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WineDay Annex Wine Authors
Kathryn Blue
by Fred McMillin

San Francisco Has the Blues

Yes, San Francisco has the blues, and is very happy about it. Kathryn Blue is one of the finest cooks on the coast. Her husband is Anthony Dias Blue, nationally-known wine and food authority. They have produced four children and two cookbooks. The latest book is a delicious coast-to-coast tour of "America's Kitchen[s]." It's a handsome presentation of regional specialties by celebrated American chefs.

Since my specialty is wine, I dove into the book, not for the recipes, but to see if there were wine tips from Anthony. Sure enough. There are concise evaluations of America's beverages, including the principal wine regions. For example, let's take one of America's young, rising stars, Oregon. Beginners need remember only one location and one grape...Willamette Valley and Pinot Noir. While there are other areas and other grapes (Chardonnay, Pinot Gris) showing substantial promise, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir has led Oregon wines to international recognition. Here are some of the labels recommended in "America's Kitchen."

  1. Eyrie Vineyards' Pinot was the pioneer, winnning awards in Europe two decades ago.

  2. That caught the eye of venerable Burgundian Pinot producer Joseph Drouhin. Soon they were selling Willamette Valley Pinot under the Domaine Drouhin label.

  3. Other wineries to watch include Amity, Knudsen-Erath, Ponzi and Yamhill. My Scott's-on-Lombard panel has tasted most of them... very pleasing red cherry flavors ready to enjoy the day you bring the bottle home.

So, if you want to read a little about America's wine and a lot about America's food, get the Blue Book, "America's Kitchen."

Postscript: Speaking of the Pinot Noir grape, it changed Anthony Blue's life. Here's how he describes the encounter in Burgundy. "In a dank and rank Pommard cellar, the unshaven famer offered me wine in a chipped, dirty glass. Then came the thunderclap, the drum roll. That glorious, velvety-rich, explosive wine jolted me like nothing I had experienced before. I was instantly transformed into a wine lover."

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