There was another spot of spring yesterday afternoon, sunshine and moderate temperatures that were promises of things to come. There is enough daylight and warmer temperatures that the fresh herbs are finally peeking above the ground. In a couple weeks the chives will be up enough to start harvesting.
The 2006 J Vidal Fleury Cotes du Rhone was another wine that was in the mixed case purchased on Saturday. I tried a bottle about six months ago and at $16 I thought it was a very good wine at the time. At it's sale price of $12 it was an even better wine. Lots of bright strawberry fruit and a touch of dirt in the nose and taste coupled with soft tannins and good acidity made this wine very easy to drink. Just as yesterday's Chignin wasn't a wine with subtle nuances to demand too much thought, this wine just went down easily. There was a hint of pepper at the end but basically it left the mouth refreshed and ready for more. There are times when that is all I want from a wine, and yesterday was one of those times.
Since the day was so nice we filled the grill with charcoal and roasted a whole chicken over indirect heat. We made a compound butter of finely grated lemon peel, freshly grated ginger, some white pepper and salt and rubbed that between the skin and the flesh. The inside of the bird got a handful of thyme and the entire thing roasted in the dry heat of the grill for almost two hours. There was a slight wind yesterday and the new neighbors were the beneficiary of the sweet smoke with ginger-lemon overtones. They finally came over to ask what the "fantastic" aroma was and went home with the brief recipe.
I added some fresh asparagus mixed with porcini tortellini and finished with a 2008 fresh pressed olive oil just off the boat from Tuscany and some grated pecorino cheese. The lemon, ginger and thyme flavored the chicken to near perfection and the light smoke from the charcoal really set off the wine. I will eat and drink this combination again.
Good weather, good wine, good food and a happy dog who got some pan drippings and a little chicken skin mixed in his dog food made for a wonderful afternoon and evening.