are you a nature buff, one who’d rather be out hiking or fishing or out enjoying the natural world?
12. Are you concerned for the environment?
13. Are you a powerhouse in the workplace who is ready to meet any challenge and sometimes referred to as “adventurous”?
14. Do you like to take risks, preferring to try things outside your comfort zone?
If you answered yes to questions 1 or 2, you are a Riesling If you answered yes to questions 3 or 4, you are a Sauvignon Blanc If you answered yes to questions 5 or 6, you are a Pinot Grigio If you answered yes to questions 7 or 8, you are a Chardonnay If you answered yes to questions 9 or 10, you are a Pinot Noir If you answered yes to questions 11 or 12, you are a Merlot If you answered yes to questions 13 or 14, you are a Cabernet.
If you answered yes to multiple questions, you like a wide range of varietals! What meal you plan to enjoy will determine the best varietal to buy.Welcome to My Man's Belly! Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about the site or if there's a recipe you'd like to see here. Have a great day.