Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wine Wednesdays - An evening with Rivers Marie

I threw a dinner party just before Thanksgiving kickoff and poured one of my favorite producers, Rivers Marie.  We started with the 2014 B. Thieriot Vineyard Chardonnay from the Sonoma Coast, the perfect compliment to Epoisses cheese (a Burgundian cheese that pairs wonderfully with Chardonnay).  With just 20% new oak, this wine is crisp and clean while also achieving a roundness on the finish, aka my perfect balance.  

Dinner consisted of my pinch-hitter roasted chicken, "panty-dropper potatoes" and salad.  For red wine, we opened the "Gioia Vineyard" Pinot Noir, also from the Sonoma Coast.  Classic notes of red fruit and spice carried us from dinner all the way through dessert, which was a delicious chocolate mousse with homemade whipped cream.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Wine Wednesdays - Charles Joguet 2012 "Clos de la Dioterie" Chinon

It's taken a turn towards true fall here in NY, with a rainy day that would not quit yesterday!  I pulled out this Chinon for steak night and it was just the cozy, warming wine we needed.  We started with a steak from Hudson and Charles.  This Cabernet Franc hails from the Chinon AOC.  The Joguet family had been growing grapes in the Loire Valley for years when son Charles decided to establish the family name in a domaine all their own in 1957.  This wine from their "Clos de la Dioterie" single vineyard is made with their oldest vines, hand-tended and harvested last so that grapes come to full, ripe, maturity.  This wine is aged in oak for 1-3 years and is something you could sit on for several years to come.  

That being said, we may have jumped the gun a bit because the oak was certainly present.  But fruit, acid, and overall taste were all delicious and indicative of what this wine will only continue to become.  A nose of "violets and bandaids" and a palate of black fruits and plums.  Definitely a good match for the steaks, but if you come across this wine, I'd say buy a few bottles, try one now, and lay one down to try again in a few years!  

Wine:  Charles Joguet 2012 "Clos de la Dioterie" Chinon
Purchased:  Kermit Lynch
Price:  $52

Monday, November 7, 2016

Travelogue - Dallas and What I Ate At The Texas State Fair

Why Dallas you may ask?  Not exactly the most exotic location, but I had some dear friends move to the "Big D" and I was long overdue for a visit.  The man and I flew in on a Friday night for a quick 48 hours.  Our main event was the Texas State Fair.  The fair is now over for this year but I highly recommend putting it on your bucketlist to visit some day.  Those deep-fried cookie dough balls will forever haunt my dreams.  It's also some of the best people watching I've ever experienced!  Pictures below highlighting everything we ate (because that's really all we did).

My first experience with true "queso" and authentic breakfast tacos at Torchy's Tacos.

Post-tacos, we headed to the fair.  I highly recommend going with a group of 4, as we were.  This allowed us to sample many different things; all you really need is one bite.  

"Best Taste" award winner - fried Jello, I seriously beg to differ as this was my least favorite item

My first Corny dog (and first corndog period)!  

My personal favorite and a previous best taste winner:  fried cookie dough bites, seriously amazing.  

We searched high and low for this year's "most creative" - cookie fries.  Creative, sure, but tasted a bit like dry bread.

Followed by a smoky bacon margarita - not good at all!

Had to get a pic with Big Tex
The infamous turkey legs - we didn't partake in trying these but everyone else seemed to enjoy them!

Not pictured but also sampled:  fried jambalaya bites (best tasting savory thing we had) and fried zucchini (which I didn't try because I was just too full at that point).  

After a nap and a stomach pump (kidding) we ate a delicious dinner at Filament.  I couldn't stomach much more than these deviled eggs but they were yummy!  And that's a lie, because I did order the beet salad and the chicken, both were very good!   

On Sunday with a clear head and fresh stomachs, we headed to BBQ, because we're in Texas and isn't that what you do?  

Pecan Lodge and Lockhart were the two most recommended spots.  We headed to Lockhart favored by our hosts to be slightly more authentic and less of a line.  We ordered literally a little bit of everything.  My favorite was the beef "shoulder clod" and the pork ribs!  The chicken was surprisingly good as well.  

After a walk around the Bishop Arts neighborhood, we finished things off with a slice of "smooth operator" pie from Emporium Pies, a la mode of course!  

Pretty much sums up our weekend.  I'm never eating again......

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Wine Wednesdays - 2013 Viticoltori de Conciliis "Donnaluna" Aglianico

These days, my favorite Saturday nigh activity is a nice dinner out with my girlfriends.  One recent Saturday with the true chill of fall in the air, we wanted something cozy.  I think Sarah's specific words were "a cozy wine bar with comfort food".  We chose Dell'Anima and bellied up to the bar in search of wine and comfort food.  With so many restaurants to choose from, Dell'Anima had fallen off my radar, I hadn't been since dinner once within the first year of moving to NY (7 years ago!).  They also have a great wine bar next door with small plates, where I had this wine a few years ago.    
In sticking with our "theme" of cozy and comfort, we each ordered a glass of the 2013 "Donnaluna" Aglianico from producer De Conciliis.  This was a varietal I knew I had come across at some point but couldn't remember exactly what it was most similar to.  It's known as one of the higher-quality red grapes from the Campania region in southern Italy.  The De Conciliis Estate is slightly closer to the Mediterranean, providing a milder climate that gives this wine a softness and finesse that isn't found in all Aglianicos (some have higher tannins making them suitable to aging but not meant to be drunk young).  I would equate it to a mix between my favorite characteristics of a Pinot Noir and a Cabernet Sauvignon.  It was bright and fruity but had a luscious, slightly jammy, round finish and hints of earthiness that was exactly what we were looking for.  Paired with a kale salad and the hanger steak and we had our perfect night out.  We were tempted by dessert (the chocolate cake sounded right up my ally) but decided on another glass of wine instead, I guess this is adulting.  

Purchased:  Dell'Anima
Price:  $22 Retail 


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