Becoming familiar with wine is easy


(Joyce Trepus welcomes your questions at 503-292-271.)

Remember that if you want to send dated material to me for a column, I must receive it three or more weeks ahead of the date you want to share. Send to my local P.O. Box 91027, Portland, Oregon 97291. Many thanks.

I will be sharing your suggestions along with mine in a week or two on making Mother's Day reservations. Call me if you have a special place to share with our readers and your Moms.

The following wine information comes from the placemat under our dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory. They created it to assist guests in pairing wine with the foods on their menu. I like the phonetic spelling help.

Asti Spumante (AH-Stee Spoo-MON-teh). Great with everything. Celebrate. Great to simmer peeled pears in for a nice dessert with a scoop of chocolate chip mint ice cream at serving time. Remember that all of the alcohol does not cook off, so cook some pear halves in apple or orange juice for those that choose not to use wine and for children.

Practice saying these names in front of a mirror (at home) until you feel comfortable saying them and looking casual.

White Zinfandel (White ZIN-fan-dell). Sweet and enjoyable, goes great with the Spaghetti with Browned Butter and Mizithra Cheese, which is my favorite entrée.

Reisling (REESE-ling). Sweet and refreshing, excellent with the Breast of Chicken Fettuccine.

Pinot Grigio (PEA-no-Gree-oh). Smooth and dry, try it with the Spaghetti with White Clam Sauce.

Chardonnay (Shar-dun-NAY). Full-flavored and dry, great with Baked Chicken Greek Style.

Pinot Noir (PEA-no Nwahr). Soft and dry, pairs well with Zesty Sausage and Spaghetti with Meat Sauce.

Chianti (KEY-an-TEE). Smooth and dry, pairs well with everything on the menu.

Merlot (Mare-LOW). Smooth and flavorful, brings out the flavors in the Lasagna.

Shiraz/Syrah (Shur-OZ)/(see RAH). Rich and zesty, great with the Chicken Parmigiana.

Zinfandel (ZIN-fan-dell). Spicy and full-flavored, excellent with Chicken Marsala.

Cabernet Sauvignon (Cah-burr-NAY- So veen-YOHN). Rich, full-flavored and dry, great with Platter No. 1.

Did you know that about eight hundred gallons of wine are produced from one acre of grapevines? And that Robert Mondavi built the first new winery in Napa Valley after prohibition?

More wine trivia: The vintage date on a wine bottle indicates the year the grapes were picked. A good temperature to store red wine is between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Also, check with the wine steward at your favorite super market. I like New Seasons.