Potato Salad with Wine

Potato salad marks the beginning of the end.  It's a chapter I started almost a year ago.  Every other Sunday, a group of my friends that I lovingly refer to as the "tasting crew" meet at my house to sample the food and wine pairings I blog about.   The very first time we met, we tried a Big Mac®, macaroni n' cheese and Twinkies with wine.  Each food was paired with 2 wines that I had chosen based on things like flavor, cooking methods and texture.  Although the people that joined us for that first tasting have somewhat changed, the process has remained the same.  This past Sunday, the "tasting crew" sampled sloppy Joes and potato salad with wine.  The evening was bittersweet, knowing that it would be the final time we met at my home for these tastings.  My new chapter begins Monday, August 29th at Khoury's Fine Wine & Spirits.  The owner has graciously allowed me to invite the public to his store to try my fun food and wine pairings.  And although I'm excited, the truth is I'm scared.  What if no one shows up?  Or, what if I forget things and people don't have a good time?  I'm not the sommelier who stands there in a suit and spouts off an impressive vocabulary of unknown tasting terms.  I'm just me and although I have more wine knowledge than the average person would really care to know, I wonder if that's good enough?  I could pretend that I'm not nervous, but in writing this blog I've learned to share more with you than just what I think you want to hear.  I'm giving you me with all my insecurities and hang ups in hopes that you'll open yourself up to my wonderful world of wine.  My goal is to connect with you on all levels and in the process of exposing my vulnerabilities, possibly share not only a glass of wine with you, but also a moment.  Here's to writing a new story! Cheers!

I always wondered why it was referred to as "potato salad?"  There's no lettuce included in this dish so how could it be called a salad?  Then I came across fruit salad and tuna salad and realized that anything mixed together can have the word salad added to the end of it.  As a child, I wasn't a huge fan of mayo, which is probably why I can't remember eating potato salad more than once or twice.  A few decades later, I have a hard time stopping myself from devouring the entire bowl.  I'm even further tempted when it's paired with my favorite beverage on earth, wine!  Although several wines will work with potato salad, Riesling is one I truly enjoy.  Recently, we tasted both an off-dry(slightly sweet) and dry (almost no sugar) Riesling with potato salad.  The latter clearly won.  Not only was the 2009 Dr. Loosen Red Slate Riesling from the Mosel region of Germany dry, it was also full bodied, helping to mirror the heaviness of the potato salad.  This weight was achieved by spending time in neutral oak barrels that also helped to tame the wine's high acidity.  Upon the first sniff, I notice an incredible spicy citrus aroma spring forth along with green apple, lime and of course, the signature "red slate" minerality.  On the palate the wine has flavors of peach, pineapple and tangerine with a creamy mouthfeel.  After a bite of the food and then a sip of the wine, I notice the mustard and egg flavors come alive first.  It tastes almost as if I'm eating a deviled egg.  The spiciness of the wine works nicely against the spiciness of the mustard.  I also like that I can't seem to pick out the flavors of each on their own.  They've come together and made me think I'm eating something else.  The creaminess of the wine matches the creaminess of the dish yet still retains enough acidity to wash all the flavors off the tongue.  Enjoy!

Wine featured in this photo: 2009 Dr. Loosen Red Slate Dry Riesling (available at Khoury's Fine Wine & Spirits for around $20)