Thursday, January 15, 2015
A Double Celebration
It began just after midnight on Tuesday when the NCAA football championship game ended with my alma mater, the Ohio State University, winning by a score of 42-10 over the University of Oregon. It continued the next day when, sickly taste buds be damned, I was going to have a good wine and a good meal to celebrate. I brought home a very fatty slice of Alaskan salmon from the market and reached back into the cellar for a bottle of champagne, a Cattier Chigny Les Roses Premier Cru Vintage 1999.
No need to delay here - had I known that the cure for the taste buds was to eat salmon and drink older vintage champagne I would have done this two months ago. The salmon was silky smooth and I could taste both the flavor of the fish and each seasoning, and I could feel the texture of the fish.
The wine smelled wonderful. It was full of fruit and bread and earthiness. The first sip of the wine, was abrasive and bitter, but the second sip was better. The third, and much larger, sip was nothing short of amazing. It was like drinking fresh baked biscuits with a smear of strawberry jam on each half. There were some subtleties like white pepper and peach that I could actually taste. The acid did not offend, it tasted wonderful. There was only the faintest trace of bitterness on the back of my tongue to limit the full appreciation of the wine. To play a Robert Parker or James Sucking role here - I'd give my taste bud recovery program a score of 91. That is the best reason of all for a celebration.
And things got even better yesterday when I went with a friend to check out a much expanded wine store about and hour from home. I was still hesitant to buy anything expensive, but I bough a few bottles to try out. We stopped for lunch at a local, British style pub. The beer was very good but the fish and chips were almost perfect. the fish was moist on the inside and the breading was crunchy and good. The Parker/Suckling scale is now at 93.
1999 Cattier Chigny Les Roses Premier Cru . 12.5% alcohol. $65 about ten years ago.