Sunday, May 9, 2010

And So It Begins...

Birthday week began last night and since it involves staying home all week there will way too much good food and more than several bottles of good to great wines.  Among those bottles sitting upright and waiting for cork removal are a 1990 Guigal Hermitage and a 1996 Roda I Rioja. 

It all started last night with a 2000 La Braccesca, a Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano.  Last summer I discussed the 2001 vintage (here) of this wine.  This one was very similar to those notes. Bright cherry flavors, good acid, nice finish.  It lacked the same depth and intensity as its younger sibling, but it was still a good wine.  This particular bottle was a little leaner and a little more tannic.  It was just the depth of the fruit that was different.

Dinner was grilled, thick cut, pork rib chops with a glaze of balsamic vinegar and honey and some skillet potatoes to go alongside.  Good with the wine as the balsamic seemed to bring out a little more fruit in the Vino Nobile. 

More time was spent cooking yesterday since Monday or Tuesday will be a cassoulet, a casserole of white beans, duck confit, lamb and sausage.  The beans were cooked and need to age a couple of days. The lamb was braised and between the lamb and the beans and the herbs involved the house smelled wonderful. There's a lot of work involved in this dish, but I can already tell it will be worth the effort.

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