Product Thursday

When it comes to wine, I have a few hard and fast rules.

1. I do not drink anything that wants to fight with me or my food.

2. I do not drink anything that tastes like crap.

3. I do not drink anything that makes my rosecea light up like a stop light.

The last one made me draw a line in the sand and tell the husband I am no longer drinking red wine no matter how much he loves it. I have yet to find a red – merlot or pinot noir – that I enjoy drinking. I will do so occasionally with steak that is near perfection or has bleu cheese as a topper. But I want my wine and food matching to be nearly seemless, an enjoyable combination that does not make me regret my choice. I do not want to spend each swallow grimacing through the after taste.

Picture by Luis Rock 62

That is when I made the switch to white wines but not dry white wines. Chablis and chardonnay are not to my liking. Riesling and Muscato can be too sweet although they tend to pair up with cheese and crackers quite well. That leaves me with Pinot Grigio.

Luckily, I love this one. It is the right blend of fruity and dryness. Each brand can vary – some are more watery than others. But when you try something you like, you want to get more.

A few weeks ago the husband and I went to a dinner honoring people who were being inducted to our state’s outdoors hall of fame. We personally know two of the inductees and were happy to be there. There was a silent auction and a live action. We had a wonderful dinner and great conversation at our table.

The big surprise for me was a table that was set up with wine from a state winery. Pheasant Hollow Winery is located in Southern Illinois outside of the town of Whittington. It resides on the eastern shore of Rend Lake which is quite beautiful on its own.

When I tasted the Gun Creek White, I knew I had found the white I wanted to drink. It had a mellow taste that made my cheese cubes taste that much better. I noted hints of pear but according to the description there is also tones of apricot and pineapple. I even took the time to get the house pinot grigio to compare. Pheasant Hollow’s was soooo much better.

I drank this with my meal and was happy with the way the meal blended with the wine. There was never a sense that the drink was competing with the meal that had cheese and Italian herbs throughout.

Now if you want to buy some of this, you are going to have to do it the old-fashioned way and call the winery. The number can be found at the website. Their on-line store is still in the construction stage. Or you can go there in person. There are going to be a variety of events at the winery including mystery nights and a cajun festival in May.

Perhaps Pinot Grigio is not your favorite wine. Share below a brand and varietal that makes the top of your list.

Every Thursday I will review a product. If you have a suggestion or have a product you would like me to review, please send an e-mail to