Saturday, April 30, 2016

Spring Lamb and Riesling

The lamb was stirred dried with onions, asparagus, red pepper, hot, dried peppers, ginger, garlic and hoisin based sauce to bring it all together. There was some heat so a Riesling was in order.

I opened a 2005 Weingut Spreitzer Oestricher Lenchen Kabnett from the Rheingau.  Ten years had turned the wine from pale yellow to golden.  Those same years also added some depth and complexity to the wine.

The flavors were still tart citrus but there was more than acid, there was a golden raisin or two to contend with.  The wine was sweet on the front of the tongue, bloomed in the mid palate and finished with wonderful acid a a hint of sweetness at the very end.  It really married well with the gaminess of the lamb and the heat from the dried, red peppers.

This was the last of three bottles that I bought when the wine was released about eight years ago.  Very sad to drink the last one, but the pleasure lives on.

2005 Weingut Spreitzer Oestricher Lenchen Kabnett.  8.5% alcohol and $20 when originally purchased.  Excellent wine.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Happiness in a Bottle

I pulled out a wine that had been in the cellar for some time, primarily because I put my hand on it and it seemed to say drink me.  It was a wise choice.

The wine was a 2005 Felsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia.  I liked it the second the cork came out of the bottle.  It was inky dark and closed up, but with some swirling the first small glass started to bloom.  The rest of the bottle was decanted.  The aromas were fruit and earth in a beautiful proportion.  More swirling and the first sip was still closed, but it was full bodied with good tannin and fruit.

An hour later the decanted wine was a quintessential Tuscan red wine.  That sense of earth or dirt was strong, but it it was overlaid with bright red fruit with darker aspects.  The wine had tremendous acid that was just what I was looking for to cut through a rich, dry aged strip steak from the grill.  This was a great match and meal.  This was a combination to savor and not one to rush in any way.

2005 Felsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia.  13.5% alcohol and $40 original price.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Bottoms Up!

The resident canine and I discovered this local Mallard searching for breakfast yesterday morning.  His somewhat more formal portrait is below.  We are in an extended period of good weather and after the long winter that makes me very happy.

And along the shoreline a turtle (non-Teenage Mutant Ninja type) finds a sunny spot to warm up.

And a Canada Goose mother sits on her nest. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Three Weeks Early

The mint in the garden has reached the first harvesting stage so it had to be put to use.  We're also three weeks from the Kentucky Derby so practice was needed.  The julep is fresh mint muddled with some simple syrup, two ounces of Maker's Mark bourbon, and  shaken with some ice.  It was poured into an ice filled glass and garnished with a sprig of bruised mint. 

I love spring

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Spring Riesling

One of my local markets now carries Berkshire pork on a semi-regular basis and I have become addicted to it.There is more fat in the pork and when cooked correctly it remains moist, juicy and habit forming.  Above is an inch thick rib chop seasoned with salt, pepper and a bit of smoked paprika and then grilled on a fire of hickory wood.  The potatoes are small redskins that were cooked in a very salty brine, dried, and then flattened with the bottom of a glass into hockey pucks.  They were then pierced all over with the tines of a fork and sauteed in butter until lightly crisp on the outside and then finished with a couple splashes of malt vinegar and some fresh chives.

The wine was a 2010 Alfred Merkelbach Urziger Wurtzgarten Riesling Kabinett.  The wine had darkened since I first opened a bottle a few years ago, but it was still crisp and fruity.  The flavors were citrus and melon and unmistakable slate.  The tremendous acid cut through the fat from the pork like a pro.  Delicious pairing.  Wonderful meal.

2010 Alfred Merkelbach Urziger Wurtzgarten Riesling Kabinett.  9% alcohol and $18. 

Friday, April 1, 2016

A Sunny Afternoon

A Kiwi on a sunny, spring afternoon is a good thing.  A peeled and sliced kiwi was muddled with mint leaves, sugar and the very tip of a vanilla bean.  In went two ounces of gin (Hendricks in this case) and some ice.  Shaky, shaky, shaky.  The result was strained into a glass of fresh ice and topped with seltzer water, a slice of kiwi and a sprig of mint. 

I had two.