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#1 Sneakeater

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 02:42 AM

I read all these threads about these fabulous dinners people have at home, with photogenic, obviously labor-intensive food, and legendary bottles.

I can't speak for anybody else on this board, but my (few) meals at home tend not to be like that. (Well, Suzanne's posts in a recent thread suggested she's closer to me than to the fabulists.) (I don't mean that pejoratively, BTW: I'd love to cook like those guys.)

So I thought I'd start a wine-and-food-at-home thread for people more like me.

Last Sunday, after a very late night at the office, I went to Fuleen Seafood Restaurant, an excellent NYC Chinatown place that stays open long into the morning.

Eating alone at a Chinese restaurant is tough. You end up with enough leftovers to feed the Red Army on the Long March.

So Monday night, getting out very late from work but having to appear in court early the next morning, I dumped about half my Fuleen leftovers -- scallops in black pepper sauce, and fried sea bass wrapped in seaweed -- onto a plate. For an accompaniment, I opened a bottle of 2004 or 2005 Puffeney melon-queue-rouge: a weird Jura white grape that tastes something like chardonnay, but a bit oxidized and acidic as hell.

If I say so myself, this was an inspired pairing. The very slight nuttiness in the wine -- which itself played off against the wine's very high acid level, so that it was simultaneously brisk and mellow -- played off perfectly against the peppery solidity of the scallops.

Tonight, my trial over for the nonce, too tired to go out, I finished the Fuleen leftovers at home. This time I reheated them. As a bed for the scallops, I made some Pennsylvania Dutch thin noodles (I used to date a girl from Reading, and every time she'd go home she'd bring me back huge quantities of noodles and relishes, which are long outlasting our relationship) fried in peanut oil, spring garlic, soy sauce, a little sugar, and sesame oil.

Since the Jura wine was such a success, I paired this with a 2008 Berlioz Chignin from Savoie. This wine is made from roussanne, but it doesn't taste like a Rhone. If anything, it smacks more of riesling -- although no one would say it really tastes like one. What I'd say is that it has the grassy citrus bang of a good sauvignon blanc -- but with a meatier, minerally, more chardonnay-like finish.

What it is, is unique. And EXTREMELY delicious.

Probably it wasn't as good a match for the food as the Jura melon, but it was so outstandingly good that it doesn't matter. I'm sorry I only have three (now two) bottles of this, cuz I think it's going to be my wine of the summer.
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#2 yvonne johnson

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 02:44 AM

We always wondered what you ate and drank when you didn't eat out.
It was not a new dish, as I recognised my tooth marks. Wilfrid

#3 Sneakeater

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 02:55 AM

Let's just say that in my apartment, you can eat off the floor.

Literally.

In fact, you have to. That's all there is to find there.
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#4 yvonne johnson

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 02:57 AM

No glasses? (The drinking kind).
It was not a new dish, as I recognised my tooth marks. Wilfrid

#5 Sneakeater

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 02:59 AM

Oh, I have glasses.

I have so many glasses that my cleaning lady recently reorganized my cupboards to make the glasses easy to sort and readily accessible, and the plates and bowls almost out of reach.

She sees what's going on here now that I'm living alone.
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#6 Sneakeater

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 03:00 AM

What upsets me (a little) is how a bottle of wine rarely outlasts a solo home dinner.
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#7 yvonne johnson

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 03:02 AM

QUOTE(Sneakeater @ Jul 31 2009, 10:59 PM) View Post
She sees what's going on here now that I'm living alone.

???
Lots of glasses in the sink.
It was not a new dish, as I recognised my tooth marks. Wilfrid

#8 yvonne johnson

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 03:04 AM

QUOTE(Sneakeater @ Jul 31 2009, 11:00 PM) View Post
What upsets me (a little) is how a bottle of wine rarely outlasts a solo home dinner.

Now, now, pull yourself together.
It was not a new dish, as I recognised my tooth marks. Wilfrid

#9 Sneakeater

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 03:06 AM

QUOTE(yvonne johnson @ Aug 1 2009, 03:02 AM) View Post
QUOTE(Sneakeater @ Jul 31 2009, 10:59 PM) View Post
She sees what's going on here now that I'm living alone.

???
Lots of glasses in the sink.


More like fanatical maintenance and expansion of the glasses collection, and little visible use of the plates and bowls.
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#10 Sneakeater

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 03:08 AM

Also, tons and tons of wine and spirits coming in -- but very little food in the refrigerator.
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#11 Sneakeater

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 03:36 AM

Now I'm finishing that Perrin Cotes du Rhone left over from last week.

Say what you will about processing and shit, it certainly doesn't deteriorate much.

ETA -- 2007 Rhone (especially southern Rhone): a miracle.
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#12 Suzanne F

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 06:46 PM

I guess it's just you and me, sneak, at least as far as being willing to admit to less-than-exalted taste. laugh.gif

Even when we drank a lot more wine, we drank stuff that is probably beneath the connoisseurs. Lots of New York State wines when Vintage New York was open in Soho. It's not that we didn't know what the best was; we just couldn't afford it. Now, even less. Combine that with Paul's not wanting to drink because it interferes with his sleep patterns, and that leaves us with the search for decent stuff that keeps. I'm sure I've read that most wine consumption worldwide is of relatively young, relatively inexpensive wines. So I feel very cosmopolitan when I open the tap to one of my boxes. laugh.gif Believe me, if it were horrible, we wouldn't be drinking it.

So our current cellar is: that same Perrin; the Würtz riesling I've mentioned elsewhere, an Argentine malbec in a 1-liter Tetrapak, and a 1-liter gruner veltliner from Eckert. You know what? I'm satisfied. smile.gif

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#13 Sneakeater

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 08:01 PM

My current cellar is ridiculous, actually, in terms of bottles that are or will be exalted some day.

I just don't drink that stuff casually.

Probably I should.

ETA -- I know this is the kind of self-pitying whining people hate from me, but when my wife was alive I had no compunction about pulling out a bottle of (ill-stored) old Bordeaux to go with an everyday workweek dinner. But now that I'm alone here, it just seems self-indulgent.
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#14 Wilfrid1

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 08:56 PM

Because I like lists and plans, I have actually set a sort of schedule for drinking those kinds of bottles. Not that I have a huge number, but I don't want the older ones to die on me, nor do I want to just assume that I'll be around and drinking with equal pleasure when I'm seventy.

I admit, I do plan to prepare appropriate meals to accompany them.

I find a bottle of wine usually does outlast a solo dinner - but not by enough. In other words, there's not nearly enough left to accompany another solo dinner.
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#15 Rail Paul

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 09:02 PM

QUOTE(Wilfrid @ Aug 1 2009, 04:56 PM) View Post
Because I like lists and plans, I have actually set a sort of schedule for drinking those kinds of bottles. Not that I have a huge number, but I don't want the older ones to die on me, nor do I want to just assume that I'll be around and drinking with equal pleasure when I'm seventy.



That sounds like fun. Deciding you'd like to drink these bottles in the next three months or three weeks, etc, and planning a meal around the event.

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