Flavor Junkies Unite

Image from Smitten Kitchen, one of my favorite food websites.

I was reviewing my notes from the past few days and I think I have a problem.  Are there support groups for people like me?  “Hello, my name is Joanie and I am a Flavor Addict”.

That doesn’t sound quite right, yet somehow…

A few days ago I was assured by Sapphire’s wine director Michael Read that they have one of the best hot dogs ever on their menu. That’s a statement I simply couldn’t resist exploring.  What Michael did not prepare me for was the level of spicy heat in the seared jalapenos accompanying the dog!  We tasted the dish, and then in a moment of pure inspiration Michael’s eyes lit up and he said two words.  “Terlano Lunare”.  I felt the rush of potential slick through my veins and I reached immediately and wordlessly like a zombie into my wine bag for the bottle of Italy’s finest examples of Gewurztraminer, Terlano’s “Lunare” bottling from 2006.

Due to the limited techincal abilities of the photographer (yours truly), it is difficult to see the crispy, rendered bacon wrapping this hot dog.  What is NOT difficult to see in the photo, is that the peppers, onions, and porky bliss of this dish were transcendent.  When accompanied by the spicy, oily aromatics of the Gewurztraminer the last peice of the puzzle fell into place.  Hallelujah!

If you want to taste a wine that will literally change your life, this is it- your palate will thank you.  Terlano captures and magnifies the beautiful aromatics of Gewurztraminer- lychee, ripe peaches, smoky, withering roses- and delivers them in a silky, luscious mouthfeel that almost (but not quite!) subdues the precise and perfect amount of acidity bracing the backbone of this wine.  So, THIS is Gewurztraminer!

This is the kind of food and wine pairing moment all Flavor Junkies live for.  They are fleeting moments, filled with immediate joy and wide-eyed fascination.  Truly great food and wine pairings are also truly rare, and addictive.  Once you have experienced a moment like this you clamor for the next, searching vigilantly for another moment of sensory clarity.