I originally wrote this for the (Casillero del ) Diablo supperclub blog a few months ago:
Pinot grigio is usually thought of as a quick quaffer. Not much thought goes into buying a pinot grigio. Easygoing, light, usually with a log of lemon on the palate and not much else. Most don’t give it much thought as they glug it down on a Friday after work at the pub.
However, there are options to which pinot grigio you choose to drink. Originally from Italy, pinot grigio is grown around the world now and one place it has found a home is in the valleys of Chile. Most would pair pinto grigio with fish or seafood because of it’s light body and crispness but Casillero’s pinot grigio actually has a bit more body and weight to it then the average pinot available in the supermarkets.
I stumbled upon CyD’s pinot grigio one Friday night in of all places, a Korean restaurant in Central London. My friend and I were wandering around Centrepoint which has a string of Korean joints and settled on Assa which seemed to be the busiest and biggest of the 3 or 4 restaurants that line St. Giles Street.
Korean food is quite spicy and full of ginger and chilli so when I was looking at the minimal wine list, I didn’t have much hope in my mind but their house wine was the Casillero del Diablo pinot grigio and as we didn’t want beer, we plumped for the wine. I was with my Japanese friend Honami who knew a lot more about Korean cuisine then me so I let her do the ordering.
We of course had the obligatory kimchee, spicy! As well as ordering bim bim bap, (vegetables and rice with a spicy sauce), squid with chili, and Korean spare ribs. All the dishes were quite heavily spiced and at first I wasn’t sure if the pinot grigio would stand up to the spices and chili but the wine had some great ripe pear and citrus flavours. It was fresh and vibrant with a clean and fruity finish. I was really surprised at how well the wine went with the spicy food but it was a good match.
A great surprise, both the fact that we found a great little Korean restaurant in the middle of London as well as the fact that Casillero del Diablo’s pinot grigio was a good partner for such spicy, firey food like Korean food.