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So when I made this lamb belly for use in some Saint Menehould, the huge amount of pepper I put on the lamb totally worked.  In the stewed form in which I've been eating the remainders, though, not so much.

 

But the current menu of the Beatrice Inn gave me the idea of making the stew into a kind of cheat Lamb Breast Stroganoff.  The mushrooms (pfifferlingen [Russians would use the French name -- but I'm embarrassed], because they're around and I'm pretentious and self-indulgent) and the sour cream would tame the pepper.

 

FUCK YEAH they did!

 

Sautéed escarole on the side.

 

I decided that a Bordeaux would work with this.  You might want a Right Bank with your standard Beef Stroganoff.  But I feel that lamb calls for a Cab.

 

1985 Chateau Duhart-Milon

 

You thought I would open a Lafite?  (You thought I'd have a Lafite?)  No, this entry from the vineyard next door would do.

 

Not to put too fine a point on it, this was great.  It had that old-Bordeaux reticence -- but the fruit was still definitely there.  Plenty of briary blackcurrant.  (Boy does that taste good!)  Very smooth -- including, notably, the transition into the secondary flavors.  Which are subtle.  Some animal-type tastes, traces of the expected Bordeaux tobacco and leather and cedar (matches the scent I'm wearing tonight), only a little hint of eucalyptus at the end.  A tiny hit of mushrooms, too (as I was hoping would be in there somewhere).  Surprisingly for a wine this old, this was still mainly about the fruit.

 

I would say the keyword here is "elegance".  This is one elegant fucking wine.

 

Fashions change (and God knows I happily follow them).  But this kind of wine will never die.

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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 wonder, more often nowadays...who gives a sh#t what I cooked for dinner...but anyway , some food and opinions : Picked up some nice mackerel,turnips and cranberry beans today. And a bottle of the skeptically named Friend of a Farmer Verdejo,but steel tank fermented and cheap.,but clean,floral and light. Cooked the beans with padron peppers and tomatoes,finished with parsley, lemon, and garlic. mackerel pan seared and finished with garlic,pimenton and lemon. Raw thinly sliced turnip on the side. I have to shout out to two really good Sicilian olive oils: Partenna,which I buy by the gallon on Arthur Ave.,and Polifemo,from the Monte Iblei,imported by Buon Italia. All was deliciosa, and at moments like this,feeling blessed to enjoy good simple food in the chaotic urban ,maybe not around much longer setting that we exist in.

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Me too!!! Your dinners inspire me to cook more during my brief visits home before hitting the road again.

 

(tonight has to be simple--early flight back to Tuscaloosa-- BAT--avocado instead of lettuce- with what (little) is left of the Crocker and Starr Casali I opened last night)

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More of this lamb belly "Stroganoff" (the opposite of anything that wingding would make, I'm afraid).  With just-this-side-of-rotting sautéed escarole on the side.

 

What grape springs to mind with a dish whose pepper Q is high enough you're trying to dial it down with added ingredients?  Syrah.  But straight Syrah would be too big and powerful for this dish, I think.

 

2012 Domaine de la Citadelle "Les Artèmes"

 

This is from just over the Luberon from Chateauneuf de Pape.  So it's very Southern for a Northern wine.  In fact, it's a CDP-type blend -- except with a higher Syrah percentage than usual.  So, in theory, just what I wanted.

 

In practice, it pretty much was just what I wanted, as long as I was drinking it with that flavorful fatty dish.  (The higher percentage of Syrah added more tannins than usual to this CDP mix.)  But afterward, by itself (you know what's coming):  it's too big.

 

It's interesting.  This is a purely organic wine.  Everything that can be done by hand, is.  But it isn't "natural".  Most obviously, they clearly aren't using ambient yeasts.  But beyond that . . . can someone explain to me why natural wines tend to be small, thin-textured, and low-alcohol?  Because this, in contrast, is a big, glyceriney wine.  Not a fruit bomb:  it's too carefully crafted for that.  But maybe a fruit grenade.

 

That said, there's a good deal of complexity here.  More than you might expect in a $25 wine, in fact.  Lots and lots of spice and stuff to go with that fruit.

 

All in all, I probably respect this wine more than I like it.  But it was quite good with the food.

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Wild boar sausage* on a bed of mashed daikon (it was supposed to be puréed -- but the 40-something-year-old Cuisinart I inherited from my wife appears to have died) with a balsamic onion gravy.  (The onions were even more caramelized than I intended, owing to the last-minute angst with the daikon.) (OTOH, it probably saved me from eating undercooked boar sausage.)  Sautéed daikon greens on the side.

 

Wine pairing:  duh.

 

2014 Lapierre Morgon

 

Any of you ever heard of this guy?  He seems to be imitating the way they make wine in the Loire.

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* The label warned:  "Contains feral swine".  Never have I felt so close to my supper.

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