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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, bu

If I'm not enjoying wine when I'm seventy, then my nieces and nephews are going to be stuck with a shitload of wine they won't know what to do with.   Or my next wife, who by then should be almost

Whaddya mean? That's more than half the meals I serve. Tossed with great care, I might add.

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I would lean towards cultural explanations for a lot of it. theres a baseline level of knowledge in the old world that we can't compete with. The Jura is not burgundy in terms of wine tourism, so I wager you're seeing something more real and every bar and restaurant has a good local wine selection and understanding (wilfs pinte is available everywhere) The closest analogue is craft beer here but that doesn't quite capture it.

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Most of continental Europe has a strong indigenous wine culture. The U.S. (like Britain and Northern Europe) doesn't. Wine is just part of everyday life in FranceItalySpain etc. In the U.S. (and Britain and Northern Europe) it's as much a status marker/special occasion thing as anything else. So wine tends to be expensive here. A lot of the people who are interested in good wine don't want wine that's cheap.

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Most of continental Europe has a strong indigenous wine culture. The U.S. (like Britain and Northern Europe) doesn't. Wine is just part of everyday life in FranceItalySpain etc. In the U.S. (and Britain and Northern Europe) it's as much a status marker/special occasion thing as anything else. So wine tends to be expensive here. A lot of the people who are interested in good wine don't want wine that's cheap.

Which is ironic, because you often get stuff here that's just village wine there. Giffen goods!

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Lamb chops with sorrel/leek sauce. Sauteed dandelion greens on the side. And RG's Good Mother Stallard beans (seemingly impossibly, as good as RG says they are).

 

This seemed like it called for a Cabernet Franc.

 

2013 Sebastien Fleuret Léon

 

A hipster Cabernet Franc. Meaning that after we get through the dark fruit and the herbs and the green pepper and the grass, there's some Brett (just a hint). I'm fine with that -- especially since everything else is in place. This is a very drinkable wine. And it loves food.

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Swordfish with horseradish, enoki, and capers. Sauteed kale on the side.

I was thinking of a Rhone white with this. I couldn't find one. Then -- to my partial dismay -- I saw that I still have a bottle of:

2008 Scholium Project Marcher Sur La Lune

One always wonders how these wines age. I wish I could say I set this aside to find out on purpose.

This is a Verdelho that drinks like a Viognier. Since I WANTED a Viognier, that was welcome.

This is also, of course, a Scholium. How do you tell if a Scholium is past it? Not that the fruit is fading: you can NEVER taste the fruit in a Scholium. I guess I'd say this is less fierce than I remember bottles drank years ago to have been. But I'm not sure that isn't an improvement.

 

This starts out with a round taste of stone fruit mixed with turpentine. It finishes with something vaguely bitter mixed with turpentine. Little bit syrupy at this point. I think it's both interesting and appealing (and a fine match for the swordfish) -- but then I've drunk the turpentine-flavored Kool Aid. I get that Abe's wines are like throwing shit against a wall to see what sticks -- but I like it when you end up with The Holy Virgin Mary.

 

Good wine, still good. (Don't go holding it much further if you have some, though.)

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What's the word for it where you saute some onions and garlic, and then put in some tomatoes and give it time to make a sauce, and then stick some flounder on top (covered) and cook for a couple of minutes? That's what this was, except I left out the (lovely) mushrooms and some other stuff.

 

If I were a better cook and not compelled by my Ashkenazic background to burn onions (I can get a job at Sammy's), this would have been exemplary. Did I forget to mention the chervil on top?

 

Pretty obvious that this wanted a trad Sauvignon Blanc.

 

2013 Tinel-Blondelet Pouilly Fumé "L'Arret Buffatte"

 

Nice wine. Very typical. Acid. Grass. Strange fruit. More acid. More grass. More acid.

 

I'm at a strange point where I actually don't have enough trad Loire Sauvignon Blancs at hand. Other wines command more attention -- but you need these. There are lots of foods -- including, without limitation, this very dish -- that cry out for wines like this.

 

What if they ever become prohibitive?

 

ETA: The word is "steamed". Moron.

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But I drink stuff that earns Chambo's scorn.

 

There is never ever ever scorn for drinking wine ... any wine !

 

That's to be applauded.

 

You're missing my point if you think that.

 

And normally Sneak, you're pretty on the ball when it comes to understanding Chambo and being self-reflective.

 

Not to pry but ... have you been hanging out with Wilf a lot lately ?

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Local caught swordfish has been appealing lately,so went for a Sicilian preparation of paccheri with swordfish,capers,sungolds,and breadcrumbs...how can you go wrong ? Lots of lettuces salad with lots of herbs...Nice Loire Rose" from Chateau Soucherie .

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How widespread is everyday wine drinking here, even among people who like wine? It's always on the table in French homes. There are usually several bottles on the go.

 

1. You're thinking French homes ~1985. The backlash against that culture is tremendous, with many young people refusing to drink wine at home outright.

 

2. Per capita numbers are a bit biased against the US, because it's a very young country and for other demographic reasons (specifically hispanics), but more or less for every bottle of wine drunk by a generic American, a Spaniard drinks two*, and a Frenchman drinks four. If you consider that the geographic distribution in the US is far less uniform, and that there's a strong downward bias in wine drinking by age in France, things aren't quite as clear cut and I'd imagine a young American from the coastal intelligentsia would fall within the French norm. Another number of relevance - over 60% of Americans who drink wine at all, drink it regularly (meaning at least weekly and not on special occasions)

 

3. With regards to prices, there's a well established market in Europe for very cheap wine, but that market is shrinking rapidly as it's strongly associated with the generation currently being told their liver is getting too large for comfort. The market for "the rest of us" wines that Sneak dominates in the republic of MFF is different - even the cheap bottles are 3-5 times more expensive, have some aspirations, and sport funny labels. (You can occasionally see some old chap on Chowhound saying he buys wine at Nicholas or Monoprix or whatever and getting laughed down the stairs).

 

4. Table wine (that is, the cheap wine from (3)) in France is 3.5 Euro, let's call it $4. In the US it's closer to $8. For wines $15-$50 in Europe, US retail tends to add $15-$20. Above that it gets complicated. Now add local taxes, higher markups, much larger standard pours, importer profits (and bailing importers out of bankruptcy), etc. and you don't need any cultural reasons. Local production is in turn objectively more expensive and protected by said additional costs**.

 

* building a bit on Chambo's recent manic episode - every Spanish supermarket has a good selection of ready to drink, current release Rioja for the price of random French hipster ass juice.

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