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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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As you all know, the only way to describe the way you feel about food today is, "I never want to eat again EVER."

So, an omelette filled with the last remnant of the Concord grape gravy I made appallingly long ago with my Canard à la Vigneronne.  This is especially good because along with the thyme and shallots in the gravy, there's a lot of embedded duck juice giving it a good deep flavor.  This wasn't just a jelly omelette by any means.

This was a a big deal, actually, cuz it was the first successful omelette I've ever made in my life.  I see JUST what I'd been doing wrong all these years (although if you think I'm gonna tell you what, think again!).

It occurred to me that another batch of that fennel salad soaked in olive oil and Saba would be very good on the side.  And it was.

Another good thing about this dinner is that I didn't have to spend one second thinking about the wine pairing.

2021 Chëpìka Concord

A fizzy wine made with the same grape that stuffed the omelette?  Um DUH.

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To repeat myself, how did I get to be in my mid-60s before I had this incredibly delicious dish?

As my discussion of my initial batch might have suggested I'd do, I soaked A LOT more dried shrimp and incorporated them into this batch.  It made a difference.  (Also, with reheating, the rice got crispier:  a  positive.)

Speaking of repeating myself, more grilled cabbage on the side.  I seem to have undercooked this batch (a rare occurrence here at Chez Sneak).  I miss the char.

Having aced the pairing last time, I decided this time that a Grüner Veltliner would be sovereign.  It tastes something like Sauvignon Blanc -- but with much more pepper (even white pepper), to go with the seasoning of the Purloo.

2019 Rudi Pichler Grüner Veltliner Federspiel

I should never have opened this bottle this soon.

I let the wine's fairly modest price, and its intermediate "Federspiel" status, mislead me into thinking it should be drunk early.

This wine is nowhere near ready.

The flavors are all there -- but they're all unintegrated, even harsh.

You can taste what a good wine this will be when it all falls together -- Rudi Pichler doesn't make bad wines.  But it isn't there yet.

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A pretty quintessential after-the-opera supper.

A leftover milk-braised pork brisket sandwich, dressed with milk gunk and mustard. Topped with a slice of Von Trapp Sauvage cheese and some fennel I'd pickled for this purpose.

Leftover white beans with dandelion greens and porcini mushrooms on the side.

I'm at sort of a low point in my life.  (It's only gonna get worse before it gets better, unfortunately.)  (Dinners are gonna get GRIM.)  So I wanted a wine that would not only go with the food, but cheer me up.

2016 Poderi Sanguineto I e II Rosso di Montepulciano

This wine never fails to make me happy.  Joyous, even.  That's why I gave a bottle to my poor in-her-40s upstairs neighbor last week after her husband unexpectedly dropped dead.  "Wait till you're alone and then drink it," I told her.  "You'll begin to feel better -- even if not good."

This wine is remarkable.  The fruit pops out of the glass.  Even now, with some age.  There's all sorts of stuff going on in the background (licorice to go with the fennel!), but the sheer vivacity of the cherry fruit remains a marvel.

This is made mainly from the local Montepulciano Sangiovese clone, with some other grapes from the Montepulciano blend singing back-up.

I could not recommend this wine more highly.  Drink it.  You'll feel better.

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I had this preparation in mind for some kampachi.  But then I realized that the end of the fish that I sliced off to prep was the collar rather than steaks (I didn't realize my piece CAME with a collar).  (How could I not have seen that before I sliced it off?  Because I'm an idiot.)  So I pivoted to a different preparation -- using all the same ingredients.

Ponzu-glazed kampachi collar, over sushi rice.  This is that farmed kampachi from Kona in Hawaii, farmed out in the deep sea.  It's supposed to be really good.  It is.  It's fatty and rich but light:  how's THAT?

Some gari on the side, and -- this was a real brainstorm -- some of that Trinidadian mango relish called Kuchela (both from jars duh).

This was a great dinner.  I can't believe I made it.  It wasn't even hard.

Plus, I nailed the pairing.

2014 Domaine Belluard Le Feu

I find it hard to pop my remaining Belluard bottles, since there just isn't going to be any more (what with his having killed himself a couple of years ago and all).  But it was so clear to me that this would be a great pairing for the kampachi that I had to.

This is from a rare Savoyard grape called Gringet.  There's very little of it in the world -- and Belluard grew most of it.

It's distinctive.  It's like a Chablis crossed with a Sauvignon Blanc or an Albariño, with an herby aftertaste I can't describe (basil and mint? who knows?).

I don't know what demons haunted Belluard, but what a loss to the world.

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Tonight's kampachi usage was based on my discovery that they eat amberjack in Sicily. 

Now I know that the amberjack they eat in Siicily isn't kampachi, but a guy can fantasize.

I made up a vaguely Sicilian-like pasta topping of kampachi with fennel, orange flavor, capers, and stuff.  (I used the bones I removed from the fish to make a broth to braise the fennel and then to sauce it all.)  In a move that is more Basilicatan than Sicilian, I put in a tiny bit of horseradish, to further sharpen everything up.

The Italian word for amberjack is ricciola.  There's also a loose corkscrew-shaped pasta called riccioli.  If I had some, I could have had riccioli con ricciola.  I didn't -- but I did have a different corkscrew-shaped pasta, so I used that.

Gotta love these one-dish meals!

Now the perfect wine with this would have been a Carricante-based Etna Bianco, with its orange citrus accents.  But I didn't have any.  So I want in a different direction.

2013 The Red Hook Winery Sauvignon Blanc Macari Reserve SK

This is an Abe wine rather than a Bob wine -- as anyone could tell.

Deep orange.  A little cloudy.  Doesn't taste exactly like a Sauvignon Blanc.  It's stupid to say that grapes grown by the sea will be saline, but this wine is.  Lightly oxidated.  This all makes it sound like it tastes like Sherry.  It doesn't.

Not the world's greatest food-wine pairing, perhaps.

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Tonight's "cooking" consisted mainly of setting cooking machines and opening jars.

But I opened some good jars.

Kampachi steamed in a banana leave.  This accomplished the dual purposes of going through my kampachi and going through my banana leaves.  My refrigerator/freezer is grateful.

Maggi Tamarina on the fish.  Kacep Manis on the accompanying rice.  A big dollop of Kuchela on the side.

If I saw such a syncretic melange of South Asian and South Asian-adjacent condiments in a single meal in a restaurant, I'd call bullshit immediately.  But my apartment isn't a restaurant (or, as Arthur Lee put it, a house is not a motel).  I just want to get something tasty on the table (and use up the stuff I have crammed in my kitchen).

This tasted great.  I can only claim credit for having thought of it, none for its execution -- but I'll take that.

Wait, I can also claim credit for the wine pairing.

2013 Dupasquier Roussette de Savoie "Marestel"

Roussette de Savoie is made entirely from the Altesse grape. 

This is always a lovely, fragrant wine.  But when it gets some age on it, it develops a round, honeyed flavor (when it's young it's crisp).  THAT'S what I thought I wanted with this dinner, the concept being that the honeyed roundness would play against the spiciness of the Tamarina and the Kuchela and play with the sweetness of the Kacep Manis -- while the still-there Savoie acid would brightly compliment everything (including the extremely high fat levels in that succulent fish).

Still has the full fragrance.  But it really has moved into tasting something like Chenin Blanc.  Don't get me wrong:  it's dry (you'd never call it off-dry).  But what a pack of contrasting flavors!

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