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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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2009 Azienda Agricola Valenti Trebbiano d'Abruzzo

 

I wasn't planning to drink a $100 wine tonight. But there it was...

 

$100 trebbiano... Would you say it withstands comparison to $100 wines made from 'nobler' grapes?

 

My abysmal ignorance when it comes to Italian whites has become an increasing problem. I should probably frequent the bars at Maialino, Otto, etc, but the thirty/fortysomething scenes at the Maialino bar actively repel me.

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His methods were apparently secretive, but he made only small amounts of wine from a very large estate (50,000 bottles from 170 acres), selling the rest of the grapes to the co-op. A different selection each year, it seems. Large wood in the cellar.

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I liked the lotte aux carrots over celeriac puree so much that I tried it again.

 

This time, also aux celeri, as I had to do something with all the greens that topped the celery roots.

 

I may be getting overly sentimental over the last celery root I probably will ever buy from Bill Maxwell, but this seemed to me to be pluperfect. The sheer fragrance when I cut it into pieces to boil and then fit into the bunghole of my food processor was almost overwhelming. I don't think Bill will be replaced.

 

2009 Munzberg Weisser Burgunder Kabinett Trocken

 

A nice surprise.

 

Obvs, this wasn't going to approach the spectacular Valenti that I improvidently opened a few nights ago. But it's a very nice wine.

 

A Pinot Blanc from Pfalz. Pinot Blanc obviously is a nice match for this dish. And this is a very good Pinot Blanc.

 

The German wine industry is in a very good place. I don't approve of the new tendency toward dry wines -- that's why God invented Alsace -- but quality on the whole is indisputably on the upswing.

 

This flavorful, barely off-dry wine -- happily, this one doesn't really taste like an Alsatian wine -- is a good example. Apples, stone fruit, tropical fruit, spice, mineral, acid. Long.

 

Not a deep wine. But a very very good Tuesday wine.

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2009 Azienda Agricola Valenti Trebbiano d'Abruzzo

 

I wasn't planning to drink a $100 wine tonight. But there it was...

 

$100 trebbiano... Would you say it withstands comparison to $100 wines made from 'nobler' grapes?

 

My abysmal ignorance when it comes to Italian whites has become an increasing problem. I should probably frequent the bars at Maialino, Otto, etc, but the thirty/fortysomething scenes at the Maialino bar actively repel me.

 

 

Nothing more fun at Otto oat Saturday lunch when a bunch of us 40somethings jump up on the marble after too many quartinos and fist pump while Dennis blasts "Who let the dogs out, Who, Who, Who, Who "!

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I may not be able to waltz into my butcher and casually order some venison or partridge, but I've really worked out how to cook steak -- now that I'm not afraid to give it a good char. I have a method -- something that people here who actually know how to cook would probably find fatally flawed -- for getting it nice and charred on the outside, and cooked medium rare (not blood raw) on the inside.

 

So, a perfectly cooked (for me) ribeye, topped with some of my endless supply of carrot-green chimichurri, accompanied by some mashed golden turnip and also some Brussels sprouts roasted within an inch of their lives (I don't have a functioning oven -- but I do have a toaster-oven) just the way I like them.

 

2006 Propertia Sperino Uvaggio

 

This is another one of those Alto Piemonte entry-level wines that you wonder what to do with, hold-or-drinkwise. The makers always tell you to drink them young. But makers always tell you to drink things too soon. So, several years ago, I stashed this away. And, as is my wont, forgot about it. Maybe it would have been better a little younger. But I'll tell you this: it's better now then it was upon release. It really is better to hold these (within reason).

 

This producer has an interesting back-story. These are the guys who make the excellent Isole e Olena wines from Tuscany. But it turns out that the family was originally from the Alto Piemonte -- Lessona, to be exact -- and still owned a property there, the vines long ago torn up. A little more than a decade or so ago, they returned to that property, intent on reviving their winemaking there. (In the 19th Century, the Alto Piemonte was an incredibly prestigious appellation -- more highly regarded than Barolo itself.) Not surprisingly, they've had great results. (I'm especially fond of their rosato myself.)

 

This is their entry-level red wine: Uvaggio. These wines are typically blends of predominantly Nebbiolo with odd northern-Piedmont grapes, in this case Vespolina and Croatina. (Nux told me of drinking a pure Croatina on her recent visit to the Piedmont. I would love to try that.) They're thinner than Barolos and Barbarescos -- even than Nebbiolo Langhes. But they're sprightlier and tenser. While still maintaining that characteristic Nebbiolo tar-and-roses base flavor that many of us find so intoxicating.

 

I won't lie: this wasn't a great steak wine. It would have been better with a lighter meat: veal, to be ridiculously precise.

 

But it was good. Maybe it would have been better when the fruit was a little more alive. But it was still good. Really good. The fruit was still there, with all sorts of fascinating minerally secondary flavors.

 

No great length: this is in no way a profound wine. But it's an extremely sophisticated quaffer.

 

This is why I love eating and drinking at home. (And the pile of dishes is why I don't love it without qualification.)

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Heat skillet over highest heat until it's smoking. Put in a seasoned butter-slathered (or oil-rubbed) ribeye. Cook three or four minutes on one side, two or three minutes on the flip. Turn off heat. Cover skillet. Let steak sit for another five minutes or so.

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How thick? That sounds like quite a long time unless it is pretty thick.

 

I have a heavy cast iron thing that I sear steaks on but with our wimpy european steaks it is only about 2 minutes a side and then a rest in a warm place for a couple of minutes.

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I do what Sneak does but I don't add the butter until I flip the steak and throw in some garlic and herbs. Then a baste the steak with the butter and herbs while on the second side for another few minutes. I would think that steaming it with a cover on would soften the crust. No?

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Butchers here will slice off at whatever thickness you ask for, but NY style steak is pretty fashionable right now. I usually get about 1 to 1.5 inch cuts, do 5 to 7 on one side, 3 to 5 on other depending, rest a little but don't cover. What I'd love to get down is the "in the oven for x minutes at y degrees for z lbs" -- I really prefer carving off one big piece for having people over.

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You need to rest the meat a little no matter what, to set it before cutting.

 

But I need a little cooking after burning a crust on. I guess the optimal thing to do is pop the steak in the oven for a short while at that point -- but I don't have a working oven. (Hey it might fit in my toaster-oven!)

 

Maybe keep cooking in the skillet on lower heat?

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