feb. 26, 2012: how could you go wrong with two lemon-pepper rotisserie chickens from schnucks? the answer is: it's not possible on oscar night. i wanted something easy so i could watch my beloved awards show, which is always a lot of fun (red carpet included). at first, i made the mistake of not properly chilling this 2010 a to z pinot gris from oregon. that made this 13 percent alcohol speciman taste strongly of lemons, and not in a good way, i thought, though greg didn't mind. nothing against those who love lemony pinot gris. but once i dunked this bottle in an ice bath for 10 minutes, it began the slow transformation into a more muddled -- and much more enjoyable -- confluence of pear and lemon flavors. it's interesting, i think, how lack of clarity can actually make a wine more tolerable, since in most cases, i'd say the opposite would be true -- or at least more honest. but this particular a to z does better when it's temperaturally controlled. schnucks.
this column runs as "bottle by bottle" in the evansville courier and press twice or so a month. the focus is on wines, food and how they intersect. if i receive gifts, i'll tell you. photo credits are noted. i buy most of my wines from winetree, varsity liquors, schnucks, the fresh market, kwik liquor and winestyles (in evansville, ind.); big red liquors and sahara mart (in bloomington, ind.); vecchio's italian market (in newburgh, ind.); whole foods (in st. louis); and binny's (in chicago.) also, i do try a number of wines that i don't necessarily mention in the column, through travels to france and other markets (germany, hungary, italy, etc.) that don't sell wines i can find here. those experiences factor into my tasting descriptions, even if i don't mention them in the column, so keep all that in mind. i write the column to tell my readers in the evansville, ind., area what i consider to be flavorful, balanced and good-value wines for sale in this area.