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Get to Know Your Local Wine Gal

By Carrie Becker in Food on Apr 9, 2010 4:20PM

Who to Know 2010_04_09_TracyKellner_winegal.jpg
Tracy Kellner
Owner, Provenance Food & Wine (Logan Square and Lincoln Square)

What's in your glass?
My husband Joe and I just got back from Germany and although we’ve long-loved Riesling, we have been drinking it more than usual…they really run the gamut in terms of flavor profiles. Contrary to popular belief, all Rieslings are NOT sweet. My faves are dry, highly acidic Rieslings, but there are some wonderful German Pinot Noir, too...not a lot of it and not always inexpensive, but great value when you compare it to Burgundy and maybe even Oregon.

Wine Rack Staple
I always joke with Joe that we own a wine shop and we never have wine at home (we work too much, I guess), but I try to keep a couple bottles of sparkling wine around if I can. It’s extremely versatile with food, it’s festive and celebratory, it makes a good last-minute gift, and I rarely meet a sparkling wine I don’t like!

In the spirit of BaconFest this weekend, What is your favorite pairing with your favorite pig dish?
Barbequed ribs or pulled pork with Zinfandel. Last summer, we ate BBQd ribs with a Graziano Zin that was awesome and a simple, yet unforgettable match.

Most Memorable/Enjoyable Wine and Food Experience
It’s a tie between a 12 course lunch at Daniel in NYC for my 30th birthday and a 24+ course meal at Alinea two years ago. Both times I was treated by a friend and I feel lucky to have experienced their wonderful food and incredible service because not many people get to eat like that. Though I love to cook, I don’t know if I have the time or patience to do that at home! There are also many, many others, including meals cooked with friends with lots of wine and inside jokes. Oh, and the time I went with four friends to Schwa and we brought about three bottles of wine per person and handed them over to Michael Carlson and said “here, you do the pairings”…that guy has an incredible palate! We were dumbfounded by the matches.

Favorite Chicago BYOB and What are you bringing
Hmmm…another tough one…Chicago is the City of BYOs, and we eat at a lot of them (‘market research’)…It’s too hard to choose just one (seriously, get the BYOB Chicago Book and work your way through it!), but I can tell you that Riesling and Bubbles are usually going to work 90% percent of the time, every time!