Thursday, August 6, 2009

Heading South to Jim 'N Nicks

So my blog has been a little Uptown-centric, I realized. I lived uptown for 3½ years – two in the adult dorm known as The Arbors, and then 1½ years in a condo my husband and I bought when we were engaged. Now that we live about 15 minutes south of the city, I just get that much more excited when we come back up and visit the old ‘hood. Some (well, virtually all) of my best food and wine experiences in Charlotte have been Uptown. There’s a lot I miss about being within walking distance of my favorite places. However, my new ‘hood – Ayrsley Town Center – is absolutely fantastic as well. It’s sort of a mixed use community, where we can still walk to bars, restaurants, and even the movies. And, as I wander around my spacious townhouse, I never miss the cramped one-bedroom/one-bath flat we lived in before.

Anyways, back to the new ‘hood – I looooove Jim ‘N Nicks. It’s a barbeque place, along the same lines as Mac’s. It has less personality, but better food, and a really great little wine list. It’s just a couple miles down South Tryon from us, and I’m becoming obsessed. And, my amazing hubby got a promotion, so we went out to dinner with his family to celebrate! With pork!

Their wine list was “painstakingly narrowed” to seven wines. The bartender helpfully suggested the Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel, informing me that this wine came in at number 10 on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list last year. It's true!

The wine list states that it has “tantalizing black raspberry flavors with a nice balance of spice and jam” – a statement I wholeheartedly agree with. Well, I would have said blueberry rather than black raspberry, but potato po-tah-to. It was DELICIOUS, and exceeded my expectations of wine quality at a BBQ joint. Extremely satisfying.

I attempted to pair it with my pulled pork, but silly me, I made an amateur mistake by dumping vats of extra-spicy BBQ sauce on it. It was so effing spicy. My tongue and lips were literally numb. The sauce is really good, but should be handled carefully. The thought of pouring a zinfandel on this fire was terrifying, but I forged ahead. Spice on spice, eek. So word to the wise: apply the sauce sparingly, and perhaps even mix with the regular sauce. THEN pair with this excellent Zin and see what happens.

The brief but apparently thoughtful wine list is here.

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