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The Rest of Us


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#166 Sneakeater

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 04:28 AM

I also just want to say that I had a bottle of 2009 Beaujolais -- a Morgon, in fact -- at some restaurant or other last week. In this New Age of Aging Beaujolais And Muscadets, I'm cellaring most of mine. But having drunk this wine last week, I can now say that the hype is real: 2009 Beaujolais, with some age on them, are beyond delicious. "Grapey" in the best way possible. You just can't stop drinking it. It delivers layer after layer of fruit -- not in the gross Robert Parker "mouthfilling" way, but in a nice way that's somehow laid back and in-your-face at the same time.

I've hidden most of my 2009 Beaujolais out in Ridgewood. But I think they're going to start disappearing soon.
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#167 Sneakeater

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 03:45 AM

Well, I forgot to put the sherry in the refrigerator before I left for work this morning. But who needs sherry when you've got:

2008 Red Hook Winery The Electric

This is where we separate the sheep from the goats. The men from the boys. The seekers of novelty from those who have taste. (Kidding, as you'll see.)

Even those who enjoy this wine often say they can't imagine what food you would pair it with. The answer, though, is as plain as the nose on your face: reheated separated disconstructed turkey pot pie in cream sauce.

Upon release, many found this Abe Schoener effort fairly horrifying. It's mostly Chardonnay, with a little botrytisized Reisling that Schoener found growing in the same field (and mistakenly thought, at first, was more Chardonnay). It was made to be oxydized.

The rap against this wine upon release was that it was at most "interesting" but just didn't taste good. And, in truth, it was pretty rough. Schoener exposed the wine to plenty of oxygen during vinification, and this wine was in full oxydized mode (which either you like or you don't). But the real problems, when the wine was new -- I first had it as a barrel sample, and you can imagine what that was like -- was that the two grapes hadn't integrated at all, so it was almost like you were drinking two wines seriatim: a very oxydized Chardonnay, followed by a too-young sweet Reisling. Also unintegrated was a fairly punishing acid streak. I was fascinated at the outset, because it was interesting to taste all these different flavors, if not at once, in a row during the same sip. But it wasn't necessarily that pleasant.

I had an idea, though, that it might all come together with age. Indeed, I sent most of my bottles of The Electric to Deep Storage in Queens. But I kept a few at home for the mid-term. And things are changing already.

First, the flavors are integrated. Second, the acid is under control. And third, they all actually taste kind of good together. This is still more "interesting" than, say, "sensuous", but it isn't a chore to drink at all. No, it's "interesting" good. And, at this point, it's really a food wine (at least with the rather peculiar food I paired it with). You know, the standard pairing bullshit: the wine made the food taste better, and the food made the wine taste better.

Former doubters should see if they can scarf up a bottle. I think they'll be surprised.
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#168 Sneakeater

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 04:27 AM

Another bottle that I planned on saving half for dinner tomorrow but somehow ended up finishing.

On further drinking: don't get me wrong. This is still a fairly strange wine. But, with age, it's getting much less off-putting. Hell, I found it compelling. It's not orange, but you're not going to like it if you don't like that style. It is, however, a very nice variation on that style.

I wish nux and mr. nux were here to share it with me. I know they'd enjoy it.
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#169 Sneakeater

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 04:52 AM

I guess some would question whether a $42 (give or take a couple of dollars) bottle of wine really belongs in "The Rest of Us".

In this case, it's the food, not the wine, that I think merits inclusion. In those other threads, the food always seems so good. Not like separated reheated leftover deconstructed turkey pot pie.
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#170 Sneakeater

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 04:56 AM

Finishing the last of The Electric, I'm thinking that what it reminds me of, indirectly, is a Savoie wine.

So that's what I'll try with the last of the separated reheated deconstructed turkey pot pie tomorrow.
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#171 SLBunge

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 02:29 PM

You really get a lot of mileage out of your meals when you do cook.
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#172 nuxvomica

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 02:50 PM

aaah, the electric. i've only tried it with some age on it so it's very interesting to read about your reaction to the barrel sample. i wish i could try that, i find wine evolution fascinating (and flaws too, not that this one is flawed). always up for wine like this! (and sherry, and sherry-like*, and Jura**)


*recently tried as wine that's not a sherry but you could be fooled - Mendall "5 Anys i 1 Dia" from Laureano Serres - worth checking out if you like sherry

**was at a small private tasting of Jura wines recently and most people there loved the reds but not so much the whites :o
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#173 Daisy

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 05:40 PM

**was at a small private tasting of Jura wines recently and most people there loved the reds but not so much the whites :o

:o :o

They are philistines, and you and I are not.

I am >raising hand< one of those who hated the Electric on tasting it young. And I am in general a fan of the oxidized style. But I am willing to admit the Electric may have evolved.

I think oxidized wines profit greatly from being paired with food, that it is how they show best. For example, orange wine and Frannys clam pizza a la moi-meme: a marriage made in heaven.
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#174 Sneakeater

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 03:54 AM

Tell you what. Instead of Savoie, how about a region that used to be politically tied to Savoie?

