As much as I try to stick with the BYOB lifestyle, there are times when outside forces (family visits, a craving for mussels at Le Bouchon, laziness) wield their unruly hand and I end up clutching a wine list, internally wrestling with taking the cheap versus not cheap route. It's a dangerous combination. Expensive bottles of good wine generally lead to an inflated bill and a drunk Zinny, at which time I find it perfectly logical to tip 40 percent for the "out of this world" (read: totally normal) service we got. But sometimes, the best of times, there's a perfectly adequate bottle at the coveted $20 price.
Such was the case on Sunday. Easter dinner options are slim. After all, most people I know were too tanked from their champagne brunch to care about, much less trek across the city for, a leg of lamb after 4 p.m. But Steamer's family was in town, and cooking, never mind cleaning the apartment, seemed like an unnecessary hassle.
After getting a slew of answering machines, Steamer had the brilliant idea of Greektown. One phonecall later, we were en route to Pegasus. I had been once before for a Diet Coke-filled business lunch, and was anticipating another round of Greek wine.
The entire ride there Steamer excitedly told me about how much Roditis we'd drink. He insisted that it was sublime cherry wine. Not so, but there were glimpses of sublimity, mainly when it came to price. Because in actuality, it's your basic blush, something I generally (and erroneously) avoid like the plague. The pink-skinned Roditis, a derivation of rodon (rose), is predominantly cultivated in the northwestern Peloponnese region. Roditis' quality increases with the altitude of the region it is grown at. I'm guessing our $14 bottle of Kourtakis Roditis Apelia isn't part of the mile-high club.
But our waiter filled our glasses with pink liquid (a color I hadn't seen since my days as a Cherry 7up drinker) lickety-split, and oh, did it do the trick. It's nothing to rave on and on about, but for an inexpensive, slightly fruity wine, you can't do much better restaurant-wise. Paired with my order of dolmathes (seasoned ground beef and lamb, mixed with rice and tightly wrapped in grape vines leaves, topped with a lemon-egg sauce), dinner was a rousing success. Forget the Easter bunny and pink jellybeans...pink grapes are my latest sugary find.
Zinny Fandel's tales of living the (mostly) BYOB life are intended to be attempted at home and in the community, preferably at BYOB restaurants.