January 12, 2013 |
Meghan and Carter are getting married. Like so many friends of my daughter, they are bright, funny and, sometimes, almost preternaturally serious. A couple of weeks ago, they asked my wife if we would talk to them about how to stay married - and about how to cook. The first, I'll leave to Kathy; after almost 34 years, it's still a mystery to me. But the cooking part is right up my alley, and, even better, I figured it would give me a chance to try out some of the ideas I've been on a soapbox about for the last couple of years.
March 20, 2014 |
This is a great example of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir from Oregon in an outstanding vintage. The grapes come from the famous Shea Vineyard in Yamhill County. The result is a Pinot with lovely dark-toned fruit, a pretty nose of rose petals and cherries, and a smooth, silky texture. And you don't need to know a thing about wine or Pinot Noir to appreciate its beauty. It's great with sautéed calf's liver, fried quail, a roast chicken or a pot pie. Region: Willamette Valley, Oregon Price: $33 to $50 Style: Rich and full-bodied What it goes with: Calf's liver, quail, roast chicken, pot pie Where to find it: BestWinesOnline (888)
November 23, 2013 |
This is an elegant Napa Valley Chardonnay from Chateau Montelena, very much still in the style that won the famous Paris Tasting of 1976 and launched California Chardonnay onto the world wine scene. Silky on the palate, the 2011 has aromas of pear, citrus and honeysuckle. A bright acidity and a discrete touch of oak give the ripe fruit flavors a lift. A wine to savor. This would be a great bottle to take to a holiday dinner with people who would appreciate its finesse. It shows best with shellfish or fish in sauce -- coquilles St. Jacques, lobster with drawn butter or Dungeness crab, but also a simple roast chicken.
December 8, 2012 |
Always on the lookout for a juicy California Pinot, one with some character and grit, I think I've found it in the 2011 from August West. The label is a collaboration between Ed Kurtzman and growers Howard Graham and Gary Franscioni. The grapes - a tiny crop this year - came from the vineyards Rosella's, Sierra Mar and Sberanes. Tasting of black cherry, plums and earth, this latest vintage of Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands, their fourth, has gorgeous fruit and ripe tannins.
May 26, 2012 |
I don't know anything about the Fat Monk depicted on a bottom corner of the label hoisting a wine glass, halo hovering over his head. But I would like to second that halo for making a terrific everyday Pinot at an everyday price. I first tasted this wine when an astute friend brought it to dinner months ago. She'd scooped up the last few bottles at Surfas but kept an eye out and when they restocked and picked up half a dozen bottles for me. Now it seems to be around at a few more places.
August 3, 2013
The Chianti region is large, and while the wines from the Classico region are the best known, for price and quality, look to the lesser-known Chianti Rufina, a small area in the northeastern corner of Chianti proper. Selvapiana is one of the best estates in Rufina, turning out first-rate Sangiovese-based reds. I've been buying its Chianti for years, keeping it on hand for pasta nights and grilled skirt steak or chops. A deep ruby in color, the 2010 Selvapiana tastes of bright cherries and plums, but a touch of earth gives it some weight.
May 12, 2011 |
What a lovely expression of Pinot Noir from New Zealand's Mountford estate. Elegant and smooth, this New World Pinot carries the taste of Santa Rosa plums and sweet Asian spices. The scent jumps right out of the glass — sandalwood, and something leafy and delicate. In this weather, chill it just a bit and serve with roast chicken, sweetbreads or roast leg of lamb. Region: Waipara Valley, New Zealand Price: $29 to $35 Style: Rich and full-bodied What it goes with: Roast chicken or leg of lamb Where to find it: Flask Fine Wines in Studio City, (818)
February 10, 1999 |
Chimichangas--crisp-fried tortilla bundles of tender chicken with cheese and sour cream--are ridiculously easy to make when you have leftover roast chicken. Kids love them, grown-ups love them and, if you feel like rewarding yourself for making dinner on a hectic weeknight, they are terrific with margaritas.
May 6, 2009 |
Such a pretty Gewurztraminer from Alsace -- aromatic, scented with spices and flowers, it has the faintest touch of sweetness married with a lively acidity, so it's never cloying. Helfrich's 2007 Gewurztraminer excels as a match for Asian foods -- Thai, Vietnamese and spicy Chinese dishes. But it would be wonderful, too, with a fresh pea soup or risotto, or a spring minestrone and a simple roast chicken.