• • • T A S T I N G M E N U • • •
What does wine have to do with jewelry? On one hand, nothing! On the other hand, there is joy in pairing
nice pieces together, just as one might delight in pairing wine. For that reason, I created a "tasting
menu" in which I pair jewelry pieces for distinctive looks. As with wine tasting, the result is
subjective and very much open to interpretation! Take a peek and enjoy, even if the enjoyment is thinking
"I would never
put those pieces together!"
• • t h e m e n u
We start with the classic cabarnet sauvignon. These grapes are synonymous with Napa Valley, California and
Bordeaux, France. However, cabarnet sauvignon grapes are a versatile lot, and they can be found in most
wine-growing regions of the world, from Australia to Italy to South Africa. The grape adapts to its surroundings
so the flavor is influenced by the soil and climate of the region, but cabs are generally earthy with the presence
of tannins and strong fruit flavors. Traditionally, they are paired with red meat, but the complexity and diversity
of their flavors means they have a broad range. The necklaces selected to be like "cabs" show
strong, classic design and versatility in how they pair with other pieces.
Zinfandels experienced a popularity boom in the 90s when critics ended their decades long grudge against the
sweet "white" production used in ever-popular blush wines and found reason to appreciate this
bold red American grape (that is actually native to Croatia...details, details). Zinfandel grapes account for roughly
10% of Californian wine-growing areas, and the name has come to represent wines of bold, spicy flavor. It
is similar in strength and flavor to Italian Chianti (sangiovese grapes); both stand up well to
a hearty marinara sauce. Zinfandel-like necklaces are strong, bold designs bringing spice to another piece and
to an outfit.
If not popular before, pinot noir gained attention / notoriety as the wine of choice for Miles, the
sensitive author-in-work from the movie "Sideways". According to Miles, pinot noir grapes
are delicate, thin-skinned creatures that require a unique environment to thrive (much like himself). It
is true that pinot noir grapes are more finicky than other red grapes, but they thrive in Burgundy, Oregon,
California and areas in New Zealand. Their color tends to be more translucent, and their flavors not as strong
as other reds. Perhaps because of the toned-down flavors, the subtleties of earth and fruit shine in this wine.
Necklaces like pinot noir are a bit unexpected and eclectic or subtle without being subdued.
Pinot grigio is an Italian equivalent of the popular French white pinot gris. The wine is known for its
light, crisp acidity with citrus, pear or floral notes. Pinot gris tends to have more of a peach
roundness or sweetness while the pinot grigio tends to have more of a crisp, acidic taste. The grapes are
relatively new to Oregon and California, and the wines can be refreshing and delightful. Necklaces
selected as pinot grigio like are lightweight and crisp.
Chardonnay is a round, buttery white this is rich on the tongue. Many are heavy on oak, but they don't
have to be. Like cabarnet sauvignon, the grape adapts well to a number of soils and climates. In its
native Burgundy, it shows more of a mineral flavor than the heavier fruit flavors of California
chardonnay. Chardonnay necklaces are classic and versatile like cabarnet sauvignon though lighter in color.
It used to be that champagne was known only at special occasions where it shines and glitters with
the joy of celebration. However, sparkling wines - of which champagne is one - are crisp and refreshing
throughout the year and pair beautifully with rich cheeses, providing a palette-cleansing counterpoint.
Champagne necklaces are sparkling and festive but also perhaps underappreciated for their ability to
play well with a variety of pieces.