“And those people who would always drink the Musigny over a Monthelie no matter what they have on their plate are not wine lovers. They are status seekers.”-Kermit Lynch
For the fifth or sixth time, I am reading Lynch’s book Adventures on the Wine Route. I learn something new each time I pick it up. A mark of a classic, right? And as my perspectives on life and wine have altered in the past five years(obvious), Adventures on the Wine Route has grown exponentially with meaning and symbolism. When I revisit in 5 years, I will chuckle at the youthful, idealistic scribble I have jotted next to passages like the one above. The book is poetic, humble, and full of character–much like the wines Kermit has been importing for the last three decades.
(photo via nytimes)
When pairing wine and food, I am always thinking regionally; and so should you. There is a reason why Crottin de Chavignol and Sauvignon from the left bank are wedded for eternity. So, two days back when I bought a whole brook trout, garlic,anchovies/pine nuts(whole foods market) and spinach from the Union Square Greenmarket–I knew exactly which wine would be served. Actually, I had no choice in the matter because fresh fish+garlic+olive oil+pine nuts+greens= southern French red. You could do a white as well, like a herbal Cotes du Rhone Blanc; but the damp nyc weather requires a savory red.
I chose a charming bottle of the 2006 Chateau Coupe Roses Minervois ‘la bastide‘($12-$17Vintage 59 Imports). Several years ago, I worked almost an entire harvest with Coupe Roses–something like three and a half weeks. The work was demanding, both physically and mentally. Nevertheless, an amazing experience which has shaped my attitudes towards the supremacy of artisan wine making. Their vineyards are some of the highest in the appellation and the wines are marked with better balance and perfume than most– the main reason why they compliment food so well. The “la bastide” is an approachable blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Carignan. Savory and feminine. Dark, yet bright. Drink cool to the touch, like I used to after a long day of work under the Mediterranean sun.
After spending several months in hibernation, I am back! Obviously, many of you have abandoned Jaime Brockway and I cannot blame you for this. A blog without updates is like industrial wine–dead and depressing. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if my readership in the future consists of just my jewish grandmother. Though, she would be happier if I were a lawyer in Brooklyn.
The other night I met a dear friend of mine at Ten Bells wine bar in the Lower East Side(Broome Street btwn Ludlow and Orchard). It was my first time and I was delighted with the entire experience. The restaurant is dark, inviting, and warm. It was a perfect choice for a sub-zero evening in nyc. The crowd is mixed, but the chatter of the french language is noticeable and pleasant. The entire menu(including wine) is posted on a rustic chalkboard against the wall. I like the look and idea, but practically it’s very inconvenient in a wine bar with no overhead lights and a few sporadic candles. Nevertheless, the wine list includes many of my favorites like Thierry Puzelat and Alice and Oliver Demoor(Louis/Dressner). I had one glass of the nutty, old vine Sauvignon Blanc from Claude Courtois(Jenny and Francois $8. by the glass) I beleive the vintage was 2004. And two lively glasses of Non-Vintage bubbly Melon de Bourgogne from Marc Pesnot(Jenny and Francois $8. by the glass) Both wines paired nicely with the homemade duck rillette. Ten Bells is the type of approachable, innovative wine bar which could inspire a lot of flowery praise. Thankfully, it’s only about a 15 minute subway ride from my flat.
Eating well can be cheap. It’s a cinch. Pan-fried fish, garnished with fresh herbs, takes no more than 10 minutes. We all have ten minutes to prepare a home cooked meal. No excuses.The below recipe was, as usual, inspired by Alice Waters and her marvelous book titled The Art of Simple Food.
First, pour yourself a cool, herby glass of the 2006 Gerard Villet Arbois Chardonnay(Savio SoaresSelections $22). The round texture of the wine is a nicejuxtaposition to the cut and precision of this dish. Serve this wine cool, but not cold. The warmth of the room will reveal its subtle secrets.
Heat a heavy bottomed pot with olive oil over medium high heat. When the oil is sizzling, toss in a fillet of stripedbass, skin side down, for 6 minutes. Then flip and cook for another minute or until done. On the side, whisk in a bowl 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 1/4 cup olive oil, and two teaspoons of fresh lime juice. Salt and pepper to taste. Once the fish is done, drizzle the lemon vinaigrette over a plate and position fish directly on top, skin side up. Chop up 1/4 cup of mixed fresh herbs like chervil,cilantro, or basil. Sprinkle over fish.
Simple. Rustic. Translucent. Flavorful. Fulfilling. Affordable.
