Monday, August 31, 2009

A Sunday of Julia, French Bistro food, Wine & Friends

Yesterday we went to see Julie & Julia, finally! I've wanting to see this for quite some time now. "My Life in France" is one of the best books I've ever read & I had heard that all the Julia Child scenes were based off that book. It was thoroughly entertaining & I believe I had a smile on my face for the duration of the film. Why don't I have a fabulous Paris flat where I throw fantastic dinner parties?? Oh well...

After the film Kelly & I joined Elizabeth, Steve, Richie, Meagan, Becca, Lee, Lance & Fiona at Cafe 1912 for a little French bistro fare & some ridiculous, ridiculous wines. Each person brought a bottle that they've been wanting to share.

We began with a crisp, nutty, glycerol Etude Pinot Gris 2006 Carneros courtesy of Lance & Fiona.

Next up was the Andrew Rich Roussanne 2006 Columbia Valley, WA from yours truly. I picked up this Rhone varietal yummy at Un Cork It in Chicago. While in Oregon I sampled a few Andrew Rich wines, including a juicy sauv blanc, but not the roussanne. This baby was loaded with passion fruit, & a luscious waxy texture.

Up next was Elizabeth's Caves des Papes Oratorio Gigondas 2000. Oh my goodness...Really. I heart the Rhone Valley. The wine was earthy & spicy with plum/blackberry compote & hints of lavender/rosemary. So delicious.

Elizabeth has my heart for many reasons but most of all because she loves Rhones even more than I do. Her next little gem was Perrin & Fils Reserve 2000 Cotes du Rhone. Again, sorry, no pic. The nose was super stinky! Horse paddock, barnyard...straight up poopy! This might turn some off but thats exactly what I love about a Rhoney with some age on it. The palate was silky & sensual with beautifully integrated tannins that had a nice chewy, chalky nature.

Get a load of the braised shortribs with red wine demi glace & mashed potatoes. Oh, man, so heavenly!

Lance & Fi's second wine was a very interesting little vino. Dominio Dostares 2006 Castillo y Leon. The grape variety, prieto picudo, was something I had never had before. It was so dark & brooding on the nose with a violet laced, spicy & wild fruit expression. De-lish. Kind of reminded me of a mix between cab franc & barbera.

Richie & Meagan's first wine was next. Carrefour Cabernet Franc 2004 Napa Valley. This super expressive baby gives me hope for Napa Valley. I'm kinda over Napa as a whole but this wine makes me reconsider. It had traditional notes of violet, pepper & red fruit with a round, supple body. Sorry, no pic.

My last wine was a little baby that I brought back from Washington State in April. Cavatappi "Maddalena" Nebbiolo 2003 Red Willow Vineyard, Yakima Valley. It had the brickish color that I expected from a Piedmont nebbiolo which really really pleased me. The nose was deep with tar, rosewater & a blueberry note. The palate was full & round with a velvety, sensual texture. Ahh the beauty of Washington. Am I getting a little repetitive by saying that? I can't help myself! I truly believe that Washington is producing the best wines in America! Save for the pinot noir coming from Oregon.

Becca & Lee brought an outstandingly delicious Bordeaux style blend from the Galilee region of Israel, I can't quite remember the wine label. Becca? Help? It was sooo good. For those of you who haven't had a good Israeli wine (or any for that matter) history, climate & topography collide to create a perfect growing site for wine grapes. This wine had a dark purple/red color in the glass with a nose of currant, clove, tobacco & earth. The palate was rich & bold with a supple tannin, layers of black fruit & spice & a leathery quality that was lovely.

Last up was something I was looking so much forward to. Corliss Estates Syrah 2004 Columbia Valley. Corliss is a very new winery that has just sprung up in Washington in the past few years. They source their grapes until their own estate vineyards are ready. When Richie poured the wine it was a black/blue color in the glass. The nose was brimming with blueberry, dried meat, pork fat & star anise. This wine had deep flavors of blueberry, a creamy sumptuous mouthfeel & a finish that lasted & lasted....& lasted.

Thanks for a wonderful Sunday you guys!!


Becca said...

We had an amazing time! So much fun. The bottle we brought was a 2005 Yiron from Galil Mountain.

Michael Hughes said...

That wine was sooo delicious.

Becca said...

All of the wine that night was delicious. The food was great...but what was really phenomenal was the company. It makes everything taste better.

Martin said...

I have also read that book "My Life in France".With every word I sensed I was there. I could smell the air, feel the cold and want a blanket. I lusted to be able to taste the foods she talked about. I laughed when she described her first attempts at food preparation. I loved that she was pragmatic and yet extravagant about cooking utensils. Her husband was very encouraging of her endeavors. Together they shared a life and a love, but it was more, they shared a passion for travel and the tastes of other cultures. My mouth salivated as she toured the markets. Her French was horrible by her own admission but her genuine interest in the culture won out with shop owners. It is a delicious read.The drink i can saw in the picture are really nice. I love to drink wine and smoke my Cohiba every weekend.

Michael Hughes said...

Martin- you are very eloquent & really summed up the book very well, thanks for commenting. I've never been much of a cigar smoker but I just might have to try a good one sometime!

jgriffin said...

This, hands down, is one of the best reads of the year. We took it with us on vacation last month & my wife and I competed over reading rights whenever the kids were otherwise occupied. It's beautifully told and as compelling as a great mystery that you know has a happy ending. It will remind you of your honeymoon in France (even if you went somewhere else) and inspire you to go again. And when you finish, you'll want to find a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and keep going....I like to read this book while smoking my Cuban cigars which are the Best Cigars of the world.

Catherine said...

Interesting French food experience. You could also try Château d'Yquem which is excellent :)
French Course