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mercoledì 21 luglio 2010

finding Louis the XVI's bubbly


Divers have discovered what is thought to be the world's oldest drinkable champagne (dating back to 1780) in a shipwreck in the Baltic Sea.
They have already tested out the contents of one bottle and claim it tastes 'fantastic' despite dating back to the late 18th century.

Read more: at dailymail.co.uk

Diving instructor Christian Ekstrom holds one of the 230-year-old bottles
(Photo: Dailymail.co.uk)

lunedì 19 luglio 2010

vitello tonnato, and dreadful heat damaged wine!

Much excitement over the anticipation, and finally being able to cook some Vitel Tonnè (in the piemontese dialect). Much Disappointment when I opened a Vajra Dolcetto Coste & Fossati to drink with it, and it was heat damaged as shit (more on that in a sec)...

I used a recipe from the cookbook ''Regional Foods of Northern Italy'' by Marlena De Blasi.  This recipe is quite authentic... I had to substitute a few ingredients.  For instance Capers packed in salt as opposed to vinegar, are hard to come by.
The veal can be either boiled or roasted.... We opted for the roasted version... 
Next time I will know how to construct the salsetta for the vitello tonnato much better...
But overall it was a delicious experience....

here tony mashes some whole cloves, that will be cooked with the wine... and later used in the sauce

anchovies, capers, egg yolks, lemos zest, tuna packed in olive oil all going into the food processor together....

the finished product of the delicious boneless veal roast (from the leg) along with the tuna salsetta in the middle

Started the hot summer day with this gewurztraminer from Alsace... it was delicious but a bit too sweet for my liking of gewurztraminer.  I really got into the italian gewurztraminers from Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, which usually produce a much dryer version. 

Opening the dolcetto was a great fucking surprise and it tasted horribly off.   I have tasted this wine before and it was delicious.  Here there were tastes of sherry, oxidation, heat, loss of elegance, and the fruit all jumbled around if showing at all. The cork also looked as if the wine was sneaking up slowly.  This brought back some memories of previous purchases.  Also it made me realize how many wine stores and successful ones at that, carry big name age worthy wines and don't have temperature controlled storage...  once the temperatures reach over 90 degrees Fahrenheit they are at exreeme risk, and can increase aging up to 70 times, along with other chemical reactions taking place...

anyway.... I bought this bottle along with a Pio Cesare 2004 Barolo at a wine shop in Trastevere, Rome.  The Pio Cesare I had to bring back and replace with a 2003 Barolo because there was wine leaking out of the top...  This is a classic sign of heat damaged wine.  In Rome when the summers can stay 90-100 plus degrees, barely any shops are sporting a temperature control. The best part about the pio 04 barolo is that when I brought the wine back, the owner of the shop (a cranky Italian woman) told me to put the bottle back on the shelf...  what a miserable thought.  All she wants is to sell to tourists who will never be back, with no concern for quality or customer satisfaction.  A shame that this is the mentality of so many Italians in the 'big cities, like Rome.  I'm sure my '03 barolo is fucked as well, I will have to pop it this week...

we ended up drinking this $10 cotes du rhone in place of the dolcetto... nearby, is a beautiful aroma de cuba to finish things off later...


a highlight was our version of panna cotta we made.  for the topping I roasted in the oven, fresh figs drizzled with balsamic vinegar di modena and a sprinkle of sugar.  

gewurztraminer by the lake... a stunning day in the berkshires, massachusetts....
 
my harsh feelings for the heat damaged wine were quickly drowned out by this delicious and powerful Grapppa di nebbiolo da barolo Riserva by Fontanafredda

mercoledì 14 luglio 2010

lascombes


A quick look at the second growth bordeaux I tasted tonight...
Chateau Lascombes Margaux 2005 Grand Cru Classè
52% cab 45% merlot, with some petit verdot
$120-$160
Nose showing wonderful floral notes at the moment...
heaps of blueberry and summer flowers, oak.. very full body and tanins that are not shy....
long in the mouth.. a few elements are closed still, but sure to be expressed in some years to come.
usually not into the modernness thing, but this wine pulls it off beautifully... 
93 WS
95 RP

in other news....
a foxy ass picture of Claudia Cardinale...
buona giornata!!!

martedì 13 luglio 2010

shots from the chateau

 (above: the Blantyre Castle in Lenox, Massachusetts.)
With about 21,000 bottles there isn't much competition with the Blantyre cellar around these parts, especially in the french department... and finishing up a wounded soldier isn't so bad, when it's a 1996 Domaine De La Romanèe Conti ''La Tache''

A splendid Amedei toscano black chocolate and raspberry vacherin, presented by Chef de Cuisine Arnaud Cotar in the kitchen at Blantyre.

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