Friday, July 25, 2014

Saved on Sunday

No, this isn't a religious post.  It's probably a post about nothing, but there is a picture and a story.

There was some forethought put into a late breakfast of French toast on Sunday.  The bread was cut and left out Saturday evening to dry, and the custard mixture full of milk, eggs, cinnamon, mace, and cardamon was mixed together and allowed to sit in the refrigerator overnight.   It all came together on Sunday morning with some fresh, tree ripened peaches added to the plate with a bit of butter and a little maple syrup.  There was also a Bloody Mary prior to breakfast and a second with breakfast. 

Very early Monday morning an e-mail arrived from the local market with news that the peaches I purchased (and ate with the breakfast) were possibly contaminated with listeria bacteria and should not be eaten.  They had been recalled by the grower. 

It's bad enough when it takes four months to get my General Motors vehicle repaired after the ignition system forced a massive recall, it's quite another to have yesterday's breakfast recalled after eating it.

Thanks heaven for the alcohol in the Bloody Marys.  Well, I guess this was a religious post after all.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


When all was said and done it turned out to be about elegance.  The wine was an Albert Bichot Beaune from the 2010 vintage.  The first sniff was earthy and nondescript, but the second was about fruit and earth and class.  The first sip was earthiness with fruit but the final sip was perfectly ripe fruit supported by that sense of earthiness.  Good acid and good tannin and good price for a Burgundy. 

It was opened to accompany a duck breast with a thyme, orange zest and maple syrup  glaze.  The duck was young and wonderful and the balance between the sweetness of the syrup and the tartness of the orange zest was perfect.  The side dish was faro with yellow carrots, celery and red onion.  A pairing I could repeat frequently.

2010 Albert Bichot Beaune.  13% alcohol and $35.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Dolcetto d'Alba

Every summer has to have a place for a Dolcetto d'Alba, especially when there is prime steak involved.  The wine was a Giacomo Borgogno Dolcetto d'Alba from the 2012 vintage.  The wine was somewhat unusual as it was more of a deep ruby color than a deep purple shade.  The nose was full of dark cherries and strawberries and that sense of Italian dirt.  This is a very fruity wine with with lightness and great acid to give that lightness an extra boost.  The tannins are there in proper proportion and give just enough of a sense of drying to keep this wine rolling along.  The finish is deep and sweet but the tannin keeps it in balance.  Great sense of earthiness. 

I don't eat nearly as much beef as I used to eat, but when I do eat a steak it has to be a good one, and with the price of beef skyrocketing it helps to find a sale.  Everything came together last weekend and the the result is pictured below.  Grilled to the rare side of medium rare over coconut shell charcoal it lived up to all of its possibilities.  It also made for leftovers for two more meals.

2012 Giacomo Borgogno & Figli Dolcetto d'Alba.  13.5% alcohol and $20.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

My Other Summer Love

I've been so busy this summer drinking rose' wines that I realized I had ignored my other summer love in the wine world, Riesling.  This despite an excellent article in the NY Times about the dry versions.  That article was in a series where Eric Asimov picks three wines and asks readers to buy them, drink them and then discuss them in the comments section for the next month.  You can find the link here, but be certain to open the comments and read a few - and there are very many.

I was surprised that I did not have look far for one of his three recommended wines - no farther than my wine cellar.  The wine was a 2012 Leitz Eins Zwei Dry from the Rheingau region.  The wine is very dry with aromas of fresh lime zest a tiny bit of freshly cut spring hay - young and happy.  The taste was austere and tart suggesting white peaches just before they are full ripe.  There was a small bit of earthiness in the finish that really appealed to me. The wine helped wash down a thick pork chop from the grill and some mustard potato salad.  It did an excellent job. 

2012 Leitz Eins Zwei Dry, Rheingau Riesling Trocken.  11.5% alcohol and $19.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


For the Independence Day party and fireworks there had to be an American wine so I opted for a 2007 Spring Napa Valley Red Wine from the Bunter Spring Winery, an extremely small winery.  The wine is a blend of 34% Petit Verdot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and 33% Merlot.

With that much Petit Verdot I was expecting big flavors and that is exactly what was in the bottle; it was full of dark plum and deep, black cherry flavors.  The Cabernet Sauvignon added some red fruit to the mix and also some leanness to the structure.  The Merlot was juicy and happy and tossed in a few blueberries to the mixture.  The tannin was well integrated here and it retained enough acid to hold everything together.

This was a full flavored wine that never went over the edge in to the range of being over extracted.  It was a big wine with balance and even a bit of elegance to it.  The more it breathed the better it got.  I wasn't the only one who liked this wine and for that reason  it disappeared quickly - very quickly.

2007 Spring, Napa Valley Red Wine.  13.7% alcohol.  Price is unknown since it was part of an auction basket I purchased over a year ago. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Very ripe, local, red tomatoes, some halved yellow cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese and some fresh basil. Party time.  Olive oil and sea salt were added at the last minute.