Don’t whine; do wine |

Don’t whine; do wine

This is, quite simply, the most exciting time in the history of Nevada County for those of us who love food, love wine and especially food and wine together.

Today, the chefs of the county have the world as their larder. The availability and quality of wines has never been higher. The result should be an increased cooking with wine – focus pairing wine with food.

There’s nothing wrong with the classic wine-with-food pairing, except that they are often too narrow – too limited for today[‘s menus and today’s palates. I’m convinced that in addition to stressing how interesting the county wines are, we must stress even more distinctive ways to perfect the art of the table with our wines, from the living history of mining days.

Sometimes what is right in front of our nose is obvious – a chance to create from the past – a return of honor to the obvious of the gold miners favorite, to make famous the “Cousin Jack Pasties” as an original gourmet dish of Nevada County.

The pasties selling today in Nevada City and Grass Valley are only a small reminder of what the taste could be. It’s only another fast food, a finger-eating item, but has the challenge to become gourmet quality – a dish to get excited about, with full-body flavor.

The question I address to you, the readership of The Union: Why aren’t the chefs and food and beverage managers challenged more often with quests for local wine and a regional provocative mouthful of goodness, something to really write home about?

Would a challenge be acceptable to you? Would a challenge be acceptable to the Nevada County Winegrowers Association to come up with ideas for a regional dish or dishes to marry with their wines? Should or would they encourage our restaurant’s chefs to come forth with renditions to please the gourmet palate? And in future county fairs, why not have a contest to gourmet food and wine combinations, to be judged by those of similar good taste?

Norm Gates

Lake of the Pines

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