Kitchen Raid : Bon Appetit’s Wine Editor, Marissa A. Ross
BY : JASON STEWART
1) Hunter S. Thompson – I jokingly refer to that shelf as my “college education shelf.” I dropped out of college after about a year, and even during that one year, I was mostly skipping class and smoking weed. But during those late teenage-early twenties years I was still studying very hard, but instead of poli-sci, it was Hunter S. Thompson. My whole life I’d wanted to be a writer, but I also wanted to be a comedy performer. He was the first writer I’d ever read that injected himself into his stories, and showed me that I could be a comedic performer in my writing without it being a script. I was, and am, totally obsessed with his scathing satirical yet humorous tone, his brutal honesty, his outrageous ego. He’s my absolute hero.
2) La Croix – Múre Pepino (Cucumber Blackberry), baby! Pairs best with light red, French wines– my favorite combination to write with.
3) Milking It – The regular milk is for espresso and cooking. My husband, Ben, is a saint in both of those departments– he makes me espresso every morning with steamed milk, and he makes insane cream sauces. But neither of us actually like drinking milk, so we have the almond milk for smoothies or Ben uses it for cereal. Honestly, I don’t ever touch it, I’m very busy with my intense La Croix and wine regiment.
4) The Reddi-Whip – Is not something normally in our fridge, I swear! [laughs] It was a total nostalgia buy. I had to run to the market to get something for dinner, and I’d had a couple glasses– as a wine writer usually has– and saw it and it reminded me of being a kid at my grandmother’s house where she’d let me eat it out of the can. It was a delicacy. My grandmother was one of the most important people in my life, so any time I can reminisce about my childhood with her, I am happy. Although, man, that shit is so sweet now! I can’t really eat it, but I’ve enjoyed just seeing it in there.
5) Custom Salt – Ben’s magic salt is truly magic. Like most things he does in the kitchen, I don’t really know anything about it. There’s a bay leaf in there, and other stuff? [laughs] It really is magic though. He can put it on anything and it’s delicious.
6) Gourmet K9 – My dog, Zissou, had a heart attack a few years back and his heart valve burst. They gave him a year to live, and I was absolutely devastated. They wanted us to put him on this special dog food, but shit was getting so expensive on top of all his medication, so instead, Ben started making the dog food. Miraculously, Zissou’s heart went through something called “reverse remodeling” where the heart valve reattached itself. It’s extremely rare and vets can’t explain how it happens, so they were just like, “Keep feeding him that food!” We mix it up– sometimes it’s lean turkey, other times its chicken, with lots of veggies.
7) Cannabitch- We’re a very 420 friendly household. Maybe too friendly. That space in our fridge is reserved for edibles. We usually use the Green Hornets though for hiking or camping.
8) Cookbook – My favorite is Massimo Bottura’s “Never Trust A Skinny Italian Chef,” entirely because it makes me laugh a little every time I see it.
9) Let it Mature! – I have to write notes on my wines for a couple different reasons. I write down when I purchase a bottle I’d like to age so I can keep track of how long I’ve been cellaring it. I make notes for wines that pair well with certain dishes and wines I need for specific projects or articles. I also make notes for wines that are rare or expensive that hostilely remind me not to drink it. Honestly, all the notes really just serve that purpose: to keep me from drinking the damn wine. Whatever the rationale on the front is, on the back there’s always something like, “Don’t open this, you fucking fiend!” or, “YOU’RE JUST DRUNK PUT IT BACK. NOW.” Because here’s the thing, when I’m entertaining, I love opening bottles. I love sharing as much wine as possible. The problem is eventually I start getting into the “good” stuff. By that point, I’m already a little drunk, and am like, “WHO CARES! WINE IS MEANT TO BE SHARED!” and then the next day I’m kicking myself for opening a wine that there were only three cases in the world of or some shit. The notes only work about half the time, but hey, at least I try to save me from myself.