Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Chi & Meay show

The dynamic duo brought their lovely selves over to our house Sunday evening for a little blind tasting action. Along with two bottles of wine they brought yummy blue cheese and feta cheese stuffed olives, Cabernet soaked cheddar, delicious crackers and some Danish blue. I grilled some red wine and blueberry glazed pork tenderloin. Off we go!

The first wine was white and REALLY threw me off. I smelled limestone and wet rock but thought it was a Sauvignon Blanc. Silly me. It, of course, turned out to be a Chablis, La Chablisienne Cuvee LC to be exact. Doh!

Up next was a dark and rich red wine with gorgeous dark and earthy fruit. I initially thought it was a grenache, then switched to a syrah. I should have listened to my gut. It was the 2004 Las Rocas Garnacha. For $10 a bottle everyone should by this by the case.

#3 had a ruby color and light body, but with tons of fruit. I guessed that it was a new world Italian varietal such as Barbera, Sangiovese or Dolcetto. It was revealed to be Scott Harvey Barbera from Amador County.

#4 was so dark that Megan couldn't even read through it. The intense nose just poured out of the glass, the body was medium to full and the finish lasted a good deal of time on the sides of the palate. This little lovely was revealed to be the 1999 Falcone Cabernet Sauvignon from the Garda DOC in Italy. Wonderful.

Take every opportunity to blind taste. It's humbling....but a lot of fun at the same time.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

My Apologies

I have been out of pocket lately and I supremely apologize for the lack of posts. I have been packing my head and palate with wine knowledge in order to prepare for the Introductory Sommelier Course. I will be posting soon!

Just to let you know. I passed the Intro level, with flying colors!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Across State Lines

Sundays are my days to cook. This Sunday was no different. Kelly informed me that we had dinner plans with our friends Scott and Dana. Since they have a son who is nearly 2, we thought it would be more convenient for them if we had dinner at their house. We packed up the dogs (Otis and Hank), grabbed the food I prepared and set off for Mississippi.

I prepared a fresh crab salad with fresh ginger, garlic, red wine vinegar, fresh lychees and olive oil. I served that with crispy focaccia crostini to spread the salad on. I also prepared a salad of sweet snap pea pods, walnuts, goat's milk feta, shallots, strawberries and spinach with a light vinaigrette.

Both of these dishes paired wonderfully with a 2005 Robert Sinskey Vin Gris of Pinot Noir. This light pale rose has bright hints of strawberry which played well off the spinach salad. The white flower notes and light acidity complemented the crab salad very well.

Scott prepared beef carpaccio with parmesan and olive oil, an herbed cheese spread with crackers, and mini spiced burgers. All of these dishes worked incredibly well with the 2002 Coturri "Red Series" Sangiovese. This particularly wine is full bodied with an almost Amarone-like quality. Its fruit and tannin worked a perfect contrast to the beef.

My stomach is grumbling all over again.

For dessert I prepared fresh mango slices drizzled with a blue cheese sabayon. The mango was super ripe and sweet. Therefore, I felt it needed some salty richness to balance it out. I didn't add too much blue cheese to the sayabon, just enough to give it the kick it needed. It worked together perfectly, if I do say so myself, and wasn't difficult to make at all. This dish paired nicely with the season finale of The Sopranos. The sweet salty richness livened up the BORING episode. Sorry Kelly.

Monday, June 05, 2006


I should be studying right now and not blogging, but I just can't help it. I'm set to take the Introductory Sommelier Course with the Court of Master Sommeliers next week and I'm not sure if I'm ready. Maybe I'll blind taste tonight or get some reading done at work today. I should. No matter how much knowledge I think I have, there will always be more to gain. That is the reason why I got into this in the first place. I'm constantly challenged and excited all at the same time. Cheers!