Monday, October 13, 2008

Sherry and the Smell of Furniture

Palo Cortado in Solera

A well Polished piece of Furniture, indeed

Fred Seggerman is the elder statesman of the Connecticut wine trade. He's been in the business 50 years and can tell you not only about wine, but also about the people of wine. In other words, he is a terrible gossip, as am I. He can tell you who was putting Algerian Syrah into their Burgundy in the 1960's and who's putting Chilean Syrah into their Russian River Pinot Noir now.

As well as being versed in topics such as Italian Olive oil, Fred is an expert on Sherry, a topic I've never quite mastered. Not so long ago, Fred brought me a bottle of Palo Cortado. He insisted "This is old wine" , "How old?" , "Oh who the hell knows, old. Just try the damn stuff"

I had my second bottle last night, and it reminded me of my childhood and the smell of freshly polished furniture. The smell of Connecticut cherry, two hundred years old, gleaming with fresh lemon oil. The smell of a Piecrust Tea table or the Block and Shell of a well made desk, polished, and with the bitter citrus smell of lemon oil. In a room of polished Walnut paneling and the smell of a thousand things that happened once a long time ago. Wistfully I chased the scents into the glass, remembering a previous life.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Hank's Dinner

Dinner at Hank's Sunday Night

Inama Du Lot 2006
Naiades Verdejo 2006

Dr Loosen Uziger Wurtsgarten 2005 Kabinett
Sybille Kuntz Scharz Riesling 2005

Cantina Del Pino Barbaresco Orvello 2001 in Magnum

Ch Beaucastel Chateauneuf-Du-Pape 1983, 1985, 1989
One of my favorite wines of all time, if for no other reason than I have a deep history with the wine going back many vintages. Once, I even did a vertical tasting with Marc Perrin of the 2004, 2003, 2001, 1995, 1989, 1985, 1983, 1978, as well as several vintages of the Rousanne V.V.. Beaucastel ages better than any wine I've ever had, there I said it. The 1978 and 1983 are still drinking beautifully, they get finer and lighter as they age obviously, but still show no sign of being in decline. I've even done head to heads with Ch Rayas and even once Beaucastel 1983 vs. Ch Latour 1982. When the dusk settles and you get past the fame of the other suitors for your palate, I still prefer Beaucastel, it is my tongue's favorite lover. There is an intrinsic advantage to varietal blending, in terms of complexity, and what can I say about Mouverde that hasn't been said before in song and story...

And the best piece of Lamb I've ever had. I pleaded for the recipe.

"Saute onions, leeks, garlic, shallots
add one half bottle white wine per 6 shanks
remove zest from one lemon per 6 shanks and quarter lemon, putting it with the vegetables. slice 3 medium carrots and 3 stalks of celery, add to the mix.
the add chicken stock add 1-2 T chopped fresh mint add 2-3 T tomato paste


Brown 6 shanks, either in pan or coat lightly with flour and roast at 425 for a while.
Put shanks in a single layer in roasting pan, cover with mixture and add chicken stock to bring level half way up the shanks. Place in 350 over covered for 1.5 hours; then uncover and cook 45 minutes, turn shanks over and cook further. The sauce will thicken. Cook until the meat nearly falls off the bone.

I also took some of the chicken stock and cooked it with finely grated potato for thickening, and added it to sauce in roasting pan.. Towards end stir in several Tps of chopped mint and the lemon zest.

I think that is it.


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