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Normally I would abjure wine with something this spicy. Certainly I would not have a big alcoholic red. But I read something where the head of Rick Bayless's wine program said that she thought that big alcoholic reds pair well with spicy dishes. The big fruit stands up to the flavors, she said -- and alcohol, she claimed, acts as a solvent that counteracts capsium in your mouth.

 

She finished by saying that the strong flavors of spicy Mexican food tame overly big and oaky wines that she wouldn't otherwise like. This sounds perilously close to saying that the food makes you unable to taste how much you don't like the wine, but whatever.

 

 

 

As we say in Oaxaca, this is fucking idiotic.

 

To elaborate a tiny bit, capsaicin activates receptors on your tongue that ordinarily sense heat. Alcohol does the same thing. When you put them together, IME you get synergistic activation. Wood or grape tannins are also a mild, pleasant irritant, except that when combined with other irritants, they are, well, irritating.

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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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The question is, why would such a highly placed wine professional come up with something so bullshit?

 

Could it be that, when she was hired, the Bayless organization had a deep stock of big New World reds that she didn't like, and had to come up with some justification for selling them?

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How old is it?

 

I don't want to jinx it by and have everyone tell me, are you kidding? that's way too old, forget it.

 

I'd rather find out myself...

 

 

Okay, you can all exhale. It's a fifty year-old Prunotto...and it lives!

 

I was worried about the cork, and it did break up, so with that and the sediment it was a definite decant anyway. But I am thinking you guys are right. This is still a wine with some brawny tannins, so it's relaxing in the decanter now and I have an excuse to taste it periodically until dinner.

 

Veal and mushrooms, stewed in a younger Nebbiolo which will also be interesting to compare.

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Dinner tonight looked like a disaster: everything looked burnt. I can only attribute its not tasting too badly to the use of a couple of Rancho Gordo products in its preparation.

 

Pinole-crusted pork chop with mushrooms and fried plantains, spinach on the side.

 

Faced with what looked to be a disaster, I thought I'd try to salvage it with a special wine. When it turned out not to be a total disaster -- well, all the better.

 

2009 Jean-Paul Brun Terre Dorees Fleurie "Grille Midi"

 

What a great wine -- and what a perfect pairing.

 

J-P Brun doesn't need me to sing his praises. This wine -- from a good year -- has it all: restrained but very delicious fruit, Fleurie flowers, some minerals(!), and more structure than we used to expect in Beaujolais, supported by a solid acidic backbone.

 

I really could drink nothing but this for the rest of my life and be perfectly happy. (Not really -- but it sounds good.)

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How old is it?

I don't want to jinx it by and have everyone tell me, are you kidding? that's way too old, forget it.

 

I'd rather find out myself...

 

Okay, you can all exhale. It's a fifty year-old Prunotto...and it lives!

 

I was worried about the cork, and it did break up, so with that and the sediment it was a definite decant anyway. But I am thinking you guys are right. This is still a wine with some brawny tannins, so it's relaxing in the decanter now and I have an excuse to taste it periodically until dinner.

 

Veal and mushrooms, stewed in a younger Nebbiolo which will also be interesting to compare.

 

Well??????????????

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I brought a 1964 Barolo to Dave Santos's last truffle dinner.

 

The cork totally broke up -- and it was good to have Louro's staff have to deal with it, and not me.

 

My wine was a little over it. Probably a storage problem: no reason the wine as wine couldn't still be good. It's the luck of the draw: the 1964 Barolo I brought to Stone's dead deer dinner last year was, I thought, fantastic. Great that yours was still good.

 

1964 was a really good year over there.

 

(I have a Barolo from my birth year: a terrible vintage in the Piedmont as in the rest of the world. I'm thinking of opening it on my sixtieth birthday in a couple of years. If it's faded and undrinkable, it will only be appropriate.)

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The Durand is great. I was a little disappointed that no one thought to get me one for Christmas, so I will probably go get one.

 

You can improvise a near-equivalent with a narrow waiter's corkscrew and an ah-so over the top, but the Durand probably works better.

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Trust me, you didn't want me posting here after I'd drunk it.

 

As implied above, I was completely wrong about the possibility of it dying in the decanter. It was still changing and showing new aspects after four or five hours. At some point it decided to be like cotton candy, which was a surprise. But otherwise, what you'd want it to be, very enjoyable, perhaps a little harsh on the finish.

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Predictably, a couple of the people who also got to taste it preferred the 2010 Nebbiolo on the table. The radical absence of fruit is an aquired taste.

 

To be fair, I should credit my daughter with the meal; she did everything, just had me looking over her shoulder giving orders. And we finished with some Cypress Grove Truffle Tremor, which also went well with the wine.

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