My friend Peter is most definitely not a wine importer--he has chided me many times for describing or introducing as such. Rather he works for a wine importer. He prefers beer to wine, doesn't drink coffee, and unlike everyone else in Manhattan, he does not boast nor brag about himself. He is humble to a fault. At first I found his slackadasical attitude towards the grape (and everything else really) confusing; he knows the restaurant and wine worlds quite well, has an excellent palette, and yet he seems quite bored with it all. He actually says things like, "Oh, it's so hard going on all these wine tours in Italy. I get so tired of eating and drinking." He would rather talk about indie rock harpist Joanna Newsom than argue terroir. But his whatever attitude is actually quite refreshing and it means that when he actually likes a wine, it's very, very special.
Enter a layered, fruity, complex white wine from Valle Isarco in Northern Italy. I recently order a mixed case from Peter,letting him do the selecting. The first bottle I opened was this little dream--Cantina Produttori Valle Isarco EKK Kerner Della Valle Isarco Sudtirol-Alto Adige Eisacktaler DOC - 2006. It is made in a more German or Austrian style than you'd expect from an Italian wine, with a nice amount of crispness. Apples, peaches, a bit of cream, it's utterly delicious, with just enough acid to work amazingly well both on its own or with food.
I served it with Thai food--a super-fast "shrimp in coconut sauce" I made last night. I heated coconut milk with a teaspoon of curry pasted, added some meyer lemon, broiled the shrimp, steamed some broccoli in the microwave and threw all of it on leftover brown rice. Topped with chopped cilantro and green onions, it was a perfectly OK weeknight meal. The wine made it very Friday night.
We finished the bottle watching the Grinch Who Stole Christmas with our two boys, feeling less Grinch-like than usual.