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One of my resolutions for the coming year is to try harder not to let stuff sit in my refrigerator forever.  And I'm trying to start early.

So, the other two elk sausages.  (They're distributed by Broadleaf in California, I see now, although that doesn't answer where I got them.)  No sauce or gravy.  Over the rest of the Sea Island Red Peas.  With some steamed, buttered tatsoi.

Those red peas got so much better sitting around for a couple of days, it isn't funny.  And I hate to say it, but those (excellent) sausages are better plain and grilled, without a fancy pan gravy.

One good thing about a quick meal repeat is that, having gotten the try for perfection out of the way already, you can go kind of crazy with the wine pairing.

2019 Floral Terraines Marquette "Wyeth Ellis"

Marquette is a hybrid of North American and European grapes, fairly recently developed at the University of Michigan for hardiness in cold Northern climes.  (Joke's on them:  by the time this grape has had a chance to catch on, Northern climes won't be cold anymore.)  You can't talk about this grape without mentioning that one of its grandparents is Pinot Noir.

You wouldn't peg this as a wine that would benefit from age, but this bottle is so much better than my previous two that it also isn't funny.  (This was a very unfunny dinner.)

You'd know it's a hybrid without being told.  It's got the kind of layered fruit you get from noble European grapes, but it has those earthy funky North American accents for certain.  Now I get that not everybody likes those earthy funky North American accents.  But those of us who grew up near native wine regions (and whose culture involved drinking wine made from native grapes) learned to appreciate it as children.

So what's this like?  Tart cranberry up front (must be the Pinot inheritance).  The fruit is very sharp, very there.  And then sneaking up from underneath -- it's really cool how it does that -- is the NA earth/funk (in contrast, I guess, to P-Funk space/funk).  No one will ever call this wine particularly complex.  But I'm calling it lip-smacking.

Now this would have been PERFECT with one of those venison sausages made with cranberry.  That would be a pairing for the ages (this wine would have been too light for last night's chop, notwithstanding the cranberry gravy).  It was good enough with this excellent elk sausage made with Madeira and potato, though.

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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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23 hours ago, Sneakeater said:

One of my resolutions for the coming year is to try harder not to let stuff sit in my refrigerator forever.  And I'm trying to start early.

The other double venison chop, this time unsauced but with lots of sage and some fennel and mint (and balsamic).  I'm generally opposed to sous viding, but someone at my skill level couldn't possibly cook venison to temperature any other way.  As it was, this was as good as anything you'd get in a restaurant (well, I mean, not as good as Andre Soltner's roast venison -- but this wasn't roast venison).

Steamed tatsoi on the side.  And Portuguese Lupini beans, cold out of the jar.

With lean meat like venison, you want something with low tannins.  But since venison is strongly flavored, the wine needs to be full-flavored even without the high tannin levels.

2019 Domaine Ricard Le Vilain P'tit Rouge

This is a Côt -- that's Malbec to you -- but from the Loire (a house favorite producer, actually -- but mainly of whites) rather than from the South.  It doesn't brood like a Cahors.  And it isn't big and flabby like a Mendoza Malbec (if you think you don't like any Argentine Malbecs, you need to try one from Patagonia).  It is to a Cahors as Cabernet Franc is to Cabernet Sauvignon.  Indeed, that's it:  it's a Malbec (OK, Côt) coming on like a Cab Franc.

So you get sharp dark berry and plum fruit:  really up front.  A little smoke -- but only a little.  Lots of herbs and spices.  And some rocks to finish.

A very very good weeknight wine.

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Pork chop (Berkshire natch) with Hatch chili gravy.  A hominy/Vallarta bean side dish inspired by an RG recipe for a stew.  I omitted the chicken in RG's recipe and used only enough liquid for pot beans.  Following a recommendation RG made elsewhere regarding Vallarta beans, I mixed in some sautéed greens, so as to fool myself into thinking I was eating a balanced meal.

All over rice.

N/V Stone Hill Winery Concord

A North American wine for a North American dinner.

I often whine that if someone were to make a serious, preferably natural, Concord wine in a dry style, the world (or at least the part of it that lives in my apartment) would beat a path to their door.

This is not that wine.  This is an Old Skool sweet Concord, well-made on its own terms and in comparison with the competition, but in no way "serious", much less good.  This is the kind of thing that makes Robert Sietsema, small h, and a friend in my building think that sweet wine is not worthy of consideration.

But I knew that before I twisted off its screw cap.  What I figured was that a one-dimensional, grape-juice-tasting, sweet wine would be a good foil for all the chili peppers in my dinner.  And it was!  I'm not loving the dregs I'm drinking down now, but with dinner this tasted really good!

As my Mother used to say with respect to my rather grim YA dating life, there’s a cover for every pot.

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When Regalis has a special on Périgord truffles at the same time as it's offering Jidori chicken (from LA), it doesn't take any extraordinary perspicacity to come up with a New Year's Eve dinner of Vollaille Demi-Deuil.

Having had more than a year to think about it, it now makes perfect sense to me that the original recipe for this dish (by La Mère Brazier) is the simplest.  Indeed, the only even moderately hard part of the preparation of this ravishing dish is using your finger to loosen the chicken skin and push the truffle slices under it -- and that uses skills that many men and women have developed in other endeavors.

Trad sides, except once again substituting sweet PA Dutch pickled beets for plums in vinegar.

La Mère recommends a Beaujolais Nouveau with this.  But I played it differently.

2013 Domaine de Robert (Patrick Brunet) Fleurie "Cuvée Tradition"

I've been so single-minded in my focus on my beloved 2014 Beaujolais vintage that I forgot I had this bottle from the preceding, very good but not miraculous, vintage laying around.

I'm a believer in aging Beaujolais.  But you do lose some sparkle.  This is a very smooth wine -- but at this stage it doesn't leap out of the glass at you.

I care.  Brunet's "Cuvée Tradition" Fleurie is probably my personal fave Beaujolais (if not my personal fave wine), and this mature specimen is a delight.

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