Restaurant Bresca, where wine and food actually have fun together

November 2, 2011 § 1 Comment

I write this week about Krista Kern Desjarlais, chef-owner of Bresca in Portland. Krista’s a fantastic cook, of course, but more important (for me) is that she really understands wine’s relationship to food. She crafts a dynamic, continually moving list that never dumbs down, never plays to the big crowds, yet provides countless crowd-pleasing options.

Krista is all about lesser-known regions, and her girl-after-my-own-heart fascination of the moment is with Austrian reds (or, for another good link, Austrian whites), which she rightly sees as well-attuned to the profiles of food and mood in this little corner of our world: cold-climate varietals, very pure and direct, no-BS, complex but inviting.

For most of us a meal at Bresca isn’t an every-week affair, but next time you can save up some nice-meal scratch, get there. And for all-y’all Portland restaurants that don’t get it — and you know who I’m talking about, and you know I mean some of the “best” restaurants in Portland — pay attention to how Krista puts together her list.

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You think you’re so smart? Wine geek would give it all up to be ignorant like baby, and drink Austrian Gemischter Satz Wine

May 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

My latest Press Herald column is out. Ignorance = Bliss. Kinda not about wine. But of course it is. It’s about staying open to the present moment, and not letting what you know get in the way of what is. And of what is — or should be — a good time. No more cranky, grim wine geeks!

I also mention there one of my favorite current everyday wines, Cobenzl Wien Classic, the gemischter satz from Vienna. Gemischter satz means, roughly, “field blend”. Multiple varietals grown in one field, and harvested and crushed on a single day. The wine won Slow Food International’s Presidia and Ark of Taste awards. It’s a very ancient process for making wine, and new Viennese winemakers are bringing back the quality. More later…if I go on you’ll feel informed, and that inevitably ruins for you part of the majesty inherent in the experience of tasting and loving the thing!

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