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#151 Sneakeater

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 04:19 AM

2007 Bodegas & Vinedos Ponce "La Casilla" Vina Estrecha Manchuela

I'm not really sure where the leftover tsimmes I found in my freezer came from. I suspect it was my friend Jane. Wherever, it was very good.

With a tsimmes, you want a fruity red. Period. Hence the above.

I often go on, in this thread, about relatively inexpensive wines I expected to be simple but that turned out to be more complex. This will not be one of those posts. Sometimes you want a fruit bomb. This was one of those times. And I'm happy to say I got one.

Still, pretty tasteful for a fruit bomb. Maybe more like a fruit bomblet. The fruit is more than there, certainly, but you don't feel your mouth getting coated by unpleasant glycerine. It's not jammy. It's actually rather drinkable. Sure, there's mainly one dimension. But it's a nice dimension.

This is their old-vine bottling. There are some faint undertones of minerals. And a decent amount of acid. I'm going to let another bottle age for a while. I wonder what will happen.

ETA: It's made entirely of Bobal, for you obscure grape fans (like me)(that's what led me to buy some). This was a nice wine. But you can see why Bobal has not taken over the world.
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#152 Steven Dilley

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 10:53 PM

Brignot - Sun of a Beach. 10%, apparently made from Pinot Noir grown in St Romain, which I guess makes this a Burgundy. I've been under the weather and most savory things taste bitter at the moment, but this was still recognizable as hipster Pinot. If you like this type of thing, you'll probably like it.
Say what you will about the ten commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them.

--H.L.Mencken


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#153 helena

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 02:32 AM

babich sauvignon blanc - got it for cooking but it seems like a nice wine for today's weather...
"farangs are full of surprises. It's the erudition that impresses her, not the quality of the evidence." Bangkok 8

#154 Sneakeater

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 04:00 AM

Orik's diss of Poivre et Sel induced me to pull out a bottle of

Puzelat "Le Rouge Est Mis" 2009

when I felt like a drink when I got home today.

Another off-beat Loire, this one all Pinot Meunier.

Generally, I don't like red wine without food. But this is a red I don't think I'd want with food. It takes that "candied" thing to an extreme: one of its flavor components is almost sweet. But unlike, say, an overbaked California Pinot Noir, it isn't heavy and sweet. No, just the opposite: it's light. So light you'd expect a lot of acid, but one of the things that makes it so quaffable -- and so seemingly unfriendly to food -- is that there isn't much acid. Just this odd but appealing combination of sugar, pepper, and tea/tobacco. (Sivan probably won't like it.)

A little expensive for what it is -- I paid in the mid-$20s for it upon release, I think -- but delectable (and not really like anything else).

I'm glad I'm drinking this now. It's probably toward the end of its window: you can see it's not going to get any better, and will probably soon start to lose its cherry/rhubarb fruit and fade. (Better get to those other bottles I have laying around. Anyone want to come over?) (Other than Sivan.) Which reminds me of a wine I drank last week that seemed to me to be at its absolute peak:

2005 Tissot "Singulier" Trousseau

This was perfect with some reheated leftover pork loin. And I'm not just blowing smoke about its being at its peak. Tissot's "Singulier" is always on the heavier side of Trousseau, and this nearly seven-year-old bottle just had a depth that Trousseau usually lacks. Not a real deep depth, but a depth nonetheless. I just loved this bottle. It's nice when you hit a wine at a point where it seems as good as it could be.
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#155 Sneakeater

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 04:11 AM

Drinking deeper into that bottle of "Le Rouge Est Mis", you can actually taste the contribution Pinot Meunier makes to Champagne. In other words, this wine actually tastes like a flavor component of Champagne (especially the ones I like the best, with a high red-wine component) (my favorites are actually Blancs de Noirs) (which is why I go so crazy over North End Grill's by-the-glass Clouet in Manhattan [perfect with their Scrambled Eggs With Lobster if you're ever there]) (we won't even talk about the Krug tasting dinner I went to at Corton last year or the year before -- Pinot Meunier heaven).

This is interesting.
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#156 Sneakeater

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 04:29 AM

So maybe this would go with foods. Very light ones. Savory omelets, say: the kind of stuff it's usually impossible to think of a wine to pair with.

Unfortunately, here, it seems like this bottle (despite my plans) is not going to survive the night.

