Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Winey Tasting Notes: Apothic White and Unintentional Popcorn

Now that the Winey patio is open for business, the Winey family grill is up and running. I love to grill out! Maybe it's just the idea of getting out of the kitchen, but grilling holds a special appeal to me. I have been the family griller for over 20 years now (since bk, which is "before kids" for those of you who need the translation) and as the years progress I have gotten more and more adventurous with the recipes. Plus, now that the latest version of the Winey family grill has a side burner, well...bring on the pots along with the grill racks.

One thing I have never experienced though, is the dreaded grill flare up (where fat drips onto your burners causing flames to leap WAY high - not just blackening your food, but putting your eyelashes into grave danger as well) least I hadn't until last Sunday night.

It was shaping up to be the perfect evening: Winey Cadet had come home for an unexpected visit from West Point, Winey daughter had won her soccer game, Winey mother in law on the way over for dinner. The weather was ideal, the grass was cut, all the chair cushions were on the chairs and I had fresh bi-color corn on the cob, garlic bread and some very tasty chicken legs and thighs ready to hit the grill. I also had a bottle of Apothic White (2010, 12.5%, California) chilling and ready to go.

The chicken went in first. All nicely lined up on the lower rack, ready to grill away to perfection. The corn went in next, but on the top rack (we like our corn just lightly grilled - enough to melt all that butter on!). I stepped away to bring out a tray of salad dressing when I noticed a lot of smoke coming from my beloved red grill. I opened the lid and lo and behold: The Towering Inferno was shooting a remake inside my grill. Flames leaped up all over the chicken and the corn (I was momentarily concerned for my eyelashes, but they seemed to be safe). I quickly turned the grill off. But the dripping fat from the chicken (dark meat - a bit fattier, which is why they're so perfect for the grill - up to a point, I guess) kept on fueling the flames.

Sure, it all looks calm
And then I heard it: Pop. Pop. Pop. Pop. Whattheheck? Was the grill popping? No...not the grill. But the ears of corn were starting to burn and pop. I was literally making popcorn on the upper rack of the grill when all I wanted was some nicely warmed corn on the cob. Pop. Pop. At this point I had to call in the Winey Husband (twice because there was golf on tv and he REALLY didn't think I meant it when I yelled "I need you NOW!").  His first bit of brilliant advice was to turn off the grill. Well, duh, I already had done that. His second was to rescue the chicken. Which turned out to be sound advice, since the chicken was doing just fine in the flames. His third was to kind of stand there and marvel at the fact that the corn was actually popping. (Note: there were no fluffy white popped kernels - just noisy, blackened bits of kernel flying around.) And once the chicken got off the grill, the flames did die down, leaving three VERY black ears of corn and 2 nicely grilled ears of corn. Oh, and one wide-eyed mother in law who had chosen that very moment to walk onto the patio.

Luckily, the saving grace here was that after my experience with the inferno, I had a lovely cool glass(es) of wine to turn to. (I'm not sure "turn" is the correct verb, maybe I should have said "run to and gulp"?) Apothic White is a medium bodied blend of  Chardonnay, Riesling and Moscato. The aroma was of peach syrup and rose petals (thankfully, the smell of burned corn was not plastered inside my nose). The taste was pure flower garden: flowers and peaches and honey, honey, honey! It finished of honey and then moved to a lime-y sort of tang. Wow! Just what the doctor ordered for a Winey Mom who had nearly entered the family record book under the heading of "Epic Dinner Fail". 

To be  perfectly honest, I could have used a bit more tanginess in this wine, but that might just be the flames talking. This wine was very smooth and luscious in the mouth - Riesling fans will totally love it. But it was a yummy wine that went so well with my grilled chicken (seriously, after all that, only a few pieces of skin were charred, and they were easily removed). Admittedly, we had to saw the remaining corn in half and share it (I, not surprisingly, declined the corn. Just not in the mood for some reason) but the dinner was saved and we would up sitting around and talking for another hour. Great family dinner.Tasty summer wine. And I still had my eyelashes. What more could you want?


Winey Mom side note: In retrospect, I should have just left the chicken alone and not turned it. That would have kept the fat and juices in place and not dripping down into the flames. But then I wouldn't have anything to write about, right?

Facebook: The Winey Mom

Pin It


  1. I had a taste of Apothic White Blend just last night at our local wine shop. If I didn't already have 3 bottles in hand,I would have purchased. I've been thinking about it and now after reading your review, I think I need to go back and pick it up. :-)

  2. I would say that is a WISE deicison!!! Cheers Wine Novice1! *Clink*

  3. I just tried this wine last night ... LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! I'll be buying a few bottles!


Your comment will appear as soon as it is verified! Cheers!