2009 Riff Pinot Grigio

winecheeseSo you’re getting together with friends; perhaps there are dinner plans, plans to maybe open a special bottle (or two) of wine, but you stop and ask yourself, “How do we get started?” Well Keith Richards isn’t here to say it, but I can perfectly imagine him, sitting in a comfortable chair, pulling the ciggie out of his mouth, shrugging his shoulders, and saying, “It all starts with the riff, man; everything else falls into place behind a good riff.” If you’re a musician AND a wine-geek, like Keith, like me even, you understand what a good riff can do for a song, and what a wine called Riff can do for an evening gathering of good friends.

kpigYes, musician. Music has always been a major force in my life. More on that later. If you have visited our shop in the last 4+ years, you may have noticed, and many of you have even asked about the radio station playing in the background. We have been happy to play KPIG radio in our shop. What they offer is eclectic Americana music, live DJ’s whom you can talk to, and live jams from special guests who just happen to drop by at any given time. They are a boon to the community. I’ve mentioned them before. Unfortunately, we learned this week that they will no longer be transmitting in the Bay Area.  So sad for us. We have been proud to play this truly hip and eclectic radio station for our staff and customers. We will especially miss our regular check-ins with our pal Arden, who is an absolute treasure of a human being, who would play our suggestions and give the shop a shout out every Saturday. But business is business, so back to business.
vineyardSo, it’s going to be a great night. You’ve got some fun people coming over. Some good, fresh food. Some great wines; but how many times do you start popping corks at these kind of events only to serve some of the ‘special’ bottles before dinner? The key to keeping the dinner wines from premature consumption, is to have the appropriate aperitif wine. When a dinner party is still in its gathering phase, nothing does it for me more than a cool, crisp white wine. They’re refreshing and they usually pair well with finger food and appetizers. We have been carrying the Pinot Grigio from Alois Lageder’s Cantina Riff for 3 vintages now, and it’s a keeper! The vines are grown in the foothills of the Dolomites in northern Italy. The prized soil of the vineyards is comprised of fossils from an ancient sea that existed millions of years ago. I think of something fairly straightforward when pairing this wine. Something like a chicken salad sandwich, come to think of it, would be sublime. It’s also the perfect aperitif wine. Served with a slight chill, the aromatics are of rich minerals, white and yellow stone fruit, and a hint of fruit blossoms. On the palate it is crisp and dry, very well balanced, with a pleasant zippy vibrancy. The finish is of crisp fruit; and yes, it is the perfect “get this party started” wine!

prsSo yeah, just like the riff in “Satisfaction”, Alois Lageder’s Riff can be the foundation of something great. In fact, I know a few other musician/wine-geeks out there who may want to put this into practice. I believe we are the official wine merchant of Floating Records, a record label operating out of Sausalito. Well, they buy wine from us, and they’ve added a link to our blog on their website, so that seems official. They’ve got a cool list of artists signed up, and they’re looking for more. Someday, when I grow up, I may have some music to contribute to their site. From time to time, people ask, “Are you playing anywhere anytime soon?” We haven’t played a gig in a year and a half. No reason. Interesting that our current lineup are all wine-geeks. We ought to give ourselves a wine-related moniker. It would be better than most of the band names I’ve been involved with; let’s see, there was Bases Loaded, The Easy Chiefs, The Bluff, The Vortex of the Farallones, Shyner, The Chinaskis, and Bluepool Arsenal. I’m sure it’s taken, but Riff sounds like a winner!Peter Zavialoff

Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments regarding Pinot Grigio, KPIG, band names, famous riffs, music in general, or Chelsea’s inaugural match: peter.winehouse@sbcglobal.net

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1 Comment

Filed under Italy, Peter Zavialoff

One response to “2009 Riff Pinot Grigio

  1. Arden

    I miss you, too!

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