Sunday, June 19, 2011

Evan's first restaurant visit, with Chablis

At 2 months old, it was time to take Evan to a first-ever restaurant for my first Father's Day. Where else but Donato Enoteca. I grabbed a bottle of chilled, Garagiste-supplied excellent 2008 Domaine Vrignaud Chablis that paired perfectly with all kinds of salads, seafood, and porchetta pizza on a hot summer day. More and more I am gravitating toward leaner style of white Burgundy, i.e. Chablis and Macon. Both 2007 and 2008 are excellent vintages for that. My taste buds and my wallet thank me.

After getting a cheap feel, he happily fell asleep while we polished off the bottle.

Monday, June 13, 2011

2004 and 2006 Brunellos worth cellaring

On Saturday, I was picking some 2006 Crozes-Hermitage and 2001 Rioja at a wine shop, and sneaked a 5-min firehose tasting of a few Brunellos, while Rona and baby Evan waited in the car. The episode confirmed what I already knew - 2004 vintage of Brunello di Montalcino is fantastic. You can skip 2005 (apologies for gross generalization), and head straight for the 2006 just hitting the shelves - a very very good and cellar-worthy vintage, albeit still very young and tannic.

2004 Valdicava ($80) was delicious and ready to drink, but awfully expensive IMO. Both 2006 Casanova di Neri ($40) and Canalicchio di Sopra ($60) are worth buying and cellaring, with the latter being more complex, showing intriguing spice. I enjoy these base-level bottlings for their quality/price ratios, for half the price of their higher end (Riserva) brethren.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

40-year-old Riesling with sashimi - das ist goot!

This is a friendly eye-opener that German Riesling is fantastic with sashimi. The citrus fruit, bright acidity, minerality, and a slight sweetness component - complement the succulence of the raw fish with a splash of soy sauce and wasabi.

Recently, I attended the Wines of Germany Riesling & Co. trade tasting focusing primarily on the latest vintage of Riesling - 2009. Catalog can be found here. I generally focus on Kabinett and Spatlese, and on occasion Auslese level wines, as those are far more food friendly than the higher-sugar ones - beerenauslese, trockenbeerenauslese and eiswein - i.e. the "dessert wine" category. The recent vintages 2007 and 2008 were good. 2009 appears to be excellent. I particularly enjoyed Prinz von Hessen 2009 Johannisberger Klaus from Rheingau and Dr. Loosen 2009 Urziger Wurzgarten Spatlese and Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese from Mosel. The Weingut Max Ferd. Richter lineup of 2009 was also reliable, with Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Auslese being particularly tasty.

Finally I had the pleasure of sampling a selection of library wines, from over 10 to 40 years old. The 1971 Weingut Dr. Burklin-Wolf Wachenheimer Goldbachel Riesling Auslese was still sweet, deep in color and complex in flavor - delicious! The higher the original sweetness the longer it could age. 30-40 years for Auslese, BA, or TBA is no big deal. Das ist goot!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Whine connoisseur

The other day I walked past Tide laundry detergent, which smelled exactly like a bunch of Italian white wines. Aha, that's minerality! Other than that, it's been pretty much poopy diapers that alternate between coffee & vanilla and mustard & vinegar. My well-developed nose (oh let the jokes of my Jewish heritage begin!) is perhaps a liability in this case.

Evan is 1.5 mo. old now and is already an expert at w(h)ining!

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