Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Pasta and Clams

The local market was full of fresh clams and the result is pictured above. Some Chorizo Iberico and some salt pork cubes were rendered and reserved.  Into a clean pot went olive oil, onions and garlic until they were fragrant.  Next in was some halved grape tomatoes, white wine and the clams and just a bit of sea salt.  The pot was covered and the clams steamed for just a couple of minutes.  A tablespoon of butter was the last addition and the pot was gently shaken until the butter melted and was incorporated. 

Some fresh linguine went into the center of the pasta bowl, the clams were arranged around the edges and broth and tomatoes were ladled into the center.  The chorizo and salt pork was scattered over the top along with some chopped parsley. Country bread smeared with olive oil was toasted and topped with a touch of sea salt to accompany.  Good meal.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


...and wordless too.

Avery's Bug Barf, a kiwi and pineapple soda.  $1.19.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

2005 Pommard

It is well to remember that there are five reasons for drinking: the arrival of a friend; one's present or future thirst; the excellence of the wine; or any other reason.
Latin saying
This 2005 Pommard from Bouchard Pere & Fils hit on all five of the above reasons.  Deep and rich aromas of ripe fruit and earth literally flew out of the glass when the wine was first poured.  This was a wine one could smell from halfway across the room.  With a little swirling there were spices that joined the mix. 

This was a wine that played with the palate.  The depth of the fruit made one think the wine would be sweet, but the damp earth flavors and tannin kept the fruit in check.  It sat on the proverbial edge between sweet and savory and never went far to either side.  Add in length and depth and it was a remarkable wine.  It also has a good number of years of life ahead of it.  

Dinner was two lamb chops with rosemary, thyme and Dijon mustard with potatoes sauteed in duck fat to keep the chops company.     A perfect tribute to spring.

2005 Bouchard Pere & Fils Pommard.  13.5% alcohol and $60.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


“With so many trees in the city, you could see the spring coming each day until a night of warm wind would bring it suddenly in one morning. Sometimes the heavy cold rains would beat it back so that it would seem that it would never come and that you were losing a season out of your life. This was the only truly sad time in Paris because it was unnatural. You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintry light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person had died for no reason. In those days, though, the spring always came finally but it was frightening that it had nearly failed.” ― Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Second Time Around

Having managed to save some of the Munselle Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc discussed in the post below this one it made its second appearance with a completely different meal a day later.  This time  it was joined by an oven roasted half turkey breast adorned with salt, pepper and fresh thyme.  There was a small pot of stuffing on the side with some tender leaves of the first, fresh herbs of spring - sage, thyme and tarragon. 

The wine was different by having spent a day under vacuum, but it was equally as good.  It was a bit more mellow, but that was an advantage with the fuller flavor of the turkey breast.  The fruit content was showing better on the second day.  It would be difficult to pick which day was the best, and that's a credit to the wine.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Green and Fresh

Yes, there is green grass in this picture, though two days later it was covered again in snow. 

There was a spring meal of fresh asparagus and Alaskan halibut and that called for a young, fresh wine.  I opted for a wine I picked up last May during a trip to California; a Munselle Vineyards, River Ranch, Alexander Valley Sauvignon Blanc.  I tasted the wine at the vineyard during a tour last May and brought a bottle home.  It was crisp and bright in California and the extra year of bottle age did not change that. 

This bottle was still fresh and herbaceous, but with a little bit of deeper flavor than I remember.  Very easy to drink with a slight chill to it.   The asparagus was steamed and served with a lemon butter and the halibut was pan seared and oven roasted with the same lemon butter sauce.  Great match with the wine, though it truly shone with the fish.

Sadly the Sauvignon Blanc is not currently available from the vineyard, but they make a number of other wines.  The story behind Munselle is quite interesting.  You can read that by clicking here.

2012 Munselle Vineyards River Ranch, Alexander Valley Sauvignon Blanc.  14.2% alcohol and about $20.

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Few Words

"Drink because you are happy, but never because you are miserable. Never drink when you are wretched without it, or you will be like the grey-faced gin-drinker in the slum; but drink when you would be happy without it, and you will be like the laughing peasant of Italy. Never drink because you need it, for this is rational drinking, and the way to death and hell. But drink because you do not need it, for this is irrational drinking, and the ancient health of the world." —G.K. Chesterton, Heretics