The weather was so nice last week that I was inspired to begin this column outdoors.
Last Friday, about 10 friends and I got together in North Douglas for a little bonfire, wine and food. My wife and I brought an Amaroo chardonnay from Australia as well as a Spanish red. Incidentally, about halfway through the evening we noticed that most of the bottles had screw caps, something that not too long ago would have been greeted with a sneer or two. Great fun was had by all and we even saved on the electric bill!
Now let's come back inside and take a look at the restaurants around town to see what we can find in the way of a reasonable wine and appetizer combination.
Awhile back my wife and I went to Zephyr and had oysters Rockefeller and shrimp scampi paired with a Megapanos white from Greece. It was fabulous, one of those pairings that just work. We moved on to some Rioja from Spain with dinner that was very nice as well. The owner, Haydar Suyun, was nice enough to let us sample a couple of reds to help make up our minds. Some restaurants will offer wine samples, just don't try to sample your way through the night. Its bad form, you know.
On another occasion my family and I decided to go the Hangar On the Wharf for calamari. I paired it with Toasted Head chardonnay, although my wife broke rank and had a beer. The atmosphere there is always fun and you have a lot of family-friendly choices that aren't bank busters.
Across town at The Breakwater there's a new menu that looks really nice, and rumor has it that they are working on a new wine list as well. I want to try their proscuitto-wrapped scallops with a glass Guenoc sauvignon blanc - a combo you can have for under $15.
Out in the valley, the Canton House has been getting rave reviews for its sushi lately and they have very nice wine-by-the-glass options. I recommend an acidic white for sushi, say a sauvignon blanc, but it's your food.
The point is this: outside, at a restaurant, in your home or at a friend's house, you can have a glass of wine and an appetizer without breaking the bank. Juneau has a number of restaurants where you can have an appetizer and a glass of wine for a reasonable price. And times are tough for everyone - even our friends in the restaurant business. So let's stay supportive of our wine sellers and have a good time as well.
Cheers till next time.