But I still have a few left.
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#157 helena

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 02:20 PM

Rio Madre Rioja - such an excellent wine - getting it by the case at Wegmans...
"farangs are full of surprises. It's the erudition that impresses her, not the quality of the evidence." Bangkok 8

#158 Sneakeater

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 05:11 AM

Nobody's going to get excited about a 2006 Felsina Berardenga Chianti Classico, but with pasta with a sauce made of olive oil, various allia, peas, frozen tomatoes from last summer, and lots of different about-to-go-bad salume, it's pretty hard not to enjoy.
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#159 Sneakeater

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 01:58 AM

Catherine & Pierre Breton Bourgueil Franc de Pied 2007

This is not going to be one of those "more complex than I expected from such an inexpensive wine" blurbs. This wine is not complex at all. It's just incredibly delicious.

So fruit -- but not too much. A little bit of pepper -- not too much. And there we go. Just pure winey pleasure. Drink and drink some more.

I went to a seder last night at the house of some friends who are basically indifferent to wine. They drink it with dinner -- but only because of the health benefits they've read about.

Knowing they were serving roast chicken, I brought over a bottle of Au Bon Climat's base-level 2007 Pinot Noir bottling. This is a very delicious, if not particularly deep, wine. On the table when I got there were several magnums of Yellow Tail Pinot Noir. I didn't want to seem like a snob -- and I've got plenty more of the ABC at home -- so I started drinking the Yellow Tail. I don't think anybody could really like this wine. It just tastes bad. I think that people who drink it don't know that wine can actually taste good. I think they think that wine is some acquired taste and that they just don't get it, which is why they don't like this wine they're serving.

In truth, wine is something of an acquired taste. But it isn't that acquired. When I finally got a glass of the ABC, I couldn't believe how much more pleasant it was, on the most basic level, than the Yellow Tail.

I'm saying all this because I'm sitting here now, drinking this Breton Bourgueil, and just simply enjoying it so much. It isn't "hedonistic" in the way that term has come to be used in wine writing: it isn't overwhelming in any way. It's just easy to drink and easy to like -- no, I have to say "love" -- while you're drinking it. Just on the basis of pure pleasure.

Another bottle that will not outlast the night.
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#160 Sneakeater

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 05:55 AM

With Left-Over Defrosted Frozen Tsimmes from My Friend Jane in 2011 or 2010

Found in the back of my freezer.

The best wine pairing I've ever done in my life was with a Tsimmes made and served by Jane many years ago. (Tsimmes is an Ashkenazi Jewish beef stew/pot roast made with sweet vegetables.) I brought a Frick California Cinsault. That wine usually seems too sweet and too heavy. But with this old sweet Ashkenazi Jewish dish, the Frick Cinsault went like a better version of Manishewitz. OK, that's unfair. But the sweetness and viscosity of the wine was a good complement to the sweetness of the stew. Everybody at the table saw it.

So when I found the remnants of a (much later) batch of Jane's Tsimmes in the back of my freezer, my wine-pairing antennae started quivering.

First night:

2008 Pouzelat "Le Rouge Est Mis"

I wrote above that this Loire Pinot Meunier is so candied and non-acidic that I doubted it would go with food.

But in the back of my mind when I wrote that was that it would be interesting to try with some Tsimmes. Little did I realize that I had some in my freezer. So when I found the Tsimmes, the Puzelat was an obvious choice to drink.

Not as good as the Frick Cinsault. Probably because it's much lighter -- too light for a heavyish beef dish. But not a disaster, either. My friends probably wouldn't go crazy about this pairing, as they did over the Cinsault pairing many years ago. (I swear, I think the perfection of that pairing helped convince some of my wine-neutral friends that this pairing stuff isn't total bullshit.) But I think they'd still see how this Puzelat complemented the food, even if not perfectly.

I poured a good bit of the bottle into the portion of the Tsmisses that was left, to make it more interesting (and moist) upon further reheating.

Which was accompanied with:

2002 Coturri Lost Creek Pinot Noir

I have no idea how this California North Coast Pinot Noir got into my cellar. I don't remember buying it. I don't remember who recommended it to me. It has developed a bad rep. But since part of that bad rep is for its being too sweet, I thought it might be good with the Tsimmes. It was.

