pop grape

diners, drive-ins and vineyards

credit: Marc Steiner for The New York Times

credit: Marc Steiner for The New York Times

Guy Fieri recently bought a five-acre vineyard of Pinot Noir grapes in Sonoma’s Russian River Valley. Last year was the first vintage but right now he’s just selling grapes to La Crema and Williams Selyem who both have contracts with his vineyard. Ultimately, though, he wants to make his own wine of course.

“Our son’s names are Hunter and Ryder, so we’d call it the ‘Hunt and Ryde,’” Fieri told The Press Democrat.  “Maybe some day this will evolve into us being able to produce our own wine, and celebrate some of the bounty of the county.”

Since he’s so into food, it’s not much of a surprise that he’s also into wine. I’m a little surprised by the Pinot Noir choice, though. That’s a pretty delicate, elegant grape and with the kind of food he eats on the show I’d think he’d go with something big and burly like Shiraz or maybe even a spicy-food match like Riesling.

Still, a grapefriend’s a grapefriend! “If we’re making wine and someone’s drinking it and enjoying it, then it’s a success,” Guy said.

I like it, and also like this little story from Mark Oldman’s book, Oldman’s Brave New World of Wine, where Guy said, “Once at the Super Bowl, I sabered open a bottle of Dom Pérignon with only a butter knife—and my friends were amazed. My wife came by and asked, ‘What are you doing?’ And I told her: ‘I’m kicking off the Super Bowl, baby!’”

I can think of no better way to kick off the big game.

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