It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the the light and winter in the shade.A few words and some purchased, out of season flowers.
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
The wine was a Domane Wachau, Terrassen, Federspiel from the 2006 vintage. Federspiel in this region is a wine between 11% and 12.5%. When the pork came out of the oven it needed to rest for an hour and that was when I opened the wine. That was a good choice because the wine needed that much time and more to really open up. There was a good bit of kerosene and sulfur at the start. It took a fair bit of swirling to minimize those aromas in the glass so I decanted most of the rest of the bottle.
A medium golden color was a good indication of some age on this wine and there was great body in the glass. After a few minutes it began to smell like Riesling, The hint of kerosene was still there but so was an intense aroma of summer rain on dry limestone. The fruit was mostly barely apples and peaches. This was a firmly structured wine that played with going over the edge in both dryness and tartness but succeeded in only pushing the the boundaries.
With the pork it was almost perfect. There was a sweetness in the crust of the pork from the brown sugar rub and that really intensified the apple qualities in the wine. There was a sauce for the pork that included cooked down frozen peach slices and that was an amazing match for those flavors. All the way through the meal the wine stayed balanced and refreshing. Great choice and a good wine.
2006 Domane Wachau Terrassen Federspiel Riesling. 12.5% alcohol and $17.
Monday, March 3, 2014
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Nothing warms the house better in winter than a pork butt cooked slowly in a low oven. The one above cooked for five hours at 300 degrees after spending the previous twenty-four hours in a a rub of salt, brown sugar and pepper. It's definitely winter food because it warms the house slowly and thoroughly and has the added benefit of perfuming the air in the house. It also builds a huge appetite.
A too large portion was consumed for dinner with roasted carrots and a salad and a sauce of white wine, peaches, pork stock, vinegar and sugar all cooked down to a pourable thickness. There are leftovers and pork will be on the menu for the next several days.
Friday, February 28, 2014
Spring passes and one remembers one's innocence.Despite the blue sky and sunshine in the picture it is still very much winter here as the temperature when the photo was taken was about 10 degrees (12c). There is more snow, sleet and rain due in here tonight and through the weekend.
Summer passes and one remembers one's exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one's reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one's perseverance........................Yoko Ono
Last night was fresh swordfish with rice and asparagus. The fish was cubed and sauteed in a medium pan with crushed fennel seed, lemon zest, garlic, butter, red pepper flakes and olive oil. It was both sweet and pungent. The wine was a 2011 Kinkead Ridge Ohio River Valley Viognier Roussanne in a 42/58 proportion. This had the body to stand up to the fennel flavors and was not killed off by the asparagus. The mouth feel was oily and the flavors were green melon, orange peel, kiwi and lychee. Good match.
2011 Kinkead Ridge Viognier Roussanne. 15.1% alcohol and $16.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
This is a wine that manages to make one think of northern Rhone syrahs while never hiding its California roots. There was a lot of ripe fruit, but it never went into jam. There were aromas of things other than grapes, particularly little hints of raw beef and dry earth that I love so much in Rhone wines. Great acid, tannin and balance along with moderate alcohol all made for a delicious bottle of wine. Of particular note was the amount of sediment in this this wine. It was considerable and I used a fine mesh screen and funnel and it was necessary to rinse the screen between pouring to get the wine to pass through. Not a problem I minded at all.
Dinner was some oven roasted chicken with herbs de Provence and potato coins roasted with fresh rosemary and garlic. Great match - and there is the second half of the bottle for tonight.
2006 Phoenix Ranch Syrah. 13.9% alcohol and $30.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Along with the Corison Kronos Vineyard wine discussed below, there was this.
It has been a brutal winter in my small plot in the world. For the month of January this area was not the coldest spot in the U.S., but it was the area whose temperatures were the the farthest below normal for that area. It was almost seventeen degrees colder on average than it is for a typical January. February has not been any warmer. Snow accumulation for a winter season is also at record levels with over 48 inches of snow thus far, and it snowed again last night. There is another polar vortex headed this way and temperatures are headed back to single digits and below. Enough!
Last Saturday was a rare reprieve and temperatures made it all the way to the 50 degree range. I made full use of the day by firing up the hardwood grill and tossing on a prime rib steak and letting it get to the rare side of medium rare. It's was a sign of things to come, and the wine also did a lot to briefly make me forget winter. It's something I needed.