Although the labeling and the packaging makes this look like a normal wine, I think its appeal is mostly to people who like the Scolium "Weird As Shit" approach. Because that's what this native-yeast wine is. It isn't "pleasant" in any normal sense. It's "interesting." Like: what if you had a fairly sweet high-alcohol wine that nevertheless somehow didn't feel/taste viscous and heavy, but rather gave the impression of lightness (so that, among other things, it lasts and lasts without coating your mouth)? (The weirdness, though, comes from that Scolium/early WD-50 slightly oxidized/"chemical" taste that accompanies the sweetness here.) I don't really know how they do it. I doubt THEY know how they did it. I think this wine developed this way by accident. And you probably need to be a fan of Weird Wine to appreciate it (certainly, the balance of fruit, acid, and other flavor components -- particularly that slightly oxidized/"chemical" weirdness -- is, shall we say, fragile).

But if you are a fan of Weird Wine, and if you have a Tsimmes to eat, you could do worse. I'd never serve this to friends. But I was happy to polish off a bottle tonight, thinking about the difference between its apparent lightness and the true lightness of the Puzalet. Do even I know what I'm talking about?

I won't be looking for more, in any event.
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#161 Wilfrid

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 04:56 PM

Cava goes with soft shell crab tacos. Just Freixenet.

#162 Sneakeater

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 04:31 AM

2006 Freres Couillaud Petit Manseng

I'm pretty proud of myself. I actually made a fairly successful cream sauce.

What happened was, I had this mess of leftover Thanksgiving turkey, given to me last year by the indulgent friend who had me over for that holiday. I also had a bunch of "pot pie squares", a broad square noodle brought back from Pennslyvania Dutch country by a girlfriend who always brings me back noodles and pickled stuff when she goes to visit her family there. So I decided to make a sort of deconstructed turkey pot pie, flavored with mushrooms and spring onions from the Greenmarket (and some ancient frozen peas from my freezer, both for whatever flavor, texture, and nutritional value they might add, and to empty out my freezer).

It really kinda worked, except I put in a little too much flour as thickener. OK, next time.

For the wine in the cream sauce, I figured I'd use the white in my "cellar" most crying out for drinking. A 2006 Petit Manseng from Freres Couillaud. Petit Manseng is, of course, the white grape of the Jurancon. Freres Couillaud, however, are located in the Loire Valley. They somehow got the idea that it would be a good idea for them to try to grow this grape up there. And someone else apparently got the idea that it would be a good idea for me to try some. (Yes, this is another wine that I have no idea how it got into my cellar.) I figured that a nice round off-dry white would be good in my cream sauce. I was right.

But this was an interesting case of a wine's being good in the dish, but not perfect to drink with it. This 2006 probably should have been drunk by 2009. The years since then have made it even more off-dry than it was initially (and added a slight petillance). Whatever acid was ever there, OTOH, is leaving the building. This was all fine -- more than fine, delicious -- in the sauce. (And, it was pretty nice finishing the bottle after dinner.) But I'd want something sharper to drink with the dish. I'll see if I have any low-level white Burgundy to drink with the leftovers.

I'm still in awe that I made a credible cream sauce.
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#163 Adrian

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:52 PM

2006 Freres Couillaud Petit Manseng

I'm pretty proud of myself. I actually made a fairly successful cream sauce.

What happened was, I had this mess of leftover Thanksgiving turkey, given to me last year by the indulgent friend who had me over for that holiday.


I'm in awe that this hasn't killed you yet (or you figured out that you had to freeze the stuff).

I think you need to interpret what I'm saying in a reasonable way.


#164 Sneakeater

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 02:03 PM

Ummmmm, I figured out that I had to freeze the stuff.

It wasn't moving or anything.
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#165 Sneakeater

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 03:50 AM

2005 Andre Bonhomme Vire Clesse

This deconstructed turkey pot pie doesn't reheat so well. The cream sauce separates. Cooking is hard.

It's too bad, cuz the wine I picked for it tonight is the cat's pajamas. A low-level Maconnaise from a good year.

I probably should have drunk it a year ago. When I poured it, it had that tell-tale golden color. But I'll tell you what. While some people live in fear of prem-ox,* I kind of revel in it. I like oxydated wines (within reason). To me it's another flavor element.

This was just kind of delicious. A bit of fruit (pineapple, maybe -- definitely not apple or lemon)(well, as I drink it: maybe a little lemon), then some of the cut we like in white Burgundies (unlike last night's wine, this one has not yet eaten up its acid), and then -- hints of sherry. Nothing big or obvious: just a tiny hint of an aftertaste. I think the British are correct: too-old wines are just right.

In fact, this reminds me: sherry would be great with this dish (or would be if the cream sauce didn't separate). I'm going to drink some sherry with the further remnants tomorrow.

See you then.
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* Don't be ashamed, wine. It happens to everybody, sometimes.
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