The Bookshelf: Oldman's Brave New World of Wine
June 29, 2011
Is your Pinot Grigio putting you to sleep? Even the best bottles can get boring when you resist exploring your wine shop’s shelves. Wine personality Mark Oldman and his second book, Oldman’s Brave New World of Wine, will help you out of your wine rut. Like an explorer reporting back from unknown frontiers, Oldman organizes each chapter around a “Brave New Pour”―from peppy Vinho Verde to the powerfully tannic Petite Syrah―complete with pronunciation guides, food pairings, and tips for cracking label code. The best part? Since demand for these bottles is still low, they make for some of the best values at the store. Oldman will be speaking about his book at today's Beard on Books in the James Beard House dining room. If you can’t make it, read on for his adventurous alternatives to familiar summer wines―complete with food matches. Instead of: Sauvignon Blanc Go for: “Verdejo/Rueda from Spain, which will be similarly vibrant, refreshing, and free from oaky influences.”* Oldman’s pick: Bodegas Shaya Verdejo Old Vines Rueda 2010 ($15) Serve with: grilled shrimp or langoustines Instead of: Pinot Grigio Go for: “A Torrontés from Argentina, which will similarly dry and affordable, but with more floral, peachy aromas than your average Pinot Grigio.” Oldman’s pick: Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontés 2010 ($15) Serve with: curried fish, shrimp, or chicken Instead of: Pinot Noir Go for: “A Cru Beaujolais, which will be similarly lighter-bodied and chillable, but more affordable and thus ideal for simple summer entertaining.” Oldman’s pick: Georges Duboeuf Jean Descombes Morgon 2010 ($15) Serve with: roast chicken Instead of: Merlot Go for: “Carmenère from Chile, which will be similarly rich and soft, but often at a steep discount.” Oldman’s pick: Terra Andina Carmenère ($9) Serve with: hamburgers or beef tenderloin Instead of: Big-house commercial Champagne Go for: “A ‘grower Champagne,’ or small-production, ‘indie’ Champagne known for their insider status and unique personalities.” Oldman’s pick: Champagne Tarlant Zero Brut Nature NV ($75) Serve with: gougères Instead of: Avoiding overly sweet dessert wines Go for: “A Moscato D’Asti, which is so light and refreshingly fruity that even those who usually forgo dessert wine can’t resist it.” Oldman's pick: Fattoria San Giuliano Moscato d’Asti 2009 ($20) Serve with: fruit salad or panettone (fruit-filled Italian sweet bread) * Note: Verdejo is the name of the primary grape used in white blends from the region of Rueda. American wine lists tend to list these bottles under ‘Verdejo,’ rather than listing its region, as is conventionally done with other European wines.