Sunday, January 03, 2010

Getting Started with 2010

If you look at the left side-bar of this blog you'll see that with 2010, this blog enters its fifth calendar year. This is misleading, as I have been doing this for only three and a half years. In any case, enough time has passed so that I think it's worth stepping back for a minute. And I'll use the beginning of the new year as an excuse to do this.

I am not in the wine business. I write this blog anonymously in an attempt to maintain some sort of privacy for my family and for myself in my "real" life. I started blogging as a way to record my learning about wine, and that's basically still what it is for me. Some things have changed, of course. I get to do much more than I did back then, as the New York City wine community has, luckily for me, welcomed me into it's folds. And when I write a post now I am conscious of that fact that there are people who will actually read it. But other than that, everything is the same.

I'm still not in the wine business. I've still not had a bottle of 91 Rousseau Chambertin with dinner (or any vintage of any Chambertin with dinner, for that matter), I've never tasted DRC, I've never had anyone's Montrachet with dinner. Don't mistake me for some guy who has tasted and drunk the best wines of the world, because I haven't, and I never claim to be that kind of guy. I do drink a lot of wine, I like to think that I have a decent palate, and I'm learning as much as I can. I'm having an absolute ball doing so, and I'll continue to share whatever interests me with you here on this blog.

Now that that's out of the way, I want to share a bit about something exciting from 2009. I haven't written about this yet because I couldn't figure out a graceful way to do so. And I still can't, but it was really exciting, and so this will have to do - Eric Asimov came to our house for dinner! Why did he come to dinner at my house? My mother would have you believe that he's mulling over some sort of fantastic job to offer me, and he needed to meet to check me out first. That's kind of cute in its own only-your-mother-could-be-that-patently-absurd way, isn't it?

He came over for dinner because he loves to drink wine and eat (hopefully) good food, and because he probably gets mostly business invites, and this invite was personal. He came over because I have a blog and he does too, and because I invited him.

What would you serve Eric Asimov if he came over for dinner? I decided that I wouldn't try to impress him with Grand Cru Burgundy and things like that. He has access to that kind of thing through his work, and that's not what I drink at home and write about anyway. I decided to serve some of the things that I know and love. Here's what we had:

(2005) Cédric Bouchard Roses de Jeanne Les Ursules Brut Blanc de Noirs - solo. This Champagne is delicate enough that I prefer to drink it on its own - no almonds, no nibbles, nothing. It was delicious.

NV Equipos Navazos La Bota de Fino "Macharnudo Alto" Nº 15 with pickled herring. I love this Sherry, but it was the only wine that didn't show at its best that night. Three days later it was great, but at our dinner it was just good. And I'm still not sure if there really is a wine that pairs harmoniously with pickled herring. Sherry comes close.

2002 Luneau-Papin Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine Excelsior Clos des Noelles with fish soup. We decanted this wine and it was lovely. Young, but lovely, and to my taste, a harmonious pairing. Is there a better value in wine than Muscadet? I don't think so.

1993 Domaine Tempier Bandol La Migoua with steak, mushrooms, and winter radishes. When mature Tempier is good, it's really good. We got lucky with this one - it was really good. From another era, literally and figuratively.

2001 Dirler Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Kessler with a stinky Bavarian Muenster cheese. Although there is plenty of residual sugar in this wine, the vibrant acidity brings it into perfect balance and the wine doesn't seem sweet. It's not just about spicy exotic fruit - there are herbal and mineral flavors here too. I loved this wine, and there is a reason that the pairing of great Gewurz and Muenster is a classic.

Anyway, he's a very nice guy, that Eric Asimov, and it was a thrill to have him over. I know what you're thinking - "how can Brooklynguy top that in 2010?" Well, I've invited Ben Bernanke and Timothy Geithner over (both big into Cali Cabs), and hopefully they'll get back to me soon. If they can make it, I really need to get started thinking about what wines to serve.


Asher said...

Very nice! I have Maya from Sideways and the Scavino daughters from Piemonte coming over next weekend to play Twister and drink Petrus, but that Asimov guy sounds real cool, too!

All the best in 2010 to you and the Brooklynladies.

Anonymous said...

Big fan of your blog. Good luck in 2010!

Ken Payton said...

Delightful write-up. All the best for 2010.

TWG said...

Your comment on the fino is quite interesting. I'm not a fan of sherry or oxidized wines in particular, but I've read several sherry drinkers claim that fino oxidizes to an unacceptable level within hours. I know you've had a bit of sherry in 2009 and would like to hear your thoughts.

Brooklynguy said...

happy new year to you too Asher, and please say hi to Maya for me.

thanks Anon.

And you too Ken - much appreciated.

TWG (is it Tom?) - I've also heard this. But it isn't true with La Bota wines, and it isn't true (from my limited experience) with the Almacenista Sherries that Lustau sells. Why, I don't know, I'm sorry. But I know someone who will know, and I'll ask him.

Peter Liem said...

Perhaps cheap, industrial fino rapidly acquires overly oxidative flavors, I don't know. The ones that we like to drink have no problems hanging out, and as Brooklynguy points out, they can sometimes actually need time after opening to show their best. Fino is certainly not indestructible (as evidenced by many examples by the glass in restaurants), but I would say that if anything, it's more sturdy than table wine, not less.

TWG said...

B-Guy and Peter, Thanks for the advice on fino. My mistaken impression of limited shelf life had discouraged me from exploring fino sherry.

fillay said...

I can't believe no-one has taken the Bernanke-Geithner bait! All right, I'll nibble. Bernanke: Chateau Palmer. Slightly effete and anglophile in that wannabe-Oxford Princeton way. But as an awkward socializer he probably won't finish his glass, so see if you can find a bottle from an off-vintage to save money. Geithner: from what I understand of his personality, it's all about the conquest - this guy's not a contemplative drinker. Cali cab is a great instinct, but in the true spirit of conquest see if you can find an empty Screaming Eagle bottle and fill it with House Wine - he won't be paying attention to the details. Oh, and have some good scotch around - my guess is it will be important to him to drink you under the table.

Brooklynguy said...

Thanks Peter.

TWG - we had the leftovers last night of a bottle of Lustau Almacenista Fino del Puerto. It was better than it was when we opened it the previous day. More expansive and complex on the nose.

Fillay - this is great and I appreciate it. I honestly wouldn't have figured to serve Palmer, but I will now. to take your idea further, U might serve something experimental too, as these academic types like to feel as though they're always doing research. Perhaps a horizontal tasting of some or other Aussie wine.

Bertrand said...

Wow, Broklynguy, that's good news for to begin 2010 with (even if it happened in 2009) ! And what a wine list ! If you make it into the NY Times (mothers always know better), I invite you both for a back-roads adventure in the Loire....

Happy New Year to you !