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

Friday, April 11, 2014


Rich and deep.  Savory yet suggesting sweetness.  Tannins and flowers and earth.  Dry and wonderful.

Dinner was marinated portobello mushrooms thrown on the grill until the edges crisped but the center remained moist.  There was a saffron risotto with fresh peas on the side.  Pretty plate but much better to eat it than look at it.  Perfect with the wine.

2007 Produtorri del Barbaresco Barbaresco.  14.5% alcohol and $35.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Jungle Bird

It's not often when reading recipes in the New York Times that I have every ingredient on hand needed for the item.  This afternoon that happened with the drink pictured above, a Jungle Bird.  Per the article  (click here for the entire article) it is an old Tiki Bar drink that is suddenly popular again in some of the newer cocktail lounges in New York and Chicago. 

It has black rum, fresh pineapple juice, fresh lime juice, simple syrup and Campari all shaken over ice and garnished with a bit of pineapple.  Quite tasty on a sunny, spring day.  The flamingo is optional.