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The problem is, am I going to switch up for the leftovers?  Even when it's so obvious there's one best thing to drink with this?  (I mean, I could drink other White Burgundies -- or even Chardonnays from other areas.  But I don't really view that as switching up.)

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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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Rabbit loin (and RAMPS) wrapped in prosciutto (again, really Balkan proskut).  With steamed asparagus, and morels in cream sauce.  Spring on a plate.

(I think I've already commented that, when you eat morels at home, you don't have to deal with the one-morel-cut-into-three-pieces-is-"morels" scam that Wilf has faced in a restaurant.)

It was pretty easy to decide on the pairing.

2016 Proprietà Sperino "Rosa del Rosa"

I just adore this Alta Piemonte rosato.  It's a wine that shouldn't exist, but is just wonderful:  as I've recounted in past posts, the winemaker's father in Tuscany (who sent the winemaker back to the Alta Piemonte to reinstate the winemaking operation the family had there for generations and generations before abandoning them to move south) threatened to disown the winemaker when he proposed making a rosé from the standard Nebbiolo-based Alta Piemonte blend -- until the father tasted the resulting wine, made in secret behind his back, and realized his son was right.  It takes that Alta Piemonte lightness just a few steps further, while still maintaining the essential substantiality of Nebbiolo -- in a rosé!

The way this went with this dinner should be obvious.  You get a light Nebbiolo e oltros uve flavor, so there's enough to stand up to the tastes-like-more-than-chicken rabbit but not so much as to overwhelm it.  And you might have heard how Nebbiolo goes with mushrooms.

I always try to make sure I have (more than) a few bottles of this wine around.  Cuz for what it is, it's so perfect.  And, at least as far as I know, there's nothing quite like it.

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Leftover curried pheasant with an award-winning combination of lightly sautéed miner's lettuce and heavily sautéed black trumpet mushrooms.

I couldn't resist another cheap White Burgundy.  But at least it was a different one.

2016 Domaine des Terres de Chatenay Mâcon-Villages "La Cuvée de Béracius"

As I've said here about a million times before, God bless good cheap Mâcon-Villages.  It got me through college, and now it's getting me through my dotage.  It's harder to find now than it was then -- at least if you take the "good" part seriously.  But it's there.  Because there's nothing interesting to say about it, it doesn't get written about much; to find it, you really have to take advice from people you trust.

Here's another one.  The fruit at the start may be slightly less exotic than in the cheap Saint-Véran I had with my first batch of this pheasant a couple of days ago (unless, that is, pears are exotic to you).  But it has the same seamless integration of fruit, minerals, and acid that separates the good cheap White Burgundies from the enormous run of mediocre cheap White Burgundies (and which is really what, in a decade inconceivably long ago, taught me about complexity and integration in wine) (while Beaujolais was teaching me about joy).

During Quarantine, I'm drinking down a lot of my Grand Old WInes that really need to be consumed before they fade.  It seems only right -- and gives me something to look forward to after a day and evening alone in my apartment.  But I also need an ocean of good cheap(ish) stuff that doesn't seem like such a big deal to open, that isn't challenging, that doesn't demand contemplation.  So I'm grateful for a wine like this one.

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Roast veal tenderloin in a red wine/morels sauce.  (This preparation could have been called "Why Barding Works".)  Venetian smothered cabbage on the side.

What with the veal and the mushrooms, this seemed to be calling for a Barbera.

2015 Roberto Ferraris Barbera d'Asti "Nobbio"

And a straight-down-the-middle Barbera is what it got.

So it smells like plums and violets, and it tastes like black cherries until it starts tasting like herbs herbs herbs.

The thing about these go-to pairings is that there's little to say about them.  There's a reason people have been drinking this kind of wine with this kind of food since time immemorial.  Because it goes.

(What was a surprise, actually, was how nicely the Barbera complemented the bacon used to bard the roast.  You wouldn't think of Barbera with bacon.  But it was actually quite nice.)

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More of that curried partridge.  What with the cabbage in the partridge, it might have seemed redundant to have some Venetian smothered cabbage on the side.  But these are not normal times.

Now, a go-to pairing with a creamy poultry curry would be an off-dry Riesling.  I've been avoiding it because, to be honest, this curry wasn't spicy enough to warrant it (if I ever make it again, I know a couple things I'm gonna do).  But you can't keep drinking Chardonnay (the go-to for a non-spicy creamy poultry curry).

2015 A.J. Adam Has'chen Riesling Kabinett

Yep, my house Kabinett.  I lurve this wine.  Lurve it lurve it lurve it.

Everything you want in a modest Mosel Kabinett.  Beautiful fruit, appealing minerals (and petroleum), not shy on the sweetness, perfect integration start to finish. 

Don't tell A.J., but he could be charging a lot more than he does for this.

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We take a break from the panic-induced protein parade for some Orechiette Grano Arso (which, despite what you might think, doesn't mean big-ass orechiette but rather orechiette made from burnt grain) with beet leaves and baby roots, and Spring alliums (very much including RAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMPPPPPPPSSSSSS).

The natural pairing with this would be a racy Southern Italian white.  But in the absence of any Falanghina, the obvious pick was a Sauvignon Blanc from Italy's neighbor to the Northwest.  Easy peasy.

2017 Vincent Ricard Pierre à Feu

Yet another Tourraine white from a house favorite producer, Vincent Ricard.  This one is his answer to his mentor Didier Dagueneau's Silex, both grown in flint and clay.  And like its much more expensive model, it's a distinctive wine.

