A Shovel-full of Your Finest, Please

According to this story, Earth-eating Girl Tilts At Guinness Record, an Inner Mongolian woman has her stomach set on eating dirt for two months:

The girl, called Wuqibalaqiqige, became a minor celebrity after the media broadcast stories about her curious eating habits last year… The girl said she feels no need to eat normal food now that she has discovered how much she likes to eat soil.

I suppose her diet is low-fat and high-protein (think worms), but what wines would go with it? I asked Campbell Thompson of ASC Fine Wines (when it comes to dining, he prefers not to soil himself, so to speak, but he did respond to my suggestion of an earth / Riesling pairing):

You could play with the idea of ‘terroir’ – the idea that well-made wines are an expression of the place they are from, which includes the idea that the mineral elements of the soil are expressed in the wine.

Good Rieslings are often ‘full of terroir’ – because they are made without oak or malolactic fermentation they are a fairly pure expression of the grapes, and the grapes in turn are a fairly pure expression of the soil and microclimate they come from. Sancerre (wine from the Loire Valley in France, made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes) is also often described as having a pronounced ‘mineral’ taste.

Personally, I’d suggest a good Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel from California – it is rich and silky (so would help to get the dirt down your throat), and also clocks in at around 14.5% alcohol, which would also help to alleviate the negatives of a dirt-rich diet.

Malolactic fermentation? Maybe dirt doesn’t sound so bad after all. In any case, note that sauce can play a key factor in any pairing. If you enjoy sprinkling Tabasco on your earth, that Riesling might be a better pick than Zinfandel. And if you’re the type with a fancy for earth and black truffles, consider a Burgundy.

(Note: I spotted the story about Wuqibalaqiqige on chriswaugh_bj.)

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