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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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I never thought the day would come when I could say this, but I finished cooking my kampachi side.

As threatened, I stuck the remainder in the Ibushi Gin Donable.  Half for tonight's dinner.  The other half for a salad or something -- maybe on a bagel -- at a more proptious time.  Big surprise:  one of the fattiest fish on the planet takes well to smoking.

It was crying out for a citrus squeeze.  In the absence of any fresh fruit, I drizzled on some ponzu -- repetitive as that might seem.

Boiled potatoes on the side.  And a fennel/preserved Meyer lemon/anchovies/capers salad.

I know it seems like I drink a lot of Sauvignon Blanc.  But that's because I eat a lot of food that goes with Sauvignon Blanc.  If this dinner wasn't screaming for a Sancerre, I don't know what it was screaming for.

2018 Domaine Henry Pellé Sancerre "La Croix au Garde"

We've seen this wine before.  Nothing great about it.  But nothing remotely bad about it.  It's not special -- but it's good.  Gets the job done.

Beginning to show its age, though.

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13 hours ago, Sneakeater said:

Nothing great about it.  But nothing remotely bad about it.  It's not special -- but it's good.  Gets the job done.

Beginning to show its age, though.

I could use that as a personal sig without shame.

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Purloo!  (It's finished!  I'm sorry to see it go!) (The subtle layering of flavors in this classic dish is something I never expected.)

More grilled cabbage on the side.  Less undercooked than my last batch -- but not charred to perfection like my first.  I hope I get this right again sometime.  (I kind of knew it was a mistake to mix a hot pepper in with this -- and it was.)

It occurred to me mid-afternoon that a cider might be nice with this.

Aaron Burr Cidery Homestead Locational Ciders "East Branch"

This is made from apples foraged in the hills above the East Branch of the Delaware River, in the Catskills.

No question it's a beautiful drink.  Tart, very dry.  I wasn't expecting it to be so tannic (which exacerbated my mistake with that hot pepper in the cabbage).  Very intriguing mix of flavors here.

"Ironically", Burr's less glamorous (and farmed!) Appinette wine cider would probably have been a better pairing here.

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When you eat by yourself, it's amazing (and appalling, if you're overly fastidious, which thankfully I'm not) how long you can stretch things.

Tonight I finished off two longtime residents of my fridge, the milk-braised pork brisket and the white beans with dandelion greens and porcini.  I won't make any claims of improvement for the pork, but the beans had reached a state of maximum deliciousness.

The pork was on sourdough bread, with milk gunk, mustard, provalone, and pickled fennel.  The pickled fennel also had improved during its residence in my refrigerator.

I disregarded that this was supposed to be Italian and had what in many other ways was an obvious pairing.

2009 López de Heredia Viña Cubillo

This, as you know, is L de H's Crianza.  It's notable that this cadet wine is now at beginning of its window:  this bottle is simply better than any I've had previously from this vintage, with no drink-by date in sight.  For a relatively inexpensive wine, that's pretty remarkable.

It tastes like what it notionally is:  a fresh, integrated Rioja.  That it's first approaching that state 12 years after the vintage is a testament to the care and integrity of this great producer.

So you get your cherries, you get your chocolate and leather, you get your long savory finish.  But in a way that's livelier, less elegant, than the fabulous L de H Riservas.


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Smoked kampachi (served cold) with sour cream, scallion, and capers.  Fenchelsalat on the side.  With a nice crusty piece of buttered toast.

I'm not going to claim that hot-smoked fish gets better with refrigerator age.  Rather, I'll note that it doesn't get worse.   That's one of the main points of smoked fish.

Once it struck me that this was food you could be served in a Viennese heuriger (I mean, sure, they'd use trout), the wine choice was made.  I put some Lanner* on the hi fi, and away we went.

2016 Jutta Ambrositsch Grinzinger Gemiscther Satz "Glockenturm"

I return to my new world of drinking aged Gemischter Satz and liking it.

As field blends, they all taste similar -- but not the same.  Because each field has its own blend. There are grapes in this wine that nobody knows what they even are.

Crisp.  Strong fruit:  apricots, apples.  Light minerals.  Very very very acidic.

Especially at its low ABV, you could drink tons of this.

It could only be better n the Wienerwald.


* I am astonished to discover that Stravinsky stole a rather famous tune from Lanner.  (This isn't a scandal:  Stravinsky freely admitted to stealing all the time.)  Has no one else ever noticed this?  (I realize that very few people bother with Lanner.)

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12 minutes ago, Sneakeater said:


* I am astonished to discover that Stravinsky stole a rather famous tune from Lanner.  (This isn't a scandal:  Stravinsky freely admitted to stealing all the time.)  Has no one else ever noticed this?  (I realize that very few people bother with Lanner.)

It turns out to be well known.  Just not by me.

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São Paulo fried mortadella sandwich.  This time made absolutely correctly.  Fioretto roasted with Rosa Marina/Nonatta di Pesce -- still one of my favorite things -- on the side.

If I wake up alive tomorrow morning, it'll be a miracle.

Look, I know this sandwich is Paulista, not Emilia-Romagnan.  And I know that in São Paulo, they'd never drink anything but a very cold beer with it.

But fuck it, this was fried mortadella, and I wanted a Lambrusco.

2021 Azienda Agricola Donati Camillo Lambrusco

This is a rather serious -- which is not at all to say dour -- Lambrusco.  It's heavier than you expect.  It almost broods (I said "almost").  It doesn't race over your tongue.  You can think about it.

It's also funky, as befits a Natural Lambrusco.  That's why I bought it.  I thought a dinner as fundamentally gross as this one would want some funk in the glass.

As part of its Naturalness, this wine undergoes natural fermentation, accruing its fizz in the bottle:  the everything-old-is-new-again method that rejects the "Modern" Charmat method of fizzing up the wine in steel that turned Lambrusco into such shit when I was a boy.

This still has the "tastes a little like Coke" aspect of many Lambruscos.  But this tastes like Mexican Coke.

Really, a good deal more complexity here than you expect in a Lambrusco.  Layers of flavor, even.  Fruit (decidedly cherry), bitters -- not really a touch of sweetness.

A Lambrusco for people who abjure Lambrusco (if there still are any).

FUCK YEAH this was a good pairing.

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After last night's gut-busting grease bomb, I needed what @StephanieL has called an "austerity meal".  I was gonna just boil some water -- but I figured that if I was bothering, I might might as well toss in some pasta.

Busiate tumminia with (prepared) Hatch chili pesto.

Well this used up something that needed to be gotten out of the fridge ASAP.

Now you might say this needed a Sicilian white.  But Hatch chili?  We all know a Sauvignon Blanc would be sovereign -- boring as it is.

2016 Domaine du Carrou (Dominique Roger) Sancerre

I was actually thinking of a sharper SB.  But this is what turned up first -- and I didn't have time to go tooling around this afternoon.

The thing is, this is like a perfect pairing.  The flavor of the wine just perfectly compliments the flavor of the chili sauce.  The wine has enough fruit to be tasted over the spice.  But more important, it has enough acid to cut it.

This is the way you put wine together with food.

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