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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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My homie (or former homie?  I never see her around any more) Melissa Clark's scallops in sorrel butter.

This is one of those dishes whose flavor-to-effort ratio is kind of off the charts.  I think that must be why I don't make it more (I mean during those brief periods when sorrel is readily available to me):  it almost seems like cheating.

Owing to a grinder malfunction tonight (Burlap & Barrel's Fermented White Pepper is a fabulous product, just amazingly good -- but the grinder bottle it comes in is the pits), I put in much more pepper than is called for:  a lot of whole peppercorns even.  But you know what?  It tasted very good that way.  Remind me to put in too much pepper every time I make this.

It was very late when I made this, and I pretended that wilted sorrel is a green vegetable.

As easy as this is to make, choosing a wine for it is even easier.

2022 Domaine Ricard Touraine Sauvignon Blanc "Pierre à Feu"

I know, I should experiment with other pairings.  But this dish cries out for a Sauvignon Blanc.  That's what the sorrel wants.  That's what the scallops want.  (I'm not sure what the pepper wants.)

Besides, if like me you don't speak French, there's almost a Godard reference in the cuvée's name.

Vincent Ricard is a protégé of Didier Dagueneau who makes excellent, characterful Sauvignon Blancs (and one fairly wonderful Côt) and -- don't tell him -- charges stupidly low prices for them, given how good and carefully made they are (and, to boot, in fairly small quantities).  This is Ricard's silex Sauvignon Blanc (I'll repeat again his quip that he named it "Pierre à Feu" because "Silex" was already taken).

What can you say about a wine like this?  It's not that it's so strikingly extraordinary.  It's that it's so plain good.  It's on the more intense side of Sauvignon Blanc -- but within the limits of taste, not like some New World SB bruiser.  It is so flavorful that it just danced with the scallops in sorrel.  The beautifully integrated acid -- this wine is just about perfect in that respect -- gave it just the kick that dish needed.

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On 9/11/2022 at 11:48 PM, Sneakeater said:

Even better, I mixed up too much mayonaise (no, I didn't make my own base mayonnaise from scratch, as the source of the recipe recommended; I can just see it:  "you all go to the beach and have a good time, weekend guests, while I stay here and emulisfy").  That's a good thing, cuz it means that now I'll have to make a Mississippi Roast:  if you could imagine a MIssissippi Roast's being even better, it would be with this Garlic Horseradish Mayonnaise used as the base for the ranch dressing.  (Too bad I won't have time to wait on homemade pepperoncini made from the gorgeous Calabrian peppers they have at the Greenmarket now.)


What are my favorite foods in the world?  Lièvre à la Royale.  Eggplant Parmigiana.  Ashkenazic braised/baked brisket.  And this (not so far from the brisket, actually -- down to the prepackaged seasoning mixes the traditional recipes have you use:  have we not all one father?).

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this was not only the best Mississippi Roast I've ever made, but the best anyone has ever made, ever.  The only thing that's keeping me quiet is the contemplation of how much better the leftovers are going to be.  They will attain a level of deliciousness that will approach the ineffable.

On the side, some more roasted broccolini with Nonnata di Pesce.  That wasn't as random as might seem:  the idea was that the hot Calabrian peppers in the Nonnata di Pesce would match the pepperoncini in the Mississippi Roast.

Now you're always going to at least consider a Southern Rhone with a Mississippi Roast.  SO:

2019 TerraVox Châteauneuf de Platte

This is a blend of some 40 native and hybrid red and white grapes grown near the Platte River just north of Kansas City.

I'm coming to think that if you're going to make wine from native and hybrid grapes, it has to be Natural.  Natural winemaking plays to all the good points of native and hybrid grapes -- it lets the sharp fruit out -- while making any thinness of texture and sourness or "offness" a flavor a virtue rather than a flaw.  An unNatural wine like this, no matter how well made, can't help but come across as rather thin and harsh.  Moreover, I don't get the feeling, as I might from a youngish wine made of "Noble" grapes, that aging will iron out those problems.  Rather, it tastes to me that that's just what this wine is like.

But here's the thing:  those comments apply to this wine as I tasted it when I sat down at table, before starting dinner, and as I drink the bottle down now, after dinner.  With the food, this wine seemed quite good.  Of course, all wine is better with (complementary) food (complimentary, too, for that matter).  But this goes beyond that.  The thick fatty texture of the gravy clinging to the pulled beef, and its very hearty flavors (I really ramped things up tonight), overcame whatever was wrong with the wine, and let its virtues shine through.  Moreover, the sharpness and acidity of this wine went well with the pickled peppers -- which, I must say, had deliciously absorbed the flavors of the gravy over hours of slow cooking.

Now this isn't a matter of things growing together going together.  First, Northwestern Missouri is nearly two whole states away from Mississippi.   But second, and more fundamentally, this dish didn't come out of a food-wine culture.  I remember, when I was first researching it, coming upon a discussion on a Southern foodboard where the participants absolutely derided Eric Asimov's suggestions of wine pairings -- any wine pairings -- for this dish in The Times.  Again, they weren't criticizing Asimov's particular suggestions; they were deriding the idea that you'd drink wine with a dish like this.  (You don't want to hear what they had to say about Sam Sifton's suggestion that you coat the beef with flour before searing to create a fond.) (I mean, jeez. OF COURSE you'd want to do that!)

I'm sorry to say those Southerners are wrong.  I understand they're resentful of winedrinkers high-hatting them.  But you can reject the high-hatting without rejecting wine (without throwing the marc out with the grape juice, as it were).  Wine enhances food -- including THIS food.  There's no sense in denying yourself a real pleasure just to prove how demotic you are.

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