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The end of the Basque pork pot roast.  With the end of the yellow collard greens.

 

2013 Bodegas y Viñedos Ponce Buena Pinta

 

Past experience told that this should have been a brilliant pairing.  But this bottle of this usually wonderful wine seemed a bit off.

 

There was a harshness that isn't usually there.  The fruit seemed gummy. The transition from primary to secondary flavors wasn't as seemless as usual.

 

Oh well.

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OK, before Daniel has a shitfit, I am completely aware that there is nothing "The Rest Of Us" about truffled wood pigeon with a 21-year-old top-rated Bordeaux.  Other than that I made it.  And I am proud that I am now able to cook stuff like this.  As for the bottle, well, what can I tell you?  I have to drink my grander wines sometime.

 

So, truffled wood pigeon. (I have finally gotten the gumption to disregard all the stuff you read about game birds like pigeon needing to be served rare so they don't dry out.  There are other ways to prevent that:  barding, for example, as tonight.)  Roast Marina di Chiogga (The World's Greatest Squash) on the side (I continue to follow the Venetians in putting lots of rosemary on it and loving it that way).  And some sautéed spinach.

 

I figured I wanted a mature Saint-Émillion to go with this.  Something Merlot-based, so it would be softer than a Left Bank (this is still poultry and not red meat); and old, so that it would have developed truffley flavors to match the truffled bird.  I wasn't expecting to find this bottle, which I'd completely forgotten I had.

 

1998 Tertre Roteboeuf

 

This doesn't even have any Cabernet Sauvignon in it:  it's mostly Merlot, with some Cabernet Franc (which you definitely taste) rounding out the blend.

 

Tertre Roteboeuf has become quite the favorite among drinkers of mainstream Bordeaux.  And why shouldn't it be, when it does everything right in that style and nothing wrong?  Flavors are big, but not exaggerated.  It isn't "powerful" or jammy:  it's just very robust.

 

At this point, while there's still plenty of briary black fruit, there's even more tobacco and leather and licorice.  Which I like just fine (note to Mrs. Bonner:   if this were a scent, I'd wear it).  Not a lot of truffles/mushrooms, actually.  But it was pretty great with that pigeon anyway.

 

I read people saying this vintage should be held a while longer.  I don't really see that.  It's not nearing the end of its window; you don't have to drink it up.  But it doesn't taste to me like it's going to get significantly better.  Nice fruit slightly overbalanced by strong secondary flavors:  just where you want it to be.

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So, truffled wood pigeon. (I have finally gotten the gumption to disregard all the stuff you read about game birds like pigeon needing to be served rare so they don't dry out.  There are other ways to prevent that:  barding, for example, as tonight.)  Roast Marina di Chiogga (The World's Greatest Squash) on the side (I continue to follow the Venetians in putting lots of rosemary on it and loving it that way).  And some sautéed spinach.

 

Can you describe how you cooked the bird.. Assuming bacon on the barding. Where did you buy the pigeon, assuming you didn't wrangle one yourself in Prospect Park. 

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Let me preface this by saying that I've learned that the best way to cook small game birds is pan-roasting.  But I don't think you can do that when truffling them.  So this went into the oven.

 

I salted and peppered the bird.  Then I used my fingers to work the skin off the meat, starting at the area around the neck (or where the neck had been).  I slid some (lots of) truffle slices and sage leaves under the skin.  I poured a glug or two (or three) of brandy into the cavity, wrapped the bird in bacon, and wrapped the whole thing in tin foil.  Into the oven at 450° for 30 minutes.

 

I got the pigeon from D'Artagnan.

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Frack me, I suppose a 1998 is more than two decades old now. I still have clarets from the 1980s I've never drunk and probably never will [they're almost certainly in decline].

 

Am here for more of this content though.

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