Friday, March 26, 2010

Ain't nothin' purdier than a spread of Texas BBQ

'cept maybe a plat of traditionnel Coq au Vin comme à Juliénas

After just getting up from a table filled with all sorts of French delicacies, from Croustade de Pieds de Veau aux truffles to Pissenlits, lardons et oeuf poché, Quenelles de brochet comme à Nantua to Tripes maison en marmite lute, traditionnel Coq au Vin comme à Juliénas to Poulet à la Crème, au Vin Jaune et aux Morilles, and I still cannot get that Texas barbecue out of my head. Two weeks ago we finished up our Wine Waltz across texas with Stefano Illuminati, and decided to throw a good ‘ol Texas meal in front of him to thank Stefano for a week worked hard. Some old friends, from Sausage Paul to Cheese Diva Paula along with a handful of old friend “in the biz.”

One of the old friends, Steve Conner, brought out some oldie but goodies from his wine closet, a 1995 Vieux Telegraph Chateauneuf du Pape, which was stunningly beautiful (Stefano’s favorite of the night). But to my mind the 1967 Avondo Spanna was a perfect wine for the food. Creamy, still filled with fruit, but a tawny, mature depth that matched well with the smoky quality of the ribs and the brisket. Jeff Miller and Stefano were in Ft. Worth on that day and secured the meats from The Railhead Smokehouse. Now we’re talking West Texas BBQ! Along with that Hank and Phylissa Rossi brought a beautiful potato salad and of course we had a spread of Paula Lambert's cheeses, including the Hoja Santa wrapped goat cheese, which was grown right outside the door where we were celebrating.

The kicker of the night was when I brought out my home made Jalapenos, which are hotter than Dante’s 9 layers of Hell. I tell you, I can barely eat them, and I love the things. Why else would I have put up 12 pounds of them last fall? But Stefano, he ate them like they were pickles, no pain. I earned a whole new level of respect for Stefano with that.

I’ll be blogging over the next several posts about the 2009 Bordeaux harvest, or what I like to call The Bordeaux 9. The center of the wine world has often been Bordeaux and there is a lot of interest in the harvest and in the moves the Bordelaise are going to make with this highly regarded vintage. James Suckling has already written that the "2009 Vieux-Château-Certan was just too good" right now out of the barrel. And there have been hints on Twitter and elsewhere that he is comparing the 2009 Mouton to 1982 and 1986 (100 point territory?). I’ll be tasting these wines too, and will Tweet as well as post here.

Why, one asked me? It isn’t Italian wine? Nor is Napa Cabernet. But it is the world of wine and both regions, Bordeaux, and Napa represent a luxury product in a troubled economic time. To see how they explain, or sell, or maneuver, is instructional for all of us. Besides, wine is a miracle, whether it comes from a Chateau or a Bricco.

Tonight I was sitting across a gentlemen I know. A lawyer. 72 years old. And I swear he was channeling Alice Feiring when he said, “ I am looking for wines that have terroir. I am tired of tasting wines that all taste international. They make me feel like I am starting out all over again, because I don’t know how to identify them.” You gotta feel for the old guy, because if he is saying it, then it isn't some teabag-fringe element that is behind it - wines with character and flavor and honesty about their origin is in the mainstream of concern.

And yes, Alice we were on our way to Le Verre Volé wine bar, but alas we ran into a bottle of Calvados and it got to be too late. Oh well, tomorrow is another day.

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