Monday, November 22, 2010

Saufgelage ~ another hard night at the favourite industry hangout ~ !

…specifically the one ‘cross 10th Ave from the old railroad trestle at the corner of 24th…. Where the jukebox played Schweizer Volkrock all evening while we drank some very fine Austrians—

Quintet of rather unusual suspects: Me and Millman, Ellisa and Cynthia—plus Allison Lee, with whom I used to share an elevator on 8th Ave during my VOS days ~

On this occasion, Allison the Instigator, so would if we could call her Alligator for short, but she’s not short, more like 5’10” so I guess we can’t…

One of the things I like best about working with Austrian wines is that the people involved typically work and play well with each other. Always happy to see Carlo or Monika or Jonathan or Allison, who works with Daniel Hubbard at Domaine Select…

On this occasion 4 courses and 8 bottles, one cork-stinker—sorry Mr Glatzer—but truthfully even for us pros, 9 would’ve been too many…

—not quite Noah boarding the Arque,

but still I set up the animals two-by-two. Firstoff:

2008 Lackner-Tinnacher Gelber Muskateller—heavenly aromas, lovely vibrant acids, one of the finest in Steiermark—the only uncertainty might be, what does one drink with it? GM experiments in the past have favoured just the slightest of flavours—but we drank it by itself, which is a more reliable decision.

2008 Wimmer-Czerny Roter Veltliner—we put this alongside the GM, because RV has comparatively little in the way of aromaticity—but we dug deeply into it when the fondue arrived. Texture, texture, texture… great flavour and great match with molten gruyère and emmenthaler (nb I have been to Emmenthal...)

then came 2 Grüne Veltliner from opposite ends of the spectrum:

2007 Emmerich Knoll GV Federspiel, which Cynthia Sexton brought, an aromatic and lively interpretation of the GV, somewhat on the citric side of the colour-scheme—second course was a little mason-jar of chicken-liver paté, quickly the victim of a feeding frenzy—went five-ways handily, and whetted appetites in a tantalising fashion.

2006 Gritsch Mauritiushof GV Singerriedel Smaragd, a heavyweight with plenty of punch, firmly nestled into the tropical spectrum of grüner veltliner aroma and flavour, glorious minerality typical to the site, and well balanced even with 14.5% you-know-what. This with the steak tartare was a heavenly combination—nice as well with crepinette de porc and ris de veau…

followed by 2 more Heavyweights from the teeming metropolis of Spitz an der Donau:

2002 Hirtzberger Riesling Singerriedel Smaragd, a bottle that Frau Irmgard H. gave me some years ago. Whereas their 02er Hochrain Smaragd was pristine and bright a year ago, Singerriedel showed about as much botrytis as could be safely packed into a dry riesling. Beautiful light-orange colour, apricot and citrus-zest nose, apple and pineapple cream on the palate. Intense minerality against still-zingy acids. Most of the diners headed for red wine dishes for their main courses—I ordered the pork garlic sausage with Yukon golds and leeks, so got to drink a substantial quantity of it…

2007 Karl Lagler Tausendeimerberg Neuburger Smaragd, out of a rather slatey site; like the first two bottles it came with Allison. I find fascinating that not-so-aromatic wines like Neub and RV don’t come across as deficient when tasted alongside fragrant bottles of RR and GV. Lovely texture, nutty flavours almond and pistaschio, a bit of bosc pear, acids well folded into layers of fruit, very handsome.

‘twas not really intended to be White Night, just sortof

turned out that way—but good to have a couple Rotweine from Burgenland, from opposite sides of the lake:

2007 Hans & Anita Nittnaus Heideboden, Zweig/Blauf/Merlot cuvée, just like satin—fruit sashaying backandforth from blueberry to sourcherry, very polished thanks to the international partner in the blend, ripe tannins and plenty of gitupngo. And I have to say that chef Ralf Kuettel has really got the hang of the hangar steak.

2006 Rosi Schuster Blaufränkish Reserve, the last bottle in my basement, and the end of the line for this cuvée from Hannes—sweet core of fruit, black-cherry and blackberry; expansive material, very little wood from 2nd fill barriques; pretty depth and nice minerality heading down the dolce vita.

…after the crowd thinned out I realised a personal ambition and got the three ladies to read

the opening of Act IV Scene I from the Scottish Play—

Allison was a good sport about it, and the other two know me

well enough to be prepared for all sorts of foolishness…

—and at this point, I shall turn into the spirit and soul of discretion, and allow the remainder of the evening to remain at our table… will only say that Bob Millman

gave a very good account of himself as sitdown-comic—

or was it Standup-Philosopher?


Sunday, November 7, 2010

¡ Verkorkt ! Bouchonné ~ !

bottle of Beaujolais Villages, intended for showing to retail buyers,
vivid stinker, and spoiled on the palate as well...

started to pour it out,
poured it in the lentil stew instead, along with half as much water—
almost immediately aromas of fresh and lovely gamay fruit
came wafting out of the pot.
no trace of corkiness in the dish.

yes, the cork-taint TCA does make itself scarce under fire.

and do try this at home.