A perhaps overly optimistic friend put it this way: The University of Louisville Cardinals are going to “eat” Arizona in Friday’s NCAA Tournament.
“What kind of wine goes with Wildcat?” my friend asked.
It’s a good question. Joy of Cooking has recipes for buffalo, ostrich, wild boar and — if your edition is old enough — squirrel. But no recipe for cat, wild or otherwise. There is one website, CatRecipes.com, but I think it’s a joke. (The beer can cat recipe, which begins: “Drink half the can of beer and then place beer can into rear of cat…”)
It’s safe to assume that the Arizona Wildcats, like most wild game, are going to be lean and tough. In general, meat like that needs to be cooked slowly with a lot of added fat and moisture. “Barded and basted” is how Joy of Cooking puts it. That, to me, sounds a lot like slow, smokey barbecue.
Since barbecue sauce normally has a fair amount of spice, it seems the Arizona Wildcats might just be the kind of dish that cries out for a low-acid, off-dry white. I, personally, love an Alsatian pinot gris with barbecue. Alsace is the region on the west bank of the Rhine River that has, through history, gone back and forth between France and Germany. It’s part of France now, but its wines remain more reflective of German tradition than French.
Hugel Tradition ($20) is terrific, as is Trimbach’s offering ($27), but any Alsatian pinot gris will do. They’ve all got the same soft fruitiness, which tastes to me of pear. Almost every store carries at least one, and entry-level is about $12.