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lunedì 27 febbraio 2012

Reno to New York with style



Cruddy food, cruddy wine, and cruddy cheese. The cruddy things in life seem to have a time and place.  I thoroughly enjoyed my Pepperidge Farm cheese and fruit plate with a glass of Tunupa Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon as I dug into the autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini.  A perfect ending to a bizarre trip to the west coast.

Drinking games with Bruno Giacosa...

While Do Bianchi has been writing some brilliant articles on the odd pair,  I discovered my own odd pairing while in Truckee, California last week... This classic drinking game called Higher or Lower while slugging down the one and only Bruno Giacosa Barbera D'Alba 2008.


This wine was expressive, showing marvelous terroir, spice, strong earth on the front palate, tobacco, complex fruit, and a long finish all while being unpretentious and approachable. No doubt this is a food wine, but what the fuck, sometimes you have to get daring and pop it open for a good old fashioned game of higher or lower!

domenica 19 febbraio 2012

Nebbiolo Brut Rose, and then to the worlds biggest little city (once again)


After a long 15 hours shift, thers nothing to refresh you like a glass of Aldo Rainoldi Brut Rose.  For sure one of my favorite wines on the Maialino list.  This unique bubbly from the Valtellina is made from 92 percent Chiavennasca (Nebbiolo), 4% Pignola and 4% Rossola. Very dry but with bright fruit and acidity, and a touch of that yeasty complexity.  After slurping back some of this love in a glass Im in Brooklyn for the night with an early flight to Reno.  For such a place that doesn't connect much with my taste and style, I must say I miss Reno often, and have been in and out of the Airport more than any other.

Tre Bicchieri 2012 New York City


A sun shining Friday afternoon found me stopping into Gambero Rosso's Tre Bicchieri tasting room in the city.  A typical mobbed scene with many folk flocking to the big name wines (Sassicaia) which were sure to get drained in the early hours.  I was happy enough though with a tasting of Valentini 2009 Trebbiano D'Abruzzo. The super traditional and food friendly Bertani 2004 Amarone della Valpolicella (amazing stuff) and the Librandi 2009 Duca San Felice Riserva, the 100% Galioppo which was really interesting with its sharp earthiness and spice focus.


A Tre Bicchieri pregame lunch at Union Square Caffe with truffles over house made Tonnarelli.


Very concentrated new world style Montepulciano spit into a bucket and resembling a jam jar.


The expression after my taking in the wrath of 15,6% Alc.





Above, The Ladies of the Maialino wine team at Tre Bicchieri.

martedì 14 febbraio 2012

2007 Vacqueyras shining bright for a nice buzz during lunch.


Le Mas Des Collines, Vacqueyras 2007 was on point for a simple Bucatini Al pomodoro lunch.  Watching Hannibal snack on Ray Liotta's brain was a perfect movie match with this wines dark fruit, earth, and beef blood tasting notes.  Underneath thats Terje Haakonsen soaring a method from the 2000 Norway QP.  Can't dig up the wine making technique on this wine, but it is for the most part traditional, probably stainless steel and/or cement vats, $15-$20.

domenica 12 febbraio 2012

2012 Mt Baker Banked Slalom

The annual Mt Baker, Banked Slalom... One of the most classic and anticipated contests of the year that brings together an assortment of amazing talent in the snowboarding world, young and old.  This year Terje was on his game, here are some completely stollen photos off of Instagram.


The Sprocking Cat, Terje Haakonsen sent it into first place (his 7th win) and then made a fashionably early exit before awards to catch a flight heading home to Norway.


An old Pal Kevin Pearce was present and shredding the course as well.




terje laying down the euro carve.

martedì 7 febbraio 2012

Tajarin and 2010 Langhe Nebbiolo


Tajarin was on the menu last night so I experimented with a traditional way of serving the pasta, al sugo di fegatini (chicken liver ragu).  I made the sauce with finely chopped onion, chicken livers, a ground meat mix of veal, beef and pork, bay leaf, chicken stock, tomato and just a small amount of guanciale which helped mellow out the sometimes overpowering flavor of chicken liver.  

Drinking with this piedmont classic I took out the current release of 2010 Langhe Nebbiolo from Produttori del Barbaresco.  In 2010 Piedmont received quite a lot of rain and winemakers were somewhat surprised to see the harvest ending with a superior quality.  This bottling of 2010 Nebbiolo was delicious and it was showing some mint and liquorish notes that weren't so present in the last three vintages of Produttori's Langhe Nebbiolo I have tasted.  Such an awesome easy drinking $20 price range wine, that is now my go to bottle here in brooklyn.



In other nebbiolo news...

Had the chance to pop a bottle of Erpacrife two nights ago, and If your into funky ass sparkling wines put this shit on your list!  This wine is made from 100% Nebbiolo grapes and vinified in the Metodo Classico.  The name comes from the first syllable of the names of four Italian friends who met in enology school in Alba. Light, Fresh yet complex, with sweet and dusty red fruit.

mercoledì 1 febbraio 2012

2006 Capanna, and a two day shredding break in The Berkshires...


The 2006 Capanna, Brunello di Montalcino is an excellent brunello for consumption shortly after the release.

After a month of unsuccessful escapes (due to rain) into the countryside for the first day of riding this 2012 season, finally tuesday presented a promising forecast.  I took a later train in from Grand Central Station and arrived just in time for a classic NY Strip steak dinner at Big Franks.  In a rush (baked potatoes in oven) I had to run into the local wineshop for a reliable classic from their selection.  spotted the 2006 Brunello di Montalcino from Capanna, and having tasted the 2004 and 2005, the new 2006 release sounded like a go.

The 2004 was delicious but bigger and slightly closed (will obviously benefit from bottle age) when I tasted it open release.  The 2005 was a bit leaner, easy drinking and not super complex.  I could have gotten a lucky day with the 2006 but it was drinking gorgeous.  There was a delicious gameyness and aromatics that I didnt find in either of the other two vintages.  Capanna from northern Montalcino (Montosoli) practices longer maceration (about 25 days) and ages 3 years in Slavonian Oak casks.  For $45 a bottle its pretty reasonable and a great expression of approachable, traditional Sangiovese Grosso from Montalcino.


The next day followed with warmth and sun, and many turns on soft snow.  Above, A view from the top of Jiminy Peak in Hancock, MA.  A textbook ''Ice Coast'' landscape.

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