I don't have a whole lot of patience for people who take themselves very, very seriously. Particularly if those people are wine experts. Wine should be fun. Yes, I think you should swirl and sniff and play the guess-the-flavor game, but at the end of the day, I like to drink wine because it tastes good and I have a great time. This issue provides lots of opportunities for that kind of satisfying wine experience.
In this quest, I have a few role models. Two are star chef Daniel Boulud and internationally acclaimed Brazilian-born artist Vik Muniz, an avid wine collector. When Daniel and Vik get together, they always have fun. That became evident when we dropped in at a party at Vik's Brooklyn studio. Daniel made Brazilian dishes like the seafood stew moqueca (delicious with a Provençal rosé) and a few French ones like a basil-crusted leg of lamb (amazing with a Châteauneuf-du-Pape).
Actor Kyle MacLachlan is another role model. He recently decided to make wine in Walla Walla, Washington, as a way to follow his passion and spend more time with his father, who lives nearby. In 2008, he released his first vintage of Pursued by Bear, a Cabernet blend, and it was fantastic (I won't bog you down with a list of flavor adjectives). Kyle invited F&W on a tour of his Walla Walla hangouts and enlisted his favorite chefs to cook for a dinner party at one of his favorite bars. You'll find those recipes here; the paella-like fideos with ham, shrimp and clams is fabulous.