Gastronomy 101, a blog about food and Los Angeles restaurants

WINE: Chateau Ste. Michelle "Eroica" 2005 Riesling

Eroica is a collaboration between the winemakers of Chateau Ste. Michelle, and Ernst Loosen, a winemaker from the Mosel River region in Germany. This collaboration, which began with the 1999 vintage, released in 2000, was so successful that Columbia Valley rieslings are now popping up all over.

Since I've been hearing about Washington State rieslings all over the place lately, and since Eroica is probably the quintessential example of this type of wine, I decided to purchase one and try it out. (No, it's not "Erotica!" Don't get all excited).

But what to drink it with? Well, I am no wine expert, but I have developed one rule of wine drinking, and that's my rule for Riesling, which is really easy to remember. You can drink a Riesling with anything that you would drink beer with. I have come to this decision after reading numerous informational articles on the fact that Riesling goes with Thai food, Indian food, and pizza. And those things all have something in common: I like to drink beer with them, even though I'm not really a beer drinker. By extrapolation, I am going to guess that you could also drink a Riesling with buffalo wings or Ethiopian food.

For the Eroica, I chose to go with the recommendation from Chateau Ste. Michelle's head winemaker himself: Thai food.

I ordered up my favorite Thai dish, the very simple garlic and black pepper beef, and I also got some crispy won tons. I know! I know they are Chinese, but this Thai restaurant happens to make them very well. I ordered from Chao Krung, which although it is right down the street from me, there was an even closer Thai place that was my go to delivery place, but it recently transformed into a vegan cafe so I was forced to move down the block for my delivery needs. I'm glad I did, though because so far, I really like the Krung. And so does John Malkovich, so you know it's good.

So how did it go? Well, it was okay. The Eroica 2005 was not so sweet, it was more tart and peppery, so I think to go with the Thai food, maybe a sweeter Riesling would have been better. I think I would stick with the German or Alsace Rieslings for the Thai food next time. I had a $10 bottle of Rheingau Baron Something-or-other Riesling in the fridge that seemed to work much better. That's not to say the Eroica wasn't good--it was. Its acidity is balanced by a peachy sweetness. I just preferred the mellower German wine with the spicy Thai food, as the tartness of the Eroica was kind of weird with the spicy meat.



Thai food is really sweet (at least to my tongue), so I tend to go with the German Rieslings. I like your rule about Rieslings and beer. Never thought about it that way before, but it's true.

I think I still prefer a very dry Pinot Grigio over any Riesling.

- Chubbypanda

said by Chubbypanda at 12:48 AM Delete

I feel like I've finally enrolled in "Wine 101." I've never known ANYTHING about wine and this year seems to have been the turning point. I love your tip about Riesling/beer pairing. I'll give that a shot! Thanks.

said by Acme Instant Food at 11:21 AM Delete

Thanks! I barely know anything about wine, despite growing up in wine country so I'm trying my best to learn.

I think that entering into the world of wine is hard because it seems so elitist from the outside, so I'm trying to keep it simple here and see if I can't pass on some common sense tips so that wine dummies like myself can maybe begin to enjoy it as well. ;)

said by KT at 11:25 AM Delete

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