Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Good Day

Saturday morning was primarily errands but the rest of the day was just relaxing and playing. The new satellite television system was up and running late Friday so whereas I used to complain about nothing to watch on TV when I had 40 stations to choose among I can now make the same statement when I have nearly 200 stations to choose among.

I forced myself to put down the controller long enough to grill an aged rib eye steak and roast some garlic and rosemary potatoes. The steak was finished with just a touch of olive oil and lemon juice. We're still overdosing on vine ripe tomatoes so there was another tomato, basil and mozzarella salad. I will miss this dish in the winter.

The wine was a 2006 Gianfranco Alessandria Barbera D'Alba. There was a fragrant but somewhat closed nose of not totally ripe red cherries and some vegetables. The front end was more about fully ripe, but very tart, sour cherries. Bright and forward acidity, medium body and a little clean dirt on the finish. This was a good choice for a well marbled steak as additional breathing time opened up the wine and it lost its vegetable aroma. The finish was fresh and clean, but not tremendously long. At $16 it's a very good wine.

This is the fourth wine I've had from this producer and I've mentioned the Dolcetta D'Alba previously in this blog. This is a small producer (10 acres) that for some reason has a presence in the local market. I was fortunate enough to taste four of the wines when the winemaker was through the area last fall. The Dolcetto remains one of my favorite food wines. I own several bottles of the 2004 Langhe Nebbiolo. At $22 I thought it was the best value in the lineup, true nebbiolo character at a decenet price and one doesn't have to wait too long to enjoy it. The 2003 Barolo San Giovani was the star of the tasting. A modern style Barolo there was tons of fruit and acid and depth but unmistakable nebbiolo character. At $80 a bottle it was a little pricey, but it was a tremendous wine. There is also a reserve 2005 Barbera D'Alba in the $35 range, but that wine was gone before I got a chance to taste it. From top to bottom Alessandria is simply an excellent producer of moderately priced wines.

To finish the evening there was a small square of dark chocolate. That wasn't a good choice with the wine as there wasn't enough depth to the wine. The 200 day old Gorgonzola cheese was a much better choice for the last glass of the evening. That was a nice pairing.

I have no idea what today will bring, but Monday (a holiday) will start with a trip to a couple of nearby Ohio vineyards. It's nearly time for the harvest and if the weather holds the 2008 local vintage should be outstanding.

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