Food, Wine and T-Birds

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Courtesy of Sasha Wang

By Sasha Wang

May the Sun Shine from Oregon to Chinese New Year in Nevada

To make your beautiful new year wish in Sin City may not sound like a good idea, but at the only 3-Star Michelin restaurant in town, Joel Robuchon, it is the best idea.

After our Champagne toast, we chose to celebrate our first Chinese New Year in the states with an American red wine.  We selected Pinot Noir, a traditional varietal in Burgundy, France, to pair with our traditional French meal. Beaux Freres “The Beaux Freres Vineyard” Ribbon Ridge 2010 was our choice.

The vineyard of Beaux Freres is located in the Northern Willamette Valley, Yamhill County, Oregon.  One of the reasons we chose this wine was, because of the relatively cool and wet weather in Oregon, their wines usually showcase less sweetness and more elegance than California wines.  The other reason was that the owner of this winery has a famous brother-in-law, Robert Parker, Jr., the most successful wine critic in the world.  Parker is also one of the partners of Beaux Freres, which is quite an attractive guarantee for it’s quality.

At it’s most basic, Pinot Noir is a varietal of grapes with a delicate nose and flavor, and because of it’s exquisite texture it doesn’t need to be specially decanted, especially for a relatively new vintage like 2010. When we first opened the bottle of Beaux Freres, we felt a distinct nose of red fruit, like red currants and cherries. The wine had a medium ruby red color, with a fulfilled structure and a touch of Lychee skin. According to the sommelier, it is because, in order to enhance the complexity of the texture, the winemaker had put 30% of the whole cluster of grapes into fermentation cans.

In general, it was a well-balanced and graceful wine, yet maybe a little sweet and less sour for me, but that’s the specialty of American Pinor Noir–in love of the bright Oregon sunshine in the summer.

No one would refuse a sweet and warm start for a brand new year, and it is just a beginning.

Sasha Wang, is an MBA student at Fudan University in China on exchange at Thunderbird this trimester. Sasha has worked for the #1 wine company in China, is a passionate aficionado of wine and writes a wine column for a lifestyle magazine in Hong Kong. 

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