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Posts Tagged ‘red potatoes’

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Man, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted!  I’ve been busy…drinking wine and stuff.  OK, I really can’t come up with a good excuse.  To make up for my prolonged absence, I am giving you a crazy-awesome wine and food experience.  I even have multiple pictures just to back up all the hyperbole of the last sentence.  Let’s get to the good stuff!

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Seafood medley of clams, mussels, lobsters, and shrimp accompanied by red potatoes, chorizo, and ears of corn.  Cooking juices loaded up with butter for dipping.

Wine: Charles & Charles Rosé 2012

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Yes, yes, yes, the food and the wine were absolutely fantastic.  All of it was cooked in single pot, and I don’t want any grief from East Coasters about that fact that I did my clambake in Minneapolis!  The dry rosé from Washington had a great sense of minerality that worked well with the seafood and quite a bit of bright fruit to add a nice layer of texture on top of the meal.  Overall, this was a great wine and food pairing, but when it comes to the experience of the meal, there’s always so much more involved.

It just so happened for me that my craving to have a clambake this year was given the perfect opportunity by my father being born a certain number of years ago (His secret is safe with me).  Fortunately, the rain held out and we were able to enjoy the great outdoors in the city while stuffing ourselves silly with delicious seafood and washing it down with solid wine.  As a little sensory bonus I clipped some rosemary, lemon thyme, and lavender from my garden and poured some hot water over them (essentially just making herbal tea) to add a little headiness to the air.   It was fun, it was messy, it was an adventure.  This is truly one of those events that I think everyone simply must have annually. I don’t even care what you’re celebrating.  Just find a great meal, get some great wine, and then put some effort into it!

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The best part about wine and food is that it gives an event something to focus around.  This shared social experience of enjoyment is, in my mind, one of the finest things in life.  One might credit the amount of wine consumed, but I’m guessing it’s the act of sharing something enjoyable that brings people closer together during these nights.  I would add that it’s of extra benefit to share something enjoyable that is also new.

I could probably go on a rant about how we as an American society are not spending enough time sitting and enjoying meals together, but I think we’re all acutely aware of that message.  Instead, I will say this: wine and food are an integral part of the human connection.  The experience is also an important opportunity for adults to show children how to drink alcohol responsibly with food.  So the next time you think about planning a meal go ahead and decide to cook something you think is fancy and share a bottle of wine over it.  Just the little bit of extra effort in thinking about it will pay off in dividends.

Happy Birthday, Dad.

Happy Birthday, Dad.

 

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Superfluous Rating: 5/5

Salmon fillet seasoned with salt, pink peppercorns and rosemary; topped with butter and lemon and thrust into an aluminum packet and put on the grill.  Red potatoes, leeks, onions, mushrooms, and asparagus seasoned with salt, pepper, and rosemary; loved with a butter and olive oil mix, piled into an aluminum packet and put on the grill.

Wine: Rudera de Tradisie Chenin Blanc 2009

Those of you with a keen eye will note a different windowed back drop. Cheers to buying a house and turning it into your own wine palace.

Notes:

There’s nothing like a cold snap during the tail end of September to remind Minnesotans that winter will be coming soon.  Nevertheless, I will be using the grill until there is a foot of snow on it; and perhaps then I might even make that the first destination when creating snow paths.  The best part of putting all your food in to tin foil or aluminum (pronounced Al-lu-MINI-um if you’re British) is that there is barely any cleanup and you can still let the food simmer in tasty juices.  And this salmon, with potatoes and veggies on the side is delightful after that.  I believe the internet people say, “Nom.”

I don’t think I’ve seen salmon popularly paired with Chenin Blanc, which is all fine and good, but this was fantastic.  This particular C-Blanc (its rapper name) from Stellenbosch, South Africa was wonderfully floral and had a bit of creaminess to it because it was fermented in oak.  Not a common process for C-Blanc, but it worked out fine to give it quite a bit of body and really turned this into a cool autumn comfort meal.

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Have you missed the wine and food pairings?  My apologies.  They’ve missed you too!

Rating: 5/5

A coq au vin comprised of browned chicken (obviously) slow roasted over red potatoes, shallots, celery, carrots, leeks, with thyme, salt/pepper in a sultry shallow bath of broth and Burgundian white wine.  Juices were reduced with some butter for sauce.

Wine: Oliver Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc “Les Setilles” 2009

Notes:
Quick review: If it is white and from Burgundy, it’s a good bet that it’s Chardonnay.  This particular one had a bit of oak, but nothing offsetting and it  melded beautifully with the food.  Providing some zip where there was a little fat, and providing some body, where the dish lay a little flat. This is one of those solid pairings that just hits home with me every time.  You may not enjoy this sort of thing if you’re not the sort who enjoys delicious food and wine together, but if you come across a rainy and cool day this summer, give this a try.  It will soothe your soul.  If you instagram your experience, that may soothe your soul too, but I just got an ok picture of the wine bottle out of it.

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