“I’ve rarely had the opportunity to work with a wine list that is as deep and mature as this one at the Wild Goose,” Lou said as he poured us a glass of Prosecco Nino Franco “Rustico” NV Valdobbiadene, which is a perfect anytime sparkler of an off-dry prosecco in a true Brut style and well priced at $9 a glass. “At the same time, we’re not afraid to serve our guests wines from up-and-coming regions like the Sierra Foothills.”
In August, The Wine Spectator magazine recognized Wild Goose with its Award of Excellence, bestowed on restaurants that offer interesting wine selections that are appropriate to its cuisine and appeal to all wine lovers. Over 340 wines to select from at the Wild Goose and 4800 bottles on site, the list is divided between a regular and a reserve wine list. We tasted from the regular list, and primarily those in the wine-by-the-glass section.
A true gem is the 2003 Reisling from Dr. PaulyBergweiler Kabinett, which hails from the region of Mosel that could be termed a Golden Triangle. It has a classic aroma with a minerality which some liken to a petrol aroma, and on the back palate a mild white flower taste and honeydew and peach tones. A Kabinett is a high quality German Riesling made from fully ripened grapes, nice and light, semi-sweet with crisp acidity. If you have been drinking German Rieslings for a while, you might recognize this as a Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. Due to a change in wine labeling laws in Germany, it’s now just referred to by the overall Mosel term. Regardless of this quibbling, this wine paired well with Wild Goose’s house-made pretzels served with a mornay sauce, their very good Mac and Cheese, and dayboat scallops. $11 a glass.
The 2010 “Lucy” Rose of Pinot Noir from Lucia Vineyards, Santa Lucia Highlands, California, is a wine that is hand-crafted by the Pisoni family which produces small lots of exceptional wines in this cool-climate growing region of California. This rose offers a fresh acidity on the palate, and its light taste matches the light rose color. Wild Goose pairs it with a butter lettuce and strawberry salad, perfect for a soft summer evening. $10 a glass.
The Perry Creek “Altitude 2401” is a Sierra Foothills Zinfandel from El Dorado County. It is a plummy fruit-forward zinfandel with ripe, earthy, jammy flavor. Winemaker Stefan Tscheppe produced this reserve wine in an old-world style. Named after Perry Creek’s Fair Play Farms Vineyard's that have an average elevation of 2401 feet, only 1000 cases were made. Tasting notes from the www.perrycreek.com website echo my experience: “Exotic papaya and guava play with lively acidity and rich berry, spice and chocolate flavors. Exotic spices and cherries in the long and smooth finish. “ 14.9% alcohol. $35 the bottle at Wild Goose.
The 2009 Broadley Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, has aroma of raspberry and taste of black cherry with a lot of spice on the palate. It paired well with a scampi linguini containing capers and forest mushrooms, $14 the glass. And finally a Nigl Grüner Veltliner Eiswein 2003 Kremstal, an Austrian ice wine that is absolutely delicious. $15 the glass.
Wild Goose restaurant and bar is located at 7320 North Lake Blvd, Tahoe Vista, CA 96148. Open six evenings a week through mid-October, closed Tuesdays. Make reservations for dining via OpenTable or call (530) 546-3640. http://www.wildgoosetahoe.com/
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© 2011 Barbara Keck
For more information on dining and the wide range of activities around Lake Tahoe, see the online version of The Tahoe Weekly. This article appeared in my column "Wine Adventures" in August 2011.
Book in Process: "Mountain High Wine: The Sierra and Its Foothills".