2009 Giovanni Almondo Bricco della Ciliegie Roero Arneis

I don't love the white wines of the Piedmont. This is a surprise, because I love love love the reds. Not just the Nebbiolos, but the Barberas, the Palavergas, the Dolcettos, and the blends with Croatina, Vespolina, and Uvo Rara. I just love these wines. They're all among my very favorites.

But the whites. The Gavis and Arneises have great reputations, but I've never really cottoned to them. They're like everything I don't like about Chardonnay, and nothing that I do like.

On paper, this Arneis was a perfect pairing for a dish (reheated leftover separated deconstructed turkey pot pie) that at this point is reduced to little more than (a lot of) butter with mushrooms and bland white flesh. And I can't say it didn't "go with" the food. But I just don't like this wine that much. If I had to say why, I'd say that the "acidity" isn't "vibrant" enough, so that the wine tastes too "heavy". No, not "heavy". "Dull." That's it.

Maybe someday I'll get Arneis. But not tonight.
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#175 Sneakeater

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 03:56 AM

SLBunge will be relieved to know that I finished the reheated separated deconstructed turkey pot pie tonight.
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#176 Sneakeater

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 03:59 AM

Those of us who prefer to buy bottles or half-bottles (as opposed to course-by-course pairings) to go along with tasting menus say that we enjoy seeing how a wine develops over the course of a night, and how it goes with various different dishes.

But it's maybe even more fun to have a dish over successive nights, each time accompanied by a different wine. I really learned a lot this week. Even if my dining room table is depressingly bereft of company.
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#177 SLBunge

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 12:27 PM

SLBunge will be relieved to know that I finished the reheated separated deconstructed turkey pot pie tonight.

I'm so proud of you.
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#178 Sneakeater

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 12:52 PM

Thanks.
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#179 Sneakeater

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 03:56 AM

With various Palm (NYC) leftovers:*

2007 Triennes St. Auguste

There's this sort of sub-genre of wine that's almost always disappointing. It's wine made in the South of France by scions of famous winemaking families, or otherwise notable winemakers, from elsewhere that are then energetically hyped by U.S. wine merchants but are nothing really special. Joethefoodie, Rich, and Spaetzle can comment on the 2007 Domaine Magellan that I brought to a dinner we all had over the Memorial Day weekend, but -- perfectly decent as it was -- I think it could be a poster boy for this category.

So when my half-case of this 2007 Triennes St. Auguste was recently delivered to my apartment, I was pretty depressed. How did I let Crush Wines talk me into buying this? I regretted it already.

This one works, though.

And it's interesting to see why. Most of these highly-touted famous-winemaker-from-afar Southern French wines aim for grandness. Usually, they're Rhone Blends -- and they're not even trying to be Cotes du Rhone, they're trying to be Baby Chateauneufs.

This wine is a little different.

It's not a Rhone blend. It's a Bordeaux blend -- Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot -- with a big bunch of Syrah thrown in. That actually makes it seem like it would be worse: Greatness Manque personified. But no. I don't know how they did it, but it isn't like that at all. Sure, I gave this my highest-aerating decanting, but this is no attempted Grande Vin. This is juicy, grapey, and made to be drunk young. When you drink it, you don't obsess about whether it might benefit from another 3.25 years in the cellar. You just think: this is GOOD. NOW.

Not a Big Deal Wine. But a delicious, gulpable wine. Yet with enough backbone to stand up to aged steak. But fruity enough to drink in an apartment with marginal air-conditioning on a day when the temperatures touched the high 80s and the humidity was high.

If I'm invited to any cookouts this summer, this is what I'm bringing. I'm looking forward to going through my stash.
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* 1. Thanks to the Johnsons who, in recognition of my essential patheticness, allowed me to take all the leftovers from our dinner at Palm home.

2. The steak and the creamed spinach were fine reheated (although the steak disclosed an oversalting -- characteristic of the Italian-American New York steakhouses -- that I didn't notice when we ate it fresh). But if there's anyone in the universe who would have thought that reheating would benefit the fried onions and fresh potato chips -- which, when they're well-made fresh, I'm on record as calling one of the great side-dishes of the world (and I mean it) -- they're just wrong. Yech.
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#180 Sneakeater

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 04:46 AM

With leftover steak, potatoes, and carrots of uncertain provenance -- and what I thought was a meat pie, but turned out to be a mince pie:

2005 Mas Que Vinos Ercavio Tempranillo Roble

My approach to wine storage is that I let bottles sit around forever. I concur with my British colleagues that a too-old wine is just old enough. Usually. But here's the downfall of my approach: I'm pretty sure this cheap La Manchan, highly touted in some quarters upon release, would have been better drunk two years ago.

It's sort of tart. Puckery, even. So maybe the problem lies in a possible storage transfer that might have conceivably have improvidently been done on a hot day in the past. (I'm just speculating here.) I've heard of bottle variation with this wine, so maybe that's the problem.

Whatever. I'm not having a very good time with it.
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