Last night Donna and I joined our friend and award winning Chef Mark Paul at the wine bar connected to his Austin, Tx Wink Restaurant. Since we’ve known Mark nearly 20 years the conversation ranged from restaurant ideas to food to wine to his sister’s (who was our kid’s babysitter 17 years ago) new baby. The food (house-cured salmon on rye, PEI mussels in white wine sauce and a delectable salmon spring roll served with a citrus dipping sauce) as always was amazing, but the conversation turned to wine.
Mark was drinking a Sauvignon Blanc and I commented that I had not drunk much Sav. Blanc in the last 20 years until my recent trip to Napa and was pleasantly surprised. Back in the day, Sav. Blanc was relegated to the realm of “Boat Wine.” Something served very cold on a very hot day while sailing on Lake Travis. In addition, many SB’s tasted too much like green apples for my palate.
Mark brought up an interesting point that back then; we would not be caught dead drinking something like a Sav. Blanc in a restaurant. Those wines were for young girls with girly palates. It was all Cabernets, Zinfandels and big buttery Chards. Times have changed. However, I still love the three mentioned above.
Wink’s wine list is somewhat eclectic and might be limiting for those stuck in the old ruts. We sipped a Robert Sinskey Napa Pinot Gris and found it quite dry and refreshing for a warm evening before moving on to a Lemelson Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.
Ruts are comfortable but Spring is the season of change. Try something new this season…surprise yourself. Personally I’ve been intrigued lately by some California 100% Tempranillos whose flavors are much cleaner and less earthy than many of their Spanish brethren.
As Mark Paul said, “Man, there’s a lot of good juice flowing out there!”