Grapefruit at the lead -- and lots of it.   Then a deep dive into slatey minerals, the austerity of the minerals providing a sharp contrast to the refulgence of the fruit.  The minerals last and last.  There's an odd note at the very end that I can't really name but don't really like.  But it's just a note, and it's just at the very end.

Not my favorite Ricard, probably.  But for less than $20, I'm not complaining about this interesting wine.

 

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Pan-seared duck breast in mushroom sauce.

On the side, asparagus with soy sauce and benne seeds.  (I got an email from Anson Mills this morning telling me how delicious asparagus is with soy sauce and benne seeds.  Maybe I'm overly credulous, but it seems to me they have a point.)

With duck and mushrooms, it's pretty clear I'm going to drink a Pinot Noir.  But this one was pretty interesting.

2018 Smockshop Band Pinot Noir "Spring Ephemeral"

Is Smockshop Bend the second label of Hiyu?  An alter ego?  I'm as confused as my 10-year-old self was in June 1967:  "What is Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band?  Aren't those The Beatles?"

In any event, this is an extremely natural wine from Oregon.  If you like the style, this is as good as it gets.  Pure piercing fruit -- mainly cherries, with some red-berry backup -- followed by a very long, very murky follow-up, with a final stop in the cow pasture.  (Actually, maybe it's pig shit rather than cow shit:  they actually use rooting pigs to turn the soil in their vineyards rather than doing it themselves.)

I could drink this forever.  WIth all the murk, you can't say it's pure.  What you can say is that it's very purely focused on what it is.  And the flavors are fascinating.

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14 hours ago, Sneakeater said:

2018 Smockshop Band Pinot Noir "Spring Ephemeral"

 

Is Smockshop Bend the second label of Hiyu?  An alter ego?  I'm as confused as my 10-year-old self was in June 1967:  "What is Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band?  Aren't those The Beatles?"

In any event, this is an extremely natural wine from Oregon.  If you like the style, this is as good as it gets.  Pure piercing fruit -- mainly cherries, with some red-berry backup -- followed by a very long, very murky follow-up, with a final stop in the cow meadow.  (Actually, maybe it's pig shit rather than cow shit:  they actually use rooting pigs to turn the soil in their vineyards rather than doing it themselves.)

I could drink this forever.  WIth all the murk, you can't say it's pure.  What you can say is that it's very purely focused on what it is.  And the flavors are fascinating.

Had this wine (don't remember the vintage) at a restaurant here this past winter. Really liked it a lot.

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A chicken with olives and (Meyer) lemons dish adapted from a Lydia Bastianich recipe (we all have reservations about Lydia as a person -- but a good recipe is a good recipe).  The chicken was a Joyce Farms Semi-Deboned Poulet Rouge.  I'm sure you can get even better chickens from esoteric suppliers, but fuck this is a good chicken.

The chicken was served over kale.  (FINISHED that sucker.)

Thought a dry, substantial rosé would go with this.

2012 Abbatucci Cuvée Faustine Rosé

I'm a big believer in the ability of dry, substantial rosés to age, and this didn't taste like I was drinking it a moment too soon.

It's from Corsica.  Mostly Sciacarello -- which probably originated on the island, but is better known to us as the Chianti blending grape Mammolo -- with a little Barbarossa, a grape that pops up in the South of Italy and even sometimes the North.

If you wanted to claim that this one of The Great Rosés Of The World, I'd be there with you.  You get this melony fruit to start -- and it's just luscious (I can't believe it's ever tasted better over the course of this wine's development than it does now).  Then you get citrusy acid.  There are two ways wines can complement dishes:  through similarity, or through opposition.  This was a beautiful pairing through similarity:  the citrus, following on the slight sweetness of the melon, was quite similar to the Meyer lemons in the chicken.  So you (meaning I) ate and you (meaning I) drank, and it was like you were barely switching over.

This is one of those bottles that I put off opening, cuz I had only one -- and once I opened it, I'd be done with it.  I'm sorry to see it go.  But boy am I loving it on the way out.

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On 5/1/2020 at 12:06 AM, Sneakeater said:

2018 Smockshop Band Pinot Noir "Spring Ephemeral"

 

Is Smockshop Bend the second label of Hiyu?  An alter ego?  I'm as confused as my 10-year-old self was in June 1967:  "What is Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band?  Aren't those The Beatles?"

In any event, this is an extremely natural wine from Oregon.  If you like the style, this is as good as it gets.  Pure piercing fruit -- mainly cherries, with some red-berry backup -- followed by a very long, very murky follow-up, with a final stop in the cow meadow.  (Actually, maybe it's pig shit rather than cow shit:  they actually use rooting pigs to turn the soil in their vineyards rather than doing it themselves.)

I could drink this forever.  WIth all the murk, you can't say it's pure.  What you can say is that it's very purely focused on what it is.  And the flavors are fascinating.

Had this wine (don't remember the vintage) at a restaurant here this past winter. Really liked it a lot.

*****************************************************

It occurs to me, after thinking about it overnight, that what this wine is like, is like a Burgundy with a spotlight on each individual component.

So you get the fruit:  SPOTLIGHTED.  Then you get the forest floor murk:  SPOTLIGHTED.  (The cow/pigshit are Natural WIne's unique contribution.)

Now, you don't ALWAYS want to drink wine this way.  SOMETIMES -- probably MOST times -- you want more balance, more nuance, more integration.

But SOMETIMES, boy is wine like this interesting and fun to drink.

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