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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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Flannery beef always deserves a special bottle. With my last Flannery ribeye (4th of July) I had Diamond Creek 1999 Gravelly Meadow. I was pleasantly surprised how lively it still was. And do wish I'd waited to drink it. But at least I still have 2 more bottles.

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I'm at the very tail end of my COVID.  And for whatever reason, I didn't feel like eating or drinking much tonight.

Linguine with Colatura, the Amalfi anchovy sauce.  Last time I made this (which was also my first time), I went too easy on the Colatura, being afraid of how famously high-powered its flavor is.  So this time, of course, I overdid it.  Only slightly, though.  (I also mixed in some actual anchovies.)

Really, it kind of called for a wine.  But it didn't get one.

Chilled purslane on the side.

Not having any wine left me with room for a digestivo that quite literally might have been made to follow this dish.

Limoncello Pallini

Made in Rome, but by a family from Abruzzo, with lemons from Amalfi (just like the Colatura).

This is the most popular Limoncello in the world -- which means, as you can guess, that it's just a tiny bit bland.  I prefer more of a citrus bite.

Still just what that Colatura left me wanting.

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Carrilladas de Cerdo, braised pig cheeks.  OK, maybe not the most July dish you could think of.

I only deviated from the straight-down-the-middle Spanish trad recipe by swapping in a cubed Calabaza de Pelota Numero Ocho for the usual celery.  I'm not gonna tell the people in Spain how to cook their food, but I thought it was just delicious that way.

I lined the bottom of the cazuela with slices of a Peruvian potato that seemed especially apt to soak up the gravy and take on a pleasing glueyness with slow cooking.  And it did:  this Potato Connoisseurship is real.

Speaking of the gravy, I was afraid I was overseasoning it, overcompensating for my instinctive wimpy underseasoning.  But no, it had exactly the sweet/tangy thing going on that I was aiming for.  I even have some gravy left over to have over noodles or rice in the future yo.

As you can tell, I was pretty pleased with this.

The wine -- at least a third of which went into that gravy -- was a pure knee-jerk.  But sometimes these knee-jerk pairings are knee-jerks for a reason.

2009 R. López de Heredia Viña Cubillo

I'll spare you the recitation of how L de H's junior cuvée gets better with each vintage -- how, no matter what it was initially, it is no longer an afterthought or sop to the market but a Good Wine.  I certainly wouldn't have wanted to sink anything grander into that gravy.  (Nor, for that matter, would I have wanted to drink anything much grander with it:  the deeply flavored gravy would have killed such a wine.)

This, this was great.  Cranberries and cherries and LOTS of them, then dusty herbs (but not too much) and dusty dust.


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What really makes this wine, though, is its acidity.  It gives the wine a brightness that its older siblings don't have (which is not to suggest that this cadet cuvée surpasses them in any significant way -- it just has different uses is all).

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We're going Full Iberian here this week.

Bacalao al Pil-Pil.  Not the most successful emulison I've ever done -- but far from the worst.  Guisantes de Azúcar al Vapor on the side (unlike yesterday's Calabaza de Pelota Numero Ocho, that's actual recognizable Spanish).

I know they have white wine in the Basque Country.  But I thought a Sancerre would be just right with this.  All day I was patting myself on the back for having the guts to contravene Geographical Determinism for what I expected to be a perfect pairing.

Imagine my mortification when I pulled the bottle I had put to chill out of the refrigerator and saw it wasn't in fact a Sancerre.

2017 Domaine Corsin Saint-Véran "Vielles Vignes"

Unlike everything else in my life over the last few weeks -- don't ask, but things are grim -- this mix-up turned out to be fortuitous.  This has to be even better as a pairing than the Sancerre would have been.  What's more, the remnants, which I'm using in a dish tomorrow or Friday, will be better in there than a Sancerre would have been.

Since I JUST FUCKING DRANK a bottle of this, I won't describe the wine too much.  Rather let me talk about the pairing.  Lots of acid, which the really astonishing amount of garlic I put into the pil-pil kind of wanted.  The Chardonnay roundness is just really good with cod, in all cod's various forms.  And the exotic fruit was nice with that thick (if not as thick as it should have been) gravy.

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Today we move to El Nuevo Mundo.

I'm not ashamed to say that when I was in high school, one of my favorite things to eat was Old El Paso refried beans, from a can.  (It probably is not a coincidence that that was the only period in my life when I was a regular pot user.)

So it's kind of a mystery that now that I'm a kitchen-curious adult who very often has a surfeit of pot beans (different kind of pot there) I've never made refritos.  Until now.

I guess I thought it would be hard for some reason.  When it's super easy:   barely an inconvenience.

Also:  THEY'RE FUCKING DELICIOUS.  Even better than from the can.

Huevos rancheros.  With an oozy Vermont goat cheese subbing for queso fresco.  And, instead of making a salsa, I poured on some Cholula:  a different thing, to be sure -- but I love it.  I think Cholula is one of those mass-produced food products (it's owned by McCormick now I think?) that are actually very good.

On the side, the last of those Asian not-collards.  (Finishing things laying around in your fridge is TIGHT!)  I tried a controlled char this time -- and SURPRISE the greens weren't quite charred enough.  Maybe @voyager has some pointers (beyond "have the courage of your convictions").


2019 Bichi Místico

A field blend.  There's general agreement that it contains Tempranillo and Cariñena.  Nobody knows what else.

WIth the known part of this wine's make-up, you wouldn't necessarily think that it would be light.  But it is.  It floats, almost.  Very bright fruit, and then a very lithe version of that Natural funk.  Also, there's this slightly smoky aftertaste that is quite beguiling.  To say this wine goes down easy is an understatement.

Very good with a breakfast dish (albeit a very hearty breakfast dish) for supper.

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9 hours ago, Sneakeater said:

Huevos rancheros.  With an oozy Vermont goat cheese subbing for queso fresco.  And, instead of making a salsa, I poured on some Cholula:  a different thing, to be sure -- but I love it.  I think Cholula is one of those mass-produced food products (it's owned by McCormick now I think?) that are actually very good.

OMG on the Vermont goat!    And I boggled at Cook's Illustrated's hot sauce testing consensus.    Cholula came in last and and was given a "not recommended" rating, while Tabasco, which to me is simply hot and sour, came in first.    I think Cholula has a lovely flavor and is often my choice for an effortless drizzle on avocado or chile relleno or frijoles along with a splat of crema.    Or on rillettes when I trying to get them to speak Spanish.

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