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More Chitarrine alla Teramana con Pallottine.

What a great dish.  I have seen the meatball future, and it is nutmeg.

Once again followed by the meat used in making the ragu (although not fresh out of the saucepan this time) with some roasted carrots.

The power move would have been to drink the other major wine made from the Montepulciano grape, Le Marche's Rosso Conero, to compare it with the Abruzzan version.  But that would have required the anterior power move of having some on hand.

So instead, a modest version of Montepulciano's more famous cousin, Sangiovese.

2016 Fattoria Zerbina Sangiovese Superiore "Ceregio"

This shows how food/wine synergy works.  Cuz this seemed by far the best bottle of this Romagnan wine I've had.  And it had to be because it was paired with the kind of food it just begs to be drunk with.

The primo because there's a reason Chianti is a classic pairing for tomato sauce:  the acid matches the tomatoes', while the ever so bitter fruit balances the tomatoes' sweetish flavor.

The secondo cuz OF COURSE you drink Sangiovese with plain simple meats.

The wine itself, it tastes like Sangiovese.  Simplified, maybe.  But what it is.  Very pretty nose.  Pretty taste, too.  "Pretty", of course, is pretty faint praise.  But it's praise nonetheless.

At less than $15 a bottle, it's hard to imagine anyone's being unhappy having bought this.  A really good Humpday bottle.

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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 just had to make the second portion of my tongue (I mean not my tongue) another Polonaise.  I can really make this!  Maybe Mill Basin will hire me to rehabilitate theirs.  (Don't tell them about the butter . . . )

Same sides:  green beans overcooked in the Ashkenazic manner, and boiled potatoes.

You know what I drank, right?

2021 Chëpìka Concord

Just finishing last year's stash as the new release impends.

I'm sure I've drunk Concord wine with this dish before (although not a good one like this) (I say "like this" even though as far as I know this is the only good one).  It certainly is an example of flavors cultivated by a single culinary culture complementing each other.

Other than that, I have nothing more to say about this wine I love so well.

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The last of the Andalusian beef cheeks.  With some tiny potatoes roasted in.  Of course, in this short roasting time, they don't absorb the flavor of the drippings as they would over a course of hours.  If only they did.

Once again, blistered unfrozen green beans with toasted garlic on the side.  Because now that I've perfected this, I love it -- and I especially love it with Spanish stewed meat.

Tonight we abandon geocultural pairing, and go more for pairing by, I guess you'd say, type.  If you're having braised or stewed beef with a touch of tomato, eventually your mind has to turn to Nebbiolo.  That's one of the things Nebbiolo is made for.

This is the third batch of leftovers (meaning the fourth serving, for my fellow innumerates).  So I didn't want anything too grand.  But OTOH, this is a really great dish, so I didn't want anything too junky.

2010 Roagna Langhe Rosso


This isn't much worse than a (lesser) Barolo or Barbaresco-- although it's a wine you can drink with confidence at "only" 13 years of age.*

It's a little more straightforward than a Barolo or Barbaresco:  more fruit, less mystery.

Which is not to say there aren't a wealth of secondary flavors, from forest soil with mushrooms to some items from the winter spice rack.  You just don't feel like you're in the presence of some eerie supernatural event.

As a pairing, this was pretty much right on point.  The Nebbiolo acid merged with the touch of tomato; the unique Nebbiolo light heaviness (no other wine does that) was a perfect weight for the stewed cheeks.  (Note to self:  beef cheeks brasato.)

The tar-and-roses thing that drives me so totally bonkers was only icing on the cake.


* When I was starting to drink wine seriously in my mid-'20s, the very minimum 12-year wait for a Barolo (and that's the very minimum:  I think it's really far too young in most vintages) (at least for the Old Skool Barolos I tend to favor) seemed like an undoable eternity:  I mean, in 12 years, I'd be nearly 40

Now, 12 years seems like the blink of an eye.

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Here's something that remote work and generally staying at home has made easier:  giving wine breathing time.

I was really intimidated, in those Early Serious Wine-Drinking Days in my mid-20s, by the preference for giving Barolos at least an hour and a half to breath.  Who has that kind of time?

But tonight, I had no problem at all decanting this at around 6 PM, deep in the depths of my workday, so it would be absolutely glowing when dinner was finally ready to eat around 10 or 11 (actually tonight I managed to make 9:30!!!!!).

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12 hours ago, Sneakeater said:

Once again, blistered unfrozen green beans with toasted garlic on the side.  Because now that I've perfected this, I love it --


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The end of the Chitarrine alla Teramana con Pallottine (and, looking at the Pallottine, just in time, I'd say).

Same secondo of the meats used in cooking the ragu, with the same roasted carrots.  (Well, not the EXACT same carrots:  as Heraclitus would have said, you can't eat the same carrots twice.)

For the pairing, Don Giovanni's favorite wine.

2020 Lazzari Marzemino "Berzami"

Well, I mean, not the 2020:  the Don had long been dragged down to hell by then.  (Actually, that's a decent thought question:  do fictional characters exist in time?  Cuz really, I think the better argument is that, for as long as there are people capable of listening to or reading his story, the Don is always being dragged down to hell in the present moment.) (And drinking a Marzemino while he waits for the Stone Guest to arrive and accomplish the dragging.)

This is unquestionably the best bottle of this wine I've had.  Is it a coincidence that it's the one that got (by far) the longest decant (see discussion in posts above)?  I don't think so.  Also, maybe this wine has more aging potential than I had credited it with.  In any event, I'm now seeing what all the hubub surrounding this wine was, 230 years ago.

This was, I think, a quite successful pairing.  The reason:  the baking spice at the finish of the wine loved to play with the nutmeg in the meatballs (that pasta dish's single greatest feature).  Enough acid for the tomatoes.  And this is another wine that has been drunk since time immemorial with simply cooked meats like the secondo.  (The baking spice had a good time with the sweet carrots as well.)

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