Twitter Recipe #1: Wine suggestions for Anthony’s white bean sunchoke purée crostini (and another recipe)

The other day, I was getting ready to cook some white beans, and wanted to take the dish in a different direction than what I usually do. So knowing that I have many friends on Twitter who are well-versed in the culinary arts of the Mediterranean, I tweeted for suggestions while the beans simmered and got many good ideas.

Caroline (aka @gastrolinguista) suggested a Fabada, a bean dish with chorizo and saffron, among other things. I wound up doing a kind of fabada, that evening, with some of my homemade chorizo and dry-cured bacon.

There was also this very simple one from Anthony Nicalo, of Farmstead Wines:

@RemyCharest sweat onion & garlic, add chopped tomato, lightly color, deglaze w wht wine; add beans, and simmer w po rk stock, rosemary, salt

And then, as I dug through the fridge (more…)

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Wine Blogging Wednesday #52: an inexpensive organic red from Chile

When I heard about the theme for Wine Blogging Wednesday number 52, Value Reds From Chile, proposed by Tim of the Cheap Wine Ratings blog, I knew that it was right up my alley. After all, for Wine Blogging Wednesday #48, when Lenn Thompson asked us to go back to our roots, to the first wines we liked to drink, I went straight back to Chilean cabernets.

And since, as far as I’m concerned, the most interesting ones are generally under 20$ (or only a little above that), it wasn’t too difficult to follow Tim’s lead and stay under the 20$ line.

But beyond the price, I thought I’d try (more…)

WBW 51: Madeiration in all things (Henriques and Henriques 1995 Single Vintage)

I really have to thank Joe Roberts, aka 1WineDude, for proposing this baked goods theme, about wines that have gone through the test of time and heat, and have only become all the better for it. Because when I tasted the Henriques & Henriques 1995 Single Harvest Madeira I chose for this edition of the Wine Blogging Wednesdays, I could only think: “Wow. Why don’t I drink this kind of stuff more often.”

It’s true that the idea of “baked goods” and oxydative wines go well beyond madeira itself – the vin jaune of the Jura region of France, sherries of Spain, old cuvées of some muscats of southern France… – but madeira is what I was really looking forward to taste, this time.

Just the caramel/copper color of this teenage wine is enough to get you daydreaming. And then (more…)

Tasting Note: 1998 Conundrum, Caymus Vineyards

If you do things well enough, you can make pretty much anything work in winemaking. Even combinations and approaches that simply shouldn’t make sense.

Want proof? Try some Conundrum, the impossibly complicated blend created by Caymus winemaker John Bolta. It’s made from chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, semillon, viognier and muscat from Napa Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Lucia Highlands and (more…)

Wine Blogging Wednesday 47: Swiss Salt

I really have to thank Erin and Michelle at Grape Juice for setting up such a playful WBW: Today’s Wine, Brought to You by the Letter “S” is a terrific theme, one that, as they intended, forces you to think outside the (bag-in-)box.

I thought of Savennières and sauvignons, of sweet wines and all sorts of stuff. I even went through the S section of the Oxford Companion to Wine, and finally, wound up with a wine that starts with an “a”. Or a “p”. Depends.

It’s called petite arvine, and among the many distinctive varietals of Valais, in Switzerland, it scores very, very highly. This colorful white wine (more…)

Another Kind of French Paradox

I’ve been pondering on two separate, yet related bits of news about the world of French wine.

1. The French Government wants to make French wine simpler.

Trying to compete on international markets with New World chardonnays and cabernet sauvignons, France is creating a simpler category of plonk made without any geographical obligation. Called “Vignobles de France”, the category will allow varietals to be placed front and center on the labels, and allow winemaking practices like oak chips and added tannins. Also, it will be possible to make them with a varietal that is planted outside of its traditional region (you want to make a gewurztraminer in Pauillac? It’ll be a Vignobles de France). And you’ll even be allowed to mix wine from different regions.

Clearly, this is a wine industry decision, not unlike (more…)

Tasting Note: Gran Coronas Mas La Plana 1988, Penedès, Miguel Torres

This tasting note can now be found on the new address for this blog, winecase.ca. All new content is now online at winecase.ca.

See you there!

A toast to Robert Mondavi

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, the very first wine experience that gave me a real sense of what wine could be about came from a bottle of Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir Reserve 1987. And I have several very good memories of drinking Mondavi wines, before the days of the Constellation takeover that took the Mondavi Winery away from the Mondavis. To Kalon Fumé Blanc 2004, for instance, is one of the greatest New World whites I’ve tasted.

So it was with a real sense of sadness that I read, today, that Robert Mondavi, the patriarch of that famed wine family, died today at the age of 94. Wine Spectator immediately sent out an e-mail to subscribers and put up a whole special section on its web site. The news (more…)

Published in: on May 16, 2008 at 5:17 pm  Comments (2)  
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Wine Blogging Wednesday (aargh… Thursday, again) #45: Old World Riesling

I like riesling more than I think I do.

What I mean to say is that as I pondered the theme of the May Wine Blogging Wednesday and tried to choose an Old World riesling for this contribution, I kept thinking about the many ways in which I’d enjoyed it, just over the last few months: alsatian Léon Beyer riesling by the glass in two restaurants (dry, mineral and yet nicely aromatic and expressive), a 2002 Grittermatte riesling from Domaine Julien Meyer (a touch oxydized, yet clean, well-rounded and complex), a 2000 riesling from Ontario’s Hernder Estate Winery, a bottle of Mort’s Block from Kilikanoon, a Grant Burge riesling, a Mount Cass slightly botrytized riesling from New Zealand (see my French-language review here) , and so on. The variety in acidity, mineral character, floral and (more…)

Tasting Note: Badia a Passignano Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva 1998, Antinori

This Chianti was a classic indeed. Bearing the old vertical, Swiss Bank Note style label (a lot more interesting than the very classy current sepia version), my 1998 Badia, made from a 50-hectare vineyard on an estate bought by Piero Antinori in 1987, was brought out to celebrate an anniversary – and it was worth it.

Right from the opening, (more…)