When I start writing about Cassis Blanc, you can be pretty certain the temperatures in the city have climbed well above 32 degrees; and in a few weeks, a pot of Mediterranean fish stew will be doing its shimmy on my stove top.Friends, isn’t there something magical about a kitchen flooded with aromas of fennel, garlic, and the sea?! Kermit Lynch would probably say that such things inspire thirst–and I could not agree more.Nevertheless, this week I had an inspiring sip of the 2006 Clos Ste. Magdeleine Cassis Blanc( $30-$32,Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant). The vineyards of Clos Ste.
Magdeleine abut the salty Mediterranean and provide a wonderful amphitheater for ripening the Marsanne, Ugni Blanc, and Clairette varieties found in the final blend. My tasting notes are replete with flowery adjectives and high praise. Savory and briny are two which come to mind. I suggest you pop a bottle in your ice bucket, close your eyes, and get ready to be transported to the bright vineyards of southern France. I wish I were there now. This wine will sing next to a cool plate of something raw and from the sea.
(photo via Mediterranean food recipes dot com)
Hey all, you have probably noticed my lack of creative inspiration on Jaime Brockway. Certainly, I am still imbibing, cooking, and reflecting–but I have been in no mood to express through words these events and share with others on the net. Sometimes I guess, in a selfish way, I want to keep these special moments just for me and those I directly share them with. So, for an indefinite period of time I will step away from Jaime Brockway. Alternatively, you can view my other blog which highlights my life in new york city through pictures,poetry, and other bizarre ramblings. It has nothing to do with wine. Click on this to be linked to my other blog, In my head.
The 2007 Clos Roche Blanche Touraine Cabernet(Louis/Dressner $17.00) is a sexy, luscious effort by Catherine and Didier.
The wine offers up oodles of slutty fruit, licorice, tar, smoke, chocolate, caramel, kirsch, ripe cherries, caramel, scorched earth, sweet candied fruit pie and underbrush. Note inspired by Robert Parker.
Oh….. my…… goodness. This wine is so–so beautiful. Do you love a generous, feminine perfume? A buoyant, lively palate? Licking rocks? Connecting with the beauty of nature and man through wine? Supporting wine growers on a family scale? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you must try this wine. Let it breath. Drink cool.
The wine of the day is 2007 Francis Blanchet Pouilly-Fumé Cuvée Salice. I tried it last week at a family dinner and to say that I was impressed would be an understatement. I literally fell in love with it. Although, I have a feeling that it’s more suitable for taking with lunch but I wouldn’t mind having it with dinner too.
In order to get the most of this drink, it is necessary to take it with the right food and that would be roasted pork loin. Trust me; I tried it just a few days back. I was at home with no plans for that night so I came up with an idea to treat myself to a very special dinner and that’s exactly what I did.
The sweet and mineral taste of this wonder drink together with the juicy flavor of the roasted pork loin would make you want to moan in delight. They suit too well together that the taste is heavenly.
- Garlic (Ground): 3 Cloves
- Roasted Pork Loin (Boneless): 2 Pounds
- Dried Rosemary: 1 Tablespoon
- Olive Oil: ¼ Cup
- White Wine: ½ Cup
- Salt: According to taste.
- Pepper: According to taste.
Preheat the oven to 350°F or 175°C before getting started with the pork.
Take the garlic, dried rosemary, salt, and pepper and crush them all till a paste is formed. Now, take a sharp knife and make piercings in the meet with its tip. That being done take some of the garlic and rosemary paste in the palm of your hand and press it into the piercings of the meat. Now, gently rub the remaining garlic paste and olive oil onto the surface of the meat.
Place it in a pan containing white wine and put it in the oven, keep turning the pork loin in the pan and bashing it with the liquid in the pan. Heat it till its center is no longer pink or heat it for an hour just to make sure.
After that, insert an instant-read thermometer into the center to check the temperature which should be about 145°F or 63°C. Take the roast out of the oven and place it on a platter. Now, heat the white wine in the pan and stir it so that the brown bits of food settle at the bottom. Pour it over the roasted pork loin and enjoy the juicy flavor of the roasted pork loin.
The oven I used for roasting pork loin is an LG LRE3083SW range I bought from an online store. My experience with this range was beyond amazing. The touch pads for setting temperature made it really easy to do so. This oven comes with several other features that make you adore it beyond limits. The touchpad menu makes it easy to use and the heating efficiency is just awesome. It heats up faster than other ranges. And the steam clean helps in the cleaning issue. I used it for roasting the pork loin and it took less time than I expected.