Sunday, November 2, 2008

An Unpleasant Week

It was back to work on a supposed limited basis this past week, but to quote Robert Burns, "the best laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley."

In short, there was little that was 'limited' about it. There are four supervisors and thanks to a long planned cruise, an unexpected death in the immediate family and a sudden incapacitation to save a pregnancy there was suddenly only one, recovering knee and all. There was also a $450K project that had to be completed. That meant there was little wine and even less time during the week.

That changed in a good way yesterday evening.

Dinner was simple; some chicken thighs marinated in lemon juice, olive oil, and Turkish seasonings. They were baked in a hot oven, and there was a pot of curried couscous with almonds and currants to go alongside them.

I looked at two wines and made the decision to try them both. The first, pictured above, was the 2006 J. Vidal-Fleury Cotes du Rhone at $14 a bottle. It was spicy and peppery on the nose with lots of soft, ripe fruit jumping out. The flavors were simple and bright with ripe and tart cherries in a good balance. There was a nice rusticity to the wine and I like that in a Cotes du Rhone. Sometimes I don't want polish and finesse, and a good Cotes du Rhone nearly always can be counted on. There was good flavor in the mid-palate and acid and dry tannins helped the wine finish well. It balanced nicely with the chicken thighs. A good wine for the price.

The second wine was a 2006 Felsina Berardenga Chianti Classico at $19. I have had very good luck with the wines from Fattoria di Felsina, particularly the Riservas. The ones I've had have all been good and this is the new release in the local market. I bought a bottle to drink to see if I wanted to lay away a few bottles. The nose was arch typical Chianti - fruit and dirt. The wine is about balanced, sweet cherries playing off the earthiness and acid. For the price this was a very nice wine and two or three more will find an adopted home with me. I went particularly well with the couscous as the currants and curry really seemed to tame the tannin and highlight the fruit. Full flavored from start to finish and it also went nicely with a small bite of dark chocolate with pomegranate bits to finish the meal.

There is plenty of each left and they have been vacuum sealed. There will be a trip to the market and the meals for the next several days will center around these two wines.

The time changed back to standard time early this morning but someone forgot to tell Scott and Ellie to reset their stomachs, bladders and bowels. At 4:30 they were on the bed thinking it was time to go out. They won the battle of course, and like typical Gordons when their needs are met they are back to sleeping. Maybe they are right - a nap after breakfast sounds like a grand idea!

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