In the interest of the goose we roasted for Thanksgiving and as a little tip-of-the-cap to our founding father, and fellow syrah lover, Thomas Jefferson (no we aren’t tea-baggers!) we decided to have a tasting of 2008 syrah. The Rhône is (supposedly) the birth place of syrah, though there are now many incarnations of it including it’s dark-skinned Australian sibling, shiraz. Shiraz and syrah are typically quite concentrated and full-bodied wines, often being used in blends to provide some body. Tasting three syrahs from the Rhône was a nice lesson in the versatility of the fruit which can seem so standard.
Mâcon produces a plethora of white wines, mainly chardonnay and most famously Pouilly-fuissé. Juan recently introduced me to this Mâcon-fuissé and we became friends immediately. This charming chardonnay is produced in the Mâconnais district, in the village of Fuissé. Domaine La Soufrandise’s “Le Ronte” cuvée is floral fruity and round, with zero oak, the perfect accompaniment to our fig and anchovy tart. I find this to be a lovely example of what French chardonnay can be with out any adornments. Braden and I literally fought over the half glass we had left in the bottle a couple nights ago. The good news is we can get more, and for only 12,9€ a bottle we’ll be seeing a lot of each other this fall.
My favorite summer wine is Sauvignon Blanc, it’s crisp and refreshing but still has depth and perfume. Arguably the best Sauvignon Blanc is showcased in the Loire Valley– most famously in Sancerre. Yet a decent Sancerre can cost a pretty penny, so why not explore it’s neighbors? Juan introduced us to it’s south-western voisin, Menetou-Salon. I was really impressed with Domaine Philippe Gilbert’s 2007 Sauvignon Blanc- it starts cool and sharp opening into warmer minerals and citrus. This Mentou-Salon drinks well with a simply prepared white fish, a crisp salad or a dish with fresh tomatoes. A bottle of this beauty will set you back 14.20€ at LDG.
*each month Juan Sanchez, owner of La Dernière Goutte and Laura pick out some wines that are drinking especially well. Here are this months selections.
We have gone through a lot of cavists over the last three years. Most of the cavists were French, and while they knew their product, they had a difficult time pairing with the flavors and spice of the food we were cooking. We were explaining a course of scallops, chorizo, lime and sweet corn to our old cavist who responded, “how about pairing it with RUM!” As one blogger pointed out after dining early on at HK, “while the food was generally delicious, the wines were not so great”. It felt like even our good pairings came simply by happenstance.
image courtesy of Nicholas Calcott
What a treat to arrive back in Paris and have the markets be full of lush, juicy strawberries. Seeing the berries always inspires me to make some extravagant strawberry dessert. But, applying heat seems to pollute the flavor and render them mushy and stingy. A good strawberry is best enjoyed with the simplest of preparations. Sorbet seemed like a natural thing to do, served with puff pastry, pastry cream and some fresh unadulterated Gariguettes. With a little Japanese inspiration, I added some shiso. The powerfully herbal and vegetal quality of shiso complements the berries beautifully.
When we moved to the new apartment (and raised our suggested donation) we wanted to gussy up everything we had been making. The old cleanser was a play on an Orange Julius complete with miniature soda fountain glass and colorful straw. The problem with the Julius though was that it conjured up images of malls and hot dogs and girls with unicorn stickers on their fingernails. So we moved instead to the scene of women in goofy hats, tiny little dudes and big horses.
1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
zest of one lime
1 1/2 cups simple syrup
1/4 cup water
generous glug of vodka